In the picturesque market town of Shaftesbury, The Grosvenor Arms has been an inn since medieval times, originally a timber-framed staging post, given a handsome facelift by the Grosvenor family in Georgian times and now revitalised by the Stay Original group. Like its sister hotel, The Swan at Wedmore (see page 00), it is at the heart of its community, relaxed and buzzy, more ‘restaurant-with-rooms’ than hotel. Downstairs, it has a country-chic dining room, convivial panelled bar and airy conservatory. In summer the courtyard is a sunny, romantic spot for eating and drinking. Dishes from executive chef Tom Blake’s kitchen are simple but inventive: try his signature slow-cooked shoulder of pork or one of the excellent wood-fired thin-crust pizzas. The 16 bedrooms are smart and stylish with large beds, top-quality linen and extras including Tassimo coffee machines. For those that can’t be without their beloved pooch, dogs are welcome in all the rooms. Doubles from £90.
Name to Know: General manager Elly Alexander, who is also a cocktail expert. Ask her for a personal recommendation.
See: Shaftesbury Abbey, founded by King Alfred c.888. Visit it’s award-winning museum with a magical walled garden.
Eat: Cornish hake with samphire, sorrel and harissa, delivered daily from family company Samways in Bridport.
Buy: A gorgeous gift from one of Shaftesbury’s many independent boutiques.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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