White painted and early Georgian, with a Victorian addition, a huge cedar on the lawn in the glorious garden and surrounded by fields where ponies graze, Little Barwick House is a quiet delight. It’s one of those highly accomplished yet soothing, unpretentious small hotels, where stress levels fall back to zero and tired guests, once installed by the fire, perhaps with a G&T and the prospect of a bottle of Givry with dinner, are comforted, mollified and altogether pepped up. Tim Ford’s uncomplicated, highly enjoyable, locally renowned cooking (perhaps saddle of wild roe deer or Cornish red mullet with saffron sauce) is at the heart of the operation, matched by his wife Emma’s superb wine list, helpfully divided by taste. Their enjoyment in what they do, and ease with which they do it, generates the calm, contented atmosphere. Friendly helpers wear their own clothes, aiding the feeling of being in a private, if beautifully orchestrated, home and the bedrooms are similarly domesticated and tranquil, with deliciously comfortable beds.
Must visit places include Sculpture by The Lakes sculpture park, Mapperton House and Minterne Gardens.
In the restaurant of course; delicious classically prepared food made from first class ingredients, many of which are locally sourced.
Pop into Sherborne; a gem of a town crammed with lots of independent shops.