10 Valentine date nights
We've come up with AA rosetted and Michelin star restaurants, gorgeous country and chic city hotels, cosy countryside pubs, cafes and a beachside retreat – but you'll have to find your own babysitter.
Here’s the Muddy guide to 10 of the best places in Somerset and Dorset to celebrate your lurve, AKA just another excuse to fill yourselves with loads of good food and wine and do other fun stuff together.
An overnight stay (or more) and all the works
You spoil us, Eastbury Hotel in pretty Sherborne! This Valentine’s Day you could be booking into a luxury room, sipping some fizz and nibbling on handmade chocs before going down for a candlelit, seven-course tasting menu in the hotel’s AA rosette restaurant (with someone tinkling the ivories while you eat). Treat yourselves to a couples’ massage or just chill in the spa, while you’re at it? Prices from £375 for a one night break for two sharing a luxury double room with dinner and breakfast; two nights from £595. Wine flight from £25 per person. Read our review.
The Eastbury Hotel, Long Street, Sherborne DT9 3BY. Tel 01935 813131. theeastburyhotel.co.uk
Relax in a laid back, riverside cafe
Once upon a time, Great Bow Wharf in Langport was a hive of activity with sea-faring ships delivering wares from around the globe. Today, the boats on the River Parrett are kayaks and canoes, and the beautifully restored Wharf building is home to a relaxed cafe called Kitchen at the Wharf. For Valentine’s Day: three courses £25, with veggie and vegan options. Call 10458 254354 to book.
Kitchen at the Wharf, Great Bow Wharf, Langport TA10 9PN. Tel 01458 254354. kitchenlangport.co.uk
Scoff and quaff in a countryside dining pub
Alasdair Clifford (ex-Michelin star Chez Bruce) cooks up a menu of award-winning Modern British comfort food combined with European cuisine at The Barrington Boar in Barrington, near Ilminster. Read our review. On Valentine’s Day, choose from a special three-course set menu which includes Somerset Kir and canapes to start and homemade truffles to take home (£40 per person) or their a la carte. Fri 14 Feb.
The Barrington Boar, Main Street, Barrington, nr Ilminster, TA19 0JB. Tel 01460 259 281. thebarringtonboar.co.uk
Take a chic city break
Super chic hotel in the centre of the city – The Bird’s a Sunday Times Top 100 British Hotel 2019, don’t ya know – with witty avian touches, statement art collections, chandeliers, vast contemporary art on the walls – and beautiful Bath right outside the door. Their Romantic Getaway includes Champagne, flowers and chocs on arrival, dinner at No 15 Great Pulteney (just around the corner), breakfast in The Bird the next morning and of course, an overnight stay in a standard, superior or deluxe bedrooms (your choice).
The Bird Bath, 8-19 Pulteney Rd, Bath BA2 4EZ. Tel 01225 425003. thebirdbath.co.uk
It’s treat time in the Dorset countryside
Take moment, read a book or simply take in the view of the Dorset countryside at Another Little World in Corton Denham. Create your own tailormade treat time for you and your other half. Choose your treatments and treats to enjoy in your private space for the day or longer, in their cute apartment No 5. Use the code ALWFMMUD to book a treat time costing £100 or more and you’ll get a £15 discount during Feb and March.
1 West Down Farm, Corton Denham, Sherborne DT9 4LG. Tel 01935 350008. anotherlittleworld.co.uk
Enjoy a Michelin starred Valentine’s Day
If it’s not worth pushing the boat out at a Michelin star restaurant on Valentine’s Day, when is it? The Olive Tree restaurant at the Queensberry Hotel, Bath’s only Michelin star restaurant is offering their FIVE course menu at £90 or the SEVEN courser at £115 – including a glass of champagne – for lunch; in the evenings, the SEVEN only at £115 – plus that champers. Throw in a wine flight for £47.50/£57.50 per person. Go on, you know you want to. Read our review.
The Olive Tree at The Queensberry Hotel, 4–7 Russell Street, Bath BA1 2QF. Tel 01225 447928. olivetreebath.co.uk
Wood burners and horse brasses in a trad countryside pub
Part of the eat-drink-sleep empire of pioneering world class art gallery Hauser & Wirth, and sister to the renowned Roth Bar & Grill, The Bull Inn, in Hardway near Bruton, is an unpretentious, traditional Somerset country pub through and through – right down to the horse brasses. Read our review. Their Valentine’s Day menu is two courses for £27.50; three courses for £35.
The Bull Inn, Hardway, Kingsettle Hill, Bruton BA10 0LN. Tel 01749 812200. thebullinn-bruton.com .
A foodie tête-à-tête
One of Bath’s most exiting young chefs Henry Scott will be serving up a special Valentine’s menu in his eponymous, small and perfectly formed restaurant, lauded by food critic Jay Rayner. Sip your Champagne and peruse the eclectic four-course menu which includes enticing combos like pollock cevich with mooli, smoked potato and winter truffle, duck breast with quince puree and choc tarte. £65 per person.
Henry’s, 4 Saville Row, Bath, Somerset BA1 2QP. Tel 01225 78005. henrysrestaurantbath.com
A stay on the beach (literally)
This little chalet – well it’s a beach hut really – is right on Monmouth Beach, at the sand and rock west end of Lyme Regis (with a view of The Cobb), on the Jurassic Coast. It might be small but it’s got everything you need, with an open plan kitchen/dining area, TV, wet room with shower/loo, and a bed up on shelf. Take a glass of wine out onto your deck and look across Lyme Bay to Golden Cap, the highest point along the south coast and wonder whether to take a walk or just stay exactly where you are. Just one of Classic Cottages’ many West Country properties.
Reduce your food miles
During Feb, The Pig nr Bath are offering set menus where the dishes are made with ingredients from within 25 miles or less. Two or three courses, plus some of their famous pre-lunch Piggy Bits to get you started. Two courses plus Piggy Bits £22.50; three courses plus Piggy Bits £26.50. Book online thepighotel.com/offers and enter this code at checkout: LOCAL25 or call 0345 225 9494 to book.
The Pig – near Bath, Hunstrete House, Hunstrete, Pensford, Bath BS39 4NS. Tel 01761 490490. thepighotel.com