By Katie Wilson
Before The Bradley Hare, there wasn’t much in the tiny Wiltshire village of Maiden Bradley. It still doesn’t have a shop. So how pleased must the locals have been when this fine establishment, now a destination in its own right, opened on their doorstep.
It bills itself as a traditional country inn, but in reality it’s way cooler than that. No surprise, considering former Soho House design director James Thurstan Waterworth is the man behind the interiors.
While it’s not a club house with rooftop pool, this next-level pub with rooms on the grounds of the Duke of Somerset’s estate is the epitome of countryside cool. You don’t even need to pack your wellies, as they provide them.
Here’s what happened when The Boutique Handbook checked in for the night.
Ideally situated as a base for exploring nearby Somerset, The Bradley Hare is best got to by car and there is a spacious car park on site.
Those without wheels can still get there by travelling by train to Warminster. Just make sure you prebook a taxi in advance as there is no rank at the station. The journey takes around 15 minutes.
Who isn’t a sucker for a beautiful Georgian building, and The Bradley Hare doesn’t disappoint. Although its red brick facade has been restored, though not as extensively as the interiors, there is a modern feel about the place.
Relaxation here comes first, evidenced in the fact there is no formal reception area. The entrance leads you straight into the hub of the pub, where cosy armchairs and a welcome pint of local cider, or whatever your preferred tipple is, awaits.
It didn’t matter that we weren’t immediately checked in as we were too busy enjoying our new surroundings.
There are 12 rooms at The Bradley Hare. Seven in the Main House and five newer rooms that have taken up residence in the Coach House next door. Refreshingly, each is different so you can visit again and upgrade depending on the occasion.
Those with dogs and on more of a budget can stay in The Den, a small and cosy room with rainfall shower. The Burrow and The Garden Room, beautiful rooms above the pub, start from £150 on weekends.
We stayed in The Courtyard room, a short stumble up the stairs from the pub, which was larger than expected. Overlooking the courtyard to the Coach House, it has a super king-size bed, antique armchairs, full-length vintage mirror and en-suite with huge monsoon shower. Toiletries come courtesy of Evolve Organic. Extras include a Smart TV, selection of posh teas and coffee and a well-stocked mini bar.
Couples should book The Nest room, which has a feature king-sized bed built into the wall that looks fit for royalty. While the Coach House Upper and Lower rooms come with indulgent freestanding baths big enough for two.
Those with four-legged friends will also be well looked after here as dogs are allowed in most areas aside from the restaurant. Some rooms are dog friendly, but request before booking.
FOOD & DRINK
Alongside its 12 stylish rooms, The Bradley Hare is making a big impression with its food. With the aim of becoming a zero-waste kitchen, they serve elevated pub classics using seasonal produce, much of which comes from the local area. You know you’re in the country when the pub has its own game dealer.
We visit on a Thursday – Steak Night – and share a 24oz T-Bone with Triple Cooked Chips and Watercress and Shallot Salad. A bottle of wine is included in the £65 price for two.
Cocktails are good here. Make sure you order one of their signature Hare On The Rocks. Elsewhere on the menu, a Burger & Beer is a reasonable £17. Veggie options are also available.
During winter, expect roaring fires and cosy nooks to snuggle in as you tuck into a Sunday roast, starting from £18. While hazy summer days can be spent sipping drinks on the terrace, which twinkles at night courtesy of its fire pit and fairy-lit stretch tent on the lawn. A small plates menu operates in the summer months.
The hotel has a ‘dine anywhere’ policy, allowing guests to eat where they feel most comfortable. Choose bar dining, the restaurant or one of the lounge areas. ‘Skittle Alley’ is The Bradley Hare’s light and spacious private dining room for those wanting a more intimate gathering.
Guests wanting to fully recharge during their stay can take a short walk to the lavender-clad Potting Shed, a secluded beauty studio hidden within the grounds. It offers a range of vegan and organic beauty treatments, as well as holistic therapies in picturesque walled garden surroundings.
The Bradley Hare has been on our radar since it opened in summer 2021, but our visit exceeded our expectations. It’s a destination in itself for a night or two, or the perfect base to explore the local area. Frome is a 10-minute drive away and must-visit Bruton, recently voted one of the coolest places to live in the UK, can be reached in less than 20-minutes. Osip (book way ahead) and At The Chapel restaurants are definitely worth a visit.
Rooms start from £135 a night, including a continental breakfast