This boutique hotel is a picture-perfect couples retreat in the heart of Dorset

Escape to the tranquil setting of Sherborne in Dorset for a luxurious stay in Peter de Savary’s latest acquisition, The Eastbury Hotel. LIVING was invited to stay for a luxury two-night getaway 

The Eastbury Dorset
The Eastbury has been transformed into a beautiful boutique escape

Located in the quaint market town of Sherborne in Dorset, The Eastbury Hotel is now a boutique Georgian Grade II listed townhouse that oozes elegance and grandeur. And that’s all thanks to renowned hoteliers Peter and Lana de Savary.

The Eastbury had always been a popular stopover for the business traveller looking for a quality night’s sleep and a good breakfast. But when the couple took over the hotel in 2018, they had a vision to transform the establishment into a luxury hotel for holidaymakers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle for a relaxing break.

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Working with interior designer Kathleen Fraser to revive the decor in the bedrooms and residents’ areas that’s just what they did. And there’s more exciting plans to introduce a Hobbit House Spa, Bug Hotel and five Potting Shed Garden Suites to the Eastbury’s offering later this year too, making it even more appealing to families and couples. 

The Eastbury Hotel
One of the double rooms at The Eastbury Hotel

We were lucky enough to stay in the luxury double room, ‘Yew’, which has double doors leading to a private outdoor seating area with water feature. A selection of White Company toiletries provides a spa-like feel, especially after a soak in the en suite’s Jacuzzi bath. And guests are also given bathrobes, slippers, Egyptian cotton linens, tea and coffee making facilities, homemade gluten free cookies, fresh fruit and sloe gin. The grand four-poster antique bed is dressed to perfection from Peter de Savary’s own collection.

Dining at The Eastbury  

On our first night, we opted to dine in the hotel’s two AA rosette restaurant, Seasons, stopping off for a drink in the bar along the way. The decor certainly brings an individual charm featuring a leopard print carpet and risqué paintings – again from Peter de Savary’s own art collection.

After enjoying a pint of American pale ale Shed Head, we were shown to our table in the restaurant which has panoramic views of the stunning walled garden. While we perused the menu and sipped our wine, we were serenaded by the delicate sounds of a live pianist.

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Our dining experience began with a flavoursome amuse-bouche, leaving us wanting more of executive chef Matthew Street’s food. Next up were the starters; I chose the venison and old Winchester cheese arancini with truffle mayonnaise, which is without doubt the best starter I have ever had! My partner opted for the braised ox cheek ragu with hand-cut pasta, truffle oil and old Winchester cheese, a delicious tomato-based dish with melt-in-the-mouth meat.

For the main course I had the British classic sausage and mash – the restaurant’s special that evening – featuring the highest quality sausage, caramelised onion, creamy mash and vegetables, with just the right proportion of gravy drizzled on top. My partner ordered the salt-aged rib-eye steak cooked medium/rare with hand cut chips, rosemary and garlic butter, cherry tomato salsa and a rocket and Parmesan salad, which was cooked to perfection. Feeling full but not wanting to miss out on dessert, we shared the raspberry and white chocolate mascarpone – a refreshing end to the best meal we had ever had.

In the morning, breakfast was equally fantastic. There was a wide selection on offer including fresh bread, croissants, crumpets, yogurt, cereals as well as hot breakfast options. We both chose bacon, sausage and poached egg on toast.

The Eastbury Hotel
The kitchen is run by Executive Chef Matthew Street

Out and about in Dorset

Just a stone’s throw from The Eastbury is Sherborne Castle and Gardens. Steeped in history dating back to the sixteenth century, visitors can explore the castle at their leisure with the help of signs, information sheets and stewards.

Discover all there is to know about Sherborne’s infamous Wingfield Digby family, view original art and furniture, and imagine what life was like for its inhabitants over the centuries. Visitors can also stroll through the castle’s 42-acre grounds to enjoy the picturesque display of flowers, plants, lawns, woodland, waterfalls and a huge 50-acre lake.

Situated next to the castle and gardens is Sherborne Old Castle, a 12th century ruin where the Southwest Gatehouse, the Great Tower and the North Range are left standing. And Sherborne Abbey sits in the centre of the town and is well worth a visit to view the impressive architecture.

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If history’s not your thing, Sherborne has plenty of bars, restaurants and independent shops too. Plus, just an hour’s drive south and you reach Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. If the weather is in your favour I would highly recommend taking the 3.5-mile circular walking route to see the breathtaking views of Old Harry Rocks.

The Eastbury Hotel
The Eastbury Hotel is a fantastic couple and family retreat in Dorset

Final thoughts

Whether you’re wanting a romantic weekend away, celebrating a special occasion or escaping the city for a relaxing retreat, The Eastbury caters to all. The rooms are kitted out with luxury items and home comforts to ensure guests have a comfortable break.

There’s plenty to see and do in Dorset, and if you don’t feel like venturing out, the hotel has plenty of books, magazines, board games and outdoor games to keep you entertained.

I would definitely recommend visiting the hotel’s restaurant Seasons for an out-of-this-world dining experience too. 

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