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Overview

Set beside a quiet lane deep in the Somerset countryside south of Bath, this striking 17th-century building has been lovingly refurbished by Caroline Gardiner and Alan Lucas. They escaped London to restore the fortunes of this rural inn in 2019 having run successful catering and events businesses for over 30 years.

West facing and with serene views across fields to Downside Abbey and the Mendip Hills beyond, it's a popular country hideaway and perfect for visiting Wells, Glastonbury and Georgian Bath, just 12 miles away. There's a contemporary feel to the refurbished beamed bar and dining areas - expect a stone-flagged floor, an eclectic mix of dining tables and chairs, kitchen garden paintings by local artist Simone Smart, and a wood burning stove pumps out heat on cold winter days.

A small stylish residents Snug with sofa and armchairs fronting a log-burning stove offers a quiet haven away from the bar - perfect for perusing local magazines with your morning coffee or lunchtime pint. On summer days enjoy views across fields from the suntrap garden; residents can stroll among the raised beds in the verdant Kitchen Garden, also home to 'The Roost', a cool little cabin for two.

Rooms from:

11 doubles/twin: £150

Good to know

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Disabled access & toilet
  • Alfresco dining
  • Kitchen garden
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay: £20

Dog-friendly

Dogs are allowed overnight in Barlake Lodge and Edford Lodge - £20 per night with dog bed, washing facilities and towels, doggie shampoos, poo bags and treats provided

Holcombe church

Situated just a short walk across the fields from the inn is the Old Church of St Andrews - known locally as the Plague Church. The church was recently used for filming the BBC Series Poldark and called Sawle Church. The inn holds the key to the church so do ask if you wish to visit.

Rooms

Rooms are a real treat, all individually designed and recently refurbished in rustic-contemporary style with a mixture of vintage and modern furnishings, hand-painted fabrics from Rapture & Wright (Cotswolds), and soothing hues courtesy of Little Greene.

Upstairs, above the inn, choose Room 3 with a roll top bath by the French-style bed and an unusual circular wet room with rain shower. Or book Room 6 with its rich fabrics, hand-blocked headboards, limestone bathroom and fine views across fields to Downside Abbey, or perhaps very comfortable Room 4, decorated in country-house style with panelled walls and super-king bed, and a claw-foot bath and separate walk-in rain shower in the bathroom. Front rooms enjoy gorgeous sunsets and views towards the Mendip Hills.

With its own parking and French doors opening to a pretty patio with views across fields, Barlake Lodge is one of two lodges in the grounds and features its own heating system, a wood burning stove and a smart bathroom with French-style bath and separate walk-in shower. Or, why not book 'The Roost', a cosy cabin for two tucked away in the Kitchen Garden. All rooms have Smart TVs, fresh coffee and milk, homemade cookies, Sealy mattresses on big beds and great bathrooms with Noble Isle soaps and lotions.

Restaurant & bar

Chef Alan and his team are cooking up a storm in the kitchen delivering inventive modern British dishes to an appreciative crowd. His appealing menu changes daily and makes sound use of locally sourced ingredients, including homegrown herbs, vegetables and soft fruits from the kitchen garden.

Fish is delivered daily from Brixham day boats meat from Somerset farms is sourced from Ruby & White butchers in Bristol, and additional seasonal vegetables come from local allotment growers.

A typical lunch and dinner may feature chicken liver parfait, red onion puree, toasted walnuts and homemade sourdough, followed by hake, sweetcorn fritter and clam chowder, or lamb rump, marinated heritage tomatoes, goat's curd and redcurrant salsa, before rounding off with a light cherry souffle with green apple sorbet, or summer berry pudding served with vanilla ice cream.

You'll find beers from Otter and Butcombe breweries, alongside Orchard Pig cider, interesting boutique gins - try the homemade elderflower gin - and a decent wine list that favours organic and smaller producers; 14 by the glass.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Bath Spa

Taxi from station: 28min

Drive: Radstock 10min; Frome 21min; Wells 26min

Address

Stratton Road, Holcombe, Radstock, Somerset BA3 5EB

Prices & availability