As much as I love the hustle and bustle of London, my job and my home in the busy North of the city, I’m a firm believer in a work/life balance. Being from a village in South Wales, growing up I was surrounded by families, grass and yes – even trees! Believe me, when you’ve lived in London for seven years, concrete and glass buildings in lieu of actual shrubbery becomes a familiar habitat so I take any chance I can to get away from it all and immerse myself in a natural environment.
The other week I visited beautiful Somerset; a rural county of rolling hills and that delicious, delicate Autumn smell in the air. Leaving my Jimmy Choo’s at home and opting for jeans, jumper and flats, I couldn’t wait to head down for a weekend of chill,. There’s shopping in the fantastic outlets (more on that Mulberry outlet encounter later) and what I was most looking forward to, the food at the hotel.
Ston Easton is a grand, historical, four red-star country house hotel in Somerset, nestled in 36 acres of stunning West Country parkland. The luxury hotel boasts remarkable scenery, friendly staff, great service and rooms filled with beautiful antiques. Oh, and it’s also listed in the ‘1000 places to see before you die’. No biggie.
Climbing the stairs stopping at every moment to admire the impressive art that adorned the walls which dated back to an era of decadence) we got to ‘The Terrace’ room. It was a feast for any fashionista with its romantic decorations (my favourite greys and whites) and lots of opulent statues and ornaments. It dripped sophistication with a huge bathroom, TV area and bed. I couldn’t wait to kick off my shoes, top and baggy culottes and plunge into the huge cosy white robe.
After a quick change, we headed down for dinner. I’d heard lots of amazing things about Head Chef, Daniel Moon so I couldn’t wait to get to the table. The menu explains the use of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and what’s great is that Chef Daniel works closely with local suppliers (something I’m a huge advocate of) and surprisingly even works with the hotel’s gardening team to find produce.
Reading through the menu made my stomach rumble. Everything described was so mouthwatering and exquisite. After much deliberation and a tasty goats cheese amuse bouche with baked bread that could rival Gaucho, I opted for the salmon to start. For second course, the beef. Obviously I wasn’t going to pass up dessert so everything was finished off with a sumptuous cheese board, washed down with a flavoursome Malbec.
To say this was the best beef I had ever tasted would be an understatement. The flavours were well combined, the beef cooked not too rare not too medium and the quantity enough to be pleasurable rather than giving that stuffy full feeling you can sometimes get with beef. It’s no surprise then that I’ll be nominating them in this years 2016 Good Food Guide Awards.
Waking up the next day, I couldn’t wait to step on to the balcony and breathe in the alluring Autumn air and take in the landscape view. Here’s where I found the inspiration to write my ‘happy’ post (see here).
For breakfast I opted for the salmon and eggs with coffee, enough to fill me up for my walk around the grounds and then some serious shopping in the Mulberry outlet and the shopping village. By the way, I found the most amazing white jumpsuit at Mulberry – corseted at the top, strapless, with wide leg culottes. It was £1,200 reduced to £195. There was just a size 8 left so after painfully trying to squeeze it past my chest, it broke. Oops.
One thing’s for sure, I cannot wait to revisit Ston Easton. Despite having left, I can still get my fill of all things food on their website. Their ‘chef’s pantry’ page is wonderful and even allows you to download recipes!
Fancy booking yourself a little get away to foodie heaven? Click here to book a room at Ston Easton. Current prices for this season are around £150 per night. There’s lots of things to do in the area too and Bath is only around the corner.
Have you been to Ston Easton? What are your thoughts?x