Saturday 1 July 2017

Backwell House, A Bristol Retreat

With a short drive out of Bristol on the A370, you'll find the little village of Backwell. Hidden by a roadside boundary hedgerow, lies this absolutely stunning 19th century, Backwell House.

Arriving on a particularly hot summer evening, what more could I ask for than a welcome glass of Pimms to enjoy as I took in the beautiful sights of the surrounding countryside. Every now and then, I completely forgot I was just 15 minutes outside of Bristol city centre! Raised above the road, no traffic noise could be heard or seen, adding to the feeling of being tranquil and remote. Bliss! 

A group of us bloggers were shown through in to the house, first taking in the cosy lounge area with plump leather sofas and a log fire. Everything about this room was cosy and snug and screamed dark winter nights in front of the fire. Yet being summer, it still felt light and captured a wonderful amount of sun through its large windows. Through here, we were led through to the impressive bar. Handmade from reclaimed flooring by Guy Williams, the hotels manager. Just one of several projects taken on by Guy and his friends and family who have all pitched in to turn what was once an almost derelict home in to the stunning guest house it is today. 

We were then taken for a look around a couple of the suites. Backwell House currently has 9 rooms, ranging from £95-£245 a night and include breakfast. My favourite by far was 'Toogood' with bedheads made from reclaimed floorboards, huge basin sinks and a freestanding roll top bath overlooking the walled gardens. Every room has its own charm, with handmade furnishings, Bakerlight phones and industrial fittings. 

We returned downstairs and toured the stunning walled gardens. With a growing house, rose gardens, vegetable patches, free range chickens and floral drenched archways, I was in love! There was also an old swimming pool which we were told will be refurbished and roofed so it can be enjoyed in all weathers. Backwell House prides itself on being as self sufficient as possible. With their own cattle at the rear of the property, you couldn't get more locally sourced meat! 

Within the basement of Backwell House was a home cinema room, and there are current ongoing works to turn empty rooms in to a day spa. There are also plans to turn the unused outbuildings in to more bedrooms taking the occupancy from 9 to 25 rooms. 

I just loved the feature walls in the basement toilets that were decorated with 100 year old receipts! They were discovered behind a fireplace, intended for kindling. What a find!

We were seated for our evening meal in the front dining room, with views of the sun setting over countryside. The tables, again, handcrafted from reclaimed timber that was in the property. 
Chef Ross Hunter strives to create simple yet creative British dishes with his signiture twist and did not dissapoint! 

Starters; Brixham Crab, apple, beetroot and nori seaweed

Mains; 60 day aged Hereford sirloin, ox cheek, alliums, oyster mushrooms 

Dessert; Strawberry Cannelloni, meringue, Cheddar Valley strawberries

Dinner was finished with coffees and Petit fours. I found the food superb and extremely reasonable price wise, with 2 courses for £29 or 3 courses for £35. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday evening. Sunday lunch is also available and a review will follow.

Backwell House is also available for weddings and events. 

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