“You’ll receive a warm welcome from manager Adam. Walk up a steep staircase to your room. The King Room, at the front of the Inn, is palatial with a 6ft bed, two easy chairs, good hanging cupboard, thick curtains and masses of room, and a spacious bathroom boasting a large bath and shower. Mobile signal is not great but, thoughtful as always, there is an old-fashioned black telephone in each room, albeit with numbers to punch, not dial!
The other four rooms in the main building are attractively and differently decorated, if a bit smaller. After the King Room, our personal favourite is Room Five, with charming views over the Victorian garden. There are three rooms on the ground floor Coach House across the yard, where there is also a Residents’ Lounge. Six bedrooms have baths; two power showers. Outside there is ample parking.
Dinner, under the supervision of head chef Lloyd, was excellent. From delicious devilled venison liver and kidney to succulent pigeon breast to start with to juicy homemade burgers saddle of lamb with chorizo for main – dining here it quite the treat. Sweet tooth’s won’t be able to resist the chocolate and orange fondant to finish with. Game and beef comes from neighbouring estates, including Guy Ritchie’s at Ashcombe, and fish fresh every Thursday from the market in nearby Poole. Meals are served either in the open plan pub area next to a roaring log fire or in the informal restaurant, which doubles as the breakfast room. In the morning, newspapers are provided and a good selection of Dorset cereals, speciality teas, ‘full English’ and even a kipper if desired.
The King John Inn is in the heart of Cranborne Chase - fantastic walking country. It is busy in the winter with shooting parties and in the summer with couples wanting a break in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Dorset/Wiltshire border. A prime British hospitality establishment.”
Written by Malcolm Orr-Ewing
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
To have a countryside retreat, dine on exquisite and award-winning menus, enjoy beautiful wines, ales or spirits and make the most of the surrounding area.
What is there to do in the area?
We are lucky to be located in The Cranborne Chase, an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty. We are also on the path of the great Wessex Ridgeway, which inspired Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Our guests can also enjoy a round of golf at Rushmore Estate, a trip to the Jurassic Coast or Stonehenge. Salisbury is also on our door step.
Shooting at the prestigious Ashcombe Estate is also very popular from September to January.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Continental as well as cooked breakfast
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
We serve Lunch & Dinner and are proud to have recently received 2 Rosettes from the AA guide.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
The King room is our largest bedroom with a Victorian roll top bath and a sofa. However, all our rooms are stylish with unique features.
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms ?
We welcome children, however, we don’t have special facilities or even a kids menu. We will happily serve children portions. We can fit additional beds/cots for children in most of the rooms.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
We pride ourselves in our commitment to supporting all things British and all things local.”