As Somerset as sweet, cloudy cider, Featherstone Farm sits beneath its thatched hat in a 17th-century farm courtyard. Get the gang together and take an overdose of rural charm amid stone floors, oak beams and the homely promise of a roaring fire. At day’s end, bubble away the last of your cares in the wood-fired hot tub.
Sleeping sixteen, Featherstone Farmhouse dates from a century long gone, but the renovations are new and the technology is all Century 21. Large flatscreen smart TVs, Netflix and Bluetooth sit cosily alongside the ancient beams, flagged floors and untouchable grade II-listed features.
This is the land of the English country pub. Potter the lanes in search of the perfect pint, then wend your way homewards at dusk as the sun dips behind the Quantocks. Duck out and switch off awhile in an English idyll where the ivy hangs heavy from the walls, where sleep is a deep bliss and where walking and talking top the agenda.
There’s parking for four cars on the crunchy gravel. Beyond that, the lawn sits ringed by ancient elms and oaks, ripe for kids’ cartwheels and summer barbies. Set the teak table, uncork the wine and butter the bread.
At the end of an exhausting day’s walking, talking, dining and drinking, the eight-person wooden hot tub sits steaming in the flagstone courtyard, complete with lights and an air-bubble system to relax and soothe your muscles.
Featherstone Farm seems plucked from the pages of Country Living magazine. It’s a hearty, homely treat complete with deep-pile carpets, squishy sofas and cushions ripe for plumping. Soft lighting, prints and paintings complete the picture of sumptuous English comfort.
This is a grade II-listed period piece that exhibits its authentic beauty through flagstone floors, ancient oak beams, exposed-stone walls and a monster stone fireplace. After a tough day’s walking and talking, raid the log basket and tickle the kindling into life. Pour a drink and make it a late one. Don’t worry: mornings are lazy here.
Listed it might be, but lacking it isn’t. Interior lighting comes in the shape of spotlights among the beams and they shine down on two 55” flatscreen smart TVs with Bluetooth soundbars, so you can tap into Netflix. Get the fire roaring and magic up a movie on the BT broadband.
The DAB radio and CD player are on hand to set the soundtrack to your own movie running, or you can stream your music from your Bluetooth device. You can escape with a book to the second lounge and kids can break out the board games that form the backbone of an English family holiday.
You’ll get 14 comfortably around the dining table. And with two eat-in kitchens to pick from, three ovens, two induction hobs and two microwaves, you can split the cheffery. Or abandon it altogether – talk to us about luxury in-house catering and turn the farm into your very own restaurant.
Alternatively, eat al-fresco out among the hanging ivy and the ancient trees, to the accompaniment of the evening birdsong. Chill your salad in the American-style fridge-freezer, wash down your salmon or steak with a bottle or two from Cornhill Wines, then load up the dishwashers and pop a pod or two into the Nespresso.
Walk along the lanes to the beamed and beautiful Barrington Boar for tagliatelle of braised rabbit, day-boat Cornish haddock, or just local bottled cider or Wicked Wolf gin. Cycle or drive to the Dinnington Docks or Lord Poulett Arms, where everything is made, cured or smoked in-house. And don’t miss the Friday-night micro-brewery at Stocklinch.
The perfect antidote to Ilminster’s befuddling one-way system is Celandines, brimming with five-star reviews and alive with the aroma of slow-roasted pork belly, beef sausage roll and prawn fishcake. Or head to the Five Dials for fresh, seasonal delights washed down with a Sharp’s Doom Bar or a Burrow Hill Cider.
Six en-suite bedrooms here come with deep mattresses, 400-thread-count cotton bedding, indulgent mattress toppers and fluffy bathrobes. This is the deluxe spa hotel where you’ve personally approved every single guest. Feel free to laze and lounge. Mornings are optional on a Somerset farm holiday.
Featherstone Farm comprises a farmhouse and adjoining cottage, opened up into one. In the farmhouse, a ground-floor bedroom comes with king-sized fourposter and rolltop bath. Warm things up in the morning with your own woodburner. Bedroom two can be set up as a superking double or twin singles and also comes with kids’ bunk bed.
The farmhouse’s other two bedrooms can be arranged with superking-sized doubles or twin singles, both with walk-in showers and tiled floors with underfloor heating.
The cottage’s sleeping accommodation comprises two en-suite bedrooms. The first has a kingsize bed and bathroom with cast-iron rolltop bath plus walk-in shower. The second’s beds can be combined into a superking double or separated as twin singles. A delicious wetroom challenges your willpower in the face of warm waterfalls of water.