Visit the West Country

Visit The West Country

Rebecca Williams checks out the Mouth Somerset Hotel, near Taunton.

Mount‘After a hectic week, I was delighted to find myself embarking on a child free night away with my partner at the Mount Somerset Hotel, a luxury manor house near Taunton. Set in the heart of the Quatocks and Blackdown Hills, we had a short drive along a single track to the hotel and the wait to see what was at the end of the lane was tantalising. Before long the road opened up to reveal an elegant, stately house and the stunning view of the countryside that the hotel enjoys.

Once inside, we were greeted by the hotel’s team of friendly staff who immediately made us feel at home. We were led up a sweeping staircase to our room, The Langport, which has a beautiful high ceiling and large multi paned windows framing the gardens and countryside beyond. We felt truly spoilt to be presented with a room sporting a four poster bed and an adjoining bathroom with a free standing bath, double sink and spacious shower. There are 19 luxury rooms at the Mount Somerset, some with private hot tubs, and all are decorated to the same elegant, luxurious standard, mixing modern amenities with traditional furniture and decor. All rooms enjoy the facilities and mod-cons you would expect and to help you get into relaxation mode as quickly as possible.

Before visiting the spa we decided to take a brisk stroll around the gardens. Wrapping up warm to protect us from the cold weather, we soaked in the impressive estate, four acres in all, and commented on how the terraced area and lawns would be the perfect venue for a wedding or other celebration.

Desperate to warm up we headed straight to the toasty, fragrant sanctuary of the Elan Spa. The intimate atmosphere is instantly relaxing and was wonderfully peaceful. We almost had all the facilities to ourselves. There are a number of experiences to enjoy including a Hydrotherapy Bath, Sauna, Steam Room, Foot Spas and Experience shower – watch out for the blast of cold water on the Tropical Rainstorm setting! Although on this occasion we didn’t partake, there are many ESPA treatments you can try for the ultimate relaxation.

After a tranquil afternoon, we headed back to our room to change for dinner. We had built up quite an appetite by this time and were looking forward to dining in the 3 AA Rosette restaurant. Before being seated in the dining room we were well looked after with complimentary olives and nuts to accompany our drinks, to keep our hunger at bay, in the cosy and relaxed bar.

The dining room at the Mount Somerset is another extremely elegant room, and we were excited to get seated and sample the delights from the kitchen. The Head Chef Mark Potts has described his cooking as honest food, using fresh, seasonal ingredients and cooking them to bring out the very best of their intrinsic flavour. I started with Roasted Parsnip Soup, which was delightfully sweet and the other side of the tabled opted for the Quails Leg & Breast, which was a twist on a full English breakfast. For main I enjoyed a beetroot tarte tatin which was delicately presented like a rose and my partner a beautiful fillet of venison which melted in the mouth. Pudding was the star of the show: Chocolate delice and Lemon Cheesecake to die for.

With full, contented bellies we headed back to the bar to settle by the open log fire to finish our bottle of red and enjoy the lovely warm ambience.

MountAfter a comfortable night’s sleep in the large four poster, the following morning we were back in the dining room awaiting breakfast. Pastries, fruits and fresh cooked options, even after our indulgent meal the night before, were too tempting to resist. With breakfast finished our time at Mount Somerset had sadly come to an end. We had a wonderful and relaxing stay and cannot fault the attentiveness of the staff, who made us feel at home from the minute we walked through the door. We can’t wait to return…

Rebecca Williams was hosted by The Mount Somerset, part of the Eden Hotel Collection. Stay overnight from £129 per room (two sharing), including full English breakfast and access to the spa. Find out more by visiting their website

There are plenty of other places to visit in the UK. We have magazines in other areas that can help you plan your visits. If you’re heading somewhere different on your travels, click on the link to see the corresponding websites.