I can’t recall which appeared on my radar first – Somerset’s Babington House or Soho Farmhouse in the Cotswolds – but both Soho House properties have been on my dream hotel bucket list for years. So as our plans for our trip to the United Kingdom were starting to form and we realized that we’d have time to tack on the county of Somerset after exploring Dorset & Cornwall, Babington immediately came to mind. The stars aligned and it worked out for us to book a short, one night stay at this Grade II listed country manor house near Frome before heading back to London to fly home. In anticipation of our trip, I purchased (and nearly memorized) the first Soho House book – Eat Drink Nap – and began counting down the days until we left.
Pulling in along the lush, tree-lined driveway, we were both floating on cloud nine. As we acquainted ourselves with the main 18th century Georgian building and walked around the sprawling lawn with a drink in hand, it didn’t take long to realize that the property easily exceeded its own esteemed reputation and all of my own hotel dreams. Unfortunately, yet understandably, for the sake of its guests’ privacy, taking photos of the common areas around Babington is strongly discouraged, but I did manage to snap quite a few of the impeccably well cared for grounds and of our unbelievable room whenever we found ourselves alone.
That room. Upon checking-in we were upgraded to the Playroom, a 700 square foot suite with an oversized soaking tub, an impressively stocked in-room bar, and floor-to-ceiling windows filled with beautiful views of the Babington lawn. As far as unexpected upgrades go, this was without a doubt, one of our very best yet. And while we could have easily spent the entirety of our time at Babington in our beautifully appointed room, there was just too much to see and do throughout the property. I snuck in two swims during our stay, we went for a walk in the woods around the lake, Michael took a nap in the sun on a plush lounger, and we enjoyed drinks on the lawn. Had we stayed just a bit longer, there would have been bike rides through the countryside, tennis matches, and spa treatments. Dinner that evening and breakfast in the morning, both truly delicious, were taken in the Orangery, where each table features views of the grounds and the lake.
When we fall in love with hotels, especially those that are far away, we often lament the distance and sadly resolve that we might not have the chance to visit the property again. With Babington, it’s a bit different. Of course, we might not ever find ourselves in Somerset again (something I’m still not ready to come to terms with), but it does seem as though the numerous Soho House properties around the world are all designed with the same luxurious attention to detail and focus on creating relaxed home away from home for guests, so with any luck, we might find ourselves at another Soho House property on a future trip.
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.