The Talbot Inn is in the village of Mells in Somerset, close to Frome and not far from Bath and Bristol.
Bristol airport is closest, 26 miles away (www.bristolairport.co.uk). Allow just under an hour for the drive. Flights land here from all over Europe, courtesy of airlines including KLM, Ryanair, EasyJet and Aer Lingus.
Get to Frome from London Waterloo in two and a quarter hours, with a change in Westbury, with First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) and you’ll be 10 minutes away by car. Alternatively, hop on at Paddington and it’s a direct 90 minutes to Bath.
The hotel has free parking. The drive from London should take around two hours, depending on traffic along the A303. From the North, use the M5. It’s 20 minutes by car to Bath.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Talbot Inn is in the historic village of Mells, set in some of Somerset’s most photogenic countryside – perfect for afternoons spent cycling, clay-pigeon shooting (try The Big Shoot near Wells: www.thebigshoot.co.uk), fishing, golf and horse riding or just rambling around.The Roman city of Bath is half an hour away by car, and you’ll also be within reach of Longleat, Stonehenge and Stourhead.
Eight miles away, Longleat is a stately home with a difference: lions roam the grounds and eagles soar in the skies. This epic safari park, the first of its kind in this country, has been bringing a tropical touch to Wiltshire for over 60 years (+44 (0)1985 844496; www.longleat.co.uk). 13 miles away, south of Frome, Stourhead is a Palladian mansion with world-renowned grounds (+44 (0)1747 841152; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead). Wander amid the grottoes and temples, and see who spots the famous film set first.
On King Street in Frome, three miles away, contemporary gastropub Archangel serves staples of Modern British fare such as scallops, mackerel and pork belly in a bare-brick walled dining room and bar, with low-slung velvet sofas (+44 (0)1373 456111; www.archangelfrome.com). Plump for Cornish mussels, a Somerset ploughman’s, or pitch up on a Sunday afternoon for a classic roast. Try out the Talbot’s big sister, The Beckford Arms, 40 minutes away in Fonthill Gifford ( +44 (0)1747 870 385). Expect more of the same winning combination of local fare, cosy surroundings and roaring open fires. In Bruton, 20 minutes’ drive from Mells, At The Chapel is an elegant old coaching inn with a whole host of dining options: café, restaurant, bakery or wood-fired pizzeria(+44 (0)1749 814070; www.atthechapel.co.uk).
The Garden Café on Stony Street in Frome is a lovely spot for Sunday breakfast (especially alfresco, in summer), specialising in natural, organic food (+44 (0)1373 454178; gardencafefrome.co.uk). Its cakes are rib-stickingly good.