Backwell House is just 15 minutes’ drive from Bristol and 10 minutes’ drive from the airport, although on arrival you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the depths of the Somerset countryside! This boutique hotel takes in vistas of rolling green hills and big skies, looking every bit as majestic as it no doubt was when it was first built in 1817 as a family home. There are nine individually designed bedrooms, some with roll-top baths taking pride of place in the centre of the space, and all with an interesting mix of modern upcycled touches and antique furniture.
Guests can enjoy a drink in the bar before moving into the comfortable lounge. There is also a cinema room downstairs – perfect for groups of friends looking for a chilled weekend. When the weather is good, we also recommend a wander through the beautiful rose garden at the rear.
Backwell House has also recently opened a 40-cover restaurant, serving locally sourced seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday, plus lunch on Sundays. Head chef Ross Hunter has excellent credentials, having cooked at a number of fine-dining places around the South West, including Bristol’s Michelin-starred Pony & Trap. When we ate at Backwell House, the food was delicious and beautifully presented. This is very pretty, fine-dining style food.
Despite being a big old property, Backwell House has green credentials. It runs on a biomass boiler and has beehives in the gardens. The kitchen team grow vegetables and herbs on site and many renovations were completed using recycled bits from elsewhere in the house. The bar, for example, was made from floorboards salvaged from the old kitchen.
Whether you’re planning a visit to Bristol or just want a luxurious weekend break, Backwell House ticks all the boxes. Step aside Downton, Backwell House has Georgian ‘English country house’ charm by the bucket load. We loved it and will be returning soon! It would also make a fabulous wedding venue.
By Alex Ryder, Bristol editor
Premium member offer:
SAVE UP TO £38 OVER THE STANDARD PRICE
Dinner, bed and breakfast for two (three-course dinner with a bottle of wine and a night in a Superior Double Room): £295. Quote ‘Great Food Club Premium Offer’ when booking and show your red membership card on arrival. Book on 0117 325 1110.