When you find yourself in dire need of peace, poise and a few platefuls of delicious produce, head straight for The Eastbury in Sherborne, says Editor Sophie Ritchie
Me and my Satnav do not get along. We never have, most likely never will. I’m reminded of our love/hate relationship when I miss my turning just before Sherborne and it attempts to make my car swim through a flooded tractor route to get back en route.
One 10-minute long reversing session back up through a ditch-lined track later and I’m reminded why I’d rather live in the Stone Age than trust its poor judgement.
The fun continues once my wheels finally reach the quaint streets of Sherbone, a teeny Dorset town filled with boutiques, little coffee shops and manicured buildings. One of these is The Eastbury Hotel, although finding its parking lot proves to be as difficult as fitting armbands to my tyres.
I do, however, somehow stumble across my younger sister (who is joining me for the night) in my navigation attempt. Together (with her common sense) we somehow find our way through the less than obvious directions to its gravelled safety.
Luckily, the journey was worth prevailing for. The Eastbury is a calming world of countryside charm, and walking through its gardens filled with trees, bushes and greenery immediately has me feeling at ease by the time I step inside the elegant reception.
In its Georgian heyday, The Eastbury was once a private residence. Now, the period listed townhouse is a charming 26-room hotel owned (and styled) by Peter and Lana de Savary.
As well as its comfortable rooms and suites located in the main building, The Eastbury has recently added an additional five luxury ‘Victorian Garden Potting Shed’ suites to its portfolio.
Set within the tranquil walled garden, these unique Victorian Garden Potting Sheds hide country chic bedroom accommodation within, as well as large and spacious bathrooms.
It’s within one of these new abodes that I’m staying for the night – a brick walled space complete with private terrace, huge rooflight, smooth linens, bright patterned fabrics and the sister sleepover essentials – two sets of fluffy robes hanging in the wardrobe.
The bed is invitingly enormous, and I love the furniture’s shabby chic feel – distressed wooden drawers, a little SMEG fridge and a beautiful mirrored TV make the space feel both comfortable and stylish.
Of course, the devil’s in the detail – an array of teas, a complimentary tipple of port (nightcap, anyone?) and a Magimix coffee machine are all little touches that help a guest settle in to the cozy surroundings. It’s also dog-friendly for those that want to pack up the pooch – the perfect companion for a countryside getaway.
Gourmands are in for a treat, as the restaurant is as divine as my room’s interiors. Located in the conservatory overlooking the velvety lawn, Seasons serves up platefuls of seasonal produce with 2 Rosettes to its name .
Locality is imperative to this success – graceful dishes incorporate fresh herbs picked from the kitchen garden and almost all produce comes from a trusted list of local suppliers. Almost every table is full when we arrive, with a mix of both residents and visitors wishing to devour its fine dining within the classic surroundings.
If you’re a fish fan, close the menu and order the Charred Monkfish (£23) for mouthfuls of flavoursome silkiness complimented by baby leeks, romesco and a scattering of toasted almond – whilst the Raspberry, White Chocolate and Mascrapone (£10) is a dessert that will leave you licking the spoon.
Breakfast is also served in Seasons, with an a la carte selection of dishes as well as a simple continental buffet.
Another new addition to The Eastbury is its shiny new spa, shrouded by woodland in an almost Hobbit-esque building. Open from 9am – 6pm, the intimate space is ideal for small groups of 2-4, with a hydrotherapy pool, steam shower, sauna and outdoor hot tub to enjoy – all set within one room. It’s worth noting that the floor floods easily with so much water around, so keep your slippers on incase of slipping.
A number of Caudalie treatments are also available for added pampering – my deep tissue massage leaves my body feeling thoroughly relaxed, as if my muscle tissues have finally had a chance to have a good stretch.
If you prefer a little less pressure, there’s also a range of facials as well as Swedish, aromatherapy and stone massages available – the perfect antidote to a long drive, but be sure to book at least 24hrs in advance.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Charming from the offset and full of culinary jewels, The Eastbury is well worth heading southwest for. Emulating country chic style from the rooms to the roof, this boutique hotel is perfect for a weekend of satisfying your stomach and enjoying the pretty sights of Sherborne.
Make it happen
Where: Long St, Sherborne DT9 3BY
How: Visit theeastburyhotel.co.uk or phone 01935 813131 to make a reservation.
Wallet: Rooms start from £195 per night, based on two people sharing.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor.