Beechfield House, Wiltshire: A Beautifully British Country Escape
I recently had the good fortune to be staying at the lovely Beechfield House near Bath, on a dazzlingly gorgeous summer weekend. (We don’t get these too often in the UK, so just indulge me for a bit on this one). Having booked a hotel for a weekend getaway with a heated outdoor pool, I’d crossed numerous body parts hoping for blue skies, and I wasn’t disappointed.
A stunning country house dating back to 1878, Beechfield has been carefully converted into a lovely rural retreat, complete with 8 acres of gardens and grounds, a sunny patio area and fountain, and – of course – that pool. Open early for a pre-breakfast swim until late at night, it’s positioned in a sunny walled garden and surrounded with colourful flowers and foliage. I don’t often plan a trip away with the sole focus being on the hotel (I have a bad habit of trying to cram in as many activities as possible), but chilling by the pool for a lazy couple of days was supremely relaxing.
There are plenty of other outdoor spots to enjoy as well – quintessentially English deckchairs pop up in various places in the grounds – and it’s a short stroll from the pool to the terrace where food and drinks are served, including a sumptuous Afternoon Tea. Many of the ingredients for food on the menu are home grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden, and there are plans afoot to develop an orchard. If something ever so slightly more energetic is necessary to rouse you from all the relaxation then there is also a croquet lawn – just in case you weren’t thoroughly in ‘English Country Garden’ mode already.
Rooms are on offer either in the main house or in the converted coach house, which runs alongside the pool in case you wanted easy access straight from your bedroom door. The largest rooms in the main house feature four-poster beds and beautiful views over the gardens, although the smaller rooms in the coach house are still on the roomy side.
Plush fabrics and smart decorations create a comfortable atmosphere, although a thing or two could be learnt from The Bay Tree in terms of pillow quality! On the plus side, the bed itself was huge and comfy, bathrooms are large and modern, and I *think* this may be the first hotel room I’ve stayed in with an actual radio (and a rather smart one too), which was a nice touch.
There are plenty of other spaces to relax indoors if the weather turns against you, and an array of the house’s original sitting rooms have been turned into cosy communal spaces with large armchairs, fireplaces and other lovely original features. Stacks of books and boardgames are also on hand for inside entertainment, and the house would make a lovely winter retreat on a snowy day.
Breakfast (included) is served in a few different areas (presumably several of the house’s original dining rooms) and is a high-quality affair. As someone who takes breakfast very seriously, I was absolutely stuffed and very satisfied by the end. A buffet table filled with the usual pastries and cereals also featured large bowls of poached fresh fruits, which were absolutely delicious. Fresh fruits offered with breakfast often look decidedly like they’ve come from a tin, but the pears, apricots and prunes steeped in plenty of juice and syrup were divine spooned over muesli and fresh youghurts. Hot food was also available from a menu, with choices ranging from the traditional cooked breakfast (full marks for the delicious sausages) to French bread covered in cinnamon sugar. Next time a sunny weekend is forecast, I know where I’ll be heading!
Disclaimer: I was a paying guest at Beechfield House, and my opinions are my own.
Beechfield House Hotel, Beanacre, Wiltshire, SN12 7PU