Somerset, United Kingdom

The Talbot Inn

Rates per night from$107.93

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP83.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Classic coaching inn

Setting

Somerset stableyard

The Talbot Inn hotel in Somerset’s historic village of Mells is an old coach house that’s well used to taking in weary guests. It’s been smartened up since the 15th century, with slick Scandinavian stylings, bespoke bath products and crisp Egyptian cotton, but you can still be sure of a warm welcome and a hearty meal.
 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Home-made Talbot scones with jam and cream, and a pot of tea on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Talbot Inn facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Eight, including one suite.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $107.93 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include full English breakfast.

Also

Learn local history in the Sitting Room – a 500-year-old beamed tythe barn that has been restored, kitted out with sofas and stocked with games. One wall is decorated with a mural depicting the history of Mells, from Roman times to present day. The room can also be booked for private dining, and the projector gets an outing every Sunday night for the Talbot’s weekly film screenings.

At the hotel

Garden; petanque piste; library of films and books; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV with DVD player, radio, iPod dock, hairdryer, hair straighteners, tea and coffee tray, and bespoke Bramley bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We love Very Large Room One for its laid-back, luxurious feel – it’s definitely one to impress for a special weekend away, thanks to its freestanding bath by the window, sash windows overlooking the garden and spacious ensuite. The pretty pastel-green furnishings in Room Three also caught our eye, as well as its grand four-poster bed and bathroom tucked away at the top of a couple of steps (taller guests: remember to duck).

Packing tips

Wax jackets and wellies.

Pet‐friendly

Dogs are allowed (in room 8 only) for a one-off fee of £10, which includes a bowl and some treats – make sure you mention it when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Somerset.

Children

Cots and extra beds are provided free for kids up to three. There’s one family room with two bedrooms, one of which has twin beds.

Food and Drink

Photos The Talbot Inn food and drink

Top Table

Join in the fun at the lively, long communal tables in the Coach House Grill, watching a suckling pig or trout sizzle on the spit, or seclude yourselves by the fire in the Snug. For people-watching, your best bet’s the Map Room.

Dress Code

Barbour, Belstaff and Burberry to fit in with the cool country set.

Hotel restaurant

There are two. The Talbot’s main restaurant spills across a four-room warren of Bar, Snug, (indoor) Courtyard and cartographically decorated Map Room. The kitchen serves classic Brit gastropub fare (venison loin, Cornish pollock, buttermilk pudding with rhubarb, and the like), with an emphasis on ingredients that have been grown, cured or smoked on site. At weekends, the coal-fired Coach House Grill takes star billing, and the menu is dominated by flame-grilled meat and fish dishes, including unmissable Sunday roasts.

Hotel bar

The pub serves an impressive range of local ales and ciders, as well as a vast wine list and inventive bar snacks such as duck hearts on toast and the Talbot’s signature sausage roll. House cocktails include bellinis made with local peach liqueur and bloody Marys made with horseradish from the kitchen garden. There’s an extra bar in the Coach House Grill Room, which is where to head if gin’s your thing – it has an extensive selection.

Last orders

Breakfast is served 8–10am in the Map Room. The main restaurant is open daily from noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9.30pm. The Coach House Grill opens Friday and Saturday evenings from 6.30pm until 9.30pm, and Sundays for lunch between noon and 3pm.

Location

Photos The Talbot Inn location
Address
The Talbot Inn
Selwood St, Mells
Frome
BA11 3PN
United Kingdom

The Talbot Inn is in the village of Mells in Somerset, close to Frome and not far from Bath and Bristol.

Planes

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.

Trains

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.

Automobiles

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), 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. Just 13 miles away, south of Frome, Stourhead is a Palladian mansion with world-renowned grounds. Wander amid the grottoes and temples, and see who spots the famous film set first.

Local restaurants

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. 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. 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.

Local cafés

The Garden Café on Stony Street in Frome is a lovely spot for Sunday breakfast (especially alfresco, in summer), specialising in natural, organic food. Its cakes are rib-stickingly good.

Reviews

Photos The Talbot Inn reviews
Jon Stibbs

Anonymous review

By Jon Stibbs, Travelling pen for hire

The Velvet Underground’s ‘Who Loves the Sun?’ gently sounded in the centuries-old bar. ‘Not everyone,’ replied Lou Reed to his own question. You crazy cross-dressing fool, Lou, I thought as Mrs Smith and I took our drinks to one of the tables in the glorious sunshine. Outside, there was that foreign heat that can only be properly described as ‘scorchio’.

