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Malcolm Rigby discovers one of the Somerset's hidden gems - Miller's at Glencot House

PUBLISHED: 14:00 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:15 20 February 2013

Malcolm Rigby discovers one of the Somerset's hidden gems - Miller’s at Glencot House

Malcolm Rigby discovers one of the Somerset's hidden gems - Miller’s at Glencot House

From the moment you step out of the car and notice the grand piano standing out in the grounds with, seemingly, neatly cropped grass growing out of it, you know that you are destined for a unique and enjoyable evening.

From the moment you step out of the car and notice the grand piano standing out in the grounds with, seemingly, neatly cropped grass growing out of it, you know that you are destined for a unique and enjoyable evening.
We took some seats in the lounge by the window with a magnificent view; the croquet lawn adorned with statues on the edge, the slightly ponderous River Axe, the cricket field, and in the distance, hanging from a tree, a white cage containing a collection of inflatable parrots. The wonder of Glencot is that combination of the traditional and the bizarre. The room has a fireplace within a fireplace, so you can sit inside the larger fireplace and stare at the portrait that hangs at a 45-degree angle, or indeed the two stuffed peacocks. There is also a bar in the lounge with an honesty box so that you can have a drink if there is no one to serve you. Muggins here, short straw again, had a coke whilst Debbie, my wife, nursed a glass of the house white, a Sauvignon blanc. French, she guessed when did she get so knowledgeable? Probably all those long straws.

Glencot House is a Victorian mansion that has been in private and public use, once even a boys school. Four years ago it was bought by Martin Miller, of the antiques guide fame, who proceeded to stuff it full of collectables and curios before opening it as a hotel.
After placing our orders we had a quick nosy downstairs. Theres a cinema room, a snooker room, more books, more pictures, more stuffed animals, more everything, and a meeting room where a group of elderly women were gathering to discuss... I dunno, maybe the Monty Python Philosophers Song.
Called to the dining room, I had a smoked Gressingham duck salad with an orange and apricot puree as a starter; easy on the stomach, it was an excellent choice. Debbie had gone for the wild mushroom velout with truffle oil mushroom soup to you and me. She said it was as frothy as a cappuccino.
Earlier Ben Crofton, the General Manager, had described the cuisine as modern British with a twist of eccentricity, that captured the food, and also the atmosphere. For a main course Debbie went for the pan-fried sea bass with scallops and coconut bisque. She loved it. The pigs are reared within the grounds so I opted for the pork loin, confit belly and apple puree. The triple-cooked chips arrived in a brown paper bag nice touch!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a pudding person but, wow, the dessert knocked my socks off. I had the 70% dark chocolate brownie with drunken cherries and pistachio parfait: what a combo, it was delicious. Debbie enjoyed the vanilla crme brle with poached rhubarb and sable biscuit. Service and presentation always good.
Dinner at Glencot House is seriously fab. The food is great but more than that, its a complete experience. When we get home my son tells me that Lily Allen goes there. Well, there you go modern British with a touch of eccentricity. Go.

Millers at Glencot House
Glencot Lane, Wookey Hole, Wells, BA5 1BH
Tel: 01749 677160
www.glencothouse.co.uk

Lunch: 12-2.30pm
Dinner: 7-9.30pm
Prices: Two courses: 29.50; three courses: 34.50; wine from: 19.95

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