The Rest and be Thankful is at Wheddon Cross, the highest village on Exmoor, and sits on a crossroads junction of the A396 and B3224 within the boundary of the Exmoor National Park in Somerset. It is an old coaching inn with loads of character, excellent bars, accommodation, function facilities and a very pleasant restaurant. There is ample parking immediately outside.
The situation provides an ideal base to explore the wider area of Exmoor and the Bristol Channel coastline. (See my Exmoor travelogue)
The business is run efficiently and effectively as a family concern by Eric, and his daughter Caroline who run the front of house and Erics wife Ann works in the background and prepares some of the more special deserts for the menu. The family have been in the area for generations and as a result are very knowledgeable of the local places of interest.
Much effort is put into the business by both the management and the staff to ensure that both guests and locals are well catered for, and the result provides a well run organisation with a friendly atmosphere.
There is plenty of information available for tourists in the form of leaflets and Eric always seemed to be on hand to provide local knowledge. I found all the management and staff very approachable, friendly and helpful.
The accommodation is excellent, clean, comfortable, well equipped, all en-suite and, rightly so, has achieved a 4 Diamond Classification from the AA rating organisation. The standard is high and can be equated to what one would normally expect in a quality hotel. Some rooms give views to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. Be aware that the staircase to the accommodation is a little steep and narrow.
There are two main areas for taking meals, an area off the main bar and a pleasant restaurant. The general quality and cleanliness of the dining area is again high, as is the food. The evening menu is comprehensive and the meals are freshly cooked, using local produce where possible, and to say that the portions are generous is an understatement. My dining companions all had different selections from the menu and the general comment was that the meal quality and service could not be faulted.
The breakfast menu is again comprehensive and there was a degree of flexibility during ordering to ensure that guests actually got what they wanted. I had the standard English breakfast which again, was substantial and I could not fault.
The main bar is well stocked with a good selection of wines, spirits and beers and has friendly and attentive staff. I found this a very relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy a drink.
There are a lot of boxes ticked for this place, Quality accommodation, Quality food, friendly atmosphere, convenient base, not overpriced, and importantly I think, the high quality of the management and staff who try to ensure that customers and guests have an enjoyable stay.
Would I go back? Yes, no doubt, and I would recommend it for all the reasons stated above. More detail, pictures and current prices are available from the website below
Very friendly people. Ensuite bedrooms. Peaceful grounds enjoying views across Cheddar Reservoir. When we were there, they were in the process of completing at least 2 self-contained lodges.
Surrounded by picturesque Mendip Hills, ideal for discovering Somerset's attractions eg. historical Glastonbury and Wells, Wookey Hole or the famous Cheddar Gorge and Showcaves (2 and a half miles away)
Children and dogs welcome
Good area for walking, riding, boating, cycling or coarse fishing on the reservoir.
For a different experience in the area near Taunton, Somerset, try Bartlett's Farm. It's a working dairy farm in the little village of Isles Brewer. Our room and bathroom were very comfortable. The breakfast was superior and the owner is a very friendly woman.
There are lots of beautiful villages, manor houses and gardens in the area. There's also a suprisingly good pub/restaurant a mile away in Westport.
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