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Tropical jungle to the height of luxury

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 September 2015

Bentley Flying Spur outside The Bath Priory Hotel

Bentley Flying Spur outside The Bath Priory Hotel

Archant

MARK G WHITCHURCH goes from visiting exotic butterflies in a Somerset village, to an English luxury hotel in the city of Bath

A view of the village pond in Compton MartinA view of the village pond in Compton Martin

Route:

This month we start our Great Drive in the tropical surroundings of the North Somerset Butterfly House, tucked away in the charming village of Congresbury and adjacent to Wyevale Garden Centre. This ecological venture has been voted as one of Somerset’s top 10 Nature & Parks attractions by TripAdvisor for the past four years.

Stroll around the jungle foliage and watch hundreds upon hundreds of exotic butterflies fluttering from flower to fruit and back again. A wonderful way to offer children a glimpse into a lush and humid paradise and all within the confines of our county!

Leave Congresbury on the B3133 in the

direction of Langford. Upon reaching the A38 it’s right to the traffic lights at Churchill, where we hang a left to pick up the A368.

Travel past the hamlet of Rickford, famous for its duck races, and through the delightful village of Blagdon with occasional glimpses of the lake in the valley below.

Continue to follow the winding road, which returns to a more rural setting with lush views across the hedgerows. I do love the village pond in Compton Martin as well as a brief pause as the road crosses the Chew Valley Lake to admire the view and the birds that like to gather close to the road.

Sutton Wick, Bishops Sutton and Stanton Wick all pass by as we reach the roundabout with the A37 where we continue straight over to remain on the A368.

Now we are heading for Chelwood and Marksbury, soon followed by Corston and the junction with the A36 that takes us on the short journey into Somerset’s most celebrated city, Bath.

Join the A4 towards the city centre and just before Royal Victoria Park, with its truly adventurous playground for children, turn left onto Park Lane and travel up the hill to the mini roundabout with Weston Road, turning left and now looking out for the entrance to the Bath Priory Hotel.

Tucked away in this tranquil yet inconspicuous corner of Bath and once a private residence built on land owned by the Priory of Bath Abbey, the Bath Priory Hotel is today a privately-owned quintessentially English luxury hotel offering one of the most decadent dining experiences the county has to offer.

The award-winning restaurant is overseen by Michelin star Executive Chef Sam Moody. We enjoyed a superb lunch in The Pantry, a relaxing space with a Parisian ambiance that overlooks the superbly landscaped gardens with an immaculate lawn, flower beds bursting with colour and majestic sculptures to complete the dramatic vista.

The Pantry at The Bath Priory is open daily from 10am until late and is the perfect place for a morning coffee with a naughty slice of cake, an after work drink, or a delicious lunch or dinner. Main course dishes start from around £14, and set menus offer great value, from just £15 for a two course lunch, or £17.50 for dinner.

Reservations aren’t always necessary but are advised.

The Car:

The Bentley Flying Spur is a luxurious machine for those who have outgrown their S-class Mercedes Benz. A patriotic choice from a marque whose racing successes still resonate within Flying Spurs discreet sporting credentials.

Now in its second generation, the Flying Spur boasts a freshly sculptured rear end and subtle revisions to the rest of its form. These enhancements help to differentiate the model from its Continental GT cousin and ensure it continues to tread the fine line between the associated stature of a classic Bentley and the latest cutting edge design.

Clasp the driver’s door handle and the car recognises the key buried within your pocket and welcomes you in. Make yourself comfortable in one of the most opulent interiors to grace a motorcar. Soft leather, polished walnut and classically machine turned aluminium panels adorn the interior surfaces.

The centre console bristles with the latest technology, including the starter button that stirs the 6.0 litre W12 engine into life with a mechanical roar that delicately teeters on the tipping point between sophisticated and sporty.

Engage drive and the four-wheel drive system transfers the Flying Spur’s 625bhp of power into motion. Smooth, effortless motion. The breadth of the Flying Spur is at first akin to captaining a frigate, but within the shortest of time you are placing the car with the sharpest of accuracy around the by-ways of Somerset.

Take the family out for lunch and waft around the countryside and the Flying Spur is an experience second to none. Electric blinds can be raised and lowered around the rear of the cabin at a touch of a button; rear seats have as much adjustment as those in the front, plus heating and their own air conditioning. Forget four-wheeled transport, think twin-engined jet!

However if you are on your own and feeling mischievous, the Flying Spur can deliver an exhilarating motoring experience in a way only a Bentley can offer.

Adjust the suspension, engage sports mode on the gearbox and release the full potential of that twin turbo engine via your right foot and you have performance to rival many a supercar.

