Great food and a blissful night’s sleep
Hungry traveller visits No 131 in Gloucestershire
Why it’s great
Attention has been paid to every detail. The building spent years in disrepair, so it’s good to see it restored to its former glory. If you arrive at night, the place glows like a beacon on a square in the centre of this elegant spa town.
The foodie bit
Head chef Roman Ivanov goes big on local ingredients and turns to respected names for charcuterie (Trealy Farm), sourdough (Hobbs House Bakery) and cheese (a well chosen mix from Neal’s Yard Dairy). There’s classic cooking on the menu, but other dishes, such as kale caesar salad, bring an on-trend twist.
Look out for sticky beef short ribs, flash-fried prawns and dressed Brixham crab for starters. There’s seafood for mains, too, but we’d heard about the meat… Beef wellington, so often a disappointment, is served to share: perfectly cooked beef wrapped in crisp, light pastry, with umami-ish mushrooms packed under the crust.
The portions are generous so it’s tempting to skip pudding which, when we visited, was the only minor disappointment – a slightly curdled custard tart made up for by great ice creams and sorbets. No 131 is buzzing: ask for a table in the much more elegant main restaurant rather than the downstairs Crazy Eights bar.
There are only 11, so the place feels intimate. Each room is different: achingly stylish, lights handmade from found objects, his ‘n’ her showers and the kind of sink-into beds you’d love in your own house. Cute touches include the hot chocolate left out for before bedtime.
From £150 to £220 (B&B) for a double – and worth every penny. The price of dinner racks up: be prepared for London rates, at around £50 per head; wine from £21 per bottle.
Save 20% on bed and breakfast at No 131 until 30 June 2014 (excludes bank holidays). To book, call 01242 822939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote ‘delicious’