On a whim, instead of our normal Saturday lunch we took ourselves (myself, my wife and a very good friend) off to The Luttrell Arms.
Recently acquired by the owner of The Royal Castle Hotel Dartmouth (an establishment with which we are well acquainted) we decided to see what was special about this Hotel.
We were not disappointed. Even before we arrived the journey is picturesque, the Town of Dunster is charming (dare I say picture postcard).
The Hotel itself retains many superb period features although an awning has been strung in one of the courtyards (overlooked from the main bar) it's external Tudor period carved beams are a delight. The main bar itself is magic if you like open, aromatic wood fires, original type settles (with nice cushions). It's ceiling is high but oak beamed, there are a number of other ante rooms in which you can drink and dine if you choose but for me the main bar is the best. Do not be taken in by the very good photo on the Luttrell Arms web site, this makes the bar look larger (probably taken with a very wide angle lens) and it also makes the bar look much brighter and more modern when in fact it's comfortably lit and cosy.
Beers sampled were Exmoor Stag and Ale; both very well presented.
For lunch - Rump Steak with all the trimmings and a very good Jacket Spud (properly cooked). Pudding, local ice cream and a hazelnut tart served with a tiny little pan of melted chocolate.
Bar and table service as efficient, cheerful and characterful as we have come to expect from all of the other hotels in this owners portfolio.
Also check out, the Secret Garden - a gem, and the (to my eye) original antique glazing (none of your Pilkington float process here).
All for very reasonable prices.
Apart from the super setting (the countryside is fab), Dunster Castle, there's also a plethora of nice, local shops, an incongruously large Rohan (lot's of walkers in the area) and parking (in the Steeps) was easy and not ridiculously expensive.
We'll be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Luttrell Arms is a 3 star, 28 room hotel. Set in the medieval village of Dunster with its many interesting buildings, under the shadow of the Castle and within the Exmoor National Park. The privately owned 14th century Luttrell Arms is surrounded by beautiful countryside making it the ideal destination for that weekend break or midweek getaway. Stroll around the village, walk the moor, or just sit by a log fire in a building where hospitality has been a way of life for hundreds of years. Heritage "If you could bottle the air in the bar at the Luttrell Arms and sell it you'd clean up" so wrote a local journalist. The smell of logs burning on the fire, a hint of hops from the pints of ale, add to this the smell of something aromatic being cooked in the kitchen, and the most essential element - the smell of history, it oozes out of the walls which have stood for 800 years. There are many outstanding architectural features, the medieval hall with its hammer beam roof (room 17) and twelve light window. History seeps out of the blackened frames, which had their glass rattled loose as Cromwell’s gunners laid siege to Dunster Castle from a defended strong point at the end of the garden. Cromwell’s Commander, Col. Robert Blake walked the corridors of the hotel, it was then called the Ship Inn and was used as his headquarters throughout the siege of the castle. Also of note is some very fine plasterwork on the ceiling of the lounge downstairs, and the plaster over mantle in room 12, showing Actaeon being devoured by hounds. The Arms of Luttrell that we use today carry us back to a Gentleman of 1261, the crest takes us only back to 1621, but the supporters are directly derived from one of the Barons who coerced King John into sealing Magna Carta. A more modern visitor is Hercule Poirot. In "The Cornish Mystery" he confronts the murderer in one of the hotel’s bedrooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
- Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
- Luttrell Arms Dunster
- The Luttrell Arms Dunster, Somerset