Based in the picturesque town of Sherbourne, The Eastbury exudes old school charm, from the vintage car parked outside the front door; to the aesthetic variety of the rooms that make up the main body of the hotel.
Considering it was in the midst of being renovated (recently it has been purchased by the owner of The Cary Arms) this did not interrupt our stay, if anything it made us more curious to see what was next. Dominie general manager gave us a wonderful insight on the exciting changes to come.
After checking we were shown to our suite. Freshly refurbished, the two rooms had the perfect balance of traditional touches with contemporary cool; the welcoming touch was a tray of home made cookies and sloe gin.
The beds were decked with overstuffed pillows, immaculate white duvets and soft check throws. The suite we had was made of two bedrooms a hall way and a beautiful bathroom, all a fair size over looking the gardens, and when we looked back on our part of the hotel; crowned with a gold coloured larger than life eagle ( I loved the original art that was dotted around the building, such a lovely change from the corporate hotels and their standard bland prints).
We arrived late afternoon, changed and had a drink in the newly refurbished bar ( note: the Instagram friendly touches, from the leopard print carpets to the contemporary art from the owner’s private collection.
Our pre-dinner cocktails were delicious, just as the hotel is a contemporary take on the traditional, so is the food and drink.
Our tasting menu by Richard Townsend was six courses of seasonal perfection, even the freshly baked bread was accompanied by a perfectly formed ‘cherry tomato’ made of butter added to the aesthetics of the plate.
We found it difficult to find our favourite course. From the refreshing crab with a hint of fire via the wasabi pearls to the crispy sweet and salty smooth cheese brulee (yes, there is such a thing, please just go to the restaurant alone for that!) , each plate balances the previous course. We chose not to have a wine flight, instead sparkling water between each course. That was until the lamb was served. Our waiter Sam suggested this was accompanied by an espresso martini. Don’t judge me on this, but it was a great combination that that something floral or lighter would not have worked, I know it’s not the done thing, but please try it….
We sat down to a 7pm dinner and finished our meal just after 10pm. This is actually well timed as you don’t feel massively stuffed. After our meal we had post dinner drinks and hand made chocolates with Richard as he talked us through the menu and his ideas behind it.
We had an early night and with the intentions of a morning run we planned on a light breakfast. As we sat down our morning plans changed, the rain fell steadily outside so our attention switched to a full breakfast and a lazy morning of emails and blogging from our suite.
Later Dominee the general manager kindly gave us a guided tour and talked us through the updated plans for a spa, and the conversion of potting sheds to accommodation and the addition of the quirky technological updates we’d loved when we went to the sister hotel in Babacombe Bay.
To conclude, this is such a lovely country retreat, with friendly welcoming staff it can only get better with the new additions!