The Talbot Inn

Mells, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £119 per night

The Talbot Inn

Mells, Bristol, Bath & Somerset, United Kingdom

A gorgeous old country pub with 8 modern rooms, in a cute-as-a-button Somerset village near Bath

A gorgeous old country pub with 8 modern rooms, in a cute-as-a-button Somerset village near Bath

Beautiful style, excellent service, great food... all things that never go out of fashion. Owners Matt, Charlie and Dan once ran Babington House, so they learnt these mantras at the top before opening their own boutique property, The Beckford Arms. It was such a runaway success that they soon expanded their stable to include The Talbot (and later The Lord Poulett Arms and The Bath Arms). As is customary, they wrapped the spoiling qualities of a top hotel in the relaxed comfort of a country pub, and added fantastic pricing to the mix.

If you're after a slice of picturebook English countryside, this is it. Beautiful, historic Mells has cute 15th-century stone houses and a Grade I-listed church, and the hub of the village is this ancient coaching inn, dating back to 1480. Set around a quaint cobbled courtyard is a winding warren of beamed rooms with modern Farrow & Ball hues. Downstairs in the pub, we drank ale by a roaring fire, and dined by candlelight, then wandered up to our stylish bedroom where we slept in absolute peace. It was no surprise the place is usually abuzz with locals and visitors alike.

Highs

  • Stunning country-style rooms with contemporary art, gorgeous bathrooms and insanely comfortable beds
  • The cute village of Mells brims with history, and there are lots of lovely countryside walks around (wellies available to borrow)
  • Staff are genuinely friendly and service is excellent
  • Events such as music or film nights or even supper clubs are fun add-ons
  • The little things: hot-water bottles, Bramley products, framed old maps and antique Vanity Fair prints

Lows

  • Some very low beams and ceiling in places
  • You have to go downstairs to get fresh milk for your tea
  • No bathrobes or wardrobes, just hangers on pegs
  • As the only pub around, it's likely to be busy and some rooms may experience noise (although we didn't hear a thing)
  • No disabled access

Best time to go

The Talbot is open all year and makes a lovely getaway whatever the season. Summer is gorgeous for lazy days in the pub garden, spring and autumn provide glorious natural colours, and the pub is a cosy bolthole in winter thanks to its open fires (and hot-water bottles!).

Our top tips

At certain times of year, the town of Shepton Mallet hosts one of the largest antiques and flea markets in the country. The Mulberry outlet store is here, too (20 minutes' drive)

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Foodie
Romantic
  • Pub with rooms
  • 8 rooms
  • Pub (open Wed-Sun)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: Mondays + Tuesdays
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The Talbot's eight rooms are beautiful. Superb beds wrapped in white linens, thick duvets and a trademark tartan blanket; thick tweed curtains and button-back armchairs; deep sofas and contemporary art on the walls - ours had a melange of leaf sketches.

As should be the case, all rooms have the same homely comforts. Fragrant Bramley toiletries, good showers, tea trays with artisan sachets and proper coffee. Hot water bottles hang from wall pegs; glossy magazines sit on your coffee table or window seat; vast plasma TVs have a bank of free films to watch.

There are five categories to choose from. The Small and Medium rooms are stylish and good value for money, with showers over tubs (or just a shower), and big windows letting in lots of light. We loved Medium Room 2 with its cosy window seat.

The Large room has extra beautiful décor and more space, while the Family room has two bedrooms (a double and a twin room), with two bathrooms and space for a baby cot.

Top of the pile are the Very Large rooms. We were blown away by our emperor-size four-poster bed, in-room clawfoot bathtub, and ensuite drench shower. There was also a separate sitting area with sofas, and logs filling an ancient fireplace. The largest of the lot is Room 8, which is on the ground floor and welcomes dogs. Very Large Room 1 is above the bar so noise may drift up.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Dinner at The Talbot was relaxed and well priced. Clusters of tables are spread between four small, low-ceilinged rooms, with a couple of open fires to warm things in winter. There are spindly alfresco tables in the cobbled courtyard for summer.

The menu changes daily and is based around local produce. On our most recent visit, we started with a punchy game terrine with prune ketchup, then delighted in the slow braised shin of beef with cavolo nero. Our steak was a little disappointing, but an excellent gingerbread tart more than made up for that. Traditional bar food is also available all day, think enormous burgers or beer-battered fish and chips.

At breakfast, help yourself to fresh pastries with seasonal jams, or thick Greek yogurt topped with poached apricots. Then order toasted sourdough with avocado and poached eggs, or porridge with cinnamon and honey. Feeling delicate? Use the Bloody Mary table for hair of the dog.

If you fancy a change of scene, nearby Frome has some lovely lunch spots such as Bistro Lotte (a 10-minute drive away), while Bruton's At The Chapel does excellent wood-fired pizzas.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Kids' meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Stroll around 15th-century Mells. Resident historian Justin can tell you some local tales and show you the tower of the old church (he winds the clock daily). There's a lovely walled garden over the road, plus local fields for a ramble
  • Pretty Frome has independent boutiques and a Sunday artisan market (10-minute drive). We also like Bruton's antique stores, beautiful architecture and famous art gallery
  • Further afield, Bath has boutique shops, gorgeous Georgian architecture and the iconic Roman Baths. There's an excellent spa with natural waters and a rooftop pool
  • Spend a day at Longleat Safari Park - drive through animal enclosures (lions, tigers, rhinos), explore the famous maze and wander the enormous house (1,996 windows, 99 chimneys and 283 doors!)
  • If the weather's good, the National Trust's Stourhead Gardens has a magnificent lake, mystical grottoes and rare exotic trees

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wildlife

Kids

Families are welcome. There's a lawned area out back for kids to run around in, and child-friendly meals in the bar and restaurant (burgers, fish and chips etc). All rooms except the Small have a bath.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family room 7 (which has its own separate entrance) is ideal, with 1 double bedroom plus a twin bedded annexe room (discounts are available for less than 4 guests). Very Large room 6 is also a good option with a double sofabed in its separate sitting room. Some other rooms can fit extra beds or travel cots - ask for advice when enquiring.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Baby listening:

Baby monitors reach the rooms from the restaurant.

Children's meals:

The traditional pub meals will please most kids, and are available in child-size portions.

Kid Friendly:

Location

The Talbot is set in the small town of Mells, Somerset. Mells is near Frome and Bruton, in the southwest of England. It is 30 minutes from Bath and 2 hours from London.

By Air:
Fly into Bristol (40km / 1 hour away) or one of the London airports (approx 2 hours away). From here, we'd recommend hiring a car.

By Car
Being in a rural location, we recommend bringing your own vehicle or hiring a car. The Talbot doesn't have a car park but you can usually park on the road just outside.

By Train:
The nearest station is Frome, 15 minutes away in a taxi. Trains from London Paddington take 2 hours.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Bristol 40.0 km BRS
  • Bristol 161.0 km LHR

Other:

  • Beach 53.0 km
  • Shops 0.4 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
8/10
Value
9/10
Overall

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Rates for The Talbot Inn

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