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Hotel Review: Homewood Hotel & Spa, Freshford, near Bath

LLM’s travel and food editor Natasha Heard heads to Homewood near bath to check out the barbecue experience, suites, spa and more.

By Natasha Heard  |  May 6, 2022
Homewood

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Homewood Hotel & Spa
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Boasting a grand 13th century country manor, sprawling gardens, an inviting spa, elegant suites, which match the distinguished décor in the public lounges, delightful dining options and more, it’s safe to say that a stay at Homewood promises to be a rather enjoyable one.

The four-star hotel sits just outside of Bath and is the perfect escape after you’ve shopped all that you can in England’s famed spa city and need a relaxing country break with panoramic views of the surrounding rural scenery. I headed along for the reopening of the garden dining pods in early March and was especially wowed with the food offering here, while the pastoral location works well to relax you from the moment you set foot on the property.

Hotel

Homewood Bath
Homewood is your home from home – a sanctuary just outside of Bath

Part of the Kaleidoscope Collection alongside sister hotels, The Bird, Bath – a chic, boutique offering in the city centre – and Bishopstrow Hotel and Spa in Warminster – a grand Georgian offering with impressive spa – Homewood is the retreat you need when seeking tranquillity.

Child friendly, dog friendly, ideal for weddings and a place where you can cosy up on a sofa, lounge at the spa, roam the gardens, and while away the hours over a great meal, Homewood is your home from home. Artful elements are in abundance, from the giant teddy bear sculpture in the grounds (among others) to the brightly decorated Valentine’s Bar, eclectic collection of items displayed throughout the lounges and the display of chandeliers in Olio Restaurant.

Though elegance radiates throughout, you’ll realise soon enough that there is nothing stuffy about this place at all, and that goes a long way in allowing for guests to feel at ease when enjoying a stay here.

Room

Homewood room
With great views, oh-so comfortable beds and plenty of luxuries throughout, the rooms and suites will impress. Image credit: Natasha Heard

With 21 main house bedrooms and 10 additional rooms and suites in Mallingford Mews, take your pick of the bunch and expect quite the variety thanks to unique statement artwork, individual décor and varying amenities, though common elements include sumptuously cosy beds, Dyson hairdryers and a generally welcoming place to relax.

Rooms, suites and hot tub suites are all available while most boast resplendent views of the surrounding area – the perfect sight to be greeted with each morning.

Room 20 was a spacious abode with a huge sofa at the foot of the bed, perfect for cosying up on, and a stand-alone bathtub ideal for long decadent soaks – a great way to remind yourself that your responsibilities are miles away. Dressed in a combination of rich, earthy and neutral tones and thick lush fabrics with delicately patterned elements, the room embodied comfort and elegance, and this was only cemented by the fact that I slept so very well upon the sizeable, sumptuous bed.

The triple aspect space was divided up into a bedroom, dressing/work area behind a door, which led, up a few steps, to the bathroom. A spacious walk-in shower with 100 Acres toiletries is the best wake up call and robes and slippers make for the perfect cover up when dashing to the spa in your swimwear. Expect useful elements such as a SMEG kettle and coffee machine, Wi-Fi, a fridge, large TV, iron and board, fan, lots of storage space, but no full-length mirror that I could find.

Food

‘Big Green Egg’ barbecue experience homewood
The ‘Big Green Egg’ barbecue experience comes highly recommended

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, private dining, your very own barbecue dining dome – the food offering at Homewood is a superior one, especially when you know that much of the food on your plate has travelled barely any distance to get there.

A feast for the senses, when opting for a meal at the ‘Big Green Egg’ barbecue experience expect a flourish of colours, scents, flavours and textures as each dish is presented – that’s if you opt for a ‘barbecue butler’ instead of cooking up the delights yourself, of course.  

