BACKWELL HOUSE RESTAURANT LAUNCH
The lovely folk over at Backwell House have opened a new restaurant and when they invited Practically Perfect Mums to a special event to sample the menu this summer, what else could I do but leave the boys in Daddy’s capable hands and zoom away before anyone had chance to call me back!
Relying on the trusty maps app on my phone for directions, I wound down my windows and relaxed into the sun dappled, tree-lined journey past Noah’s Arc Zoo Farm and National Trust’s beautiful Tyntesfield estate, en route to my chore and child-free evening. Wrapped up in my mildly smug reverie, I sailed straight past the hotel entrance (darn you satnav!) right into a maze of pretty country roads before eventually double-backing and arriving at my destination.
For those of you who aren’t navigationally challenged, the drive to Backwell House might take a little over twenty minutes by car from Portishead or a little under twenty minutes from Bristol.
This is the view that greeted me and within moments my detour-induced-stress evaporated.
My tasks for the evening were a tour around the hotel and grounds, followed by sampling of the restaurant’s local and seasonal menu, but first to enjoy a glass of Pimms in the early evening sunshine on that never-ending lawn.
Only six miles from the centre of Bristol, the hotel sits within our beautiful North Somerset countryside, with a vegetable and herb garden, greenhouses, chickens and its own beehives. I’d highly recommend a wander around the walled garden – it’s the perfect antidote to a stressful week!
Built in 1817, the Georgian country house has been tastefully refurbished, incorporating vintage finds into its unusual and stylish decor. There are visual treats all around. Maybe I’ve led a sheltered life but I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of washing my hands in a suitcase before, have you?
The team has used reclaimed materials wherever possible and below are a few images which show how the finished effect manages to be simultaneously fun, stylish and cosy. Have you ever seen anything quite like the eye-catching bar which Guy, the general manager, created using old floorboards recycled from the house!
Backwell House has been open as a hotel since September. All the bedrooms are different and each one is named after a former inhabitant. We only checked out ‘Grace’ and ‘Toogood’ of the nine which are currently available and I was blown away by how beautifully and uniquely they’ve been styled with antique finds and vintage bathtubs. There are another fifteen or so rooms on the cards and I look forward to seeing how those will turn out.
Room prices currently range from £95 – £245 including breakfast.
Find out more about booking a stay at Backwell House here.*
In the basement a cinema is already taking shape. They’re planning a treatment room and residents’ bar down there too.
I’m not sure if there are plans for this swimming pool but I’d like to see it in use. My boys would be in there like a shot but Backwell House feels more of an adult retreat than a family friendly facility, so we shall see.
FOOD & DRINK
Open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday lunch through to Sunday lunch, Chef Ross Hunter has created a menu that changes daily according to what’s fresh, local and seasonal. The focus is on using locally sourced organic produce with many of the ingredients either grown or reared in Backwell House’s own extensive grounds. The pork you eat here is from their own pigs. The chocolate comes from Nailsea and their pastry chef makes the macaroons in-house.
The restaurant aims to offer fine dining (their stock takes two days to make – imagine that!) but to serve their guests in a relaxed environment where they’ll feel at home.
The food we sampled was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the crab starter topped with a big nori crisp. The main course meat was melt-in-the-mouth good, although I would have liked a few more vegetables alongside the meat-heavy dish.
Not normally the biggest fan of puddings, I was completely torn between the Strawberry Cannelloni, Meringue and Cheddar Valley Strawberries, the Assiette of Chocolate and Raspberry and the good old Selection of Local Cheeses. I was pleased with my own choice, Mango Parfait, Pineapple Salsa, but I’d have been more than happy with any of the beautifully presented sweet dishes which were served.
Renovations throughout the house have been a labour of love for General Manager, Guy, his friends and family. Here in the restaurant, Guy made the dining tables from old parquet flooring and turned the legs himself. His Mother made the curtains. They’re proud of what they’ve achieved and rightly so.
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DISCLOSURE: I WAS HOSTED BY BACKWELL HOUSE FOR PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. *CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.