Babington House (Gourmet Chick in Somerset)
Ever wondered what it is like to be filthy rich? I got to try it on for style last weekend when MTV boyfriend and I stayed at Babington House. Babington House is the “country house” run by Nick Jones, the same chap behind Soho House, Shoreditch House and The Electric along with the group’s various international outposts. Fat Boy Slim got married there. Some of the guests arrive by helicopter. It’s that sort of place. MTV boyfriend and I have some fabulous friends who bought us a weekend away there for a wedding present (thanks so much Alice, Georgie, Sam, Liv, Prue, Steph and Reuss) so just for one weekend we completely lived it up.
Babington House has vintage style bikes for guests to use and check out the giant hammocks for lazing in
Ok so we didn’t get there by helicopter, but we laid on the giant outdoor beds reading the papers and ordering drinks, we swam in the pool, got massages at the Cowshed spa and hung out in our amazing room. Our room had every luxury you could think of; lashings of Cowshed products, a roll top bath, Bose sound system and did I mention the three flat screen TVs? One in the lounge area, one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom. There were also lots of nice little touches like comfy dressing gowns, a bottle of red wine and a Scrabble board along with a stack of the latest magazines and books.
The amazing bathroom stuffed with Cowshed products
The menu at Babington House is similar to that at the private members club’s London branches but the chefs are also able to draw from Babington House’s extensive walled kitchen garden which is stuffed full of brilliant produce. A lunch of buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad (£8) made use of the garden’s colourful, slightly misshapen and incredibly tasty tomato crop. Creamy mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, torn basil and a drizzle of olive oil, what could be more simple or good. Salmon salad (£12.50) was also incredibly simple but oh so good featuring chunks of roasted salmon, new potatoes and green beans with a light dressing.
Tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad
The dinner menu was very seasonal with a focus on British dishes such as Cornish crab on toast and spring lamb. We could not resist the siren call of the T-bone steak to share (£42). The serving was huge and almost dinosaur bone like in size and the meat had a delicious almost caramalised char to it. It was served with a creamy Bernaise sauce and fat chips served to crisp perfection. The only let down was the dessert menu which was fairly limited and not that inspiring. MTV boyfriend and I ended up both ordering the ice-cream which was a bit disappointing as it was icy and hard, lacking a smooth, creamy texture.
Breakfast (£14.50) is cheekily not included in the cost of the rooms. There is a selection of home made muesli, cereals, pastries, fruit salad and then a choice of cooked breakfasts including ricotta blueberry and maple syrup pancakes and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Babington House’s Eggs Benedict were poached to a perfect state of runniness and the Hollondaise sauce was light and creamy and clearly mae to order rather than having sat under a warmer for an hour prior. However the full English breakfast was a little disappointing as the bacon was overcooked to the extent that it was too hard and crispy.
Eggs Benedict Babington House style
The food was mainly crowd pleasing rather than cutting edge and there were a few misses but generally it was of a high standard. Babington House itself and its grounds are truly beautiful and almost the definition of luxury and style. My only warning would be that it is a very family friendly place which means there are lots of kids running around called Jemima and Harry. This is obviously lovely if you are Jemima and Harry’s parents but can begin to grate if you don’t have children or were escaping your own for the weekend.
Now all I need to do is work out how to convince MTV Boyfriend that we need to go back to Babington House for our wedding anniversary… maybe if we win the lottery.
Gourmet Travel Tips
Details: Babington House, near Frome, Somerset (Ph 01373 81 2266)
Our room was a budget breaking £380 a night.
You can get to Babington House by catching the train to Bath (£30 return from London) and then catching a taxi (£30). Babington House has its own taxi service which works out to be the same price as just getting a Bath taxi, but they will probably be better at finding the house!