I was really disappointed to see negative comments for this hotel, especially those describing it as a 'throwback in time' - for me, that's part of Plumber Manor's charm. This is rural English hospitality at it's most charming.
We stayed for a single night, with dinner, in the 'stables' area of Plumber Manor. When we arrived there was a wedding party winding down (we arrived shortly after 4pm), but we still had the run of the grounds, and the wedding was clearly a civilised affair. We were shown our room. Undoubtedly old-fashioned in decor, but perfectly clean, spacious, and generally quite lovely. Our room contained a dressing table, an ensuite bathroom, a huge double bed, and a charming window seat from which we could see out onto the gardens.
There is a very picturesque stream running through the gardens, with lots of seating area, and a well-kept lawn to sprawl on with a gin and tonic and admire the view (much recommended). We were concerned that dinner might be a strained affair, because there appeared to be a lot of people, but it couldn't have gone more smoothly. There was a large party taking place on the evening of our stay, but they were seated in a separate dining room, and seemed to have no affect on the waiting time or staff attention. We enjoyed a wonderful drink outside where our order, before being seated inside for a lovely, simple but delicious supper. You'll be well fed, but make sure you make breakfast, which is a lovely cold spread and optional cooked meal. I had poached eggs on toast with grilled tomatoes - they were perfect.
As well as the gorgeous grounds and buildings, the staff are brilliant - Richard, front of house, couldn't have been more welcoming, and the dinner serving staff were very attentive.
The hotel is situated in a lovely part of the world, with plenty of quaint English villages to visit (we stopped by Shaftesbury, a short drive away).
It's not cheap, but it's a cut above and you certainly feel special when staying at Plumber. This is going to become a regular romantic getaway, whenever we can afford it.
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- Also Known As:
- Plumber Manor Hotel Sturminster Newton
- Plumber Manor Sturminster Newton, Dorset