Good Hotel Guide Review
In Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge, this bow-windowed Georgian coaching inn enters the Guide after a £5 million make-over for the Stay Original group. In the ‘large bar’ with comfy seating and modern restaurant you can expect to hear the ‘babble of voices, the jingle of glasses’ that Elizabeth-Jane and her mother heard in The Mayor of Casterbridge. ‘Even on a Tuesday night it was bustling.’ The food is ‘perhaps the real draw’, with menus overseen by Tom Blake, formerly of the River Cottage, alongside head chef Steve Yates. ‘Chicken confit with olives and preserved lemons was a light, tasty starter; slow-cooked, spiced shoulder of lamb perfect comfort food.’ Bedrooms, styled in soft greens, greys and blues, have a king or super-king bed, a coffee machine, luxury toiletries. Our inspectors’ room was ‘well furnished and smartly decorated’, if a ‘little on the plain side’, with a ‘spacious drench shower’. The best two rooms have a claw-footed bath in the window. Breakfast brought ‘outstanding grilled halloumi and avocado on toast’, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs with crème fraîche. Hardy’s house, Max Gate, is within walking distance.
30 High Street
20. 14 further bedrooms scheduled to open.
lift, bar, restaurant, lounge, private dining room, 1st-floor function room, terrace, secure car park, public rooms partially accessible for wheelchairs, adapted toilet.
in public areas.
all ages welcomed, free cots for under-3s, extra bed for under-13s £20, children's menu.
allowed in 1st-floor bedrooms (£10 per stay), bar, lounge and on terrace, subject to some restrictions, not in restaurant.
B&B doubles from £105. À la carte £37.