Babcary, Red Lion Inn
Somerset TA11 7ED
A charismatic thatched pub in the heart of un spoilt Somerset, the Red Lion Inn Babcary has been restored by Charlie and Clare Garrard into a place where locals and visitors rub along happily together.
It’s still very much a drinkers’ pub, with regional ales and local ciders at the pumps, and the place has been stripped back to reveal the very best of its original character – flagstone floors, real fires and lots of nooks and crannies. There’s a leather sofa in front of the wood-burner in the main bar for those chilly winter evenings, while in the cosy village bar under low beams the piano sits ready for a sing-a-long and table skittles await. The more formal dining area with its burnished dark-wood tables is watched over by a huge stone lion’s head protruding above the open fireplace. The garden has plenty of space for eating and drinking outdoors, and the revamped Den – a chic little converted barn (or ‘posh garden shed’) – has a smart paved terrace and a wood-fired oven.
The six bedrooms are in the converted Grade II stable block in the pub’s garden, which has been restored using original materials and is accessed via a pin code entry system. Four rooms are on the ground floor and the other two – the larger options – are up on the first floor. The two bigger rooms have sofa beds, making them ideal family spaces, and one of the ground-floor rooms has disabled/limited mobility access and a wet room. The classic/contemporary rooms have shaker-style shutters at the windows and artworks by Clare’s sister, Jackie Rennie (impressionistic rural scenes, which you can purchase if they catch your eye). The rooms are stylishly kitted out, with muted natural colours, low lighting, huge comfy beds with crushed velvet headboards and fake fur throws. Wooden floors in the smart bathrooms mean your feet don’t get too cold! Breakfast is served in the pub’s bar or across the courtyard in The Den.
And all just a 10 minute drive from the Bath and West Showground