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Wiltshire Hotels: A Review of The Bradley Hare

Great British boltholes – the pub with rooms near one of England’s largest landscaped gardens that feels perfect in bloom

  • The Bradley Hare in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, is located near the beautiful Stourhead Gardens
  • The property is co-owned by James Thurstan Waterworth, Soho House’s former European Design Director.
  • There are a dozen ‘reasonably priced’ rooms with compact bathrooms that are ‘stylish and sexy’

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Pubs rarely feel this perfect. Inside a beautiful Victorian building, the floors and flagstones are adorned with rugs, the walls are daubed in Farrow & Ball colors, and the armchairs are set with a wood burning stove underneath eye-catching modern art.

It is a relaxed place to have a drink before moving on to the most elegant dining room, with its two-seater sofa, windows and dining nooks, where the candles of Charles Farris (the queen’s candlestick) flicker.

It’s all like this – there’s even a milk vending machine next to the driveway that produces cheese, butter, and smoothies. If it was my place, I would be there all the time.

Beautiful: Bradley Hare, pictured, is in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire

Beautiful: Bradley Hare, pictured, is in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire

There are seven bedrooms in the main house, with another five in the car house next door.

There are seven bedrooms in the main house, with another five in the car house next door.

There are seven bedrooms in the main house, with another five in the car house next door.

It all makes sense when you find out that the co-owner of the property, on the Duke of Somerset estate, is James Thurstan Waterworth, former director of European design for Soho House, the trendy hotel and private club group.

His eye for detail and passion for antiques is obvious throughout – my bedroom, with its pinstripe headboard and jute rug, features a characterful, squeaky cabinet, as well as a classic wooden desk and mirror. .

It’s one of a dozen rooms, seven of which open from a pleasant landing upstairs, and the rest are located in the Coach House, a former bowling alley, next door. The compact bathrooms are sleek and sexy, with black and eggplant tiles, powerful showers, and large bottles of toiletries.

There’s one more ace, Bradley Hare holds up his furry sleeve: Just four miles down the road is Stourhead, one of England’s largest landscaped gardens, created for Henry Hoare in the 18th century.

The pub is just four miles from Stourhead, one of England's largest landscaped gardens (pictured), created for Henry Hoare in the 18th century.

The pub is just four miles from Stourhead, one of England's largest landscaped gardens (pictured), created for Henry Hoare in the 18th century.

The pub is just four miles from Stourhead, one of England’s largest landscaped gardens (pictured), created for Henry Hoare in the 18th century.

TRAVEL FACTS

Bradley’s Hare, Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire. B&B from £ 115 per night during the week and £ 130 on weekends (thebradleyhare.co.uk).

It’s a nice two-hour yomp from here to the 160-foot King Alfred Tower, built for Henry on the site where Alfred was believed to have gathered his troops in 878. Or there’s a shorter, more scenic walk around the lake, where Paths wind between sycamore and Spanish chestnut, ash and oak to make way for classical temples, the Palladio Bridge, and even a hidden grotto.

Back in Bradley Hare, the quintessential English country garden is small but perfectly formed. As with the pub, the devil is in the details – even the air conditioning units have been cleverly concealed by newly planted trees.

The USP: Reasonably priced rooms in an elegant pub close to the beautiful Stourhead Gardens.

The rooms: Number 2 has pretty Hamilton Weston floral wallpaper, while Number 3 has a pretty log cabin bed and modern freestanding bathroom. Rooms at the Coach House are generally larger than those above the pub.

The food: Breakfast is currently continental only, but there are plans to introduce a cooked version in the New Year. Dinner is above average pub grub, but the halibut with shiitake and red wine was dominated by tarragon. Although the crispy truffle rose spruce potatoes were delicious, there was no green veggie option as a garnish, despite the promise of produce from the community gardens. The house wine, however, was delicious and was excellent value at £ 20.

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