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This immaculately converted set of farm buildings has oak beams, wood burners and exposed brickwork aplenty, offset by fresh decor and simple furnishings. After drinks in the cosy lounge bar, move
through to the smartly rustic dining room, where meals generally begin with good crusty bread and a little appetiser. The kitchen combines classic techniques and modern sensibilities to good effect
– perhaps a smooth game liver and foie gras parfait teamed with crisp gingerbread, fig and port reduction, ahead of crab-crusted cod with mussels, creamed cabbage, sprouting broccoli, carrot and
curry oil. There is plenty of technical skill on show here, but you’ll also find simple pleasures such as sausages with mustard mash and onion gravy. To finish, treacle tart with stout ice cream is
typical of the chef’s way with traditional themes. Excellent service seals the deal.
The hotel was easy to find, there’s not much else in Clearwell, the Sat Nav takes you right to the door and there are plenty of parking spaces round the back. The actual farm building isn’t your typical Tudor style, no wooden beams or whitewashed walls. There has been a working farm on this site since the 13th century but it wasn’t converted to a hotel till the 1980s. The current owners, Colin and Hari Fell (and Gromit the family cat) took over in 2007 and now has 23 beautiful and individual rooms.The farm is set on 14 acres of protected land which you are free to wander around. A word of warning, beware of the ultra ‘friendly’ pony that charged me from the top of the field. I had to vault over the gate to escape – this gymnastic burst of energy tested my dodgy knee and Saff’s bladder (she was laughing at me a little too much!)...
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