The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

Lucknam Park, Colerne

Transport yourself to a Bridgerton‑esque era at Lucknam Park, a Palladian mansion near Bath

What’s the draw?

The opportunity to laze under a parasol on the lawn of this grand country house, while sipping a pre‑dinner Lucknam French Martini and gazing over an enchanting landscape reminiscent of an Austen novel.

Arriving at Lucknam Park via the mile‑long, tree‑lined driveway surrounded by manicured grounds and sculptures is a pinch‑me moment. Yet, while the setting is utterly enchanting, it’s the food that’s secured the manor house hotel its reputation as one of the best in the country.

Restaurant Hywel Jones is the Michelin‑adorned star around which the Lucknam Park experience orbits. Executive chef Hywel’s 17‑year streak in the world’s most prestigious dining guide has made his eponymous restaurant a bucket‑list destination for discerning foodies.

Who’s cooking?

Hywel has spent almost two decades captaining the kitchen at Lucknam and has assembled a crew of talented chefs to help him create the meticulously planned edible euphoria that gourmets travel far and wide to experience.

What to order?

To fully immerse yourself in Hywel’s award‑winning cooking, the Signature Tasting Menu is a must.

Our prologue – ornate bread rolls served with whipped lovage butter, tarragon crackers with avocado, and golden pastry cases layered with cheddar and gruyère – piqued our palates for the innovative tasting adventure that followed.

A duo of fish courses formed the opening chapters, the first a dish of poached Cornish lobster served with a glistening melon gazpacho and slip of seaweed tuile. The second consisted of sumptuous Dover sole, a courgette flower that unfurled at the stroke of a fork to reveal luscious swathes of smoked salmon, and a silky tomato and lemongrass butter.

Pared‑back menu descriptions ensured each dish was loaded with surprises. For example, a pan‑fried lamb loin (simply listed as Brecon lamb) shared a plate with a bacon‑wrapped, slow‑roasted lamb shoulder boudin topped with sweetbreads. The richness of the meat was counterbalanced by spring peas, asparagus and little jewels of basil pesto and mint jelly.

A caramelia chocolate bar was a delicious ending to the evening’s narrative. Layers of caramel and peanut were hidden under a delicate milk chocolate casing, and paired with popcorn ice cream, caramelised popcorn and bubbly milk chocolate “Aero”.

Food’s tip

If you want to make the most of the hotel’s facilities and activities, you’ll need to pack accordingly. We recommend: swimwear for the spa, trainers for the gym, jodhpurs for horse riding, a jersey for cycling, a visor for tennis, a wax jacket for clay shooting, an apron for the cookery school and (if you can squeeze it in) casual attire for croquet.

Indy Cafe Cookbook Volume 2
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