Barbour jacket, check. Wellies, check. Meggy the Labrador, check check! All set for the weekend at Babington House.
As a PA who has booked many helicopters to Babington House, this was my chance to experience the estate for myself. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for some pampering and fresh country air, a very welcome change to London city life!
Nested in the countryside of Frome, Bath, Babington House is a home away from home. A few tips – if travelling by train, the best route would be from London Paddington to Bath Spa. Immediately outside Bath station is a taxi rank so very easy to jump in and speed away to your manor retreat. The quicker the better!
On your approach, winding down the country lanes you come to the grand Babington House gates, with eager eyes, you can’t help but look all around taking as much in. With green fields, as far as the eye can see and the peaceful lake with graceful swans gliding on the water, all the stress’ of the city fade away. The elegant Georgian manor, standing beautifully and proudly waiting to greet you.
Set among 18 acres, this is not just any hotel, it is your city glam mixed with English country charm, this was is luxury country home which is largely a private members club available to those who are part of the Soho House Group (every house membership). The beautiful property boasts 33 rooms in total with some situated in the main house and others overlooking the lake.
We stayed in a Coach Room which had a sweet village-like feel as you walked down the path from the main house. All of the rooms at Babington House are individually decorated with unique furniture and hand-picked antiques. The cherry on the cake in our room was the addition of a vintage Victorian, roll-top bath with an array of Cowshed products, neatly lined up ready for you to test out. Now if like me and the rest of The Assistant Room team, you have showers every day and rarely enjoy a long soak in the tub, then you too would be jumping for joy.
What truly sets this hotel apart, it’s all about the little touches that keep the homely theme alive, with wellie boots lined up outside, wood fires, freshly made cookies in your room, mini bar complete with cocktail shakers and bathroom essentials, everything from tooth paste, Cowshed make up remover and the most beautifully soft bath robe. Everything you need for a laid-back weekend.
I was extremely lucky to have spa treatments booked in for my first day at this glorious country retreat. The Cowshed spa (yes COWSHED) overlooks the picturesque herb and flower garden making it a particularly pretty spot. I couldn’t refuse the homemade honey and ginger tea to warm me up on what was a rather chilly day which was both extremely tasty and warmed the senses, readying me for a day of relaxation.
While most spas I have been to are dark and mystical, this spa celebrated the nature and light that beamed around the room, perfect to rejuvenate and indulge. As a busy PA, we tend to get a lot of knots in our neck and shoulders, it doesn’t surprise me, we do balance the whole world on our shoulders!! I opted for a back massage and reflexology, both excellent treatments. Who knew reflexology could be so beneficial and interesting?! To be honest, I am very good at looking after my boss but when it comes to myself, sometimes I can miss or neglect things. The masseur talked through the problem areas and gave tips on how to treat them, it’s going to be a lot more water for me from now on to stop those moments of tiredness and headaches!
At 4’ o’clock, wherever you are on the property you cannot ignore the smell of freshly baked scones and sweet treats that fill the house. The Babington House golden hour. The kitchen team regularly hosts an amazing afternoon tea for guests with a delicious selection of cakes and traditional scones with thick Cornish cream and homemade jam. You can enjoy your afternoon tea in the drawing room in front of the fire, in the deli room where the goodies are served or in our case, we took ours back to the room. The waiter was more than happy to assist us with this carrying our goodies back to the comfort of our super luxe Coach House. Warning through! You need to be pretty careful not to over indulge as you don’t want to be too full before dinner…it’s harder than it sounds trust me!
Now I cannot start commenting on the restaurant without first applauding the chef and his team. Most of the food is homegrown in the gardens or locally sourced which is reflected in the freshness of every dish. Having eaten a little too much at afternoon tea (#sorrynotsorry), I went straight in for a main course skipping the starter option. I chose the Cod with chickpeas and ginger cream with burnt broccoli on the side and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds! The fish was cooked to perfection and the spices mixed in with the chickpeas gently warmed the palette without stealing the show from the freshness of the fish. Now I know you read burnt broccoli and maybe questioned it, I did too however always wanting to try something new, I gave it ago. The chargrill effect left the broccoli with a sweet and smoky taste with an caramelised texture something I would definitely not hesitate to order again!
While sitting back in our room, I got thinking about how perfect this would be for a corporate entertaining or team building trips. The property comes complete with a cinema room that can be hired privately, or if you want something less formal, there are a variety of rooms for brainstorming meetings.
There are bikes for hire to explore the surrounding areas, tennis courts and of course the spa for bosses who want to treat their guests to something special. I also learnt that the Babington House team can organise clay pigeon shooting on their land which is great for team-building and some friendly competition.
For larger groups, there is a stunning oak private dining room that can cater for up to 36 guests or why not take the whole house!
Whether you’re going for a chilled weekend or team away trip, this ticks all the boxes and I can honestly give a full PA stamp of approval.
Jess M x