The Magical Faraway Tree at Deer Park

If you want to hide away from the world, treat your partner and sip a G&T or three, look no further than Deer Park Country House’s magical thatched treehouse. Words by Harry Wild, photography by Nick Hook.

I have longed to spend the night in a treehouse ever since Enid Blyton captured my imagination with The Faraway Tree; a tree full of magic with its topmost branches leading to ever-changing lands above the swirling clouds. As you drive down Deer Park’s own enchanted woodland path, you sense there’s magic afoot. The madness of life is replaced with chirping birds and tea cups clinking.

Keen to discover our new home in the trees, we followed the narcissi-edged path away from the main house. The secluded cedar-clad house is bursting with life’s greatest pleasures, from champagne on ice, to the wood-burning stove that had been thoughtfully lit to welcome us in. From the canopy, all you can see is the view of rolling hills. Peeling ourselves away from the view, we padded back into our cove, already relaxed as melted butter.

I don’t recall Enid Blyton mentioning it, but in my book, champagne tastes best while shared in the bath. The treehouse boasts a spectacular freestanding bath tub, waiting to be filled with scented bubbles.

Before we knew it, it was dinner time. We took the handy torch and headed out down the path, now lit by lanterns, to the main house. Executive Chef Hadleigh Barratt and his team of talented chefs prepared an exquisite meal, using local, seasonal ingredients. Dishes included best end of lamb, braised shoulder, tomato fondue, smoked aubergine puree and basil jus. The lamb was so well rested, I’m sure it had spent a night in the treehouse beforehand. The Walled Garden salad had been freshly picked from their bourgeoning kitchen garden. This was followed with a conversation-killingly tasty caramelised peach, raspberry granola, almond ice cream.

Heading back to the treehouse, we counted our lucky stars as we enjoyed a whisky night-cap on the balcony.

As dawn broke, so did our sleep. With hot cups of tea, we bundled up in blankets and took to the balcony to watch the sunrise. The hills were bathed in a coating of sparkling frost and a sheen of haze over the fields.

Revived by coffee, fluffy scrambled eggs and smoked kippers, we explored the hundreds of corners in the grounds, taking in the kitchen garden, the orangery and Mediterranean kitchen complete with wood-fired pizza oven.

A blissful escape in the heart of Devon – no passports required!

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