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As we turned onto the long drive, our weekend retreat came into view and I could feel my excitement building. It was a wet and dreary afternoon and the slight chill of Autumn hung in the air. The scent of damp earth from the 11 acres of countryside surrounding Widbrook Grange filled our noses. I couldn’t help but think that the rain added to the ambience and this was embedded further when we grabbed our bags out of the car and stepped through the front door. Immediately past the threshold we were greeted by a collection of Wellington boots and soft fleecy blankets. The decor warm, cosy and welcoming. This was incredibly inviting given the weather outside. The lounge beckoned us over, inviting us to get comfy on the sofas by the fireplace.
Widbrook Grange is a delightful Georgian country house hotel which was once a working model farm. Set in the Wiltshire countryside, it is a stones throw from one of the prettiest town’s here in England, Bradford-on-Avon and only a twenty minute drive from Bath. We visited Bradford-on-Avon, albeit only briefly, back in May and I immediately marked it as somewhere I wanted to return to and explore further. Needless to say, when Widbrook Grange got in touch and offered me a weekend away with them I leapt at the chance.
Given the heavy rain, we opted to enjoy a relaxed evening inside and leave exploring the town until the next morning. In turn, this meant we were able to get better acquainted with our home for the weekend. After checking into our rooms I was straight on to the menu for the The Kitchen, the resident restaurant at Widbrook. Busy perusing the menu, I perched on the end of the bed and was quick to sink into one of the comfiest beds I think I’ve ever lay down on. I could happily have rested there all evening but having my eye on a number of dishes I wanted to try, we made our way downstairs to the restaurant.
The Kitchen offers a wonderful selection of dishes, thoughtfully created by award winning Chef Sandor Szucs, a winner of the Hungarian version of Masterchef with over 20 years of experience working in restaurants throughout Europe. Using only the freshest local ingredients and produce, all sourced from local independent suppliers, the menu comprises traditional fair with a modern gastro twist.
I opted for a starter of guinea fowl three ways – smoked breast, nougat, and galantine with a spiced tomato sorbet, apricot chutney and cottage cheese. For my main I chose the rosemary and honey cured lamb rump with spinach mash, glazed red onion concasse and a cassis jus. I asked for my lamb to be cooked medium and it was delectably tender, the pairings all working perfectly together to create wonderfully tasty mouthfuls. I am not normally a dessert person but after the first two courses I thought it impossible to miss out on another course of such scrumptious food. And besides, there was coconut on the menu, a long time favourite flavour of mine. And so I ordered the mango and coconut pudding with a coconut and fennel ice cream, little macaroons and a blood orange sauce -which offered the perfect amount of acidity to the dish.
After dinner we retired to the gin bar where there is a selection of over 150 craft and award winning gins to choose from. Close to heaven if you’re a gin lover like me! We were informed that it is even possible to book a gin tasting session which I thought sounded like a fabulous gift idea. The decor in the gin bar is snug and intimate. The kind of place you could unwind with a friend or two over a few drinks and chat away for hours without realising the time. Just the kind of place I love.
Loosing track of time ourselves, we headed for bed and had the most wonderful nights sleep in our plush king sized bed. The only sound we could hear was the gentle pitter patter of rain against the windowpane. The perfect antidote from the stresses of daily life, leaving us rested and relaxed.
Widbrook Grange is the ideal place to stay if you want to explore Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and the surrounding areas whilst getting the peaceful setting of the countryside yet only a couple of miles away. If you would like to book yourself a stay, you can find prices and availability here. And don’t miss out on the beautiful town of Bradford-on-Avon, it won’t disappoint!
Thank you to Widbrook Grange for inviting me to stay. Although I was kindly gifted this stay, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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