Tag Archives: somerset

The Swan at Wedmore, Somerset

IMG_2070[1]Nothing quite screams ‘bank holiday weekend’ than a leisurely Sunday roast, followed by a nap on a giant double bed in one of Somerset’s multitude pub with rooms. The Swan does all of these things will aplomb: the young staff deliver great plates of roast beef, fresh gnocchi and delicate crab washed down with local lagers or a multitude of wines by the glass, while upstairs the rooms are cool and inviting, with woolen throws and tartan armchairs adding a touch of texture to otherwise neutral Farrow & Ball tones. Ours had a small balcony overlooking the main strip of yellow stone buildings, the nearby church chiming on the hour to complete the Archer’s feel; better still, a claw-foot bath and a host of Bramley products meant an afternoon bubble bath in the sunshine (pint included for good effect).

And of course, one of the best bits about an overnight stay is the fact that breakfast comes with it. Like their dinner menu, the focus is on local fare – the bread comes from a bakery a short stroll from the door, and bacon is home-smoked; elsewhere suppliers are listed on the chalkboards around the bar. The menu is simple and traditional, and offers plenty for those less egg-averse than me (my bacon and mushrooms on toast looked somewhat lacking without the mound of scrambled egg). Nonetheless, with ingredients this good the flavours win the day, and, importantly, the coffee is just as well-sourced and made with equal care.

There’s plenty to love here, and lucky locals flock (expect a troupe of chinos and well-polished sprogs mussing their Sunday Best in the garden out the back). For those less close, it’s worth the journey – come armed with the papers and your PJs and you’ll be in for a weekend treat.

Price: from £3 (toast & jam) to £11 (The Swan Full English) B&B from £85.


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Harptree Treehouse, East Haptree, Somerset

Harptree TreehouseSafely ensconced in the boughs of an ancient oak is a treehouse unlike any other. Hand-crafted and beautifully appointed, it suits its regal surroundings in the grounds of Harptree Court and makes waking up for breakfast very special indeed.

The Egg Poacher and I arrived on a crispy Autumnal evening and were left to wonder at the russet coloured surroundings and indulge in Linda’s famous lemon drizzle cake in perfect peace. A somewhat cack-handed attempt at stoking the woodburner nevertheless left us feeling snug as night drew in, and after a soak in the deep copper bath we wrapped ourselves up to look up at a night sky heaving with stars. With so much beauty surrounding us, we left our windows uncovered and were rewarded with a smouldering sunrise that burned through the mist that clung to the fields around us.

Breakfast waits for the first to rise – there are local sausages and thick cut bacon in the fridge, freshly baked bread and eggs from Haprtree’s own hens. The treehouse kitchen is anything but rustic, with electric hobs and all the bits you need… dishwasher included. For less hungry souls organic muesli or porridge await, as well as teas and ground coffee to be made just as you please. Such magical surroundings would make any breakfast good, but this one will be hard to beat.

Price: From £175 a night (self-catering, with breakfast provided or available in the house on request).

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