“Mark and Joanna Donovan used to work in TV and fashion respectively, but changed their lives when they stayed at the this charming 13th century former clergy house (complete with priest's hole) and heard it was for sale. They bought it and breathed new life into it, revamping the bathrooms and decorating the bedrooms with a stylish mix of traditional, contemporary and eclectic touches to suit all tastes. The excellent Stephen Pielesz has been chef for the past three years earning 2 AA Rosettes. Just the place for a cosy or romantic weekend in Hardy Country. Great family suite too.”
Written by Fiona Duncan
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
4 words: Building; Food; Location; Us;
BridgeHouse is very old - 700 years we believe. The whole building is cosy and magical and with a truly lovely intimacy.
Food - great local produce is a given. The added spark is Steve, our Head Chef whose creativity is exceptional in this part of the world
Us - We're small (13 bedrooms). Independent. But above all we have a fantastic team of people who don't stand on ceremony and make everyone feel personally welcome.
Location: 5 miles from the Jurassic Coast; Beaminster is a stunning small town with over 200 listed buildings; proximity to West Dorset's rolling hills and countryside - like nowhere else in the county.
What is there to do in the area?
Coast & Countryside: There's cooking at Lesley waters Cookery School; vineyard tours at nearby Furleigh Estate; fossil hunting, wood carving, clay & game shooting, golf, walking, rib rides, electric bike rides; great gardens to visit at Abbotsbury (sub-tropical); Mapperton & Forde Abbey; attractions to visit include: Haynes Motor Museum, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum; Bovington Tank Museum; Pecorama
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Full English (with locally made sausages & Dorset Down mushrooms; Beaminster free range eggs etc); Continental; eggs Benedict/Florentine; the best scrambled egg & smoked salmon anywhere; kippers etc
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
Food is our forte and so we are open for Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner including alfresco dining in the summer. West Dorset has also become a foodie destination. Masterchef winner, Mat Follas, has his restaurant in Beaminster just yards from the hotel. Mark Hix is in Lyme Regis. River Cottage is a little further while the Riverside fish restaurant in nearby West Bay is world renowned. There's also a growing number of trendy cafes and gastro pubs.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
Our Superior & Four Poster bedrooms are mostly in the oldest part of the building - full of romance and character.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
BridgeHouse is simply unique. It's a cosy, friendly, unpretentious, romantic, food lovers destination in amazing West Dorset.”