Good Hotel Guide Review
‘We will stay there again soon – if I can afford it,’ wrote a reader after a first visit to this country house hotel (Relais & Châteaux) last year. Things must be going well – he’s been back, to find everything ‘pretty faultless’. A former dower house built in 1798, at the heart of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, it received an extension in 1893 to designs drawn up by Hardy himself. Today it is managed by Alexandra and Jack Mackenzie for Bea Tollman’s Red Carnation group (see previous entry, Acorn Inn). ‘Jack Mackenzie showed us around, took us to our bedroom, helped carry our luggage.’ That ‘beautifully furnished’ room had ‘nice little touches’ like ‘fresh flowers, fruit, shortbread biscuits’. The styling is glamorous, with lavish drapes, room service, robes, slippers, REN toiletries. ‘Staff are so professional, well trained and friendly.’ Chef Steven Titman cooks ‘a memorable meal’ with local and home-grown produce. Maybe Cornish brill, sweetcorn purée, baby fennel, lobster mousseline, lobster cognac cream. There is a children’s menu, and under-12s dine in the conservatory. A ‘delightful’ breakfast brings a great cold selection, rolls and croissants from the village bakery. (Ian Dewey)
9 Fore Street
24, 6 in coach house, 3 in courtyard house, 5 in cottages, 1 on ground floor suitable for disabled.
lounge, drawing room, restaurant, conservatory, meeting room, free Wi-Fi, in-room TV (Sky), indoor pool, spa, civil wedding licence, 4-acre grounds, public rooms wheelchair accessible.
in bar/whisky lounge.
all ages welcomed.
allowed in some bedrooms, lounge.
Amex, MC, Visa.
per room B&B double £215–£615. Set-price dinner £56–£71, tasting menu £85, à la carte £38 (conservatory). 1-night bookings sometimes refused.