Ah, Bath: we know you so well… or do we? One of the many wonderful things about life at Pig Guide HQ is that we never know the moment when, just as we think we know pretty much all there is to know about what’s trending where on the restaurant/bar/general merrymaking scene right now, an invite to visit somewhere that’s been been making gentle waves at the edge of our Twitter-feed consciousness drops into our inbox… and suddenly, we find ourselves bouncing around on a buoyant tide of fabulosity, immersed in a subtly seductive whirlpool of congenial hedonism. Such was the case last Saturday evening, when we visited Combe Grove, which was taken over last year by the experienced hoteliers (and super foodies!) Rebecca Whittington and Simon Baldwin.
Combe Grove may be only minutes away from the centre of Bath, but it feels like a whole world away from the city in terms of both location (a stunning 18th Century Manor House set in 70 acres of woodland perched on a hilltop offering breathtakingly pretty views across the Limpley Stoke Valley hills) and vibe (think of a certain well-known “members only” country house hotel in Somerset, but without the snooty membership rules, eye-wateringly high prices and distinctly faux “warm welcome”). There’s a chic spa and leisure centre on site, multiple hotel bedrooms that turn the house into the kind of home you can only dream of actually living in, all manner of pipeline plans for all-day pool/garden lounging and a range of menus that very considerately move with the clock throughout the day courtesy of a kitchen (and, of course, a super-elegant stand-alone restaurant) overseen by bright young superchef Leigh Evans. The décor is tastefully eclectic (that chandelier with those curtains in a drawing room dominated by that sculpture? It shouldn’t work, but it most definitely does). Meanwhile, what the hip mixologists behind the very glamorous, copper-topped bar don’t know about the freshest cocktails du jour simply isn’t worth knowing about. Cheers!
Needless to say, The Pig Guide will be taking to the pastoral paradise beyond Brassknocker Hill for a full-on, in-depth investigation of Combe Grove’s decorously decadent charms very, very soon (and pssst: there’s even talk of an exclusive Pig Guide Supper Club in the pipeline). But for now, we just want to shout it from the hills that we believe we’ve discovered a very special hidden gem that’s set to bring a fresh, bright sparkle to Bath’s gleaming treasure chest of delights.