Babington House

Charity Lane
BA11 3RW

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What's the vibe?

A trip to Babington makes you ask the important questions in life. Like, why don’t all bathrobes have hoods, why don’t I have a sofa in my bathroom, and why aren’t pastéis de nata the status quo at breakfast buffets? And while you could vacate Babington plagued by such cryptic queries, the reality is you will leave a suitably relaxed and positively swooned version of your former self.

The 33-bedroom hotel resides in a honey-hued 16th-century, Grade II-listed manor house and was one of the first ventures by Soho House, whose empire of hotels and members clubs spans several continents and many dazzling cities.

If we were to describe the hotel in two words, it would be 'square footage'. Everything is scaled up, and there is a sense that no expenses have been spared, from the super-king beds, double-door showers, and two heated infinity pools to the croquet lawn, lake and walled garden. Each nook of the house is dressed in a soft blush palette and filled with squidgy mid-century sofas, fringed lampshades and ikat cushions. The service is infallible, and the wellness facilities are sumptuous. In summary, Babington House is the kind of place that sweats the small stuff, and don’t just take our word for it – the hotel has a 2,000-strong waiting list.

With Babington’s unwavering popularity, it’s easy to forget that at its inception in 1998, the head honcho of Soho House, Nick Jones, was actually doing something pretty revolutionary. It was one of the first of its kind to redefine country house hospitality from stiff, frumpy chintz to something playful, effortlessly stylish and ostentatiously romantic. Perhaps Jones is not given enough credit for making holidaying in Somerset pretty darn cool.

The food and drink

A garden-to-table ethos underpins the nosh at Babington, where all produce comes from the house’s Walled Garden or the surrounding area, capitalising on the glut of superb produce the South West flaunts. There is a conscious effort to eat locally, seasonally and sustainably here, and you can taste it.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Orangery, dishing up British food with Mediterranean influence, while complimentary afternoon tea is served at 3pm every day in the Deli Bar, which features a gluttonous spread of choux buns, fudgy brownies, flakey scones and syrupy fruit tarts.

There’s also an all-day menu serving up crowd-pleasing numbers like jammy-yolked scotch eggs and parmesan-dusted arancini at the Deli Bar, and the Walled Garden welcomes al-fresco supper club events. This summer sees several scheduled in light of Babington's quarter-century birthday, including food by some culinary heavyweights like Michelin-starred Lyle's.

Regarding tipples, wine, beer, and cocktails are available in the Deli Bar and Orangery, not to mention the drinks tray in the bedroom kitted out with Patron tequila, Cotswolds Distillery whisky, a cocktail shaker, and a container of vermouth that’s embarrassingly easy to mistake for a perfume bottle.

What's nearby? 

With its on-site Cowshed spa, two swimming pools, gym, gardens, croquet lawn, football pitches and tennis courts, leaving the bosom of Babington proves difficult. However, if you choose to venture out, the bohemian market town of Frome is just six miles away, and the historically rich city of Bath is 12 miles away.

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