Situated in the quaint village of Maiden Bradley in southwest Wiltshire, The Bradley Hare is a quintessentially English pub with outstanding interiors. Located within the grounds of the Duchy of Somerset’s estate, formerly The Somerset Arms, the pub has been taken over by James Thurstan Waterworth, ex-European design director for Soho House — hence the style points — and F&B entrepreneur Andrew Kelly. It opened last summer, and has been scoring rave reviews among locals and out-of-towners ever since.
Where is it?
A two-hour drive from London or two-hour train journey from Paddington, give or take. Warminster, is the nearest station, from where it’s about a 15-minute taxi ride. Bruton and Frome are similar distances — foodies and art lovers should make a pitstop at the Frome independent market on the first Sunday of every month.
On first stepping foot inside The Bradley Hare, you’re immediately hit with that deeply comforting waft of country pub — there’s nothing like it, is there? — a log burner flickers, guests’ dogs roam free (rooms are pup-friendly, though you’d never know it from the immaculate finish), and tasty local beers and ales flow on tap. Original wooden flooring, shuttered bay windows, calming Farrow & Ball-hued walls and an eclectic mix of mismatched antique chairs, tables and beautifully upholstered lamps, give a cosy, yet smart cottage vibe.
After a long walk in the Wiltshire hills, The Snug is the perfect spot to hunker down and tuck into the games cupboard and refuel over burgers and beers on a rainy afternoon, while the large private garden out the back is an idyllic space for balmy summer pints and a bite to eat. There’s a cosy bell tent for al fresco dining when it’s nippier, too.
Each of the 12 rooms has its own distinctive style and furnishings. They are split between the main house, where there are seven — think darker, moodier shades of F&B paint in some and traditional floral Hamilton Weston wallpapered walls in others — while in the coach house, where there are a further five, rooms are slightly larger with grand freestanding bathtubs and a more minimalist vibe.
We stayed in the Coach House Upper, complete with solid mahogany 18th century furniture, neutral interiors, a feature headboard made of a repurposed woven blue fabric, and a beautifully tiled bathroom with giant rain shower that felt very Soho House. Sumptuous beds are made up with crisp Egyptian cotton linen, while organic beauty brand Evolve supplies the amenities, which are all handmade in Hertfordshire.
Food & drink
Let’s get to why you’re really here, the food (and booze). The team at The Bradley Hare prides itself on a zero-waste philosophy and the seasonal menu curated by head chef Nye Smith changes weekly. Example starters include grilled razor clams, pink firs and salsa verde or mackerel, pickled rhubarb and horseradish, followed by duck breast with peas, bacon and romain lettuce or pork belly with kale and roasted apple and mustard. Do stay for the Sunday roast, our chicken crown to share was sensationally moist and the dauphinoise potato the best I’ve ever had.
When we stayed in April the pub was only serving a continental breakfast — but, honestly, there’s no “only” in this continental. We chowed down on deliciously cinammony poached pears which cut through thick freshly churned local yoghurt and layered crumbly melt-in-your-mouth Wiltshire ham and hunks of creamy Somerset cheese on toasted brown sourdough bread while poring over the Sunday papers. B&B purists will be pleased to know The Bradley Hare is now also offering a cooked option, though personally I’d stick to the former if you plan on indulging in the pub’s rich menu over the course of the weekend (as we did). It set us up perfectly for a day of hill walking.
Couples looking for a traditionally English country escape with all the trimmings. Good food, wine, friendly service and stunning scenery.
Rooms from £135/a night midweek and £150/a night on weekends, including breakfast. Coach House Upper from £250/a night