The Bentley Flying Spur will relieve your bank account of £153,300 before you start adding your bespoke options. Pocket change for a captain of industry and far more patriotic and fun to pilot than an S-class!

Tropical jungle to the height of luxury

Route:

This month we start our Great Drive in the tropical surroundings of the North Somerset Butterfly House, tucked away in the charming village of Congresbury and adjacent to Wyevale Garden Centre. This ecological venture has been voted as one of Somerset’s top 10 Nature & Parks attractions for the past four years.

Stroll around the jungle foliage and watch hundreds upon hundreds of exotic butterflies fluttering from flower to fruit and back again. A wonderful way to offer children a glimpse into a lush and humid paradise and all within the confines of our county!

Leave Congresbury on the B3133 in the direction of Langford. Upon reaching the A38 it’s right to the traffic lights at Churchill, where we hang a left to pick up the A368. Travel past the hamlet of Rickford, famous for its duck races, and through the delightful village of Blagdon with occasional glimpses of the lake in the valley below. Continue to follow the winding road which returns to a more rural setting with lush views across the hedgerows. I do love the village pond in Compton Martin as well as a brief pause as the road crosses the Chew Valley Lake to admire the view and the birds that like to gather close to the road.

Sutton Wick, Bishops Sutton and Stanton Wick all pass by as we reach the roundabout with the A37 where we continue straight over to remain on the A368. Now heading for Chelwood and Marksbury, soon followed by Corston and the junction with the A36 that takes us on the short journey into Somerset’s most celebrated city, Bath.

Join the A4 towards the city centre and just before Royal Victoria Park, with its truly adventurous playground for children, turn left onto Park Lane and travel up the hill to the mini roundabout with Weston Road turning left and now looking out for the entrance to the Bath Priory Hotel.

Tucked away in this tranquil yet inconspicuous corner of Bath and once a private residence built on land owned by the Priory of Bath Abbey, the Bath Priory Hotel is today a privately-owned quintessentially English luxury hotel offering one of the most decadent dining experiences the county has to offer.

The award-winning restaurant is overseen by Michelin star Executive Chef Sam Moody. We enjoyed a superb lunch in The Pantry, a relaxing space with a Parisian ambiance that overlooks the superbly landscaped gardens with an immaculate lawn, flower beds bursting with colour and majestic sculptures to complete the dramatic vista.

The Pantry at The Bath Priory is open daily from 10am until late and is the perfect place for a morning coffee with a naughty slice of cake, an after work drink, or a delicious lunch or dinner. Main course dishes start from around £14, and set menus offer great value, from just £15 for a two course lunch, or £17.50 for dinner. Reservations aren’t always necessary but are advised. Visit thebathpriory.co.uk or call 0122 533 1922 for more information or to book.

The Car:

The Bentley Flying Spur is a luxurious machine for those who have outgrown their S-class Mercedes Benz. A patriotic choice from a marque whose racing successes still resonate within Flying Spurs discreet sporting credentials.

Now in its second generation, the Flying Spur boasts a freshly sculptured rear end and subtle revisions to the rest of its form. These enhancements help to differentiate the model from its Continental GT cousin and ensure it continues to tread the fine line between the associated stature of a classic Bentley and the latest cutting edge design.

Clasp the driver’s door handle and the car recognises the key buried within your pocket and welcomes you in. Make yourself comfortable in one of the most opulent interiors to grace a motorcar. Soft leather, polished walnut and classically machine turned aluminium panels adorn the interior surfaces.

The centre console bristles with the latest technology including the starter button that stirs the 6.0 litre W12 engine into life with a mechanical roar that delicately teeters on the tipping point between sophisticated and sporty.

Engage drive and the four-wheel drive system transfers the Flying Spur’s 625bhp of power into motion. Smooth effortless motion. The breadth of the Flying Spur is at first akin to captaining a frigate, but within the shortest of time you are placing the car with the sharpest of accuracy around the by-ways of Somerset.

Take the family out for lunch and waft around the countryside and the Flying Spur is an experience second to none. Electric blinds can be raised and lowered around the rear of the cabin at a touch of a button; rear seats have as much adjustment as those in the front, plus heating and their own air conditioning. Forget four-wheeled transport, think twin-engined jet!

However if you are on your own and feeling mischievous, the Flying Spur can deliver an exhilarating motoring experience in a way only a Bentley can offer. Adjust the suspension, engage sports mode on the gearbox and release the full potential of that twin turbo engine via your right foot and you have performance to rival many a supercar. Although the Flying Spur is no lightweight sports car, four-wheel drive helps to provide road holding akin to a car half its weight and size.

The Bentley Flying Spur will relieve your bank account of £153,300 before you start adding your bespoke options. Pocket change for a captain of industry and far more patriotic and fun to pilot than an S-class!

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