Finest for an indulgent foodie break …No 1 Bruton, SomersetWhat’s it like?A three way partnership by a cracking little lodge and a particular restaurant opened in late 2019 within the small-but-happening city of Bruton. The Grade-II listed constructing on a medieval plot at 1 Excessive Avenue is a mishmash of a Georgian townhouse and transformed Fifteenth-century forge and cottagesThere are three varieties of room, 12 in whole: 5 vibrant bedrooms with William Morris & Pierre Frey wallpaper within the higgledy-piggledy higher flooring of the townhouse; 4 within the forge on the again, which have been underneath development once I visited; and three cottages within the courtyard, the place I stayed. Mine had a small lounge with a woodburner and a slender staircase main as much as the country whitewashed bed room, with brass mattress, uncovered beams, terracotta-tiled flooring and Morris textiles. The downstairs felt disconnected although: cottage 2 or 3, the place lounge and bed room are on the identical stage, really feel extra spacious.What about breakfast and dinner?Osip restaurant is run by Merlin Labron-Johnson in a former ironmonger’s store, which nonetheless has its large medieval hearth. The owner-chef received a Michelin star on the age of simply 24 on the Portland in London, and on the proof of the brilliantly artistic five-course tasting menu I had, it was no shock to study he picked up one other one right here in January.The menu is massive on provenance, with meals sourced from native farmers, hunters and gatherers. It kicked off with a cup of “tea”: an amuse-bouche of duck broth and leek oil laced with lapsang souchong was like distilled umami. The pumpkin soup with brown butter and roasted chestnuts was so comforting it melted my coronary heart; the smoked eel in creamy potato and a touch of caviar was an explosion of flavours.Any breakfast would wrestle to observe such a feast, and so it proved. With the honourable exception of the chilly, silky rice pudding, breakfast didn’t work. Serving giant, boiled duck eggs was a novel thought – however why a chilly one in winter, and with out toast? And the espresso was boring previous filter, and tepid too. (Trying on the web site, the menu has been enhanced since I used to be there.)Osip restaurantWhat’s on the doorstep?Glastonbury, Longleat, Frome, the Somerset Ranges and Quantock Hills are close by, however Brunton itself has a pair of must-see arty/foodie points of interest. The arrivalof the Hauser & Wirth Somerset gallery in 2014 was a gamechanger for the realm, turning it into an A-list artwork vacation spot – and a catalyst for different openings, together with the lodge and restaurant reviewed right here. Its prairie backyard is an artwork set up in itself. Alongside the identical strains – rich international household seems from nowhere and splashes thousands and thousands to create one thing fairly great – the Newt in Somerset, 10 minutes out of city, is a restored Georgian manor home constructed from sandstone. It’s now a luxurious lodge amid woodland and luxurious gardens, although entry is an eyewatering £30 – double the value of Kew Gardens!Each locations have fabulous eating places. I solely had time to attempt the Backyard Café on the Newt (the place the meals was spectacular because the views over the gorgeous kitchen gardens and orchards beneath) however once I noticed the standard of the produce within the Hauser & Wirth restaurant kitchen, I kicked myself for not staying in Bruton longer. Its large cuts of ageing marbled beef hung in glass cupboards have been like edible artworks.How a lot?Rooms begin at £150 B&B within the forge, £160 within the townhouse, and £185 for the cottages. Costs within the restaurant have gone up because it received a Michelin star – the tasting menu is £69, three-course lunch £45.VerdictA cool lodge filled with character and historical past and what’s already a vacation spot restaurant – a profitable mixture. numberonebruton.com, osiprestaurant.comGavin McOwanBest for the bard … Baraset Barn lodge, Stratford-upon-AvonWhat’s it like? The time period “barn-like” often evokes a big, echoey, unwelcoming area, however there are some good-looking barns round, akin to this 200-year-old instance a few miles from Stratford. A restaurant for the reason that early noughties, it’s now a part of Warwickshire’s Pretty Pubs Firm and oozes barn-chic – the excessive roof and historical rafters contrasting with elegant upholstered chairs, massive mirrors and plenty of modern steel. A brand new, two-storey, 16-bedroom annexe seems to be like a barn conversion, however is a brand new constructing, proper subsequent to a discipline of sheep.Rooms all have a terrace or balcony and massive assertion headboards above beds so large we really feel we may very well be sleeping in numerous postcodes. I