Although a night-time fire threatened to destroy the Beckford Arms a few years ago, new owners Charlie Luxton and Dan Brod have taken this event in their stride and used it to create something magnificent.
Our series editor, Fiona Duncan, notes that it’s something of a hybrid – traditional country pub, restaurant and charming place to stay all in one. You can eat at the bar, where mulled wine and cider are warmed over an open fire during winter; the elegant private dining room; the laid back conservatory – or even the sitting room, if you like. The food can’t be faulted.
After dinner, you can retire to one of their ten small but well-appointed bedrooms, where a range of comforts await you: Siberian goose down duvets; vintage Welsh blankets and woolly hot-water bottles. We particularly enjoyed the quirky drawings by local artist Zebedee Helm.
Outside, the garden rambles towards a professional boules court. There are hammocks; a games area to entertain children; even a dog bath – much needed after a long, muddy walk. On the Fonthill Estate, opposite The Beckford, there are two beautiful private lodges. Arrive to a fully-stocked fridge and cook yourself breakfast in the morning, or saunter over to The Beckford for their famous Eggs Benedict.
They also run the outstanding Talbot Inn, in the charming village of Mells in Somerset.