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Spice up your life! Melanie C, hip new Relais & Chateaux shepherd's huts, fine dining Georgian elegance in Exeter and Plymouth's 1 Big Summer.

SCOFF & QUAFF

The zhuzhy new £2m Burrington Estates refurb of the Grade II listed Georgian Winslade Manor at Clyst St Mary, near Exeter has just launched, promising a fine dining and wellbeing experience like no other locally.

Muddy had a sneak peek and it’s the most exciting thing to happen on the Exeter hospitality scene in yonks – a sleek bar (above), fine dining restaurant and a boutique gym for one to one coaching all set in 86 manicured acres.

It’s headed up by a dream team of Joe Hammond, formerly of Woodbury Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club and Tom Johnson, the former England and Exeter Chief professional rugby player with support from Mark Edworthy and Paul Scantlebury of Burrington Estates, with the former head chef of East Devon’s Jack in the Green, Matt Mason, heading up the fine dining and foodie offering.

The planned opening is currently April 12 for drinks and bites on the terrace. A full Muddy briefing and more pics are coming shortly, in the meantime there’s a chance to snaffle VIP tickets to their launch. Get your name on the waiting list here.

LIGHTERS IN THE AIR!

In festival news, Muddy’s favourite survival expert, Bear Grylls, has just announced a raft of new headliners for the newly named Natural Valley Gone Wild Festival at Powderham Castle, on 26-29 August, including Melanie C (pictured looking distinctly un-Sporty above), Scouting For Girls and Morcheeba, as well as Dick & Dom and Andy and the Odd Socks.

Glitter and glow sticks at the ready! 1 Big Summer, a 3-day music event lands on Plymouth Hoe on the 28-29 August Bank Holiday, kicking off on Friday night with Ibiza Classics 2021, a full live 26-piece orchestra and a white isle soundtrack. Saturday is billed as ‘the party we’ve all been waiting for’ *yes indeedy* with headliners TBC, followed on Sunday by ‘The Great British Sausage and Cider Festival’. Day tickets start at £17.50 (Friday and Saturday) and £10 (Sunday).

HIP HUTS & HOTEL HAPPENINGS

Shepherd’s huts just got more decadent with the launch of Lympstone Manor’s five chic huts hidden away in the bucolic privacy of the hotel’s 28 acres. The interior decor is high-end as you’d expect from a Relais & Chateaux hotel with chef Michael Caines at the helm.

So, we have outdoor hot tubs, rolltop baths and walk-in showers, and bunk-bed with overhead skylights for Mudlets to star-gaze. They’re available for stays from 12 April, and although the hotel doesn’t open till 17 May, they’ll be providing an upmarket takeaway lunch and dinner, and the chance to dine al fresco on the terrace when the sun is shining. We likey.

Southernhay House in Exeter have been busy bees, having created a timely self-catering option with their new apartment, NineExe, located opposite the hotel on the lower ground floor of their Georgian townhouse. We’re promised ‘urban loft-living with a basement twist’, perfect for a socially distanced city staycay. And it’s cocktails under the verandah (above), with pre-booking, from 12 April. Race to you a table!

Gagging for a spa break? Muddy-approved Lincombe Hall in Torquay has just bagged a Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards thanks to its many charms, including the shiny new £2 million spa (above) which includes pool, hydropool and ice room. Having refurbed the brasserie, bar and reception, we hear they’ve ramped up the renovations during lockdown and we cannot wait to check ’em out! Spa stays available from 20 May.

WITNESS THE FITNESS!

Naturally, it’s a leetle bit quiet on the high street but locals looking to trade in the daily walk for a cycle, or just reduce your carbon footprint around Exeter can now swap the motor for pedal power. Co Bikes have installed a new rank of electric bikes in Princesshay’s shopping district. Just download the nextbike app and activate your account with a £10 payment giving you over 3 hours of cycling, after which it’s £1 per 20 minutes.

And the cathedral’s city’s St Sidwell Point Leisure centre is set to make a splash with three new family friendly swimming pools opening this summer. Things to look forward to include 100-seat spectator seated area, a café, a 150-station fitness gym and two fitness studios, a health suite, spa facility and children’s soft play area.

Pools have a state of the art moveable floor and new microfiltration technology, meaning they’re drinking water quality, so you won’t stink of chlorine when you head back to the office after a lunchtime dip. Handy.

Find more ideas here

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