just like the controllable heating/aircon, and the sensible spacious rest room, with white subway tiles, matt black fittings and a walk-in bathe sufficiently big to sleep in. The “honesty fridge” has wine, beer and prosecco, and somewhat bottle of recent milk in your tea.What about breakfast and dinner?The continental breakfast included within the room charge affords first rate granolas, fruit compotes, yoghurt, pastries and toast, plus common tea and low. Extras akin to barista coffees, doorstep bacon or sausage sandwiches, smoked salmon and scrambled egg and so on, ramp up the associated fee significantly.Within the night, we forgo a drink (cocktails from £6.95) within the conservatory bar and minimize straight to dinner. The Barn serves trendy European delicacies, and I respect the kind of “trendy” that features veggie starters and mains I’d select even when I weren’t avoiding meat. Pea, edamame and mint fritters (£8.95) are pepped up by harissa and blobs of labneh, and prettified by tiny rolls of charred yellow courgette. In a pasta particular of tortelloni (£14.95), the candy pumpkin filling is offset by intense confit tomatoes and crisp fried sage leaves. For carnivores there are steaks from close by Herefordshire, and complex twists on traditional lamb, duck and hen dishes. On a chilly night time the selection of sizzling puddings – sticky toffee, panettone bread and butter, crumble – is tempting, however we solely have room for a shared cheese board, which incorporates Welsh Perl Wen and Bosworth Ash. It’s value making time for Sunday lunch at canalside sister pub the Boot Inn, a number of miles away in Lapworth, proper on Warwickshire’s well-known flight of 12 locks. Its roasts go down properly after you’ve tramped a number of miles of fairly towpath. The lodge restaurantWhat’s on the doorstep?Stratford and its Shakespeare points of interest is simply over two miles away – a half-hourly bus (no 15) runs till after 11pm Mon-Sat. This summer time sees productions within the new riverside Backyard Theatre (from 13 July). Opening dates for different points of interest range: Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall from 28 June, Shakespeare’s birthplace from 1 August.The Barn is on the sting of the affluent village of Alveston, as soon as residence to JB Priestley, on a bend within the Avon with picnic tables by the river. Warwick is about 9 miles within the different course and served by the identical bus, which additionally runs near the Nationwide Belief’s Charlecote Park (gardens, deer park, plant store and cafe just for now, home opening tbc, advance reserving solely).How a lot? Doubles from £120 B&B.VerdictA journey to Shakespeare nation typically means staying someplace half-timbered and Tudor-feeling, however the Barn affords an escape from the coach excursions and Bard groupies, whereas nonetheless being helpful for all of the tradition. barasetbarn.co.ukLiz BoulterBest for an reasonably priced London weekend … Stow-Away, WaterlooWhat’s it like?An attention grabbing apart-hotel produced from a stack of 25 transport containers – 5 huge by 5 excessive – on a quiet road behind Waterloo station. Stow-Away bucks the pattern amongst apart-hotels to foster a sociable, artistic vibe: right here there’s no reception or communal area. You obtain the app and obtain a code in your cellphone to entry your room by way of out of doors steel stairs and gangways from which there are views over the railway and London Eye past. The lodging is compact – the mattress fills the width of the room – however home windows have been minimize into the street-facing finish of the containers so there’s no sense of claustrophobia. And so they’ve squeezed in a miniature kitchen space with microwave, fridge, small hob and sink, plus a toilet.What about breakfast and dinner?Breakfast shouldn’t be supplied however there are cafes on Decrease Marsh Avenue, together with 4 Corners cafe. The bottom-floor restaurant is run by Unwined, a wine bar and store that started off in Tooting Market in 2015. Pre-Covid, resident cooks have been hosted for 3 month-stints, with Saturday night time pop-ups to showcase less-established cooks. The night time we stayed it was Rajiv’s Kitchen – the Nepalese chef’s menu included momos (dumplings), thalis and scrumptious coconut panna cotta. The residencies and pop-ups are on maintain for the time being. For now, Klose & Soan are offering the meals, providing a Mediterranean impressed menu – a white bean dip for instance, adopted by squid ink tagliatelle with Cornish crab.Unwined’s ethos is to shine a lightweight on lesser-known areas and winemakers so its wine checklist has uncommon picks, akin to Chateau Mercian, a dry-white from Japan, and a Turkish merlot. Workers are wine specialists and may information diners by way of the checklist, and all wines are on