Monday, 20 August 2012

Sunny Weekend at Black Dog Farm

Another weekend another birthday party - or so it seems at the moment! This weekend saw us driving down in the heat to Wiltshire, just over the border from Bath and on the doorstep of Longleat to celebrate my friend, Karen's birthday. She has done the big step of leaving North London and moving to the country, to a remote 16th century cottage on the edge of a bluebell wood. Beautiful as hell, but not within striking distance of a pint of milk or a newspaper so hopeless for me...

What she was within striking distance of however, was the Black Dog Farm B&B which is at the end of her track and on the A36 - so easy to get to and a great base for exploring the area.

Black Dog Farm has been run as a B&B for the past 18 years by Lyn and Fraser Mills and it is with them that we stayed the night, staggering back along the track in the dark after an evening of drink and food. What lovely people and what a lovely place to stay.

If you are looking for bijou, boutique hotel then forget it. Black Dog Farm is traditional, slightly old-fashioned but brilliantly English, with those little touches that show that the owners want you to feel special. It was originally a coaching inn hence the close proximity to the road, and now sits within it's sprawling farm outhouses with a cottage garden reminiscent of a Peter Rabbit story.

There aren't any rabbits but there are chickens and home-made jam. The welcome by the couple is genuinely warm and friendly. Nothing is too much trouble and the rooms pretty and traditional too, with en suite and a comfortable bed. Ours overlooked the garden and a wide sky.

Breakfast was a real highlight and was enormous. Everything was excellent quality from the sausages to the fresh coffee. On returning from our night out we came across Fraser making fresh bread for the morning which provided perfect toast - what more could you ask.

Black Dog Farm is within striking distance of Bath, Bristol, Longleat Safari Park, mystical Avebury with it's ancient standing stones and many other interesting places in this fantastic part of the country. Prices are really good and they welcome those with young children (though not dogs as they have one of their own). Check their site for rates, details and more on the surrounding area.

The Black Dog Bed & Breakfast

The hen house

Black Dog gardens

A proper Georgian farmhouse hallway

The breakfast at the Black Dog Bed and Breakfast

The standing stones at Avebury

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