The Ollerod

100 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type


Date of travel

January, 2019

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


We recently stayed in The Ollerod, formerly known as the Bridge House Hotel in the delightful town of Beaminster, in West Dorset.

Beaminster is known for its historical heritage and is home of some talented artists as well as the location for the 2015 Hardy adaptation of ‘Far From The Maddening Crowd.’

The Ollerod (which means ‘cowslip’), was bought by former Michelin-starred chef Chris Staines and his partner Silvan Bandini.

Upon arrival, we were met with a friendly greeting and shown to Room 6 located on the ground floor . This was a superior, spacious room tastefully refurbished with a comfortable King sized bed and with Italian Frette bed linen. A large TV in one corner and coffee/tea facilities with home-made biscuits made up into a special little bag. Wardrobe facility was spacious and a couple of chairs with a table. View from the window was looking into the rear garden. All bedrooms are individually styled.

The en suite bathroom was a good size with a great, corner bath/shower and with organic toiletries.

We enjoyed a really good evening meal and could not fault any of it. An adjoining room leads off from the dining room with bar and restaurant which can be opened up to accommodate additional diners when necessary.

A covered terrace can be used for functions for up to 30 guests. Produce is sourced from surrounding areas as well as the Ollerod’s own garden which grows vegetables and herbs. The menu is always evolving and changing with new dishes introduced every 2 weeks. I had a pressed terrine of confit chicken, shitake mushrooms, potato capers & mustard as a starter, followed by a moist, delicious Sea Bass. Being diabetic, the chef kindly made up a fruit salad for me as a dessert.

Breakfast was good with a variety of cereals, seeds and yoghurt etc. We had a very nice full English but there were other choices available. Smoothies, home-made bread, croissants – all enjoyable.

The history of the house is interesting. I usually ask for information when visiting places.

The Ollerod was once a clergy house, and although now stylishly renovated, it still retains many features, including stone mullioned windows, inglenook fireplaces and oak beams. It is possible that ten or twelve priests could have lived there, serving the Minster Church and taking other services in the surrounding villages. Shortly after the reformation, it seems the house belonged to a Catholic family who employed a priest – a matter of great danger at the time. There is a Priest’s hole in the house, possibly located at the top of an original staircase that has been sealed off, leaving no access to it, apart from an attic room which could have been the priest’s own bedroom. In the attics are evidences of two earlier roofs, the earliest between 1600-1700 during which time a wing was added to the house to provide a kitchen and scullery and two upstairs rooms. Sah windows were put in the newer wing in late Georgian times. A room at the East end of this wing has a good georgian ceiling and an Adam mantelpiece of which the mouldings are covered with silver pewter. A single, Georgian staircase leads from the hall. A downstairs sitting room was panelled in white painted pine and the oak beams encased in pine to match the panelling. The Adam mantelpiece was moved to the panelled room downstairs in 1946-47.

The original coach house was restored and converted into bedrooms in 1988 and in 1991 an extension to the newer wing was built to provide five new bedrooms.

So much character and generations of history passing through this oldest building in Beaminster. You can snuggle up to a warm fire in winter, or enjoy a garden supper in the summer. It is family friendly and the hotel can even provide a ‘potty’ if you forget to pack one!

Caroline Hutchings

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.