Hotel Review: The Eastbury

Always on the hunt for the perfect weekend getaway, Carole Hamilton checks in to The Eastbury hotel in Sherborne

Having fallen in love with just about everything that The Cary Arms in Devon has to offer, I was excited to discover more about The Eastbury in Dorset, the latest of Peter de Savary’s boutique hotels.

Sherborne is a delight and packed with historic buildings at every turn including Sherborne Abbey, the manor house, several top independent schools and two castles: the ruins of a 12th-century fortified palace and the 16th-century mansion known as Sherborne Castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh. There’s also a traffic-free high street with a wide range of independent shops (check out The Circus for fabulous girlie stuff) cafes and a couple of very nice pubs. No chance of getting bored on this weekend away!

The Eastbury hotel is right in the heart of the town so you can park your car for the duration of your stay, everything is on the doorstep and just a short stroll away.

The hotel – originally a gentleman’s rather fine Georgian townhouse – has recently undergone a bit of a revamp and there’s more to come next year with the addition of several new rooms in the garden. It has an easy charm from the minute you arrive.

Our room complete with an opulent four poster ‘Princess’ bed was lovely with French doors out onto our own little private garden. The fresh flowers and the complimentary sloe gin were nice touches and the freshly baked cookies were delicious.

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The Seasons restaurant is headed up by former BBC Masterchef The Professionals and and Roux Scholarship finalist, Matt Street and his food is easy to recommend. We opted for the tasting menu which is excellent value at £45 or £70 with matching wines.

Pork coppa, snaps, peas, burrata, olive oil
Vale of Camelot cheese brûlée, pear, celeriac & walnuts
Devon crab, cucumber, horseradish, apple & dill
Rump of lamb, caramelised red onions, Greek yoghurt, courgette, oregano
Caramelised banana, salted caramel, pecan brittle
Valrhona chocolate crémeux, hazelnut ice cream, passionfruit

Every course was beautifully cooked and a delight to the eye, with the cheese brûlée matched with a wickedly silky Muscat from Chile being the highlight for me. My other half loved the delicate crab with cucumber and a dash of wasabi. We both have a sweet tooth and are still talking about that banana with salted caramel and pecan brittle.

After a blissful night’s sleep, the Princess bed was so comfy, we enjoyed a hearty Dorset full English with some excellent local sausages and deliciously smoky bacon. We resisted the just-made croissants and muffins but the people on the next table were raving about them so I’m thinking they are to be recommended.

The verdict
The Eastbury may not have the stunning sea view that The Cary Arms enjoys but for a weekend break, we loved this charming hotel in what must be one of the prettiest towns in the Dorset. We enjoyed the best balance between seeing the sights and sitting in the hotel lounge in front of the open fire reading the papers and eating freshly made scones. The perfect weekend retreat.

The Eastbury, Sherborne, Dorset
01935 813131

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