Good Hotel Guide Review
The bar was ‘buzzing with convivial chatter’ when readers arrived at this Georgian dining pub-with-rooms on the edge of rolling parkland on the Fonthill Estate. It was here that Dan Brod and Charlie Luxton set the template for a handful of similarly fun, laid-back, brilliant boozers (see The Talbot Inn, Mells; The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George; and The Bath Arms, Horningsham). These are very ‘people’ places, with valued, motivated staff. ‘James, the manager, is seemingly everywhere, sorting problems calmly and effortlessly.’ Bedrooms have a stripped-back stylishness, home-made treats, Bramley toiletries, a restful palette. Some have an in-room freestanding bath. Attic rooms will sleep a family while self-catering lodges are a walk away, on the estate. The food is a mix of pub classics (a ploughman’s perhaps, or cider-battered fish and chips), and dishes such as roasted venison loin, black pudding croquette, celeriac purée, cavolo nero, blackberries. Wash it down with a glass of their own Beckford Phoenix. In winter, log fires burn, in summer there are alfresco pizzas and barbecues. A ‘relaxed breakfast’ brings eggs from very happy hens. (Tessa Stuart)
10. 2 in lodges on the Fonthill Estate.
all year except 25 Dec.
sitting room (sometimes Sunday classic-movie nights), bar, restaurant, private dining room, in-room TV (Freeview), function facilities, 1-acre garden, parking.
in public areas all day.
all ages welcomed, travel cot £10, over-3s £25, family room, no children under 8 in lodges.
allowed in 1 bedroom by arrangement (£10) and public areas.
B&B doubles from £105, family room from £135 (lodges £195). À la carte £40. 1-night bookings usually refused at weekends (but check).