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Summer Lodge, Evershot, Dorset
Traditional luxury in a charming West Dorset village surrounded by stunning countryside and within half an hour of the coast. Once home to the Earls of Ilchester, Summer Lodge keeps the feel of a fine country home thanks to opulent furnishings and artwork featuring handsome horses and gun dogs. As well as elegant rooms in the main house, there are upmarket self-contained cottages in the village. The four-acre gardens are just as impressive as many you might pay to visit, and the spa, complete with indoor pool, is a big draw. There's an excellent restaurant and the service is suitably slick. It all combines to make this a great spot for a short country break for couples or families.
Reasons to visit Summer Lodge Country House Hotel
Traditional interior style
We love the peaceful location, close to the coast but without the crowds, and the stunning walks right on the doorstep.
Summer Lodge is a five-star country house hotel in the heart of Hardy country - the sleepy village of Evershot, in the Dorset countryside.
By car: The hotel is 3 hours from London and Birmingham and just under 4 hours from Cambridge. There is plenty of parking on-site.
By train: London Waterloo to Yeovil Junction train station takes 2 hours 20 mins. The hotel is a 15-minute taxi from the station. thetrainline.com
By plane: Bournemouth Airport (44 miles)
Style & Character
The hotel makes a peaceful and romantic retreat for couples, but children and dogs are also made very welcome. The sumptuous drawing room occupies an extension designed in 1893 by author Thomas Hardy, who originally trained as an architect.
Service & Facilities
The pool is glass covered, making the most of the views of the surrounding, classically English gardens. Pets are pampered, with dog beds, bowls, towels, dog-food menu, 'dog in room' door hanger and a list of walks.
- Swimming pool
- Family rooms
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The splendid garden suite comes complete with a private courtyard garden and a conservatory with bar and private dining area. We love snuggling down among soft Belgian linen with a fire crackling in the grate, chef's homemade shortbread on hand for midnight snacks.
Cosy Double, Classic King, Superior King/Twin, Principal King, Courtyard Suites, Duplex Cottage Suite, Master Bedroom, Ivy Cottage, Garden Suite, Bea's Cottage
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with shower, luxury toiletries, coffee and tea facilities, biscuits, mineral water, fresh fruit, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, TV, desk, fresh flowers
Food & Drink
Chef Steven Titman's dishes are creative but not too complex, letting the locally sourced ingredients shine. The Lyme Bay brill fillet, basmati rice, sautéed king prawn and Thai lobster curry sauce is our favourite dish - fresh local fish and bold flavours.
The restaurant: classic English and modern European dishes, fine dining, extensive wine list. Mains from £27. Open for dinner, 6.30-8.30pm and Sunday lunch 12.30-1.30pm.