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Southernhay House, Exeter

Muddy Says: In a city where bland chain hotels dominate, what a relief to discover a small, indie, boutique hotel that should be on everyone’s ‘must-stay’ list. Exeter’s best-kept secret. 

exterior georgian red brick building with pillars

We just got very excited for an Exeter city break. Located in an upmarket spot, in the heart of the city, a short totter from the cathedral and its pretty green, Southernhay House in all its gorgeous Grade II * listed glory has serious curb appeal.  Inside the townhouse, beautifully proportioned spaces offer a sanctuary after a day of exploring or retail therapy.

Excitingly, Southernhay House is one of those places that has the unusual knack of taking on whatever character you fancy; it does a particularly good turn in being sexy and fun, grown up and glamorous, while also totally nailing refined elegance. The happy upshot being that, whether travelling alone, as a couple or a party, you’ll feel comfortable. Kick back in the bar with a cocktail, or book in for a meal, either from the bar menu or full a la carte.

The 10 individual bedrooms overlooking leafy streets and gardens are stylish and luxurious, with the light, airy feel that’s typical of a Georgian stunner like this one. Freestanding rolltop bath, anyone? Oh, go on, then.

And if you’re looking for a venue to host a party, or get-together, overlook this one at your peril. From drinks on the verandah in summer, to full-blown parties with canapés, you can book a shindig, or hire the whole house for an event that’s relaxed, unstuffy and fun.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Devon