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The Crooked Swan, Crewkerne, Somerset
This coaching inn in south Somerset has Georgian proportions and rooms dressed in wonderfully eclectic, antique finds. The local owners took two years to completely refurbish this once-tired pub. The results are remarkable and the buzzing gastropub downstairs now has eight beautiful, airy bedrooms - some with magnificent bathrooms - to complement it. The hotel attracts guests who are driving down to Cornwall or the Jurassic Coast, and who want somewhere vibrant and stylish to stay en route. The location makes a perfectly good base for Somerset's countryside, with Dorset and Devon beyond. The kitchen serves up an exciting and varied menu of top-notch gastropub fare.
The hotel offers a lively atmosphere in town, that can be combined with country walks or lazy days on the coast.
Framed by scenic beauty, the Blackdown Hills are to the west and Dorset AONB to the south.
By car: around 2 hours from Cardiff, 3 hours from London and 4 hours 15 minutes from Manchester. Parking costs £2.15 per day.
By train: trains from London Paddington to Crewkerne take 2 hours 30 minutes. The hotel is a 5-minute drive (or 20-minute walk) from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel suits people looking for an atmosphere of bonhomie, who also love high ceilings, antiques and imaginative styling. We loved the ingenuity evident in the repurposing of many of the antiques, with street lamps and palazzo cots, for example, given new homes.
Service & Facilities
The ballroom is painted a deep green; with its own bar, mismatched chairs and chandeliers, it is a special but bohemian space.
- Free Wi-Fi
Our favourite room was Room 3 (Phaeton), which has a large, beautiful bathroom with artistically tiled, twin walk-in showers, behind a crittall screen, and a curvy, freestanding bath. Many fittings and lights had a previous life as something else, yet have been lovingly reconditioned and put to use throughout the rooms.
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with Noble Isle toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The cheese board featured an excellent selection of fine local cheeses, including Bruton brie and a Glastonbury-made Twanger cheddar. We recommend the main of duck breast, succulent and perfectly cooked, with a thin, chargrilled layer of crispy skin on top.
The Crooked Swan: pub and dining room, modern British cuisine, locally sourced ingredients. Open daily for lunch, Mon-Sat for breakfast and dinner. Mains from £11.50.