Eat. Drink. Sleep. At The Litton
A suit of armour in the bar, a camel on the wall, swans on the bed – expect the unexpected at Somerset's Best Destination Pub (as voted for by you)
Expectations were running high when Annie from Team Muddy Somerset arrived for dinner and a sleepover at The Litton, near Wells: the revamped coaching inn was voted the Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2018. Would it live up to its reputation?
Once inside the ancient doorway (you need to duck) and past the armoured Knight, the interconnecting rooms and separate bars open out into a cavernous dining space flanked by outside terraces with fire pits.
The décor is bright and modern with hanging glass pendant lights, Scandinavian furs and antlers, creating a hygge vibe mixed in with the traditional scrubbed wood and flagstone floors. Plenty of corners to cosy up on vintage leather sofas by wood-burning stoves while you peruse the eclectic menu.
Took these pix before anyone arrived but soon it was abuzz with Friday night revellers and attentive mic’d-up staff – more like central Bristol than a small village outside Wells.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
For starters: scallops with spiced parsnip puree, bacon and apple which was really sensational; and Piggy Benedict – an interesting take on Eggs Benedict with ale-braised hock and pickled radish.
To follow: Tandoori monkfish with lentil dahl, onion and courgette pakora which was well spiced and plentiful; and a hearty portion of Roast Exmoor venison, red cabbage and sweet potato puree.
All washed down with a good bottle of Picpoul recommended by our friendly and knowledgeable waiter. All around, groups of happy diners tucked into the usual pub classics of towering burgers, steaks or beer-battered cod with triple fried chunky chips. To finish, we shared the only-very-slightly salted chocolate tart and affogato al caffe with a glass of desert wine. Smiles all round.
AND SO TO BED
This loved up pair were waiting for us in our room, one of 12 boutique bedrooms. Impressive towel art, eh? ‘Chew’ (named after the river which runs through the pub garden), was tucked away, peacefully, around the back of the pub. Aside from the super comfy double bed with Morroccan throw, there was an L-shaped sofa, Wifi, flat screen TV and a good-sized terrace, with views over the extensive gardens and bunting-festooned riverside dining area.
In the en suite, a good shower, fluffy white dressing gowns and slippers. Lots of thoughtful touches, like bottled water for the night, tissues, fresh milk for tea in the morning and a magnified cosmetic mirror. Oh, an unusually for a pub, there’s 24-hour room service. Bring it on…
Breakfast was a good selection of cereals, fruit and pastries, with fresh coffee and cooked breakfasts to order. Eggs Benedict and Florentine hit the spot. The atmos is convivial, as families with young children and dogs piled in for breakfast alongside the other weekend guests to be met by friendly, welcoming staff.
OUT AND ABOUT
Cycle to Wells, England’s smallest cathedral city – indy shops, cafes and the Bishops Palace Gardens – or throw on your wellies and explore the Mendip Hills, an area of outstanding beauty, on foot. Bath and Bristol are around half an hour’s drive.
Good for: Couples looking for a night or weekend away; nights out with groups of friends; and teenagers who will enjoy the buzz; single diners on business, vegans – there’s a dedicated menu – and dog owners (canines can stay in some bedrooms). Spacious enough, indoors and out, for Christmas parties or special events. Whisky lovers can work their way through 50 different versions of the waters of life. Guitar fans should come for live music on Acoustic Thursdays.
Not for: Formal diners or those who like to eat in stately silence – it can get quite noisy in the evening.
The damage: Not bad. Starters £6–9; mains: £13–18; puds: £6–10. Thursday steak night looks great value at £30 for two including a glass of wine. Double rooms start at £120 per night.
The Litton, Litton near Wells, Somerset BA3 4PW. Tel 01761 241 554.