“ Address: Ford / Nr Chippenham SN14 8RP / Wiltshire „
The White Hart Inn is a little gem of a place to stay!
I first came to know it many years ago when my (now) hubby and I had seen an advert for it in Bride's magazine, and at that time it had just re-opened under private management. It looked idylic, so that is where we decided to spend our honeymoon! I have to say, the place was fantastic then, and it is still as good now, though it is no longer privately owned. We have since been back to stay and celebrated our silver wedding anniverary there, last year!
The White Hart, which is a 16th century coaching inn, is now run by Marsdon's Inns and Taverns and is situated in a tiny little village called Ford, which is not far from Chippenham in Wiltshire. It is surrounded by the most fantastic countryside and is a very relaxing and peaceful place to stay. There is not much in the village, so if you like a place where you can really get away from it all and have total peace and quiet, then the White Hart would definitely suit you!
Ford is situated in the idyllic Wyvern Valley and is located between Bristol and Chippenham, just seven miles from the M4 motorway. It can be fairly difficult to find if you don't know the area, so either use a satnav (the hotel website has satnav details) or take a road atlas. The inn is beside a babbling trout stream, which actually runs underneath the restaurant. There is a bridge over the stream and in the summer you can see all the trout swimming in the water. There is a lovely beer garden and patio area where you can sit on a warm summer's evening listening to the babbling water and the birds in the trees. It really is such a lovely place!
There are 11 suites at the hotel, most of which are situated in what was the old stables across the road from the main building. The suites are all very comfortable and have en-suite facilities and TVs, and the beds are really good. There are several types of room available, from the luxurious Four-Poster room, to a family room, so if you have small children you can still stay there quite comfortably. Whichever room you choose, the White Hart offers a really 'olde worlde' feel to your stay.
The restaurant is absolutely fantastic! One of the chefs even appeared on the BBC's Masterchef one year, and since we have sampled a good selection of the food on offer I can certainly vouch for the cullinary skills of the chefs that work there! There is a full a la carte menu which caters for all tastes. I have an allergy to egg and the staff were really helpful and made sure that there was something on the menu that suited me. Everything is cooked to perfection and the staff are excellent at making you feel special.
The dining area is very plush and tables are not too close together, so you don't feel crowded. In the winter there is always a roaring log fire. You don't have to be staying at the inn to enjoy the cuisine either. We visited the restaurant once when we were on holiday in Wiltshire and rang ahead and booked a table without any bother. If you do stay there though, they throw in a fantastic cooked breakfast, which believe me, is amazing!
The White Hart is a great place to stay if you love the countryside. There are many rural walks in the area and Castle Combe, one of Wiltshire's prettiest villages is only a few miles away. We walked there from the hotel in about an hour or so. If you want to explore the area by car though, Bath is within easy reach and well worth a visit! The White Hart has good car-parking facilities. One thing though, as you drive into the entrance to the inn, there is a small, but very steep hill down to the car-park. In winter this can make getting back up to the main road difficult if there is snow and ice on the ground. I am told that the hotel staff are always willing to lend a hand with pushing vehicles back up the hill if necessary!
I am still amazed at how reasonable the prices are and the range is between £83 - £93 per room, per night. There is no minimum stay and we stayed just one night last time we went there. Booking rooms is easy and you can do this online on the hotel's website. Just go to: www.whitehartfordpub.co.uk and follow the links. There are some fabulous photos of the place on the website too, so worth checking out!
I cannot praise The White Hart Inn enough. As far as myself and my hubby are concerned it is a very special and idylic country retreat.
I hope that at least some of the people who read this review go and see just how gorgeous this little coaching inn is!