Before I launch into all my Autumn fashion and French holiday spam, I thought I better share my most recent stay at The Newt seeing as it’s a new opening and quite a few of you have been asking to see more.
Of course, being a complete boutique hotel freak, this hotel has been on my radar for quite some time. I very nearly visited the gardens in the Summer but decided I’d book the hotel as part of an early Birthday celebration.
When I arrived, the first thing that struck me was how proud the staff seemed of the hotel, which is always encouraging.
I was quite surprised at the colour of the stone, as I had strangely assumed it would be in paler Bath stone, but it actually comes from the nearby local quarry which is ochre in colour.
The entrance to the hotel and the reception area is quite small as they have clearly chosen not to have it where the original entrance would have been. I personally preferred what is now the side and back elevation which are much grander and perhaps a little prettier:
There are about 32 bedrooms, split between the main house and the out-buildings. I booked the Granary as I loved the idea of staying somewhere so unique and I adore a bit of rustic-chic. It certainly didn’t disappoint:
They have very cleverly converted the original building into a double bedroom with a small cabin-style bathroom underneath.
It’s wonderfully cosy, stylish, quirky and fun.
I loved the addition of the wood burner and that they had taken a fun play-on-words with the cabin-style bathroom, which in fact is like a ship’s cabin, complete with porthole window and completely tiled in white (and very difficult to photograph).
If rustic-chic is not your bag, there are quite a few different styles of rooms to choose from. If you want something a bit grander and Georgian in style then the main house bedrooms may be more for you.
The other ‘courtyard’ buildings house a gym (which has a glass frontage looking over the vegetable garden), the spa (including an indoor/outdoor pool) and stable-block, hayloft, woolsack and clock-house rooms.
The spa is quite something to behold:
Let’s face it, any building with huge palms in it, is onto a winner, but the most astounding thing is the juxtaposition of glass, stone and wood.
Even on the dreariest of days it lets in so much light and has a real indoors/outdoors feel to it.
I had a facial and made use of the pool, beautifully spacious sauna and salt room (I’ve deliberately left out photos of these as I think it’s important to leave some things as a surprise).
Of course, I can’t miss out the main house which feels like a traditional Georgian home with an edge of modernity. Even if some things are not to your taste, you can’t help but be impressed.
My personal favourite was the library/drawing room:
…two adjoining rooms with open fires, jewel tones, original family portraits, stunning plasterwork and modern design peices.
To be fair though, it’s not easy to choose a favourite, as following closely behind is the cellar, croquet room and dining room; pretty much the whole house!
The elements of fun and playfulness can’t help but bring a smile to your face.
I keep dreaming of hosting a dinner in the cellar as it’s so magical:
The Newt not only impresses with its architecture and interiors but the whole ethos of the hotel and scale of the ‘project’ is both breathtaking and mind-blowing. This is a hotel that is truly inspiring.
The hotel is owned by the family that own and run the award-winning Babylonstoren in South Africa and many of their products including wine, soaps and linens are stocked here.
Of course, the farm-to-table concept is not new but here it’s on another level; they are growing a wide variety of vegetables, pressing their own apples to make cider and apple juice, producing their own honey, keeping chickens; they even have their own on-site butcher and butchery.
The menu is small and seasonal with an emphasis on vegetables.
This is all cooked in an open kitchen and either served in the glass dining room or more traditional ‘botanical’ room.
The Newt opened its estate and impressive gardens to the public this Summer and one of the perks of staying in the hotel is that you get to experience these before opening and after closing. (It’s quite something, to have this place to yourself.)
(As this is getting rather long, I’ll save the garden for another post but if you can’t stay in the hotel, I strongly recommend a visit.)
Even whilst I was there, I was dreaming of returning; to next time try Lloyd’s (the butcher) meat from his family’s farm down the road; to stay in a stable or main house room; to see how the gardens change with the seasons; to see what it’s like when it’s completely finished and to experience the hotel around Christmas. That’s how much I liked it!
For further information and to book click here.