The Grove

Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom Book from

Boutique country house hotel with restaurant, close to vibrant Narberth, rolling hills and stunning coastline
Here's a boutique hotel with a big heart and a little stream. Owners Neil and partner Zöe took a gamble in renovating this 18th-century country house. Once derelict and overgrown, today a 20 bedroom gem. It's only 15 minutes drive from the pretty seaside town of Tenby and a good base to explore the stunning Pembrokeshire coast. Once here, you can look out across fields and forests to the rugged Preseli hills. In spring the driveway's a dazzle of bluebells and daffodils.

Calm interior design rules the main house but Neil's taste for collecting art adds colour - expect pictures from Vietnam to Brazil - and none of it jars. Candles and crackling fires light up the cosy dining room at night, and the food is sublime. During the day make sure you pop into Narberth. Out in the wilds, who would have thought you'd find this small market town with its cafe culture, boutique shops and tasty Spanish deli. You can see why the owners had to take this place on. It's enchanting.

Highs

  • Beautiful period house meticulously restored and extended with good proportions and lovely views
  • Stylish comfortable bedrooms: not over-designed or chintzified
  • Not far from award-winning sandy beaches
  • Outstanding food: the restaurant has won 3 AA Rosettes

Lows

  • Since our visit, 2 outbuildings have been converted and the main house has been extended. We haven't seen these rooms first-hand, but they sound every bit as fabulous as the original spaces
  • If you want to go out for dinner one night, you'll need to drive or take a taxi
  • The gardens, whilst beautiful, are still maturing
  • No minibar in rooms

Best time to go

Any time of year. Winter for quiet cosy evenings, spring for the bluebells and summer for trips to the beach. Tenby gets very busy in school summer holidays.

Our top tips

For a snack or Friday night tapas, don't miss Narberth's Ultracomida, a deli-cafe fusing Spanish, French and Welsh influences; their cheese selection is fabulous.

Great for...

Family
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 20 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Croquet
  • Boules
Room: Junior Suite (Rebecca)

Rooms

You can stay in the Main House, the Longhouse or the Coach House. In the main house, all of the rooms and the suite have different designs but expect calm discreet colours, soft Welsh carpets underfoot, comfortable mattresses and crisp 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Furniture is traditional but feature wallpapers, Asian art and silk fabrics add boutique style. There's good wardrobe space. Bathrooms gleam with polished tiles and you get Noble Isle products, waffle bathrobes, flatscreen TVs and DVD players (plus a DVD collection in the library). You'll not find a minibar, but all rooms have a kettle with coffee and a selection of tea.

Within the Main House, the John Pollard Seddon Junior Suite (named after the architect) with its grand four-poster bed, deep purple sofa, covetable big bath and far-reaching views of the Preseli Hills, is a favourite. Of the Superior Rooms, we loved the Hanoi Room‘s subtle take on The East and the pretty Blue Room with its standalone white French armoire. The pale green Partridge Room, where we stayed, is slightly larger though cosily tucked away at the top of the house. Families can book the Daniel & Elizabeth Suite which has a separate sitting room with sofabed. The cheapest rooms, Classic Rooms, are just as comfortable but are smaller with shower only.

Since our visit, 2 outbuildings have been converted into additional rooms and suites. There are 2 newer Suites in the Coach House: Bramble has a super-kingsize bedroom, exposed masonry walls with original arrow slits and the original inglenook with a wood-burning stove. And Elderflower is set in the eaves, overlooking the south garden to one side, and the Preseli Hills from its lounge. Both suites have a cast-iron bath and can fit an extra 2 beds for children under 12, plus a baby cot.

The second outbuilding, a 15th-century longhouse, houses Superior and Deluxe Rooms with exposed oak beams and masonry walls. Beds are kingsize, baths are cast iron, and the Cwtch and Byre rooms both have a private terrace.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Internet access
  • Phone
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The dining room is intimate and charming. Log fires crackle and morning or evening, candles are lit on crisp white table cloths. It's a lovely place to dine. Cuisine is modern British fine dining but it's not too fussy. Menus change quarterly and the head chef is Peter Whaley, assisted by executive chef Allister Barsby.

At breakfast you can expect a simple buffet of fruits, yoghurts, and juices which they expand in high season. They'll also bring you toast and offer something cooked - maple porridge with buttered apples, thick cut bacon and sausages from the local farm, or eggs Benedict with Carmarthenshire ham.

For dinner we first chose from the menu in their snazzy back-lit bar then tested their interesting and reasonably-priced wine list. We rather liked the bottle of Lebanese Musar. For starters, we had a delicious cauliflower, bacon and truffle soup and a not too heavy duck liver, black pudding and apple mille feuille. For mains we couldn't resist the pork knuckle with lentil cassoulet - a huge portion of succulent meat with crispy crackling. Hearty fare indeed. Deserts included blood orange crepes Suzette and rum and chocolate pudding. Lunch pulls in the locals (mostly on Sundays) and guests tend to head out for the day.

If you fancy eating out, the owners recommend the Bridge Inn near Robeston Wathen. With wonderful foodie surprises in Narberth (including gourmet grocers Wise Buy), self-catering in the cottages is an enticing option.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Walking: from the house you can pick up lots of paths through beautiful landscape. Pembokeshire has some of the most stunning coastal walks in the UK ranging from steep limestone cliffs, undulating red sandstone bays and volcanic headlands

  • Beaches: you're within easy striking distance of many award-winning sandy stretches (Barafundle Bay, accessed by cliff path only, is regularly voted one of the best in the UK). Surfers head to Freshwater West (classic spot) and Newgale (good for beginners and gear available for hire)

  • Tenby: this pretty harbour town with big beaches, a castle and attractive Georgian architecture all contained within fortified walls is only 15 minutes drive away

  • Narberth: a surprisingly hip welsh market town with delis, cafes, boutiques and galleries is just half a mile away

  • Horse riding: can be arranged with a nearby stables and there are lots of bridleways taking you into the Pembrokeshire national park

  • Family activities: Folly Farm (gives you a close encounter with farm animals and pets), Oakwood theme park and Blue Lagoon water park (part of Bluestone) are less than a mile away

  • Adventure sports: mountain biking and the high-adrenaline sport of coasteering can also be arranged nearby

  • Golf: there's an 18-hole course down the lane at Heronsbrook plus a championship links course at Tenby

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking

Kids

Well-behaved children are welcome in the Main House and the Longhouse rooms

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Of the rooms, the Suites are best for families.

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged locally with 3 days notice.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors work between most rooms in the main house and the dining room

Baby equipment:

Baby cots, high chairs, baby baths, nappy bins and changing mats are available upon request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

In the hotel restaurant there are lots of high chairs and there is a children's menu available - it is asked that children under 12 dine between 6-7pm.

Kids Activities on site:

There are a few board games on the landing in the main house and outside, children can roam across the fields which are owned by the house.

Kids Activities nearby:

Nearby there are some good family attractions: Folly Farm, Oakwood theme park and Blue Lagoon aqua land, as well as lots of toddler-friendly sandy beaches.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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