sale (minus the £15 restaurant mark-up). It hopes to renew its weekly tastings from late summer time. Self-containered … Stow-Away in WaterlooWhat’s on the doorstep?Stow-Away is on Decrease Marsh Avenue, which has been residence to a road market for the reason that mid-Nineteenth century. There are nonetheless meals stalls right here Monday-Friday. Flip overlooked of the lodge and also you’ll come to The Vaults, another arts venue in railway arches underneath Waterloo station. After months of closure, a brand new socially-distanced present is opening on 18 Could (till 30 Could). Dante’s In-Furlough is an interactive efficiency that invitations the viewers to lie, sin and cheat their solution to see the satan get hitched.Behind Stow-Away is the Home of Vans skateboarding and occasions venue, which my son (then 10) thought was cool. Proceed up Decrease Marsh Avenue and also you hit the Outdated Vic theatre – which introduced its Again Collectively summer time season this week, together with Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter starring Daniel Mays and David Thewlis (July 7-10). Flip proper out of the lodge and it’s a 10-minute stroll to the Imperial Warfare Museum, reopening on 19 Could, with expanded second phrase battle and Holocaust galleries. It’s additionally a 10-minute stroll by way of the Leake Avenue graffiti tunnel, based by Banksy, to the river the place the South Financial institution will probably be working its Summer season Reunion programme of occasions over the summer time.How a lot?£99 an evening.Worth for cash?Sure. The worth displays the actual fact thatit’s good base, slightly than a pampering lodge expertise.VerdictNot one if you need buying and sightseeing on the doorstep (although you’ll be able to stroll or hop on a bus to Covent Backyard and the West Finish) however a very good choice if you happen to search one thing barely edgier with out the hipster overload of east London. stow-away.co.ukIsabel ChoatBest for coastal walks … The Ship Inn, Dunwich, SuffolkWhat’s it like?In medieval occasions Dunwich was an necessary port virtually as massive as London. That was earlier than its harbour, pubs, church buildings and fantastic retailers’ homes have been step by step washed away by North Sea storms. Now only one principal road, one church and a ruined monastery survive. However on the japanese finish of that road, a stone’s throw from the lengthy shingle seashore, stands the Ship, in a low, Seventeenth-century redbrick constructing, with decorative iron home windows that glow invitingly as you method after a stroll on scenic Dunwich Heath. It has been an inn for the reason that early 1800s and tales abound of smugglers, secret passages and a “gray girl” who walks by way of partitions on the attic flooring.It’s no grim relic, although: the Chestnut Group added it to its small East Anglian chain in 2019 and refurbished all through. And whereas downstairs nonetheless appears like a historic pub – red-tiled flooring, log fireplace, built-in picket benches, a great deal of canines – the bedrooms have gone from fundamental to cosy. The cream and pale taupe color scheme will win no design prizes, however serene slightly than startling can generally work higher. We have now a double brass bedstead (there are kings within the handful of “greatest” rooms and suites), a shiny new rest room with punchy bathe, a press release enamel kettle, and – ooh! – a small decanter of sherry. Rooms on the entrance have views of the ocean and marshes that may be loved in consolation due to secondary glazing on these fairly interval home windows.What about breakfast and dinner?We spend the late afternoon by the hearth within the bar, however select to maneuver to the conservatory to order from the brief menu of polished pub classics. The signature snack is home made scotch eggs in three varieties: pork and black pudding, smoked salmon and horseradish, and spicy bean. The eggs all include a poky relish for distinction – sharp pickled cucumbers within the case of my salmon one.Principal course parts are large. These of small and even regular appetites ought to in all probability order a toddler’s roast dinner to keep away from being confronted with a pile of meals that it’s arduous to even make a dent in. It’s a disgrace because the meals is scrumptious: tasty free vary pork from close by Blythburgh, a great deal of crackling, 5 greens plus roasties, mash and a yorkshire pudding greater than a child’s head. Husband can often be relied on to assist out with giant parts, however his beneficiant fish pie leaves him hors de fight. I can’t convey myself to order treacle tart or mincemeat crumble after my sorry principal course effort.Breakfast is on the entrance of the pub, in smaller rooms lined with early Twentieth-century images exhibiting a long-gone cliff path, and the