People have been staying at the Talbot Inn since the 15th century, when horses drew coaches through the entrance of the elegant façade. Fragrant, flowering lavender now lines the cobblestones that feed onto the quiet gardens, where Mrs Smith subdued an urge to dance like a flower fairy among the pink and violet poppies. Across half a millennia, the Talbot has evolved with all the logic of a duck-billed platypus. The cosy bedrooms are arranged around a higgledy-piggledy array of crooked passageways, behind random doors and over unaccountable steps. These curious corridors must have seen countless illicit assignations and perplexed stumbling through mistaken doors.

The builders had an eye to future generations. Sadly, these foresighted folk failed to predict we might grow taller, so we did have to duck and occasionally swear. To modern eyes accustomed to soulless business hotels, it seems impossibly romantic. Additionally and refreshingly, Talbot’s staff has not had their personalities polished off. The various buildings include the bar/pub, connected to the restaurant and below the majority of the few rooms. Step out to the comfort of the sitting room and the Coach House Grill Room has a bar with 21 English gins – yes – 21 gins! Despite its hefty heritage, the hotel has eschewed the dubious charms of olde-worlde tattery. Instead of chintz, there’s understated modern art on the muted walls. Our accommodation – the Abercrombie suite – had a topless four-poster bed, a tweed armchair and a window seat. One of the other rooms has a stand-alone bath with a glorious view onto the garden, for the joy of bathers and anyone in the right spot when it’s time for the towel.

The village of Mells is taken from the Latin word mellis meaning honey, and while we saw no hives, it is incredibly sweet. Think thatch, pheasants and fishermen; the air was heavy with rosemary, roses and honeysuckle. The one shop stocks all the local cheeses, meats and bucolic goodies you would hope for. I nearly bought a copy of The Field when I saw headlines for ‘Gunny Mummies’ and ‘Tweedy Guitar Heroes’. Beside Mells’ fine boozer – The Talbot – the village is blessed with a glorious church. Justin, waiter and historian, took us on an unforgettable trip up the stone stairwell into the bell tower. Inside, he showed us the delicate mechanism to play the bells and he let me trigger them to off – woohoo! I can exclusively report that, yes, they do have bats in the belfry.

From the top of the tower, we looked out to the famous white horse of Salisbury Plain, down on Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Knox buried in the cemetery, and onto the local manor. The entrance to the Asquith family’s 16th-century home is marked by the scent of wild garlic and two stone ‘talbot’ dogs. The Asquiths are accustomed to responsibility, they count a PM among their number and used to name all the kids in the village until the mid-1800s.

The architect Edwin Lutyens had a heavy Victorian hand in the village. While he is probably best known for his work in New Delhi, Mells remains undeniable Old England. We took one of the hotel’s recommended walks for a trip into Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Mrs Smith was in her element pointing out buttercups, wild strawberries, snapdragons, dog roses, sweet peas and moon daisies. Several of which I suspect she did not invent.

In the peak of summer and machete-less, we snaked through a jungle-like path of head-height cow parsley setting off explosions of seeds. Looking for a picnic spot, we startled a deer to reveal the perfect place amid clover, beside a hedgerow and billowing trees. By this time, Mrs Smith had sunk into a reverie and was singing what she could remember of ‘Jerusalem’. ‘This countryside is all encompassing,’ I said as I found a snail in my pocket. ‘Bumtittybum of burning gold,’ replied Mrs Smith, happily.

Thirsty and inquisitive, we walked past the geraniums on the piano at the Garden at Mells – a garden centre, school and café – for a drink. Like a lion on a gazelle, I set about a glass of elderflower fizz; ‘That’s my man,’ breathed Mrs Smith, clearly impressed. We ate dinner in the restaurant’s map room. A Monday night, all the tables were taken, which is testament to the local ingredients and cooking. I had a tomato salad with cannellini beans, duck with buttery cabbage and – joy! – cheese: Westcombe cheddar, blue Wensleydale, biscuits like crumble topping, and thick relish heavy with spices.

Mrs Smith chose tender pigeon breast, hake with black-eyed peas, and gooseberry and elderflower tart with ginger ice-cream. There was silence when her pudding arrived and then the gentlest ‘Oh’ when she found a tiny elderflower embedded in the crust. This is not the place to come to mash it up. We went for a night walk and the only sounds were church bells, owls and the breeze through the trees.

