Less a hotel, more a sprawling fun palace for grown-ups, The Newt is one of those properly pricey hotels that actually delivers bang for your buck. Interiors are glorious – a kind of modern upscale English country house, all oil paintings and big bold colours – and the gardens are superlative, with everything covered from a regimental kitchen allotment through abundant Victorian planting beds to a wild woodland. And there is much to do: cider tastings at the in-house distillery, salt steam rooms and picnic baskets packed with local goodies for jaunts into the rolling countryside. Read about Oliver Spencer’s visit there. [Link to Great Stays]
The Newt, Bruton; thenewtinsomerset.com
Number One Bruton, Bruton
The shared sitting room of this handsome little hotel is bedecked with prints from photographers of the first rank among them Don McCullin and Perry Ogden, a legacy of owner Claudia Waddams’ mum’s old job as a Sunday Times fashion editor. The fresh farmhouse breakfast comes included in the room rate and is served in Osip, the hotel’s much-heralded restaurant [link to Osip]. All the rooms are lovely but if you can, be sure to book Forge Two which has a freestanding bath in the bedroom and looks over the hotel’s charming little courtyard.
Number One Bruton, 1 High Street, Bruton; numberonebruton.com
The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton Saint George
The postcard-perfect village of Hinton SaintGeorge with its honey-coloured buildings and thatched roofs is on the other side of the county from Bruton and Frome, but it’s well-placed for trips to Ilminster and South Petherton. And it’s home to this beloved pub with rooms, which dates back to 1680. Downstairs, the décor is high-country comfy, all gilt-framed paintings, rustic furniture and spindly candlesticks. The food is heroic and hearty: pastry-lid pies, puddings in enamel pots. Rooms are homely in the best way and are all ridiculously good value.
The Lord Poulett Arms, High Street, Hinton Saint George; lordpoulettarms.com