This weekend we were rated 9/10 by The Times in The cool hotel guide. Delighted? Of course!
Marks were given for our organic farming, stylish rooms, great organic food, walking, and the Tim Finney vinyl collection, all great reasons to come and spend the night with us. Book your stay.
What did they say?
“This is a well-run, good value, down-to-earth pub with comfortable and stylish new rooms.”
In a nutshell
This is all about sustainable farming and tourism. Browning is the chief executive of the Soil Association, the charity that campaigns against intensive farming and for organic farming. She and her partner, Tim Finney, who used to edit Radio 4’s Farming Today programme, are dedicated to everything organic. Finney will take guests to see the 1,500 acres of farmland, including enclosures containing the couple’s impressive piebald British saddleback pigs.
What are the rooms like?
They are in a building at the back of the pub’s gravel car park, beyond a pretty garden with roses and a small chicken coop. This was once another village pub, but it had gone into decline and Arkell’s bought it to turn into guest rooms. They are smartly decorated with interesting corrugated metal and reclaimed wood headboards, arty pictures of local scenes, cow-pattern wallpaper (in some rooms) and green velvet chairs. Each has an espresso machine and there is also a communal lounge with sofas, boardgames and a fridge containing milk. A vinyl record player has a selection of Finney’s old albums, including Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones. All toiletries are organic. The cheapest rooms are from £85 B&B and are a decent size.
Which is the best room?
The Eastbrook Valley room on a corner is particularly large (from £130 B&B).
What’s the food like?
It’s organic, of course — and most of it is from Browning’s farm. The menu changes daily, depending on what is available. Expect dishes such as spiced lamb’s liver with tzatziki, grilled red onion and chilli butter; baked omelette with goat’s cheese; or strips of grilled rump steak with garlic butter and salad. My barbecue ribs with a rich, smoky sauce came with a side salad that had a good vinaigrette. My main of roast pork belly with couscous, smoked aubergine and grilled leeks was substantial without being too fatty. And I can recommend the vanilla panna cotta with raspberries. Three courses are from about £27.
Who goes there?
Hikers and foodies love it.
What else is there to do?
Go for a ramble — excellent walking maps are provided.
The highs, the lows, the verdict:
Nine out of ten
This is a well-run, good value, down-to-earth pub with comfortable and stylish new rooms, although the walls are a little thin in some.