Simon Wittenberg makes his final stop on his 600-mile tour of the South West of the UK in Wiltshire’s picturesque countryside.
Opened in 1989, Howard’s House Hotel is nestled away in the very picturesque village of Teffont Evias, and sits opposite the fast-moving crystal clear River Teff which winds through the Nadder Valley. The Grade II listed building harks back to 1623, and is well located to explore some of Wiltshire’s most famous landmarks including Salisbury Cathedral (10 miles away), Stonehenge (12 miles away) and Wilton House (seven miles away).
Run by the Greenwood family, they have made a significant investment to create the splendour that it is today. This beautiful country house hotel with manicured gardens, which has a certain B&B feel about it, is very relaxing, and everything is done there at a matching slow pace. Guests are greeted on arrival by helpful staff rather than the more familiar front reception desk, and all transactions seemed to be done in the narrow hallway, which connects the ‘snug’, the kitchen, lounge and dining room.
There are 10 rooms in total (one is kept for staff) and all are reached via a relatively steep staircase. There’s no lift, but instead, there’s a porter on hand to help carry any luggage between floors. 2016 saw the conversion of Howard House’s largest bedroom into a luxury Superior Room, otherwise known as room number eight, which is also the most spacious in terms of the accommodation on offer. Costing £225 per night for bed and breakfast, we were fortunate enough to stay in this room which overlooked the adjacent fields, and it was so quiet, that all you could hear was birdsong – it was idyllic.
The fresh crisp white linen-covered the super king-sized bed, and room number eight also featured two seating areas adjacent to the TV, which came complete with a Nespresso machine, a jar of biscuits, as well as a box full of different types of tea. Climbing up a couple of steps towards the door, and you reach the small bathroom which was lined with nicely-scented Ren Skincare toiletries, and hosted a bath with a wall-mounted shower.
Lunch and dinner are served every day at Howard’s House, and we sampled the latter. The menu for the evening meal uses the freshest of produce including that of the hotel’s own gardens, and therefore changes on a daily basis. The à la carte is not extensive (there are seven dishes for each course), but there is nevertheless plenty of choice and costs £37 for two dishes and £46.50 for three. Before heading to our table, we were invited to sit in the cosy lounge with fellow guests, largely of the older generation, to peruse the menu in the company of some complementary and rather tasty amuse-bouches of olives, nuts, smoked salmon with blue cheese and cured venison.
Once in the dining room, we were served some fresh bread and a small portion of smoked haddock with saffron mayonnaise, before I tucked into my starter of home cured beetroot Scottish Salmon with pink grapefruit. It was excellent both in terms of its presentation and the recipe. Other starters took the form of pigeon breast, ham hock terrine and scallops.
Some of the fine dishes at Howard’s House Hotel.
For the mains, I went for the tender fillet of brill fish which sat in a delightful saffron consommé and was surrounded by sun-blushed tomatoes and broccoli. My other half opted for the impressive “Duo of lamb”, a piece of cannon of lamb and braised lamb shoulder which was accompanied by honey parsnip purée, kale and rosemary jus. We were truly full after the first two courses, but there were many mouth-watering desserts to tempt us which were namely warm chocolate brownie, passion fruit soufflé and crème brûlée. However, we resisted and duty retired to the comforts of our room.
Overlooking the garden fountain, breakfast is served back in the main restaurant and there is no “help yourself buffet” here as everything is made to order, and is served at a leisurely pace. We enjoyed some fresh fruit salad, orange juice, toast and some welsh rarebit with a poached egg which set us up nicely for our journey back to London.
Howard’s House Hotel is the perfect stopover for a romantic weekend, a celebration or simply for afternoon tea. Its quiet and secluded setting is the ideal formula to get away from it all and is certainly worth a visit when in Wiltshire.
Howard’s House Hotel – Where and How?
Howard’s House Hotel is located at Teffont Evias, Salisbury SP3 5RJ, United Kingdom. For more information, or to make reservation, visit www.howardshousehotel.co.uk
We travelled to Howard’s House Hotel in the Lexus GS F.