When the Dispensary isn’t open for dinner, wend your way to the bar early and bag the table by the fire for a G&T.
Best of British, with a unique twist to match your idiosyncratic surroundings: tweeds, heritage cashmere and pussy-bow blouses will go down nicely, jazzed-up with unusual jewellry.
Helmed by executive chef Matt Gillard, the Dispensary is open daily for breakfast and dinner and serves modern, British fare – say, cod with caviar cream and wild mushrooms, suckling pig croquette with pine nut purée and lemon posset with thyme and lemon curd. Like the rest of the hotel, the restaurant is bursting with curios, collections and contemporary art – shelves lining the walls are stacked with blown-glass trinkets and multi-coloured, antique chemists’ bottles. Don’t forget to stop by for afternoon tea in the sitting room, where each sandwich ingredient can be linked to a local farm, and the list of brews – all served in silver tea pots – is as long as a Georgian petticoat (try the Gunpowder Green and Organic Jade Sword, if you’re feeling adventurous). Sunday lunch is not to be missed, too, with Hampshire pork belly, roast chicken in a truffle sauce, Wyfe of Bath cheese soufflé and other hearty dishes.
It’s easy to lose an afternoon in Bar 15 (open from 6.30pm to 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday, 6.30pm–11pm on Friday and Saturday), a pastel-coloured treasure trove groaning with trinkets: glass tables display vintage jewellry and an accent wall behind the bar is lined in scalloped, leather scales, fashioned to look like exotic fish. Cocktails come in colourful cut-crystal glassware that will soon be drained – we like the Oriental Negroni with Roku gin, vermouth and Aperol, and the Bittersweet with honey tequila and melon liqueur. If you’re peckish, raid the bar's menu of light snacks (served 2.30pm to 8.30pm) and sharing boards.
Breakfast (7.30am–10.30am, from 8am on weekends), lunch (noon–2.30pm, 12.20pm –3.30pm on Sundays) and dinner (6.30pm–9.30pm) are served in the Dispensary. Take afternoon tea from noon to 5pm (from 2.30pm on Sundays) in Bar 15.
You can have breakfast in your room between 7.30am and 10.30am.