Location, location, location, they say. You can’t argue with that at West Quantock Lodge, embedded in the rolling hills and mists of the Quantocks. Here, the trill of the wood warbler and the distant chug and whistle of the West Somerset steam train are just about all that penetrate the rustic calm.
But at West Quantock Lodge, you can add property to location. Or even multiply it. This is no ordinary experience, a proud and magnificent slice of luxury set against the swoop of the West-Country dream. Sleeping 18 in nine individually designed en-suite bedrooms, this isn’t just a break, it’s a retreat within an escape.
Bring out the inner Masterchef on the range cooker and four ovens, or call in the pro chefs and kick back. Shoot some pool, summon the dumbwaiter for snacks, chill in the hot tub, eat al fresco from the charcoal barbecue. Escape with books, tap into the wifi, pipe music through the Bluetooth. Consider never leaving.
There’s a full acre out there and it’s hard to see where the lodge ends and Somerset begins. You can have fun trying, though, walking the woodlands and firing up the heady carbon aroma of sausages smoked on the charcoal barbecue.
Sit in the magnificent shadow of the Quantocks that rise majestically behind and share the hot tub for ten in total privacy. Escape to the summerhouse for music or books. Clear your lungs, sip the West Country cider, dine on the terrace in the clean country air.
Beneath the chunky oak beams, the scene is set for the great escape. Pilfer a paperback from the bookcase, fire up the 55-inch TV for a movie night, summon the snacks from the kitchen with the dumb waiter. Open up the bi-fold doors to the Juliet balcony to let in a little light and air.
Shoot some pool on the American table, sift through the DVDs, get some sounds going on the Bluetooth. Load the logs onto the woodburner and relax with a prosecco and peanuts in a world of monster sofas, hardwood floors, chunky furniture and serene calm.
Is the dining table big? Big enough for 20. You can feed your small army on the range cooker with four electric ovens and electric hob, or duck out and kick back while our chefs step in to whip fresh, local ingredients into delicious dinners, either as a one-off or as a fully catered package.
Dine in comfort for up to 20 around the T-bone dining-table arrangement, beneath the oak beams with the wall TV on, if you’ve a match to catch. Or head outside to the terrace and table to pop a Prosecco, sear steaks on the charcoal barbie and drink in the country air. Try the ten-seat hot tub for dessert.
The Rising Sun in West Bagborough is just a stiff walk or a short drive away for an Exmoor-themed tasting menu that includes crispy duck egg, medley of the sea and basil pannacotta. At The Blue Ball Inn in Triscombe, menus are seasonal and supplemented by an ever-changing specials board.
Head to Mint and Mustard for kormas, tikkas, biryani and swordfish curry. Augustus is the place for seared scallops, rib-eye steak or Peckmoor lamb. Ex-Roux chefs at The Willow Tree serve up aged Serrano ham with Roquefort, slow-cooked beef cheek and homemade gnocchi. Keep kids happy at Pizza Express and Wild Wood.
Nine individually designed en-suite bedrooms sleep 18 and provide the last word in luxury, only enhanced by views of rolling hills and sunken valleys. Freestanding baths, rainfall showers and 19-inch TVs are the norm here.
Bedrooms one and two are singles with en-suites, each sleeping two, while bedroom three, also an en-suite, sleeps two in a kingsize. Bedroom four is a kingsize master en-suite complete with rolltop bath and waterfall showers, while bedroom five offers a kingsize en-suite.
En-suite bedroom six provides two singles and bedroom seven is a second master, offering a luxury en-suite, rolltop bath, waterfall showers and a four-poster bed. Bedroom eight is an en-suite single, sleeping two, while bedroom nine is a double en-suite.