In bucolic countryside just outside of Yeovil, Jo Rees experiences a slice of hospitality perfection that’s a must for your hit list
Bringing a wealth of experience from their Relais & Chateaux backgrounds, Emma and Tim Ford have conjured into life their own vision of comfortable countryside escapism at a listed Georgian dower house.
VISIT FOR classical, beautiful cooking from Tim and a deft but light front of house touch from Emma, served in country-chic comfort. Pretty bedrooms with fresh white linen and views of three and a half acres of mature, leafy gardens make a stay very alluring.
DON’T VISIT expecting to get down with the kids; this is grown-up and polished – without being old fashioned.
WE LIKED starting the evening with crisp, hot canapés and a glass of fizz in the lounge, chatting to other guests and basking in convivial warmth which resulted from more than simply the crackling logs in the fireplace.
Elegant fine dining with top-notch West Country ingredients such as fillet of Ruby Red Devon beef and St Enodoc asparagus are used with aplomb by Tim. And lighter dishes such as the dairy-free exotic fruit dessert plate featuring roasted pineapple, a lively passion fruit sorbet and cool coconut pannacotta provide a fresh and contemporary addition.
Little Barwick has maintained three AA rosettes since opening in 2000, and boy, it shows.
INSIDER’S TIP A seriously exciting wine list – listed by style as opposed to region or varietal – is a big draw and features an unusual quantity of exceptional wines (including Krug champagne) by the glass from its Le Verre de Vin preservation system.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Cannelloni of smoked chicken with baby spinach, morels and Somerset Cider Brandy sauce
Main Fillet of Ruby Red Devon beef with glazed fennel, roasted shallot puree and red wine sauce
Dessert Plate of exotic fruits: mango and lime mousse, roasted pineapple and fig, coconut pannacotta and passion fruit sorbet