The Hotel Review: Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, Gloucestershire, UK
Review: Dex Jones
Originating from the local industry of iron ore and ocre mining, the sleepy village of Clearwell, with basic dwellings, has been in existence since mediaeval times. It has an abundance of nature trails and historic sight seeing possibilities all within easy reach.
The original Tudor Farmhouse was built around the mid 17th century and was a working farm, and sits in 14 acres of mainly meadowlands, and is clearly the life passion of Mr and Mrs Fell along with their team are all enthused with the task of making your stay relaxing and perfectly sumptuous.
We arrived in the village of Clearwell with its’ narrow roads and found the Hotel nestled on the main road between a pub on the right side and its twin semi building to the left. It has been extremely well renovated throughout to exacting standards giving this jewel boutique hotel in the Wye Valley a true sense of mystical inspiration and fascination.
Draught winnowing was the ancient technique developed to dry and clean grain stored in the barns, the opposed slots and openings in the brick work allowed air to circulate and blow dry the stored corn, and evidence is still visible in the transformed outbuildings you see today, thankfully there are small discrete windows in the slots now serving a different purpose.
The hotel consists of 20 rooms, suites and cottages all with individual characteristics that add to the hotels charm and elegance, five of which are ground floor with easy access for anyone with mobility issues and some are dog friendly.
We had arrived early and so the room was not quite ready, an opportunity to make full use of the surroundings, sampling a glass of wine in the “cottage style” garden with an abundance of spring colour, the sound of running water from a man-made stream feature, a midday chorus from the birds and the bleating lambs in the field induce that lazy Sunday afternoon feeling.
Our suite was on the first floor of the barn, called “the Nest”, up a flight of stairs along a small corridor.The bedroom had a large timber frame bed, with clean crisp white sheets and patterned duvet, twin bedside cabinets, reading lamps, a full set of drawers and a retro telephone.
Wall mounted framed black and white photographs depicting all aspects of farm life, flat screen TV sufficient wardrobe space, a vanity unit with stool, plenty of light flooding in from two Velux roof windows between exposed roof beams washing the neutral decor and open stone walls with light.
Through the door is a well sized living room with another flat screen TV and satellite box, mini bar and tea/coffee making facilities.
A large comfortable sofa facing out with views towards the garden through a floor to ceiling large window, a small unique coffee table in the middle of the room fits with the artisan style of fixtures and fittings.
Off the living area is the bathroom suite, spacious timber panelled and tiled, with free standing double ended bath tub, large double walk in shower, pedestal hand basin with chrome fittings, a large framed wall mirror over the sink, complementary bathroom toiletries, robes and slippers.
The restaurant is split into two areas one opposite the small bar and the other deeper into the original low slung ceiling building with its, oak beams creaking floors, medieval style wood panel walls and open fires to generate a warmth in the room with a redolence of burnt oak. Tables are laid out around the room in such a way as to create an intimate dining experience.
The hotel has a good selection of table wines and after a great deal of deliberation we chose a subtle Tempranillo red called Solarena, a full fruity raspberry flavour enthused with vanilla and other bramble fruits.
To start, I chose the lamb raviolo, wild garlic, morels, coco beans, and for my main dish I had the slow roasted pork belly, smoked apple purée, scallops, turnip & vanilla jus. My wife started with beetroot and blackberry salad, aerated Cerney Ash goats’ cheese, apple & tarragon, and followed with Longhorn beef rump, ox cheek, celeriac, horseradish & shallot confit and red wine sauce.
The hotels’ policy of only locally sourced produce of the finest quality within a 20 mile radius enables head chef Rob Cox to create his culinary masterpieces consistently and to his exacting standards.
Following a very comfortable nights’ sleep, waking to the sound of the Lambs in the meadow just enhanced the dreamy languor of the Tudor Farmhouse.
Breakfast was served in the dining room, with tea, coffee and fresh fruit juice, a good selection of breads, pastries, croissants, cereals, fresh fruit and yoghurts and a menu of cooked foods, I chose the full English, again, with all locally sourced products, my wife had the smoked kippers.
Check out was completed very efficiently and it was with a touch of regret we had to leave this jewel of a hotel on the edge of the Forest of Dean in the Wye Valley and close to the Welsh border, a very fine gem in the English countryside.
TUDOR FARMHOUSE HOTEL | High Street | Clearwell | Royal Forest of Dean | Gloucestershire | GL16 8JS
Rooms at Tudor Farmhouse are available from £130 per night based on two sharing a Hatchling Double Room on a B&B basis. Book via www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk or call 01594 833046.