Court Barn lacks any trace of stuffiness or pretentiousness, and it has an abundance of easy-going warmth. It is a four-square house, dating from the 16th century but partly rebuilt in 1853, where antiques, souvenirs, books and games jostle with sometimes unusual furnishings in a carefree medley of patterns. The result is reassuring: this home-like environment spells comfort far beyond the meretricious harmony of hotels colour-matched by designers, and its owners, Susan and Robert Wood, spare no effort to make you feel at home and welcome.
   Downstairs, there is a sitting room with open log fire and views over the garden, a breakfast room which looks out on to the croquet lawn, and an elegant, award-winning restaurant which is candle-lit in the evenings. The food, on our most recent visit, was satisfying, accompanied by an extensive wine list and used fresh, local produce.
   Set in five acres of beautifully kept park-like grounds, it boasts unspoiled views across the Devonshire countryside; croquet hoops, putting holes and badminton offer plenty to do outside. Beyond are gently rolling hills; and Court Barn is prefectly places for exploring Devon and Cornwall.