Step back in time to the gracious living of Byron and Jane Austen. The Old Georgian Rectory is a place of croquet hoops and champagne on English lawns, and dinner and drinks on the walled terrace warmed by a firepit and lit by lanterns.
This is a delightful Somerset escape sleeping 16 for families and mature celebrations on the northern slopes of the Mendip hills. It’s embedded in the community of Hinton Blewett, a quiet English village set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and complete with a cosy award-winning country pub.
When the heavy curtains part, the sash windows reveal a switchback landscape of Mendip views. Chuck another log on the fire, cosy up with Netflix or Amazon Prime, sing along with the Bluetooth, and bring the generations together in a timeless, tranquil and quintessentially English retreat.
There’s nothing more English than a newly clipped lawn, a couple of champagne flutes at the ready and a croquet mallet propped against a wrought-iron chair. That’s The Old Georgian Rectory’s grounds: a sense of England as it once was, amid one acre of lawn and mature trees that offer total privacy to guests.
The lawn sits ripe and ready for dogs to laze in the afternoon sun and kids to stampede towards the swings, slide and hammock. Fully enclosed, with stone walls to three sides and a fence to the other, it’s dog-friendly and fully secure.
Stock up on meat from New Manor Farm Shop, get it on the griddle and gather around the big table in the walled garden for a family feast.
Heavy curtains, deep skirts and feature fireplaces tell you this is a period property with swagger and style. It’s the perfect place to bridge the gap between the generations, to recharge and reinvigorate, amid the perfect blend of old and new, where picture rails and sash windows co-exist happily with superfast WiFi.
A contemporary colour scheme flows throughout and the formal rooms on the ground floor come with log fires to light up the Georgian splendour. Four reception rooms radiate from the flagstone hallway, offering you the chance to mix and mingle or slide away and escape.
Three TVs give you a choice of viewing. Pick from a 54-inch TV in the main lounge, which is quietly hidden behind a mirror to retain the ambience when you prefer the peace and quiet, a 54-inch TV in the kids’ lounge and a 32-inch TV in bedroom one. Choose from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Freeview on each, get the Nespresso going and take the weight off your feet.
With a gym on site – complete with treadmill and recumbent bike – you can hit the wine and local cheddar as much as you like, and you can do yourself even more good in the seven-metre indoor pool heated to a toasty 30 degrees. Step in, swim a few lengths, splash around, and burn away the calories.
You’ll get a dozen diners around the dining-room table in front of the wood-panelled walls with the fire providing a crackling atmosphere. There’s less-formal dining available in the breakfast room, with its country-kitchen table and chairs, perfect for starting the day over croissants and coffee. Or eat outdoors in the walled garden, Mamma Mia style.
Cook on the five-door gas-fired Aga with hotplates and the electric Aga double oven with hotplates. But wait – there are more options, in the shape of a combi microwave/oven in the pastry room and top-floor kitchenette offering NEFF electric oven and hotplates.
Keep your produce fresh in the American double fridge/freezer with ice-maker in the breakfast room, and fridges in the kitchen, second-floor landing and kitchenette. There’s a chilling cabinet for your Sancerre and a small fridge in the gym for your bottled water.
First stop for eating out is just a one-minute wander away. The award-winning Ring o’Bells offers hearty wholesome fare such as short-rib steak burger and steamed Fowey mussels. Pop in or make it a takeaway. Go French at Goodfellows in Wells. Or put your feet up and enjoy catering support from the expert chefs in the Ring O’Bells next door, or Topline Catering in Chew Magna.
The owls hoot and the wind whispers its way through the boughs of the oaks, but there’s not much else here to come between you and a deep dive into some serious shut-eye.
The Old Georgian Rectory sleeps up to sixteen in five double rooms, one twin, and a nursery with a low-level double bed.
Bedroom one is a superking four-poster en-suite with space for a cot, while bedroom two offers a superking with bathroom next door and cot space. Bedroom three is a superking four-poster with a spacious bathroom next door (complete with original decorative fireplace and garden view) and capacity for a cot. The nursery for three babies is accessed via bedroom three, so parents can sleep right next door.
Bedroom four is a kingsize with a large adjacent bathroom, bedroom five is also a kingsize with cot space, while bedroom six provides two singles and shares a shower room with bedroom five. In the office, you’ll find a fold-down wall mounted double bed available at no extra charge. Bedrooms one to four have their own bathrooms.
Everything’s set up here to give kids a great time and ensure they make some memories in one of the lovelier corners of the country. Exhibit A has to be the illuminated indoor pool, heated to 30 degrees and ready and waiting to help a few hours evaporate.
Outside, you can give your kids and dogs the run of the gardens, with one acre of lawns and trees that’s ripe for cricket or croquet and fully enclosed, with stone walls to three sides and a fence on the other. Let them discover the wonders of vitamin D, supplemented by good fun on the swings, slide and hammock.
Inside, there’s enough tech to keep even the pickiest of Gen Z and Gen Alphas happy. The WiFi runs happily at 90Mbps (although mainly on the lower floors) and there’s Netflix, Amazon Prime and Freeview on the 54-inch mirror TV in the main lounge, the 54-inch TV in the kids’ very own lounge, and a 32-inch TV in bedroom one.
Older kids will appreciate the on-site gym, complete with treadmill, recumbent bike, workout bench, yoga mat and fridge for instant hydration. And everyone will appreciate the Bluetooth speaker. At day’s end, most rooms will take cots and, for very young guests, a nursery next door to bedroom three is suitable for three babies and toddlers.