“Petite, contemporary B&B in small-town Somerset, close to harbours, beaches and the wilds of Exmoor National Park”
There are just 4 rooms - 2 on the first floor and 2 above. The street-facing rooms are a teeny bit larger but all have the same stylish look: smart and contemporary with graphite, chocolate and cream décor. One wall in each is emblazoned with custom-made digital wallpaper taken from an 18th- or early 19th-century Master in the National or National Portrait Gallery - in Room 1, Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; in Room 2, the face of her husband, King George III (by the same artist, Allan Ramsay); in Room 3, the hands of Christina of Denmark by Hans Holbein the Younger; and in Room 4, a young woman from The Surprise by Claude-Marie Dubufe.
These eye-catching murals give each room a distinct character, though all share the basics: kingsize beds dressed in luxury linens, button-back easy chairs, black-out blinds, antique-style radiators, mini flat-screen TVs, and welcome trays with tea, coffee, fresh milk and homemade cakes. We loved the beautiful bathrooms, which have free-standing slipper baths, walk-in showers, waffle robes and REN toiletries. Views aren't a strong point, though from Room 4 you can see steam trains coming and going from Watchet station.
Breakfast is served at a communal table in the old shop and combines a buffet of fruit, juices, pastries and cereals with a menu of made-to-order fare. We loved our Full English and stack of pancakes with maple syrup - a delicious way to start the day. Where possible, all food is homemade and the ingredients organic and local: farm-shop muesli from the Quantocks, local dry-cured bacon, Somerset cheeses. Jason is a keen cook and is also responsible for the delicious cakes you’ll find in your room (perhaps raspberry and blueberry muffins, chocolate truffles with Cointreau or American-style cookies).
Come evening, you can order a simple, light supper of cheeses, charcuterie, pickles and rustic bread, served with wines by local vineyard Oakley or beers and ciders from the Six Trees micro brewery. Jason also offers occasional weekend foodie packages, which include tea and cake, supper, breakfast and a 3-course meal on the second night; enquire when booking if this interests you.
When it comes to eating out, there are several options in Watchet, including the Spice Merchant Indian restaurant just around the corner. The excellent Culbone Inn near Porlock is 25 minutes by car or taxi, but worth it for the views of the Lorna Doone Valley. The high-class menu includes Devon Red beef and Exmoor lamb, and Swain House guests get 10% off the bill.