The joys of traveling south on a sunny Friday afternoon. It took us 3 hours to drive just over 60 miles, meaning that by the time we arrived at the B&B we were both desperate to use the toilet. But no one was in, so we had to sneak into the garden and go behind a bush. Fortunately the garden is huge and not overlooked so we didn’t alarm the neighbours. Although I did have to pretend that Rich was off admiring the flowers when Jacqui, our host for the weekend, came home just as he’d disappeared to find a suitable spot.

Jacqui, her husband, and their rescue dog Mac, run Flint House – a very majestic grade 2 listed stone house in Somerset, just south of Bath. We don’t usually stay in boutique lodgings, but liked the quirkiness of the house and owners, and so decided to push the boat out a little, not least because we were there to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. Awwwww. Previous guests include Agatha Christie and Princess Margaret. Not surprisingly, they’ve never had anyone staying here to go llama trekking before…

Jacqui is definitely a hostess with the mostest, and after tea and cake showed us to the ‘blue room’ with its wonderful 6ft wide bed. The room was about the size of some flats I’ve lived in. Peaceful, and cool on a hot day thanks to the wooden shutters on the windows. I’d describe the decor as faded grandeur. And we liked faded grandeur. It’s much more accessible than full on 5* luxury, and makes you feel like less of an eejit for spending silly money on things that look nice, when what really matters is the less superficial stuff.

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If you do like luxury though this B&B will still do it for you I’m sure. The gardens are huge, there’s even a tennis court, and Jacqui’s meals and snacks could rival any upmarket tea shop. She can prepare dinner if she’s given plenty of advance notice, but we like to explore and so walked 10 minutes up quiet country lanes to the Holcombe Inn for dinner.

It’s a gastro pub but not a pompous one, and the prices are very reasonable. They managed to squeeze us in despite not having a reservation, but do book if you go on weekends, as the place filled up shortly after we arrived. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals of ham, egg and chips (me), and lamb and mint pie (Rich). They even served a gluten free chocolate brownie for pudding, and since it would have been rude not to, I did. Rich couldn’t decide between the array of local ice creams on offer, and so got given a helping of all 4. At least we could roll home downhill.

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