I had always wanted to stay at Babington House, having heard good things about it in the past and so when my husband surprised me with a break at the hotel for my 40th birthday, I was delighted! I am sorry to say, however, that the hotel did not live up to expectations.
Positives were the staff, who are all very helpful and pleasant, and the standard of accommodation. We had a generously proportioned attic room, nicely decorated with two TVs, an open fire and lots of lovely Cowshed products to sample in the bathroom! There was also a Cowshed gift bag, fashion mags to read and a welcome tea tray with china cups and saucers, a tea pot and lots of speciality teas. These thoughtful touches go a long way and overall we were very impressed with our room.
As for the negatives, well, firstly we were encouraged to leave the bar early evening, when the furniture started to be removed! We were unsure of why this was and so asked one of the staff, who informed us that a band was appearing in the bar early evening! Oh well, we thought, positively, a small jazz band may be enjoyable later in the evening when we retire to the bar post dinner for a drink. We were, however, under a huge misconception!! We had dinner, but the food wasn't great or at least not the standard one would expect from a rather expensive country house hotel. Also, a word of advice to anyone embarking on a stay at Babington, the dress code in the restaurant is very casual. As the sister establishment of Soho House, predictably, the hotel appears to be full of media types and so converse trainers and jeans seem to be de riguer! We then thought we would go to the bar for the small jazz band experience however, as we tried to force our way through the crowd of people in the hallway (mainly non-residents) we realised that the small jazz band was in fact a rather noisy folk band and that the bar was packed out, with 6 deep queuing for drinks (more converse and jeans!) Unable to fight our way into the bar, we decided to retire to bed...... at 9pm on my 40th!! Needless to say, the revellers partied well in to the night, shouting and laughing outside our bedroom window in the early hours. The next day, we complained to the manager who was extremely apologetic and offered us a 50% discount on our room tariff. He did say, however, that we should have been informed about the band on booking the room, as the entertainment is a regular occurrence.
I do feel that most people visit country house hotels as a retreat from city living, expecting a peaceful and relaxing break. Our stay at Babington was more like a mini break in a trendy and noisy hotel in the West End. To conclude, Babington is in my opinion vastly overrated and is more suited to large groups of young friends looking for a fun break in the country, rather than couples or families seeking the typical country house experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Babington House Hotel Babington
- Babington Hotel
- Babington House Somerset