Name: The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa
Location: United Kingdom
The historic Mount in Somerset is a country house hotel with 3 Rosette dining, ESPA spa and the prettiest views over the English countryside.
Situated on the side of a hill and built in 1805, the original owners of this stately manor house clearly selected this idyllic location for the views over the rolling hills and green fields. Today this country house, which is surrounded by manicured lawns and gardens, offers those same far-reaching views over the Vale of Taunton and many fluffy sheep!
You arrive by driving up a narrow country lane. As you climb the hill the imposing cream-coloured mansion that is The Mount comes into view. Outside there is plenty of parking, terraces, a darling pond and vine covered pergolas, framing pathways through the gardens.
Inside, The Mount has bucket loads of period character. A pretty octagonal hall leads through to a sweeping staircase that rises above the reception area. Drinks are served in the bar/lounge area off to your right and you will find an impressive ESPA spa to your left. Upstairs, all the rooms offer views of the countryside, and have the feel of a cosy country escape.
We stayed in Barrington which was one of the largest rooms in the hotel with a massive and comfy bed. Blue walls and gold hued curtains framed an enormous bay window, which looked out over the fields and gardens. In the evening, you could see Taunton twinkling in the distance. Inside, a mix of country furnishings (a large sofa, window seats, a coffee table and numerous drawers and wardrobes) gave the room the feeling of staying at a rather wealthy relatives house. The bathroom was modern, immaculate and huge, with a his-and-hers double shower, Victorian-style bath and the same immense country vista from the large window. Thoughtful little touches included an extra heater in our room in case we felt the cold (thanks to the heater the room was gorgeously toasty), hand cooked fresh biscuits, sweets and fruit along with tea and coffee making facilities. Also, because the hotel spa is ESPA, the toiletries in the bathroom were ESPA which I like.
The bar was busy throughout our weekend stay. During the day, it seemed popular with locals taking advantage of generous afternoon teas. At night, it attracted guests with 2 roaring fires, a piano and plenty of plush sofas to melt into. Much of the bar was located at the front of the house, so the views out of the long sash windows, were once again across the lawns and countryside beyond. In the summer, you can drink under the stars on the terrace.
Having just achieved a 3rd Rosette, we were excited to try the hotel restaurant and it did not disappoint. The formal dining room was the setting for our meal. The room was decorated with a huge crystal chandelier and gilt-framed mirrors. The food offerings were equally impressive. We chose the “Du Jour” menu which was £35 for three courses (there was also an à la carte menu if you prefer). Amuse bouche started with bread-crumbed whitebait and a cup of creamy green; which sounds odd but was also utterly delicious. Starters were pork lasagne and smoked salmon with beetroot and the choice of main was a chicken or hake dish. Dessert was a sweet cinnamon apple delight. The whole thing was delicious and I appreciated the staff being extra-specially friendly with my son – they had him in fits of giggles and clearly cared about the restaurant and the food they were serving.
Breakfast was also excellent, with a buffet of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, pastries and lots of appetising fruit, as well as lots of egg options including full English breakfast and apple and cinnamon scotch pancakes.
The Mounts is just under a 10-minute drive from Junction 25 of the M5, so it’s a convenient stopover if you’re heading down to Devon or Cornwall.
Winter break prices currently start at £209 for one night in a Deluxe Room, a 3 course Du Jour dinner, a glass of Winter Pimm’s, full English breakfast & use of the Spa facilities. In my opinion, this is exceptional value for such a lovely boutique rural retreat.
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