Stay – South Somerset

Somerset is home to one of the best hotels in the country, maybe even the world. And another couple of charming spots including a superlative pub with rooms

The Granary, The Newt

The Newt 

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;

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;

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;

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