Back for another season, delicious meats are cooked on the Big Green Egg barbecues and are enjoyed inside your very own dining pod on the lawn alongside scrumptious salads, tapas to start and Eton Mess to finish. Pair with a glass of Taittinger Champagne, a half bottle of wine and some great company and you’re in for a treat. Ideal for groups of four to eight, the spacious pods are temperature controlled with a Dyson Air Blade and laid up for a dining experience you’ll love.

Food includes tapas of chorizo picante, honey and almonds; gambas al Pil Pil with butter beans and lemon – both so tasty – as well as top quality smoked brisket, lamb cutlets, flat iron steak, seabass branzino, and Aubergine parmigiana, sides of dukkah baked cabbage and sweet potato salad – all full of flavour, texture and oh-so moreish. End with an Eton Mess with strawberries, lime and meringue and you’ll be booking in for another meal very soon.   

The barbecue experience is available seven days a week until October and costs £55 for lunch Monday to Friday, £80 for lunch on a weekend and £80 for dinner.

Homewood Bath food
Head to Olio or the barbecue dining domes for some delightful dishes

If you wish to make the most of the resident restaurant, Olio, while staying at Homewood, then you’ll be in for another treat as the choices are aplenty, the setting is stylish, and the staff are friendly and welcoming.  

The starter of pea panna cotta, pancetta, pea fritter, mint and parmesan was a modern take on the classic pea and ham pairing and boasted cool and warm elements, lovely textures, light flavours and it smelled and looked great too. The battered Brixham haddock with crushed mint peas, curried tartare and Koffman’s chips went down well and was a sizeable portion with chunky chips, while a hearty Walter Rose chicken with smoked bacon, avocado and hazelnut salad was full of crunch, crispiness, nuttiness and was enjoyed with a side of truffle and parmesan fries.

Desserts consisted of an affogato with amaretto and vanilla ice cream as well as an After Eight chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. There was a hint of mint in the latter dessert and didn’t quite live up to my expectations of an After Eight replica, but it was nice, nonetheless.

Breakfast is a simple menu and is all table service, I tucked into a fried egg, vegetarian sausage, beans and avocado as well as some great coffee and warmed mini pain au chocolat. Other items on the menu included porridge, pink grapefruit, yogurt, fruits, a full English, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and avocado and poached on sourdough.

Spa

Homewood Bath pool
While away the hours at Homewood’s spa and relax by the heated outdoor pool

If you haven’t treated yourself to one of the hot tub suites, then fear not as there’s a heated outdoor pool, indoor hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub (with great valley views) in the hotel spa. In addition to this, there are a great selection of treatments to book if you need to relax even further during your stay and day beds offer that welcoming spot to perch while you unwind after a massage or facial.

It’s one of those peaceful spots where you could easily spend hours of your time without even realising it, and the good news is that it’s due to get even better with a extension to the spa due to take place soon.

To do

bear sculpture Homewood
Don’t forget to seek out the sculptures in the hotel grounds

If all of that good food, spa time and relaxing in the lounges or your suite isn’t enough to keep you entertained, then head out for a wander around the grounds to spot the surprise sculptures before exploring further afield to the likes of Longleat, Bath, Castle Combe, or the Haynes International Motor Museum to satiate your needs.

Be cultural with the selection of museums in Bath, get sporty, invest in some retail therapy, check out the wildlife, the cars or simply sit back and enjoy what Homewood has to offer you.

In a nutshell

Welcoming faces, a peaceful location, spa days, barbecues, long evenings enjoying great food and a glass or two of wine, Homewood is a place where you can kick back and find your own pace for a little while. Time very well spent, I say.

Factbox

Address: Abbey Ln, Freshford, Bath BA2 7TB
Tel: 01225 580439
Email: reservations@homewoodbath.co.uk
Website: homewoodbath.co.uk
Instagram: instagram.com/homewoodbath

See snippets of my travels on Instagram @tashheard_food_travel

All imagery provided by Homewood.

Check Availability

And Book Online

Hotel
Homewood Hotel & Spa
LLM may receive some revenue if you click BOOK NOW & book a stay via Booking.com. See terms of use.

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