Howard's House Hotel
, Holt Lane, Teffont Evias, Wiltshire.
Howard’s House Hotel seems built into the very landscape it inhabits. Indeed, this traditional stone building has been at the heart of the unspoilt Wiltshire village of Teffont Evias for many centuries. Originally built in 1623, it was for a very long time the dower house of the Mayne family estate. In recent years, its welcoming rooms and hidden garden have played host to discerning guests seeking an escape from the pressures of the everyday.
Everything about this hotel is authentic. Little has been changed over the centuries, with the exception of the fitting of modern plumbing and creature comforts. The open fire still blazes in the cooler seasons, while the hearth is enhanced with floral displays from the garden throughout the summer months. The kitchen gardens are the foundations of wholesome seasonal eating, and every room has its own individual history.
Howard’s House overlooks green fields and a gin-clear chalk stream, and rests in two acres of beautiful private gardens. It is peppered with traditional, romantic features including an original stone amphitheatre, a melodic fountain trickling into a fish pond, and several pretty bowers and gazebos, perfect for an evening drink or a private moment. The large terrace surrounds the trickling fountain, and here guests can take breakfast, a leisurely al fresco lunch, afternoon teas or even a candlelit dinner, overlooking the croquet lawn and the fields beyond. A smaller, private terrace holds just one table and is perfect for a romantic, intimate meal for two.
In the restaurant, the kitchen team take pride in presenting a table that is essentially English, in tune with the seasons and in harmony with the best sustainable practices. Not only will you find an ever-changing choice of seasonal and à la carte dishes on the menu, but they can also produce a particular favourite on request. Fruit and vegetables are either homegrown or locally sourced, and all meat, fish (and some wine too) are sourced from local suppliers. Given the emphasis on seasonal eating, menus change frequently to reflect the finest flavours of each season. The chefs have developed many ‘Howard’s House specialties’, including home-smoked meats and fish which are always popular with guests. The extensive, ever-changing wine list caters for all tastes and occasions.
Each of the nine en-suite bedrooms has been designed with relaxation and comfort in mind. As in a traditional country home, each bedroom has its own individual character, and unique features. You may prefer the beautiful garden views of rooms one, two or seven, the traditional four poster bed and stylish walk-in shower of room three, or the spaciousness of room eight and its luxurious superking bed. Whichever you choose, you will have tea and coffee-making facilities, a flatscreen television, bathrobes and luxury toiletries.
The Nadder Valley is an unspoilt Wiltshire gem that progress has seemingly passed by. There is an ample range of both riverside and woodland walks along the valley bottom, and two major routes along the north and south drove roads. The hotel’s bespoke walker’s book includes over 25 favourite walks with handy maps. The kitchen can provide a picnic lunch to sustain you on your way. Howard’s House is also an ideal place from which to visit many of England’s greatest monuments. Stonehenge and Old Sarum, Salisbury Cathedral and Wilton House are all within a 20 minute drive; the magnificent Stourhead Gardens, Longleat House and Bath only a little further.