We were fashionably late for breakfast, which doesn’t count for a lot in rural Somerset. A jar of hangover remedies was laid out on the buffet table, next to the ingredients to blend our own Bloody Mary using horseradish grown in the Talbot’s garden. We picked up dismembered newspapers and read as we awaited the arrival of our perfect eggs royale; this is England.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Talbot Inn’s Guestbook below.

We loved

I had a terrific visit at the Talbot Inn and will find any excuse to return. The staff made me feel immediately at home. My room far exceeded my expectations – this was a last-minute visit so I got the only accommodation still available, which they deceptively call The Small Room. In fact. it wasn't small at all and had a beautiful view over the village and tea garden across the street. The manager gave me a tour of the other rooms for future visits – to say they are large is an understatement (now I know why my room was called small in comparison.) The hotel is beautifully decorated, warm and welcoming – casual elegance done right. The 15th century inn was recently renovated but retains the centuries of history that make the pub so charming and historic. Most importantly, the staff at the Talbot Inn are what really make this place special – a special shout out to Nathan, Georgie and Sam for making my stay so memorable. See you all soon.

Don’t expect

...to be disappointed!

Rating

Stayed on 4 Aug 2019

We loved

The nice, well-designed rooms, the great pub atmosphere, the friendly staff, the all-natural great smelling toiletries, the likeable breakfast presentation and the really great dinner. In total, it was a treat - well definitely come back!

Don’t expect

Broad stairs and high corridor ceilings.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jun 2019

We loved

The Talbot Inn staff were amazing: they settled us in, showed us around, suggested walks and created such a chilled, relaxing atmosphere. The breakfast was delicious.

Don’t expect

Polished luxury.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jun 2019

We loved

We loved staying at the Talbot Inn. It's beautiful and storybook-esque. Not only is it nice to stay in the country but it's a convenient and short drive to Bath and the pub and restaurant with an outdoor patio make for a lovely evening in if you want to rest. The staff were very welcoming and the breakfast that comes with the stay is great!

Rating

Stayed on 24 May 2019

We loved

We loved the spacious and upscale room.

Don’t expect

Don't expect perfectly straight wood floors – this place has been well-renovated but kept its old charm.

Rating

Stayed on 17 May 2019

We loved

The staff were excellent  welcoming and friendly. There was good choice and quality of food and wine. The bed was comfy and there was a good selection of bath products. It's popular with the locals.

Don’t expect

Smart attire  casual dress is the norm.

Rating

Stayed on 5 May 2019

We loved

We loved the Talbot even more the second time around. This time, we brought American friends with us and they also loved the atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff and the food. The staff are knowledgeble about what to see and do in the area and told us about a fantastic river walk.

Don’t expect

Don't expect very large rooms in the cheaper categories, but they are very clean and comfortable. The great lounge in a (close) separate building means there is somewhere to sit quietly and have a drink if that's what you need.

Rating

Stayed on 3 May 2019

We loved

It was a lovely place – the staff couldn't do enough for you.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Apr 2019

We loved

The whole experience at The Talbot. The staff were all really friendly and helpful and the food was of a high quality with signature dishes we both really loved. The style and elegance of the place soon make you realise you are in a special place with old world charm, in a delightful building. The comfort of our room was on a par with the best hotels we have stayed in and, unusually, we were reluctant to leave that lush chamber to go home. The village is small but charming. Besides the impressive church and its interesting history, we loved walking around the lanes looking in wonder at the ancient homes, many hundreds of years old. In the walled garden opposite you can have afternoon tea in a lovely open area with extensive views over the fields, feeling rather lucky.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Apr 2019

We loved

We loved our stay at The Talbot. The 'Very Large' room was perfect. Our dinner and breakfast were delicious. Staff all very helpful and welcoming. Lovely local pub vibe. Super relaxing and picturesque surroundings. Would 100% recommend.

Don’t expect

A party!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Mar 2019

We loved

Room was really lovely, the staff are most pleasant, energetic and yet relaxed and very helpful. Breakfast was lovely - the sourdough toast and poached egg was excellent and the tea is really nice as well. The pub is busy but you would expect that.

Don’t expect

5-star pampering. You're left to your own devices, which is fine.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Feb 2019

We loved

The room, the service, the food, the drinks – everything!

