One of the most talked about new country escapes of the past year is The Bradley Hare, a cute new pub/restaurant/hotel in the Wiltshire village of Maiden Bradley. It’s had great reviews for both the rooms and the restaurant, including from Jay Rayner, so it’s been on our hit list for a few months now – and we finally got down there in June to check it out for ourselves.
Located in Wiltshire but actually part of the Duke of Somerset’s Estate (who we randomly met out on a bike ride – nice bloke), the pub has been taken over by new owners James Thurstan Waterworth, who was previously a design director at Soho House, and Andrew Kelly. In the kitchen is Nye Smith who was most recently head chef at Six Portland Road in west London but has also worked at Moro, Koya and St John. A top team then!
The pub itself is a very nice old stone building right in the middle of the village and its been beautifully refurbished. Inside you can tell it’s had the touch of a pro designer but it still feels like a perfect country pub, with an old fireplace, original wooden floorboards, vintage furniture and Georigan windows. Outside there’s a pretty garden with plenty of benches and tables for having a quick drink or a full dinner.
Seven of the 12 guest rooms are on the floor above the main bar area, with the other five located in the Coach House, and each has its own style and character. We were in the main house in The Nest, which featured a cosy alcove double bed behind a thick curtain – perfect if you really like to cocoon away for the night. The room also featured a freestanding bath in the room as well as a separate bathroom. The design again was beautiful with restored vintage furniture contrasting with bright fabrics and cool Farrow & Ball dark green hues.
Dinner was another highlight of the stay, with Nye’s seasonally-changing British menus offering up some fantastic dishes. We loved the Hampshire mozzarella served with fresh broad beans, pistachio, and mint, as well as the mussels with bacon, lovage and cider from the starters. The pork belly with lentils, kale, and salsa verde was a particular standout from the mains but the sea trout with hollandaise and asparagus was also excellent. Don’t miss the maple-glazed heritage carrots either! And in the morning you’ll want to tuck in to the pretty epic full English featuring local Wiltshire bacon as well as Somerset apple juices and fresh pastries.
The Bradley Hare is a lovely little weekend escape from London. With great design, top-notch seasonal British food and some beautiful surrounding scenery there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for a night or two.
Church Street, Maiden Bradley, BA12 7HW