gradual swallowing of All Saints Church by the foamy brine. A number of decisions past full English – omelette for me, kippers for him – after glorious yoghurt with berries.Bed room at The ShipWhat’s on the doorstep?The massive, Nationwide Belief-owned seashore, primarily. An ideal five-mile spherical journey stroll heads south alongside the shingle (if the tide is out, you’ll be able to stroll on the firmer sand) to the NT Coastguard Cottages (store and tearoom open until 5pm, 3pm in winter) then again throughout pretty Dunwich Heath, with sea views from its heathery expanses. Well-liked Walberswick lies a number of miles within the different course. The idyllic seaside city of Southwold is a six-mile stroll, however there’s no bus again so it requires stamina and loads of daylight. The museum a number of doorways up from the Ship is reopening on 17 Could, telling the story of the vanished medieval port.How a lot?Doubles from £115 B&B, fancier rooms with sea views as much as £215 an evening. Two-course dinner from £20.VerdictA welcoming and (principally) reasonably priced bolthole for seaside lovers. shipatdunwich.co.ukLBBest for a historical past lesson … New Lanark Mill Lodge, LanarkshireWhat’s it like?The lodge is a part of New Lanark, a former cotton mill and mannequin village, and a Unesco world heritage website since 2001. This yr is the 250th anniversary of the start of Welshman Robert Owen, a pioneering social reformer who purchased New Lanark in 1799. After taking it over, he started reworking it into a spot that, by the requirements of its day, was one thing approaching a socialist utopia in comparison with the “darkish satanic mills” that plagued Britain on the time.Within the former Mill No 1, the lodge has purchased into Owen’s no-nonsense ethos with an inside that has a utilitarian really feel. My room was one in all two suites (whose existence is, admittedly, considerably lower than egalitarian). This afforded me area, a view of a number of village buildings, and a sofa on which to sprawl and lookup on the intriguing corrugated metalwork within the ceiling – as soon as a part of the mill.On a smaller scale, there are self-catering flats and the Wee Row hostel (re-opening 2022), a bit of transformed terrace. All the latter’s 18 rooms have a river view and, reflecting the bijou nature of the mill staff’ housing, the biggest ones sleep simply 4, so there are not any dorms.What about breakfast and dinner? Breakfast within the lodge restaurant proved as tasty because it was ingenious. If there have been a nation whose staple morning refection was chickpea pancake with hummus and salsa I’d be off there in a jiffy. For dinner within the Mill One restaurant I plumped for a mushroom and truffle bruschetta starter. The vegan choices of pumpkin and chickpea chilli adopted by a collection of sorbets, whereas not precisely thrilling, have been completely nice and served by very pleasant workers.The Falls of Clyde, which powered New Lanark’s mills. {Photograph}: Peter Devlin/AlamyWhat’s on the doorstep?Although the cotton mills closed in 1968, the village was saved from dereliction and at this time hosts a variety of points of interest. My go to kicked off with one of many website’s occasional son et lumière exhibits, an enjoyably arch narration of the New Lanark story. I additionally visited a photographic exhibition; joined a energetic tour of the positioning led by a knowledgable information; had a nostril round Robert Owen’s home (posh for its day because it contained “extra rooms than individuals”); and checked out what was Britain’s first infants’ college, opened in 1817. Now there’s additionally a particular interactive characteristic known as Tenement by way of Time. Set within the sole tenement block whose inside has remained untouched, the exhibition dives into the nitty-gritty of residence life skilled by the village’s residents from 1881 to 1971.After my day on website, I took a stroll upstream alongside a brief part of the 40-mile Clyde Walkway footpath. Passing by way of woodland I got here to the Falls of Clyde, that powered New Lanark’s mills. JMW Turner sketched the falls in 1834 and so they’re nonetheless a delight, tumbling down by way of the valley. CovidUnder Scotland’s roadmap, vacationer lodging opened from 26 April however the New Lanark opens on 17 Could. The swimming pool reopens on 17 Could too (classes have to be booked) however the health club and sauna are closed till July. The New Lanark customer attraction reopens on 28 Could. How a lot?Doubles from £85 B&B, suite from £135, self-catering from £115 (sleeps 4, two- night time minimal).Verdict Although not fancy, the lodge is richly rewarding within the evenings when a hush falls on the village and it slips again into the previous. newlanarkhotel.co.ukDixe WillsAll lodging was supplied by the lodges