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About Reka Dom

Reka Dom, an unusual 17th Century merchants house and home to the Gardner’s since 1941, is a family run bed and breakfast offering generous hospitality and a beautiful riverside location. It is a family home and emphatically not a hotel. Renowned for the quality and extensive choice of our breakfast menu, we aim to provide guests with a warm welcome, excellent food and absolute comfort in a relaxed atmosphere.


A little history

Situated on Topsham’s historic ‘Strand,’ Reka Dom is notable for it’s architectural progression having been gradually extended over the centuries from the original late 16th Century cottage (known as ‘The Cottage in the Field of Seven Lime Kilns’) to the house we see today. One of the most striking features is the tower which was added by the eccentric wine importer William Hopton Wylde in the 1880’s as a water storage facility. In its heyday the house would have been an impressive site having an ornate coloured glass conservatory with fountains and statues occupying much of the courtyard and an 

additional coloured glass spire above the central bay window, that sadly had to be removed in the 1950’s because it was leaning dangerously!

The house as it is today owes much to the hard work and vision of master craftsman and architect Rex Gardner (1891-1970) who purchased the property in December 1941 in a near derelict condition and devoted the remainder of his life to restoring some of its former glory.

Rex’s work was continued by his son Rick, (1933-2007) an equally skilled craftsman and piano technician, and his wife Marlene, who started doing bed and breakfast to finance much needed repairs and maintenance.

Now in the care of musician composer Matthew Gardner (Rick & Marlenes son) and his wife Rosalyn, 'Reka Dom' remains an ongoing project and labour of love with Matt dividing his time between the dizzy heights of the scaffolding and his music studio. We are constantly making improvements to ensure your stay is special, whilst trying to retain the unique character of this house and the generous hospitality which Marlene made 'Reka Dom' well known for.  

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