Walking with friends from Salisbury to Winchester we stayed at Yew Tree Barn, a good halfway point along the beautiful Clarendon Way.
This is a beautifully appointed barn, newly built to the highest specification with every mod con in the bedrooms, but frankly, I admire anybody who could relax amongst the endless list of instructions detailing what one must or must not do, just to incur the approval of the somewhat unwelcoming, dictator of a hostess. Not satisfied with instructing us what we could and couldn't do in the barn, she then set to on instructing us exactly how, where and when our dog would be accommodated - which frankly was completely unsatisfactory and not the compromise we had previously agreed upon with her. She had originally said that he could stay in a cage in the barn, but clearly had no intention of allowing him to do so. Not surprisingly, our utterly faithful dog let the whole neighbourhood know of his woes and eventually he was ushered through to be with us by a clearly very unhappy and angry hostess! Had she listened to us in the first place, we could all have enjoyed a good night's sleep. Furthermore, it would have been far better if she had categorically said "no" to dogs, and we would have happily looked elsewhere for accommodation (and probably had a better time). Presumably, the sniff of two bedrooms occupied overnight at their extortionate rates, was the over-riding reason for saying yes.
The bedrooms are luxurious, beds extremely comfortable, and decor modern and sleek. However, It was an interesting experience sitting on the loo, in full view of my husband who lay in bed trying to avert his gaze! We have shared many things in our blissful 20 years together, but frankly, there are times when a girl just needs to be alone.
Downstairs consists of luxurious sofas, a large dining table, and a snug type area with a TV - but no comfortable chairs to relax and watch it. The kitchen is only for making tea and coffee which was very welcome after our 14 mile walk from Salisbury. However, don't even think about eating your own food in there. I assume breathing was allowed - I couldn't see the notice telling me not to do so.
Breakfast has to be ordered the night before - not sure why - (possibly to get things out of the freezer), but we followed our instructions. By the morning, Madam by this time was clearly still ruffled. She spat out a good morning to me, and was perfectly pleasant to anybody else who wasn't me (or the dog). She kindly asked my fellow friends how they would like their eggs, brown or white toast etc. - the question never came anywhere near me and I received a breakfast which wasn't to my liking - half of which I embarrassingly had to leave. At this point, I overwhelmingly felt that I wanted to get out of the place, and so quietly slunk away with my faithful friend who had really had enough of trying to get comfortable in the cage which he was forced to stay in. I left the favoured few in my party to finish their breakfast. Not surprisingly, I didn't sign the visitors book!
It is now Thursday, our stay was on Saturday night and we still feel niggled and upset by what happened. It is such a shame, as without this horrible experience, the stay would have been perfect and worth every penny. The surroundings are beautiful, idyllic, and the pub next door served really decent food. We won't be going within sniffing distance of this place ever again and sadly, we feel we really can't recommend it to anybody who is looking for the traditional welcome you come to expect from a B & B,.
- Also Known As:
- Yew Tree Barn B&B Stockbridge, Hampshire