Accommodation review: Bath Mill Lodge
Date Posted: 09/12/2015
Pictured: The Brook bar and bistro at Bath Mill Lodge.
Sarah Holt visited Bath Mill Lodge to see what it offers groups.
This summer, Bath Mill Lodge underwent a multi-million pound redevelopment to turn it from a tired touring park to a collection of luxury self-catering lodges.
The new improved offering is kitted out for groups. Lodges sleep between one and eight people and can be booked in clusters. There’s an event space onsite, too, which has its own private bar and can fit up to 60 people for a drinks reception or afternoon tea.
What’s more, it’s a ten-minute drive from the centre of Bath, where group visits are a bread and butter activity.
You’ll find all these details in the Bath Mill Lodge brochure, of course. But what you won’t locate on those pages is a sense of the atmosphere of the place.
I arrived at night to find the site delicately illuminated by tiki-type lighting. And I unpacked my car to the babble of a river that I couldn’t see but knew was close by.
Pictured: The bar area at Bath Mill Lodge.
Inside, each lodge comes with an open plan kitchen, living and dining area, a main bathroom and ensuites – the number of which vary depending on how many bedrooms your lodge has.
There are finishing touches all round. There are wine coolers in the kitchens, boxes of board games in the living areas and rubber ducks in the bathrooms – completely useless, but they make you feel really welcome. And on Sundays, any anti-social group members can arrange to have a chef-prepared Sunday lunch delivered direct to the doors of their lodges.
If I went back with my own group, I’d find it hard not to eat in the onsite restaurant every night. The Brook bar and bistro makes a great first impression. Jane Austen quotes adorn the walls, little alarm clocks sit on reserved tables, permanently stopped to show the time each table is booked for, and tweed and tartan fabrics make the room feel log-fire cosy.
The eatery is actually part of a 350-year-old mill house, that has been sympathetically restored and you can still see the old mill wheel in the rafters of the restaurant and read about its history on the walls.
Pictured: The alarm clock reservation markers at Bath Mill Lodge.
And then there is the food. I always think it’s a good test of a chef to order a classic dish and see if they go to the trouble of putting their own take on it. I ordered shepherd’s pie and within the first few bites I was searching for my pen to write home about it. It was made with slow cooked lamb rather than mince and topped with fluffy parsnip mash, mixed up with melted Bath blue cheese.
And don’t get me started on the parmesan and truffle fries. I’d make a return visit to Bath Mill Lodge for them alone.
The only downside to Bath Mill for groups is that it’s not easy to arrive at by coach. There’s a narrow entrance to the lane that leads to the lodges. However, minibuses would definitely make it through. Plus there’s a golf cart that can carry luggage to lodges so groups without mobility problems could make the short walk to their accommodation after getting dropped off.
To find out more about Bath Mill Lodge visit www.darwinescapes.co.uk.