Brian Luff writes…
Not being able to get a signal on my mobile broadband I was unable to go online in the car and search for somewhere to stay in central Somerset. So for once I relied upon my Satnav (who I call Shirley) to locate for me somewhere to have dinner and sleep overnight.
Finding a hotel in this way can be a risky business, but on this occasion I struck it lucky and stumbled upon one of the best small hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, The Farthings Country House Hotel & Restaurant is an 18th Century property situated in the idyllic little village of Hatch Beauchamp, just a few miles from Taunton.
I stay in hotels all the time so I’m extremely picky, and very few hotels tick all the boxes for me. Farthings ticked every single box, even those annoying little boxes that are continually and routinely overlooked by most medium priced hotels these days. Farthings is all about attention to detail, so I’ll make this review as detailed as possible in order to reflect that.
It was easy to park. The service was genuinely friendly and super-efficient without going over the top and ever becoming too obtrusive. The bar stocked well kept, good quality local beer on hand pump. There was a good wine list. The food was imaginatively planned, perfectly cooked, and well presented without being too “nouvelle-pretentious”. I asked for my lamb to be cooked medium and it was cooked medium. Not rare. Not well done, but exactly as I had ordered.
Farthings grows its own vegetables in an attractive little small holding in the hotel grounds and keeps a rowdy gaggle of geese in the back garden. They also rear their own hens so the breakfast eggs are spectacular, as is the locally sourced bacon and delicious home-made black pudding.
The mattress on the bed was amazingly comfortable. There were enough pillows on the bed, rather than about fifty pointless cushions scattered everywhere (an obsession with many hotels these days). The bath was large and the shower was more than big enough to swing a cat.
Unlike most of the hotel rooms I stay in these days my bedroom actually looked like it had been designed and furnished by someone who had stayed in a hotel room themselves. eg. the sofa was in exactly the right place to sit and watch the TV, with somewhere to put your drink. There were plenty of convenient places to hang things up. There were shelves to put things on. There was a trouser press. There was a big fridge in the corridor to get ice from. You’d think all of these things should be fairly standard, but believe me, these days very few hotels pay attention to any of these kind of details.
Literally my only complaint during my entire stay was that I briefly had to turn up the volume on the television set because the hotel’s resident peacock was making a bit of a racket on the lawn outside my window. This disturbance lasted for precisely twelve seconds and then everything returned to perfection and tranquility. I’ll be going back.