When you have a puppy, breaks away can be a little challenging…..so when I heard that luxury four-star Palladian mansion hotel, Ston Easton Park, in Somerset was super dog-friendly we were keen to visit.
We thought it would make a lovely get away for Mr B’s birthday and put it in the diary. Luxurious it certainly is, and deliciously grand in the way that only English Country houses can be.
Arriving by car you first drive through the wrought iron gate and down a sweeping drive. Nestled in 36 acres of West Country Parkland, the mansion is both opulent and decadent without being cold and prim. Original antiques, sumptuous fabrics and dangling chandeliers exude a warm welcome; indeed Oscar the resident Cocker Spaniel was ready to greet us at the door.
Our State Room, one of four in the hotel combined a four poster bed and seating area. It was adorned with antiques and grey fabrics which Mr B particularly approved of. Used to being allocated a dog-friendly room on the ground floor, I was very excited to have one of the best rooms in the hotel, but. Oh goodness! Would Blue behave? The room was provided with dog bowls and food, I hoped for no mishaps.
We arrived in time for afternoon tea which was talking place in The Saloon. This grand drawing-room was filled with other guests and day visitors all taking tea and making polite conversation. Again Blue was allowed into this traditional piece of charming English history. We took Cream Tea; pups gave lip smacking approval of the clotted cream and jam scones, as did Mr B.
Time to explore, the parkland surrounding the house was designed by famous 18th Century Landscape Architect Humphry Repton. The grounds play host to the most beautiful trees and plants which meander around the river. Oscar joined us for the walk, which turned into a game of hide and seek for Blue and Oscar, around the walled kitchen garden, Mr B also found a grey tractor. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more.
Although dogs are allowed into the majority of the hotel they are quite rightly not allowed into The Sorrell Restaurant. The choice was ours, eat in The Sorrel without Blue or have a private dinner for three in The Library, there was no choice!
With its original oak bookcases, The Library made a stunning and unusual backdrop for our 5-course taster menu. I can’t tell you in words just how amazing this fine dining experience turned out to be. Amuse bouche of Asparagus and Quails Egg, a starter of Lamb and Garlic Risotto, Lime Sorbet, the freshest Cod for main course, Chocolate Torte and Rhubarb Sorbet for dessert, followed by coffee and pettit fours. Mr B commented it was one of his best birthdays ever.
Without going on about it, day two was spent much the same, eating and drinking and floating around the grounds, in such a relaxed state we were almost zombie like.
After a mouth-watering locally sourced Full English Breakfast in the room, Mr B said he may fall into a sugar coma. He and Blue revived after a quick nap and after another walk (this time through the Wood), Oscar joined us on the terrace for lunch.
Then the strangest thing happened, Blue and Oscar had a frolic on the lawn and what looked like a kiss……Much kissing later and we figured that Oscar, that shrewd old boy (now dubbed Lord of the Manor) had enchanted our young pups, and Blue had her first Romantic dalliance!
All in all Ston Easton was a wonderful stay; not only is it everything a Classic English Country House should be but here the homely atmosphere prevails, creating an idyllic home away from home, with just the right dash of romance for dog lovers and Dog-Lovers!
Bark in the Park Package From £295
State Room From £299
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