A week in the country – long enough

You will have guessed from the title that TheEye is not a country girl at heart?
The only time she envied friends with country seats was during covid. But for most of the time an occasional rural weekend is long enough. Fresh air in her lungs and the odd bracing walk in muddy fields is fine now and again, but it could never become a way of life for her. All that packing up, planning meals, and -worse- the departure on Sunday evening. The best time to avoid the traffic? What food to take home? The end of some cheese, the damp salad etc.? Changing the laundry? TheEye would be in a state of stress the entire time.
And the mere thought of no shops, cinema or theatres brings on a panic attack.

Tragic, she knows, but it’s confession time. Were she a horse woman or enjoy fishing, maybe it would be a different story. But sadly she knows when she is beaten.

But a few days in a lovely hotel in Somerset, is altogether different.
A comfortable bedroom, with no bed to make or bathroom to clean, delicious meals and a spa.

That is called bliss.
Oh, and a warm scone and tea by the fire.

A visit to the deer park was a highlight – the sweet fallow deer and the aggressive stags with enormous antlers that could kill a person if they were unlucky enough or simply stupid enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There was talk of making a secluded area for reds squirrels and culling the grey pests – rats with bushy tails in TheEye‘s view.
It was the wrong season for the spectacular gardens to be at their best, but lovely enough to walk, smell the scents of herbs and enjoy.

Newt pond is highly protected. Tadpoles cannot be interfered with.

In common with many parts of Somerset, the hotel is situated on a Roman site. A museum has been constructed overlooking the VILLA VENTORUM, A Roman Estate brilliantly reimagined. A team of historians and architects designed and built the villa, something that has never been attempted before in the U.K. Inspiration was found in countries once part of the ancient empire. In Pompeii and Herculaneum (miraculously preseved by the volcano) were clues and examples of homes and interiors.

Griffin heads on tiles at the Roman Villa

This extraordinary reconstruction which reflects the taste of an aspirational Roman family is accurate in detail – doors, windows and shutters.

You don’t expect to have this kind of experience very often and it was great to see crowds of local school children so enthusiastic.

Now this is a view to top all views…

Saying goodbye to Rome and and the ancient world, it was time to enjoy the apple season and the huge variety of local apples, most of which TheEye had never heard of. After all, this is Somerset, and apples are what the county is famous for.
It was the peak of the apple cider making time and fascinating to watch the process.

The few spoiling days didn’t exactly change TheEye into a country lass, but she came back to The Smoke feeling healthier and happier and can’t wait to return.
The sheep and the deer will be expecting her.

A fond farewell

copyright TheEye



  1. Gorgeous photos Jan!

  2. Absolutely RAVISHING pictures – you could enter the apples in a competition. So enjoyed them. Spot on about having a house in the country; all week you’re putting out the things to go down & all weekend the ones to take back including the quarter packet of butter!

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