A Charming Countryside Getaway: The Bradley Hare, Wiltshire
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A Charming Countryside Getaway: The Bradley Hare, Wiltshire

The cosiest home away from home

By Margaret Hussey | 1 month ago

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There’s nothing like a rural staycation – especially when you can bed down in a cosy innMargaret Hussey checks into The Bradley Hare.

Review: The Bradley Hare, Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire

Within minutes of arriving at The Bradley Hare, our shoes were kicked off and the kettle was on. The owners of this delightful pub with rooms in the village of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, say their aim was to create a home from home and they’ve certainly succeeded.

With squishy chairs and sofas, a mish mash of antiques and curios, plus locally sourced food, there is everything you need for a perfect weekend (or even one night’s) getaway.

The Bradley Hare’s refurbishment in 2021 was the result of a collaboration between the Duke of Somerset’s estate and James Thurstan Waterworth, former European designer at Soho House, and food and beverage entrepreneur Andrew Kelly. Their combined knowledge breathed new life into this building at the heart of the village, with the bedrooms, bar and dining areas all exquisitely done.

Bedroom with taupe and orange colour palette.

(c) Martin Morrell

There are 12 bedrooms in total: seven in the main house, where we stayed, and five in the Coach House, where dogs are welcome.  Each bedroom is unique we can vouch for that, thanks to a very cheery and generous tour by the housekeeper.

Our room was sympathetically decorated in muted shades, while embracing the original features of the Victorian building. There were crisp white cotton sheets, a beautifully upholstered fabric headboard, antique side tables and a retro telephone. Meanwhile all the 21st century amenities you need are here too, including a well stocked coffee and tea station, a smart television creatively hidden in a cupboard, and power shower with Evolve products. Not to forget the eye masks not that we needed them, as the bed was so comfy, that it was lights out when our heads hit the pillow. (Although that could have been due to the amount of food we had eaten, or the lovely feeling of tiredness after a day’s walk.)

Bathroom with freestanding bath, wooden chair and wood-framed mirror

(c) Martin Morrell

The pub is just two hours from London, not far from Longleat and Stourhead and about 40 minutes from Bath. The local picturesque towns of Bruton (with its Hauser & Wirth art gallery) and Frome (a great place to mooch around antique shops) are both nearby. The village is also in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and there are several walking trails from the inn.

Having built up an appetite, it was time to sample the local produce. We visited on a Sunday, where there was a lovely mix of locals, tourists, walkers and dogs.

Restaurant with wooden tables, mismatched armchairs and a sage green colour palette.

(c) Martin Morrell

We started with a delicious plate of beetroot, labneh, fennel and blood orange followed by the vegetarian Sunday roast. The plate was piled high with butternut squash, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, cabbage, and enough produce to satisfy any average meat eater.

With bellies full, we retreated to a seat near the log fire for a breather, before finishing off by sharing a cardamom, raspberry and white chocolate ice cream alongside a plate of local Solstice cheese with homemade crackers. The wine list is extensive and well curated, and there are lots of local beers on tap too.

The Bradley Hare works with local producers and aims to keep waste to an absolute minimum. Any excess produce is cured, pickled or fermented and bones and trimmings are made into stocks for soups and sauces. This no waste policy was apparent the next day at breakfast, when they very politely told us they had no mushrooms but we were more than happy with the substitutes of extra beans and avocado for our huge vegetarian breakfast. There’s a continental option with fresh fruits and pastries, as well as the Full English, which does what it says on the tin. A bit like The Bradley Hare itself.

Plate of bruschetta with salt and pepper shakers beside it.

(c) Martin Morrell

BOOK IT

Rooms at The Bradley Hare start from £150 per night including breakfast for a midweek stay, and from £175 per night including continental breakfast on weekends. thebradleyhare.co.uk