Don’t expect

Lots to do.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Nov 2018

We loved

The food was fantastic, the staff were very friendly and helpful. The Talbot Inn's focus is on the food - it is a pub with rooms. The room was very comfortable but the details are slightly missed; lightbulbs missing etc but overall a very comfortable stay. We enjoyed visiting Frome and Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet, which has a great Mulberry outlet and other designer shops. 

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jul 2018

We loved

The hotel staff were incredible, nothing was too much for them, and they went the extra mile to make sure everything was perfect; from accommodating an earlier breakfast to making sure we could get a prime table in the courtyard to take advantage of the weather. I also couldn't recommend the food highly enough, so much so we ate here for breakfast lunch and dinner! The dinner menu is fantastic, I just wish I could have ordered more and the breakfast options are great, with some thoughtful details thrown in. Finally, The Talbot Inn offers exceptional value for money; take a very large room if you can - well worth the upgrade, they are beautifully done.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Jul 2018

We loved

Beautiful courtyard and spacious room. Friendly staff on arriving and at the evening meal. The hotel's restaurant was good.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jul 2018

We loved

This is such a gem of a place, we couldn't have enjoyed our stay more. On arrival, we were welcomed with delicious tea and scones (part of the Mr & Mrs Smith deal), which were served without a problem, even though we were early. We ate outside on the patio for lunch and dinner, ordering from the pub menu as the Coach House Grill was closed. The food was outstanding and of a much higher standard than what I expected. The charming rooms above have absolutely everything you could need, from phone chargers, to spare toiletries and tea/coffee. Breakfast the next day was another treat. The Talbot Inn is an excellent example of a business where passion for detail and service is a priority. The staff were relaxed and friendly throughout our stay. One thing we would have loved to have had was a pair of bikes to explore the countryside. It could be a nice additional amenity to offer guests who have come down on the train, or want to escape their car for an afternoon. Make sure you visit Hauser Wirth Gallery in Bruton.

Don’t expect

A formal reception desk (it's wonderfully relaxed with check-in etc at the pub counter).

Rating

Stayed on 7 Jul 2018

We loved

Very stylish coaching Inn with a touch of quirkiness and very friendly service, delicious food served in the restaurant (beautifully displaying historical maps) kicked off with two specially concocted aperitifs; Ruperts Rhubarb Bellini and a fiery ginger beer. Great buzz in the bar and courtyard throughout the evening. Check out Nunney Castle, a 5-minute drive away

Don’t expect

The lavatory in our bedroom's ensuite was a little too cosy for those above petite status, crammed in between the bath on one side and a big heated towel rail on the other. No mention/acknowledgement of Smith Extra on arrival.

Rating

Stayed on 25 May 2018

We loved

The food and wine, atmosphere, staff, and beautiful, cosy rooms. Excellent value for money and was a perfect haven for a romantic trip away.

Don’t expect

Tricky to do or see much in the local area without a car.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Apr 2018

We loved

On arrival at the Talbot Inn we couldn't wheel our wheelies as the entrance was cobbled. This was an immediate charm to this very rustic hotel which was in fact an old coaching Inn. It is a small hotel with a lot of charm. A small restaurant again with much charm. No tablecloths just wooden tables with old silver condiments and candles. The food was good but a little on the expensive side for our pockets. We enjoyed a bottle of wine which again we thought was a little expensive. The room was very clean and the bed extremely comfortable as was the pillows. The little touches of the bath and hand creams etc. made by Bramley products were delightful. The local village of stone cottages added to the delight of this place. We went to Wells Cathedral which was amazing and well worth visiting.

Don’t expect

We were disappointed as we didn't get the homemade Talbot scones with jam and cream, and a pot of tea on arrival!! However, we ordered a pot of tea which we noticed was on our bill at £5.00! Even when we mentioned it nothing was done about it. Too small an amount to make a fuss!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Apr 2018

We loved

The staff are fantastic: very friendly with just the right level of attentiveness. There is a lovely relaxed ambience making it a great spot for a chilled weekend away with great food. The beds in the large rooms are enormous.

Don’t expect

Phone signal, but they do have WiFi if you need it.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Mar 2018

We loved

The room, the food and the staff, everything was just perfect. It's a super cosy place, from the pub to the rooms, and with everything, it's the little details that make the difference, like the subtle Christmas decorations in the room. The staff were incredibly nice and thoughtful. It was a brilliant, no-fuss weekend where we felt cared for and pampered. The food was simply exceptional, make sure you stay for a Sunday Roast and a pint.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Dec 2017