An eclectically cool haven of style, spa time and sumptuous sustenance, editor Sophie Ritchie heads to Somerset for a stay at Homewood Bath
There’s something undeniably idyllic about a country house hotel. Perhaps it’s the excitement of a journey somewhere new, even the buzz of turning into an entrance and meandering along an elongated drive towards a picturesque building for the first time. When walking over the threshold at Homewood Bath, it almost feels like stepping into someone’s living room thanks to the warm, welcoming atmosphere and the assortment of cool meets quirky decor.
My road trip is not purely for aesthetic purposes, it’s also for edible ones. I’m here in slow-paced Somerset for the launch of the hotel’s 2022 Big Green Egg barbecue experience – which is now available seven days a week to all hungry guests from far and wide with a three-course feast.
Serving up piping hot plates of deliciously-grilled grub, along with fresh salads and moreish desserts, foodies can now flock here to catch the bipolar British weather on a good day and enjoy a barbecue with a rather luxurious edge. Should clouds and downpour be in attendance however, fear not – the experience takes place in covered, fully-heated domes that sit pretty on the hotel’s perfectly manicured grounds.
The feast kicks off in the beautifully-styled domes with sharing plates of tapas – Chorizo picante doused in honey, broccoli florets and almonds, juicy Gambas al Pil Pil with baked lemon purée, Padron peppers with deliciously tangy smoked chilli jelly and a simple but succulent white bean salad, which are all soon devoured by the table like lions surrounding an ill-fated gazelle.
For mains, the Big Green Egg is opened to reveal further smokey dishes prepared by our very own ‘butler’; Ruby & White smoked brisket, smoked jerk bbq sauce Walter Rose flat iron steak, cajun spices, nduja Walter Rose lamb cutlets, chimichurri salsa, Seabass branzino and dukkah-baked cabbage with a creamy smoked paprika sauce for plant-based guests.
On the side, there’s also a simplistic bowl of ‘No-Dig’ garden leaves and a hefty mound of Lovejoy’s sweet potato salad packed with lentils, garden tomato salsa, avocado and spiced cashews.
It’s clear that the Homewood Bath team have thought about every modern dietary requirement – there’s a wide mix of meat, fish and plant-based creations to try from the BBQ selection – with, thankfully for the meat-free crowd, not a blackened boring vegetarian sausage in sight.
For dessert, it’s time for an exquisite bowl of Eton Mess (arranged more like Eton marvel with delicate swirls of cream, plump strawberries and shards of meringue). Designed to share, it’s abruptly hoovered up as spoons from around the dome dive into the pudding for ‘just one more bite’ from the mouth-watering creation.
It’s evident the attention to detail here stems from the ground up – quite literally, as the hotel boasts its own self-made vegetable garden nearby with a sustainable ‘no dig’ policy in order to help preserve the soil.
Spinach, beetroot, rocket and plenty more produce are used as ingredients in the dishes served by the restaurant and for the new barbecue experience. Plus, if you visit at the right time, you might just spot four-legged gardener assistant Muffy peering out from one of the plants.
Post-BBQ, I grab my bags and head upstairs to my abode – a ‘Marvellous Room‘ for a night in staycation paradise. The door pushes open (with a real key and not a hint of newfangled card swiping in sight) to reveal a sprawling king size bed, dangling chandelier, wide vast windows that showcase the grounds below and even a hanging wall tapestry. The furnishings fill the room with elegant charm and beckon one to simply drop everything and relax.
Just like the dining menu found within the on-site domes of course, it’s all in the detail. Gleaming Dyson hairdryers, top-notch toiletries and even hangers with positive messages etched onto their necks like “Say Yes To The Dress” complete the space and bring Homewood Bath’s playful personality into the room.
There’s a sense of lovable mischief about Homewood Bath that I adore – the idea of throwing one’s responsibilities aside and having good old fashioned fun instead. You’ll find it woven into the interior design of every room and suite, but it goes beyond the realms of flamboyant artwork and tongue-in-cheek mottos too. One quick wander downstairs reveals a complimentary snack station filled with sweets, popcorn and tipples. Like a kid in a literal candy store, I grab a little pot and let my cup runneth over.
Head outside for a petite but ultra-luxe space complete with heated pools, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room that demands to be visited during a visit here. Splash out on a rejuvenating treatment for something special or simply don your robe and lay horizontal on one of the many loungers for as long as your heart desires.
It’s worth noting that the space can feel cramped at busy times, so plan your pamper time at off-peak intervals to avoid the robe rush hour.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Ditch traditional perceptions of a country house hotel and soak up a night of suave sophistication at Homewood Bath instead. The rooms are riveting, the decor divine – and thanks to the brand new barbecue experience, there’s more reason than ever to flock to Homewood’s honey-hued brick walls with cutlery in tow.
Make it happen
How: Find out more about the barbecue dining dome experience and make a booking via homewoodbath.co.uk
Wallet: Lunch sittings Monday-Friday – £60pp. Lunch sittings Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays – £80pp. Dinner sittings – £80pp.
Where: HOMEWOOD, Abbey Lane, Freshford, Bath, Somerset, BA2 7TB
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor