Luxury, peace… and all that jazz: Coombe Lodge in Somerset is a magnificent mansion with gleaming chandeliers, a grand piano and spacious suites
- Coombe Lodge is nestled neatly amid the Mendip Hills with views down to Blagdon Lake, Somerset
- There are 12 grand rooms, plus a music room, billiards room and library – staff are ‘private-house-attentive’
- Head chef Dave Bonner showcases his skills with ‘creative and immaculately presented’ dishes
From its sweeping terrace to the panelled walls and staircase lit by gleaming chandeliers, Coombe Lodge evokes the grandeur of a bygone era and the excitement of the jazz age.
Dating from 1928 when the Wills tobacco family of Bristol commissioned a family home to reflect their wealth and status, this magnificent mansion nestles neatly amid the Mendip Hills with views down to Blagdon Lake.
No expense was spared by renowned Arts and Crafts architect Sir George Oatley on the intricate craftsmanship that remains satisfyingly polished and intact to this day, not least, one suspects, as the freehold remains in family hands.
Magnificent: Coombe Lodge is nestled neatly amid the Mendip Hills with views down to Blagdon Lake, Somerset
Since 2009, Coombe Lodge has flourished as an exclusive wedding venue for up to 160 guests, but the Covid crisis postponed celebrations. Now, for the first time, its doors are open to overnight guests who can take advantage of the lull to experience an enchanting house that gleams as if brand new.
From the music room with grand piano to the billiards room and library, the sizeable rooms are sparingly decorated given their function – to host glamorous celebrations and dinners. Welcoming a maximum of 24 guests, Coombe Lodge is a romantic retreat, not a place to see and be seen, with staff who are private-house-attentive. Settle down fireside in the library on a velvety sofa with a gin and tonic and a jazzy soundscape while you contemplate the dinner menu.
We plumped for a groaning board of Somerset charcuterie, including glazed ham, cider chorizo, pork pie and Lye Cross cheddar, followed by succulent partridge and white chocolate parfait.
Sumptuous: Pictured is one of the spacious suites, which has a freestanding bath in the bedroom
Coombe Lodge Blagdon, Somerset. Dine, Stay and Unwind is £280 for two and includes arrival drink, dinner, bed and breakfast. B&B only from £185. Visit coombelodge.co.uk.
The suites are capacious enough to host your own gathering, with original doors and windows offset by modern touches – comfortable beds with Egyptian cotton linens, vast, cushioned sofas and ginormous grey slate wet rooms.
A generous three-course breakfast is served crisply and cleanly in the billiards room, at round tables (large, of course) with white linen.
Before checkout, stroll in the walled and hillside gardens.
Only 15 minutes from Bristol Airport, this place makes for an indulgent first night before a holiday overseas. You won’t see the like of Coombe Lodge elsewhere.
The USP: Intricate, original wood-panelled interiors.
The rooms: Grand, and only 12 of them so guests can imagine living in isolated splendour. Formerly the nursery, Room 11 has double-aspect windows, White Company toiletries, an industrial-strength shower and a freestanding bath.
The food: Head chef Dave Bonner showcases his skills with creative and immaculately presented dishes.