It’s every diner’s dream to dine at a restaurant which serves up meat smoked in an on-site smoker and honey from the beehives in the back garden. Add to that a chef who’s happy to tuck his Michelin star into his belt and dig up his own vegetables from the kitchen garden and discerning diners would be on Cloud Nine. But it’s no dream at The Moonraker in Wiltshire, where head chef Matthew Briddon is as active in growing, curing and rearing his own produce as he is in cooking it.
A family run hotel and restaurant in the Wiltshire countryside serves up the best of British hospitality, from the vegetables grown in its gardens, to the bacon reared and smoked on the premises. Georgette McCready explores the newly rebranded Moonraker near Bradford-on-Avon.
“The former farmhouse is a gem of a find, boasting its very own walled garden and retaining a lot of its original features including exposed brickwork and wooden beams, giving a notably old-fashioned yet homely feel. Upon arrival, the warm open fire and charming decor give you just a taste of what’s to come during your stay…”
“Nestled away in the heart of the English countryside, the Old Manor Hotel in is the perfect spot for holidaying families and romantic elopers alike. Set in a Queen Ann style building which was then upgraded in the 17th century to be built out of locally sourced Bath stone, the hotel is a former working dairy farm, turned luxe hotel.”
“At The Old Manor Matthew is creating a wonderful menu of farmhouse dining which changes daily to reflect the seasonal produce, using local ingredients to showcase some old fashioned classics. They have their own bee hives, extensive kitchen garden to produce a seasonal menu, a smoking house where he makes the most delicious hay smoked salmon and other smoked meats and also their own Gloucester Old Spot pigs.”
“I love this part of the West Country. Patchwork hills dotted with sheep and cows, pretty villages nestling in the valleys, A stunning coastline and wonderful heritage cities like Bath. And, historic monuments. My favourite is Avebury, the poor man’s Stonehenge. It may be smaller but it’s so much more personal and, in the heart of the village. In fact you can reach Stonehenge and Avebury in less than an hour from The Old Manor Hotel, along with a whole host of Country Houses and Stately Homes, including Longleat Safari Park and Gardens.”
“That’s what’s so special about the Old Manor House and it’s 21 rooms, is that you’re never far away from the original Queen Anne style. Even the dog friendly out buildings house rooms that keep the same stone work and classic decor. There’s even a games room, stacked with parlour games. The grounds are home to a lot of pantry ingredients. A kitchen garden has been planted so home-grown vegetables make it on the evening menu, local bees provide honey, and last but not least there’s a dedicated smoke house for all meats and fish. And if you manage to meet the Gloucester old spotted pigs don’t get too attached, their next destination is the kitchen.”
“The very next opportunity we have to put on our glad rags for a smart night out, I’ll be suggesting a visit to the Milking Parlour at the Old Manor Hotel, near Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire.”
“This Queen Anne-style manor that marital dreams are made of is just outside the pretty town of Brand-on-Avon… Inside you’ll find four-posters and antique furniture, while outside there are wild flowers and a walled kitchen garden.
Book for a weekend when you’re midway through the planning and need some R&R… it’s the perfect break from confetti cones and buttonholes.”
“Tasting menus, 17th-century manor houses and safari don’t often go hand in hand. But now, thanks to a partnership between Longleat and the Old Manor Hotel in Trowbridge, such delights can be all yours during a family weekend in Wiltshire.”
“The highlight for me was the room service which was simply unbeatable.”
“One of the best bits of my job is sharing hidden gems with you my gorgeous readers, and this one really is a beauty for any of you searching for the perfect country venue with heaps of charm.”
“The Milking Parlour is truly a haven for foodies and with Chef Matthew’s quest for excellence it’s only a matter of time when The Milking Parlour pops onto Michelin’s map. Mark my words.”
BARRY LEIGHTON from the Swindon Advertiser discovers accommodation with a difference at a country idyll just a stone throw’s away…
Kathy Lette really enjoyed her stay with us at The Old Manor Hotel and wrote this lovely review…
Read the Express article here
“And if cider is on your weekend agenda then the West Country’s the place to go – And I really couldn’t recommend higher a trip (that feels like you’re going back in time) to the postcard pretty Bradford upon Avon – particularly to stay at the Old Manor Hotel.”
Mens Health reviewed The Old Manor as a one of the best Bath destinations for foodies.
“There is something very special going on in the kitchen of this 17th century manor house, 10 minutes outside Bath. The pet project of Tudor Hopkins, one of the team behind Camber Sands’ wonderful Gallivant Hotel, the quirkily decorated Old Manor Hotel with its games room and bijoux bar, has the feel of the best catered house party you’ve ever been to. Ex-River Café chef Matthew Briddon has built his own smokehouse and planted his own kitchen garden, and the hay-smoked salmon really is something else. Get there now, before everyone starts talking about it.”
(and tips for how to enjoy a long weekend in Bath)
From the blog ‘Grumblings from a Greedy Girl’…
“My first tip? Go to Bath. But don’t stay in Bath. Stay right on the outskirts in Bradford On Avon at a charming hotel* (*it’s technically a hotel, although it felt more like a bed and breakfast in its quaintness) called The Old Manor.”
Emma Dance wrote a lovely article about us; we were really glad she enjoyed her stay…
“If I had to describe the perfect weekend getaway it might just be the Old Manor Hotel, Bradford on Avon. If you just want to get away, relax and leave every day life behind you it’s perfect. It might have only been a short drive from our home in the centre of Bath, but as soon as we got out the car we felt a whole world away.”
“Ultra clean and fresh with white walls, dainty artwork and endearing vintage furniture, it was a pleasure to spend the night here. Accentuating the remaining old features of the building there were hints of exposed beams and brickwork adding a touch of farmhouse chic. Through the prettily adorned dressing room was the bathroom, with a big bath and shower and Neal’s Yard toiletries.”
Read more of Milly’s blog here
The Old Manor was delighted to be featured in The Stylist’s pick of top romantic escapes across the UK.
“This Grade II listed hotel is laying on the full works for Valentine’s. Guests will be treated to a two night break with in-room tea lights and rose petals, a half bottle of champagne and a four-course sharing dinner cooked by head chef Matthew Briddon, of River Café fame.”
Wendy Gomersall featured the Old Manor in her column The Globetrotter in The Lady magazine.
“Treats include champagne and roses if you pick one of these romantic UK minibreaks…
…The Grade II listed Old Manor Hotel, in Bradford on Avon near bath, has 21 rooms, kitchen garden and the Milking Parlour restaurant. Enjoy an overnight stay… tea lights and rose petals in your bathroom, a half bottle of champagne in your room on arrival, canapés and cosmos in the lounge.”
We were proud that Good Housekeeping recommended the Old Manor Hotel as one of their four proposed Romantic Valentines weekend breaks!
“With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, David Wickers has four proposals for a romantic break in the UK”
The Kitchen Goddess loved our Head Chef’s Bellini Pancake recipe so much, they’ve featured it on their site… These pancakes are absolutely delicious!
“I discovered this gem – The Old Manor Hotel… [it] is a perfect location for such getaways for small to medium size groups. In June 2013, when the hotel was acquired by a hotel veteran Tudor Hopkins, it also opened its doors to host events, and among others, corporate away days.
Nothing encourages creativity and increases team building effectiveness as taking the employees somewhere away from the usual environment and the big city hassle. Located on the countryside just outside Bath, the 500 year old house was transformed into a hotel and is a perfect location for such getaways for small to medium size groups.”
The Old Manor Hotel has changed its name to The Moonraker