At Coleton Fishacre, by Pudcombe Cove, on the South Devon coast, we see a perfect, harmonious interplay of architecture and gardens and the greater landscape. The country retreat of Rupert and Lady Dorothy D’Oyly Carte began to be created in 1923. Rupert, the son of impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, was the manager of the hugely popular—and profitable—Gilbert & Sullivan empire of operettas, as well as the owner of the Savoy Hotel and Claridge’s, in London. The Arts and Crafts-styled stone house and terraces were constructed largely from Dartmouth shale, which was quarried on site. On July 2nd, 2015, after a morning of dense fog and driving rain, the skies cleared, and Coleton Fishacre, which during the first hours of my visit had seemed to be a spooky Daphne-DuMaurier-setting-made-real, was transformed into the glistening, cheer-inducing, jewel-by-the-sea that you see here, and which we will explore at length, in the final portion of this Travel Diary.

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