Spring Newsletter 2016


Spring is here and with the idyllic rolling hills, beautiful moorland and winding country lanes there’s no better place to escape to.
Talking of lanes……………our own has been completely re-surfaced making it a joy to reach us.
The farmer has also been busy cutting the hedges, which means you can see for miles – we’re now on the list of places to visit in Devon!!!

The Science of Pie

Do you find your pastry dough not up to scratch? Wish it was a but more moist? or needs to be more flakey? Since water bonds with flour to form gluten, too much of it makes a crust tough. Simply replace half the water in your recipe with vodka instead. Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavour. So if your dough needs a lift give it whirl.

Elbow Greese Not Required

If you have white rings on your wood furniture, they don’t have to stay there forever. Place a piece of brown paper over the stain and iron over it with a hot, dry iron (don’t use the steam setting). The heat from the iron penetrates the brown paper and dries out the water stain underneath – this also works with wax – amazing!

Our Top 5 Places to Visit

There’s lots of local events being planned now as you would expect, here’s our top 5 places to visit in the next couple of months:

1. RHS Rosemoor

2016 has been designated “The Year of the English Garden,” so there is no better place to celebrate. Amazing displays of rhododendron, magnolias and camellias are at their best right now. Lots more going on too, visit their website for details:

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2. Dunster Castle

We will always recommend a National Trust property, our fave right now being Dunster Castle. Enjoy the drive over Exmoor with it’s contrasting seascapes and landscapes, you might even spot the infamous Exmoor Pony or Beast! Or……why not arrive by vintage steam train, click on the link below for details:

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3. Wheddon Cross

Another enjoyable drive on the moor is over to Wheddon Cross via the lovely little village of Winsford which is well worth a stop for a stroll. The Royal Oak Pub and Bridge Cottage Tea Rooms both serve great refreshments and snacks (if you’ve not had 2 sausages for breakfast!) Or….give the driver the afternoon off and enjoy the scenery on foot or by bus – details below:

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4. Dartington Crystal

Why not have a go at glass blowing at Dartington Crystal, you can take your masterpiece home with you and wow friends and family! There is also the visitor centre, factory experience and some great shopping to enjoy.

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5. Topsham

Last but by no means least is our recent find – the historic riverside town of Topsham. Take your binoculars to the RSPB Marshes to enjoy a wildlife wonderland. Then join in the free 90 minute guided walk around the town at 2pm every Wednesday and Saturday. The tour will reveal quirky facts about the town’s history which includes wool trading, ship building and rope making. You might prefer to take a boat trip along the River Exe or plan some time for bargain hunting in the Quay Antiques Centre, an imposing waterfront building, open 7 days a week, selling vintage and antique items of all kinds over three floors.

Tantalise Your Taste Buds

Here are a few of the new dishes appearing on our menus in the coming months.

Until Next Time

However you fill your days, there is always Neil’s mouth-watering dishes to come back to each evening. Our Spring Breaks are great value as ever with details on our website Sampson Barton We hope you will take a look and then phone or email to make your booking! Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing you again in the coming months.
Special Spring Wishes
Bev and Neil

Spring Time 2014

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter 2014

We thought we would “do our bit” for our local community and let you know that Devon is Open! Despite the terrible weather we have all suffered this winter, ourselves and the surrounding areas have been very fortunate and not been affected by floods. We feel so sorry for all those that have been, especially in the coastal areas of Cornwall and on the Somerset Levels; if we had been closer we most certainly would have put as many people up as possible to help them during this dreadful time. We hope you haven’t had to endure anything too bad and are all safe and dry! The hedgerows are now brimming with primroses and spring flowers are everywhere. There’s lots of local events being planned to welcome the arrival of spring and here’s just a few to tempt you back to this beautiful corner of unspoilt north Devon.

What to see and do..

As usual, RHS Rosemoor has so much going on, far too much for us to mention, but please visit their website to see what’s on offer and then book your stay with us to fit in with your plansNot

forgetting NT properties Arlington Court and Knightshayes Court, Click on the links to check their events and things to see and do:!

The North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival

gives families and individuals alike the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature as they walk for pleasure, fitness or both. The event offers a huge variety of walks so that each person can choose the one that best suits them. Each and every single walking group will have a leading professional guide to make the trip safer and more enjoyable. It is a great time for people to socialize and get to know one another while reaping the benefits of cross country walking in the fall season. As usual, the festival will provide guided walks from about 4 to 11 miles long.

South Molton Vintage Rally

is held every year on the first weekend in June. Held over 2 days at Coombesland Cross near South Molton, North Devon. Our rally field, enjoys spectacular views across Exmoor. A full programme of vehicle displays, local attractions and special events, including the annual Club Challenge, as well as lively entertainment in the refreshment tent on the Friday and Saturday evenings, ensure a fun and varied experience for all.

Now For Our Events


It is an absolute pleasure seeing deer at the bottom of our garden again, staying around long enough to have their picture taken; usually whilst we’re giving the hens their breakfast.


With lambing season now well under way, its almost impossible not to stop and look out of any window at Sampson Barton and watch these playful lambs running around joyfully with each other


Hopefully our “Little Owls” will return to the hay loft to bask in the morning sunshine. If you haven’t been lucky enough to witness them on previous visits, fear not, here’s their photo

and finally….

Neil is creating more mouth-watering menus to keep up the AA 4* standards we’ve achieved and we hope you’ll come back soon to sample the delights!

Details of our special breaks are on the website so why not have a look and then get back to us either by phone or email to make your booking! Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing you again in the coming months.

With our very best wishes
Bev and Neil



Sun Sand and Sausages

Sun, Sand and Sausages . .

Well, December is here as you will know, having opened the first window of your Advent Calendar this  morning!

This year has flown by just as quickly as the previous 5 we’ve spent at Sampson.  Summer was particularly busy thanks to some fantastic weather, which brought lots of families to stay, spending their days on our beautiful beaches (and bringing lots of sand back with them so that I had to hoover the showers!)  In-between my chores and Neil’s cooking we did manage a few hours at the George Nympton Summer Fete, mainly to enter our Fred into the “most handsome dog” comp!  However, he didn’t win, nor did he win “dog you would most like to take home” – he was so dejected we had to buy him a sausage from the barbeque which cheered him up, but Neil was inconsolable!

Autumn was late arriving as the warm, sunny days continued well into October; the gold and orange hues are still with us creating a stunning landscape whilst inside, the bright reds and greens of the Christmas decs have appeared; garlands frame our huge inglenooks, fairy lights twinkle along the beams and our tree arrives this week courtesy of our mate “Bob the Log!”

Having set this wonderful scene I now feel guilty because we are actually fully booked for Christmas, great news for us, but what about you?  Well we do still have some rooms left for New Year and this year we’re having ………karaoke!  So, all you budding Sinatras, Rod Stewarts, Dusty Springfields and Doris Days, dig out your best bib and tucker and posh frocks and come and join us.  New Year’s Eve starts with champagne and canapés followed by a sumptuous 3 course dinner with an intermediate sorbet course and a carefully selected dessert wine to compliment the final course to end the meal in fine style and help tune up the vocal chords!

We hope this will appeal and you will come and help us “sing out the old, sing in the new” and celebrate in style!  You don’t need to sing like a pro, it’s all just for fun which you will soon realize once Bev starts singing!  If you fancy it, just call or email to make your booking.


All that remains is for us to wish you a very merry Christmas and all the very best for 2014; we hope we will see you again next year.