Castleman

Chettle, Dorset

In an idyllic village owned by the Bourke family and run in a spirit of benevolent feudalism, this former 18th-century dower house is a one-off hotel and restaurant. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

In an idyllic village owned by the Bourke family and run in a spirit of benevolent feudalism, this 18th-century former dower house is a one-off hotel and restaurant. Since they took over in 2020, Niki and Jez Barfoot have refreshed tired interiors. Among bedrooms, a lovely dual-aspect large double, painted a subtle, restful blue, has an antique cast iron bed, a sofa in a bay window. Guests can relax with a book and a drink by the fire in 19th-century drawing rooms, one with a Jacobean fireplace imported from a house in London. In a dining room with windows on three sides and glass doors to the garden, Richard Morris and Jez serve a seasonal menu with produce from local suppliers, kitchen garden and orchard, or foraged in the grounds and lovely countryside. For instance, salt-baked Chettle vegetables, crispy greens, confit garlic, miso cream; fish of the day, nori seaweed butter, garden potatoes, greens; roast Dorset pork chop, black pudding, quince, garden greens. A new sign outside hints at rebranding, but the Barfoots really ‘get’ the place, and none of its eccentric charm has been lost.

Hotel details

Address

Chettle
Blandford Forum
Dorset
DT11 8DB
England

Telephone

01258 830096

Bedrooms

8. 1 family room.

Open

all year, except 25/26 Dec, 31 Dec/1 Jan, lunch on Sun only.

Facilities

lounge, snug, bar, restaurant, in-room TV (Freeview), 2-acre grounds (stables for visiting horses), riding, fishing, shooting, cycling nearby, public rooms wheelchair accessible.

Background music

low-level, often ‘laid-back jazz’.

Children

all ages welcomed, cots, extra bed £20.

Dogs

allowed in 3 bedrooms (£20 a night), not in public areas.

Credit cards

MC, Visa.

Prices

B&B doubles from £120, singles from £100. À la carte £35, supper Mon–Wed from £20.