There’s many places that I dream of visiting, but I have to admit a Potting Shed isn’t one of them, so when we were invited to visit The Eastbury, a luxury Georgian country house hotel and spa in the glorious countryside of Dorset and spend the night in one of their newly added luxury ‘Victorian Garden Potting Shed Suites’, I have to say I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see what was in store.
Set within the hotel’s beautiful walled garden, these unique Potting Sheds are aptly named after herbs, and are as eco-friendly as possible, with roofs made from moss and sedum and surrounded by plants and flowers.
Whilst externally resembling a traditional Victorian Garden Potting Shed, internally is a completely different story. Walk through the door into a luxurious rustic haven. White walls create the perfect backdrop for the earthy tones that accesorise the room. The large chocolate brown headboard takes centre stage against a feature brick wall, ultra-modern touches include a chunky wooden mirror that turns into a TV (I want one), underfloor heating and bi-fold doors that open on to your own private terrace, complete with a firepit and chairs, an outdoor haven to bask in the sunshine in summer and cosy around the fire in winter.
There’s an outdoor hot tub, couple’s hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, mini gym area and two treatment rooms. This small intimate spa can be booked for you to have exclusive use with a partner or small group of friends, the icing on the cake for a romantic getaway. Whilst at the spa I enjoyed an indulgent aromatherapy massage, which is designed to assist the body to balance, heal, and experience peace, calm and harmony, it certainly achieved all this and more, leaving me floating back to my potting shed, where I curled up in a blanket and continued to enjoy the peace and tranquillity as I sat cocooned in the warmth from the outside firepit.
It took all my effort to drag myself away from my tranquil corner and get ready for dinner, taking place in the hotel’s award winning 2 rosette Seasons Restaurant.
Every table in the restaurant is placed so guests have a perfect view of the country cottage like garden, we certainly weren’t disappointed, atmospheric lighting and soft music created an intimate, relaxing ambience to enjoy a delightful culinary journey.
We opted for the tasting menu with the accompanying wine flight and certainly weren’t disappointed
An amuse bouche of creamy leek soup accompanied with artisan breads and tomato butter, was perfect for teasing our taste buds for the rest of the menu.
The venison tartare was complimented with a quail yolk, hints of juniper and blackberry and black pudding toast, a mouth-watering array of textures and tastes, paired perfectly with a South African Chenin Blanc
Whipped goats’ cheese, served with a chilled beetroot soup, orange, hazelnuts, golden beetroot and baby chard was a rainbow of colours, the crunchiness of the nuts added great texture and the sweet dessert wine that accompanied was delightful, it has to be my favourite dish.
Devon crab, cucumber, wasabi, brown crab tuile, green apple, grapefruit and dill was next, served with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the crab was so fresh and the flavours combined were divine.
Roasted lamb with Tandoori spice, cauliflower, cucumber yoghurt and black dal was cooked perfectly, the lamb literally melted in the mouth and the slight kick of spices from the cauliflower was tapered down instantly with the creamy cucumber yogurt.
Pinenut milk served with lemon sorbet and limoncello was ideal for refreshing the palette ready for the final dish of Valrhona chocolate cremeux, served with passion fruit ice cream that gives a burst of citrusy flavours to the rich chocolate, served with my all-time favourite dessert wine Elysium, the perfect end to a journey of culinary excellence.
Back in our Potting Shed, the temptation to throw back the bifold doors, light the fire pit, snuggle under a blanket and watchthe stars whilst sipping sloe gin (a decanter along with a bottle of wine are part of your welcome) proved too great and we lazed under the stars enjoying the tranquil, serene space until the early hours of the morning.
Next morning it was back to Seasons restaurant for breakfast, an array of fresh local ingredients certainly fuelled our bodies for the day ahead and before we had to sadly check out we made sure we went back to nature and enjoyed a coffee in one of the glass garden pods, surrounded by the lush greenery it was the idyllic way to ends what had been an idyllic stay, the only negative, we didn’t want to leave!
A potting shed suite starts from £325, per night on a B&B basis based on two people sharing.
A Double Room in the main hotel starts from £195 per night on a B&B basis based on two sharing.
To book or for more information, visit www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk