“Stunningly refurbished historic inn that’s breathed new life into a handsome village in the rural heart of the Somerset Levels”
If a claw-foot bathtub in your bedroom and a rain shower in your bathroom floats your boat, book one of the Large Rooms (at the front, but triple-glazed) or the charming Loft Room, tucked away at the top of a private staircase. We loved Large Room 3 with its French-grey walls, white shutters and pretty scatter cushions, but the Loft Room's delicate wallpaper and original exposed beams really stole our hearts.
At the back of the building, the smaller, cheaper Medium and Small Rooms all share sleek white tongue-and-groove panelling, creating a clean, minimalist feel. This is punctuated with vibrant bursts of colour - perhaps hummingbird wallpaper or 60s mirrors and film posters - and beautiful desks built by a local joiner using sustainable oak from the Longleat Estate. Bathrooms are stylish but simple, with deep bathtubs and underfloor-heated tiles.
All rooms have fuchsia-pink hairdryers, tea/coffee-making facilities, a flat-screen TV/DVD player and top-notch toiletries by Bramley, a local company. Beds throughout are comfy and kingsize, complete with crisp white Egyptian linens and headboards in deep-buttoned velvets or wool.
Whet your appetite with a local ale, cider or apple juice at The Swan’s handsome oak bar, and prepare yourself for a top-quality meal in the welcoming restaurant. Head Chef Tom heralds from the River Cottage kitchen and takes a lot of inspiration from his time there. Rare-breed pork from the village butcher features strongly on the menu.
We really liked the beef carpaccio, and the spiced belly of Gloucester Old Spot, but found the venison with juniper and bay a little tough. The excellent meat options are complemented by fresh fish from Brixham - delicious whiting with capers and Jerusalem artichokes - and a veggie option, such as bubble and squeak with fried duck egg and pumpkin purée. Desserts are decadent: dark chocolate trifle with boozy cherries. Book well ahead and bear in mind the restaurant is closed Sunday nights (when you can sample the hearty bar menu instead).
A simple but delicious organic breakfast is served on mismatched vintage china: bacon sandwiches (cured by Tom himself), smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and Brown Cow yoghurt with fruit and granola. Bread is homemade, as are jams.
Should you wish to eat elsewhere, good places include Michelin-starred gastropub The Pony & Trap near Chew Magna, The Ethicurean at Wrington, The Old Spot in nearby Wells or the café at the Brown & Forrest Smokery in Hambridge.
Families will enjoy the relaxed country pub atmosphere and there's acres of surrounding countryside for letting off steam.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Medium and Large Rooms can hold a baby cot or an extra bed (for children under 12); the Loft Room has space for a baby cot only.
Babysitting is on offer by arrangement.
Children can pick from their own menu (pasta, sausages, steak, sandwiches) or chose smaller versions of dishes on the main menu.