Emily discovers the newly launched Potting Shed Garden Suites at the charming Eastbury Hotel, Dorset.
As a new mum (I still say new even though he’s fast approaching 9 months old), peace and quiet has become something truly sacred. A few moments on the sofa during nap time, a snatched solo swim when I get the chance or even a bit of YouTube yoga. But a night off in a secluded suite in the depths of Dorset? Absolute heaven.
October wasn’t crisp and sunny this year, it was grey and rainy. As we arrived at The Eastbury, it was wet and drizzly outside – yet Jessica on Reception beamed at us and welcomed us merrily. In fact I don’t think she stopped smiling the entire 24 hours we were there. In terms of places to work, I guess there are worse spots than this beautiful Georgian period townhouse a minute’s walk from the historic town of Sherbourne.
We’d been to The Eastbury before (and loved it) so we were really excited to return to try out the newly created Victorian Potting Shed Garden Suites. Set within the walled gardens (which also provide some of the produce for the stunning Seasons Restaurant on site), these unassuming ‘sheds’ have eco friendly moss and sedum roofs with flowers covering them. This rustic exterior should not fool you into expecting anything less than 5 star luxury inside however. Our room was immaculate with countless thoughtful touches – from a hot water bottle on the bed to a jug of fresh milk in the fridge.
The rooms have fully opening tri-fold doors as well as a large roof light which would be glorious in summer, or as we experienced – made inside feel even more cosy as we watched the rain outside. Our private terrace had wooden chairs and a fire pit (yep, they’ve really thought of everything). If you can tear yourself away from the sumptuousness of the bedrooms (all with en suite wet rooms) you might like to saunter down to the newly built spa run by Amelia Rose and Caudalie. A small and secluded haven, book in for a deep tissue massage here – complete with the whole range of Caudalie products, and you’ll float back to your suite on cloud nine.
Another treat for this visit was the Tasting Menu which we tried at Seasons at The Eastbury. Matthew Street, the Executive Chef here, modestly describes his cooking as “imaginative and fun with a hint of nostalgia”. In fact our experience of the 7 course tasting menu with accompanying wine flight went way beyond that. The food was outstanding – real highlights were the Venison Tartare, Devon Crab and the Roasted Lamb. There was something lovely about not having to make choices as the sommelier matched each course to a wine from their extensive menu.
The Victorian Potting Shed Garden Suites are ideal for those wanting a deep night’s sleep. There’s no noise from other hotel guests here and we woke later than we have in months. The breakfast is informal yet uses delicious local produce and is staffed by yet more of the hotel’s exceptional staff. There’s a strong feeling here from the largely young team that they know they’re working somewhere special, delivering an excellent offering with excellent service.
Before we checked out I took a total time out and sat in the Resident’s Lounge (there’s also a snooker room if you fancy a game) with a coffee and a magazine. Fully recharged, we left for the manageable 2 hour drive to London waved off by Jessica and the warmth of The Eastbury.
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Doubles start from £195 per night B&B
Victorian Potting Shed Garden Suites from £325 per night B&B
For more information and to book, visit The Merrion here.
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