The Muddy Duck
- Style Homely, historic hideaway
- Setting Stony hillside hamlet
This atmospheric, shadowy pub just outside of Bath feels like it’s part of a Dutch painting. The Muddy Duck (formerly the King's Arms) has bursts of soft light filtering through the darkened room, with flickering candlelight and cosy fires. Once you’ve settled in, you won’t want to go far from this stone-walled wisteria-clad country inn, built on the rumour-riddled remains of an 11th-century monastery.
Need to know
- Rooms Three.
- Rates Double rooms from $150.11 (£92), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities Free WiFi throughout, book and DVD library and a courtyard. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, free bottled water and REN bath products.
- Check–out 11am, but flexible for free. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children Cots for babies are provided free (extra beds are £20 a night each), and there’s a children’s menu. Babysitting can be arranged in advance.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms We love Room 3; it’s got the most space in the house, a super-king-size sleigh bed piled high with pillows, a freestanding roll-top bath and a stone wood-burning fireplace. Its antique accordion modesty screen isn’t bad either. Room 2 is smaller but still feels spacious – with enough room for a window seat and a vanilla-coloured sleigh bed.
- Packing tips A capsule wardrobe encompassing both city slicker (for Georgian jaunts into Bath) and country dweller (for rural rambling in Wiltshire) looks.
Food and drink at The Muddy Duck
- Hotel restaurant The restaurant side of the bar has a wood-burning fireplace, parquet flooring, heavy wooden tables and old beams. There are stacks of books to borrow on the window sills and vivid flowers dressing up the moody, masculine room. The brasserie-style menu has fish fresh in from Brixham Market, and most other ingredients from nearby Neston Park Farm Shop.
- Dress code Comfortable country casuals – muddy wellies welcome.
- Top table Warming up by the fire, or in a cosy booth at the other end. When the weather plays along, take your pint out onto the leafy courtyard.
- Last orders Breakfast is served between 8am and 10.30am. Lunch is available 12pm–3pm; dinner, 6pm–10pm. The bar stays open till 11pm (later at weekends).
- Room service Anything you can get downstairs can be delivered to your room between 8am and 10pm.
- Hotel bar Guests gather by the stone fireplace in the pub to drink robust English ales such as Otter Amber and Butcombe as they steal tips on the region from the many lyrical locals.