Location, location, location
About three-and-a-half hours down the M3 from London or a half-hour's drive from Bath. Babington House, Babington, Nr Frome, Somerset BA11 3RW (tel: 01373 812266; fax: 01373 812112; e-mail: email@example.com)
What's it like?
The rustic sister of the fashionable private-members club Soho House, this converted early-Georgian mansion retains the groovy atmosphere of its London relation; yet step out of the door and there's landscape and fresh air.
Laid-back with a soupÃ§on of intimidating trendiness. The fact that Babington House appears in a list of 100 hip hotels and that Zoe and Norman got married there had nothing to do with my determination to pay it a visit. Nothing whatsoever. As you enter the hall, other guests will look up to see if you're attractive/famous, and the good taste will wash over you like a Seabreeze.
Confident, unpretentious and friendly.
Our room in the Coach House had wooden floors, leather armchairs, a massive white duvet, a widescreen TV and DVD-player and a sound system that was connected through to the enormous bathroom and shower-room. There were rows of bath oils, a phone by the loo in case you wanted to play at being an American movie mogul, and a Dualit toaster for hot toast in bed. The perfect adult pleasure-pod. Rooms from £235 for non-members on Sunday to Thursday, rising to £255 for Friday and Saturday nights. A Sunday to Thursday mid-week special deal costs £265 for non-members and includes dinner and breakfast for two.
The Med-influenced dinner menu features such starters as spiced scallops with a lentil salad, and wild mushroom tart with bÃ©arnaise sauce. Main courses include roast monkfish with fennel and saffron sauce, and quail risotto with pancetta and sage. Not wildly imaginative, but London-restaurant standard and sourced, if possible, from the Victorian walled garden. Pizza and ciabatta sandwiches at all hours in the Breakfast Room.
Not yet - only opened in 1998.
Trainer-wearing, laptop-using young professionals; resting actors (in the bar); the occasional family.
Things to do
Leave kids in the crÃ¿che and frolic in the indoor and outdoor pools; check in to the Cow Shed for a beauty treatment; play tennis; watch DVDs in bed with champagne from the minibar; reaffirm your marital vows in the 18th-century chapel.Reuse content