Last year’s brief half-term lift on lockdown saw us take a trip to historic Sherborne, spending three days in this delightful country town in north west Dorset. It’s like the Cotswolds, but less knowingly cute and is a short hop to the picturesque Jurassic Coast, with easy excursions to places like Lyme Regis or the famous Durdle Door beach.
We took a guided tour around the town, courtesy of Paul from Sherborne Walks, which was a great way to get a flavour of the place. It’s packed with history and stories in every nook and cranny and Paul’s enthusiasm was infectious – particularly when he told us some of the fascinating stories about the 1,000–year–old Cathedral. Try and grab some pics of it during the late afternoon sun as it takes on a beautiful yellow glow.
The walk was organised by The Eastbury Hotel, our home for our short break and just a few minutes’ walk from Abbey. It’s a small town so all sorts of cute shops were on our doorstep, plus a couple of brilliant bakeries.
The elegant Georgian red brick façade of the hotel is complemented by a croquet set on the lawn and a beautiful billiards room set down one of the property’s winding corridors. Elsewhere, stylish furnishings, smart wallpaper and pretty paintings are scattered artfully around the space. There’s evena cute ‘Hobbit house’ style in the garden, complete with hot tub and treatment rooms.
Booking is essential for its award-winning restaurant, Seasons. We enjoyed two fabulous evening meals there, with the standout being the seven-course tasting menu, accompanied by a wine flight. As a vegetarian, I sometimes find that tasting menus fall short when it comes to several courses of surprise and delight, but this feast was hit after hit of fabulous flavours. And it was all served in the sort of ‘smart casual’ dining room that had a relaxed informality from the moment we sat down.
It was also just a few seconds walk from our room. More of a small cottage, if truth be told. It was one of five new Potting Shed Suites (all named after herbs) that have been added in the garden, bringing the total of rooms to 26. It came with an outdoor sitting area and fire pit and, although built from reclaimed brick, the interior is contemporary and filled with high tech features including TVs disguised as mirrors, mist-proof bathroom mirrors, and electric blackout blinds for the ceiling skylight windows. The wet room showers also come kitted out with White Company products and, for those who can’t bear to leave their dogs at home, some of the suites are pooch-friendly.
For those travelling with an extended family, it’s worth enquiring about the 17th century Eastbury Cottage, next door to the hotel. It’s big, beautiful and absolutely immaculate, plus it benefits from all that facilities that the hotel next door has to offer, including that gorgeous spa with a hot tub , gymand treatment rooms – all of which we took full advantage of.
So if you’re looking to get a taste of one of England’s most beautiful places and fancy staying in what is surely the best hotel in town (if not the county), then check out The Eastbury. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Love Coral x