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LUXURY HOTELS: Babington House, Somerset, England
Style: English County Manor
Scene: Blissed out Spa goers in Fluffy Robes
Seen in the lobby: The fashion pack escaping London for some R&R 
Twenty Four hours at Babington House is not enough. If I could have moved in I would.

From the pre arrival confirmation to the bittersweet moment of leaving, the service is exceptional. The hotel is by no means cheap but I believe in the case of 'Babs' (as the regulars call her!) you pay for what you get. For a start the standard rooms are not exactly standard. We stayed in number seventeen in the Coach House and it was not so much a room as a luxury experience.

babington house
babington house
cowshed pool

Set over two levels the bed and bath are found at the end of a wooden staircase amongst the exposed wooden beams of the roof rafters. The living room sofa is so large anyone upon it looks like Alice in Wonderland; the lemon china tea cups and saucers and woollen tea cosy on the dresser wouldn't look out of place at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

The bathroom is full of treasure, from the basket of items one usually forgets on a weekend away to the full sized Cowshed products you can use until your heart's content. I took in the drench shower, free standing bath and range of bath oils in the room and quickly calculated how many times I could wash in 24 hours - I eventually managed five! With no time to enjoy the two extra large plasma TV's in our 'room' we donned our fluffy robes and Cowshed flip-flops and headed to Cowshed Active.

Both indoor and outdoor heated pools are of a decent size, the steam and sauna pods are as tastefully chic as the rest of the property - there was only one problem - where was the Jacuzzi? As my lucky upgraded friend discovered there are soak tubs with jets in the Walled Garden Rooms (the suites Beyonce and Jay-Z apparently occupied when they stayed) but for the rest of us the only bubbles are found in the bar. This is a shame.

The bar is not a bad place to spend time though. All rooms in the main building enjoy high ceilings, French windows, flock wallpaper and I couldn't help but rub an eye-catching chandelier.  The features inside are as beautiful as the endless lawns the windows frame. In the Pool Room I became attached to a rather attractive tartan chair, in the Study I gazed into the fireplace and in the Restaurant I ate and ate.

A limited menu of carefully selected dishes at a reasonable price meant myself and my group of friends endeavoured to try them all. We can highly recommend the crab ravioli starter and monkfish or duck for main. As for desserts, we discovered the ever helpful staff can bring this to your room to devour snuggled in your robes - sticky toffee pudding worked particularly well in this situation.

The next morning it was tough to crawl out from amongst oversized, squishy pillows but a day of spa treatments was waiting. The breakfast bar laid out in the Restaurant was like the menu of the previous night - simple and sparse but well selected and reasonably priced at £7 per person. The house granola, a mixture of oats, seeds, nuts, apricots and honey (as far as I could tell) served with a generous splodge of natural yoghurt is simply divine. For the less saintly, unlimited home baked muffins, pastries and warm bread are also on offer.

 The aroma of Cowshed oils hit our nostrils before we had even passed the threshold [of the spa]...

With bellies contented it was time to check out the Cowshed Relax spa. We strolled past the small (but who cares?) gym and outdoor tennis court without a second thought. The aroma of Cowshed oils hit our nostrils before we had even passed the threshold. Ushered into a cosy sofa of chintzy florals the required forms were filled out whilst gazing at the gardens. I treated myself to a facial and my consultant was professional, courteous, but above all, relaxing to be around. She led me through the treatment and then performed magic on my face. Several products, a massage and a snooze later she informed she was done and that I must keep up my face regime as it seems to be working (ladies, stock up on the facial wipes now!)

 I was left to unwind in the treatment room, which to my surprise appeared more immaculate than when the treatment had first begun. In no hurry to make me leave I was then served a gorgeous syrupy honey and ginger tea, brewed freshly that day (I must get hold of that recipe).

All too soon the twenty four hours were up and it was time to head city bound. My friends looked mellow from their massages and all our toes were twinkly pink. The bags were whisked into the taxi by silent and efficient staff and away we went. With one last look at the Georgian house and giant hammocks the weather never gave us a chance to sample; we all hoped we would be back again soon.

Check in: Babington House, Babington, near Frome, Somerset BA11 3RW United Kingdom, +44 (0) 1373 812266
Ultimate Luxury:  The Spa!
Most Indulgent Moment: A rather decadent desert in your room after a day of blissful spa treatments.
Insider Secrets: This Grade II* listed manor house often hosts Brit-pack celebrity and society weddings - who knows who you might see!
The Little Things: Forgot something? Forgot anything? It will probably be found in your room
Junior Luxies: The Little House offers crèche facilities each day. Child friendly menus are available in the restaurant.
Dress code:  Fashionable, so dress to impress ... until you strip down to just the fluffy robe.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Link: www.babingtonhouse.co.uk 
Guest post by Jayne Gorman, 6/7/11
Follow Jayne's worldwide travels at www.40before30.com and on twitter @jayneytravels
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