Country Calling Magazine

The reopening of The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury has been a much anticipated event around these parts and, after visiting this weekend, I can confirm it has been worth the wait.

The new owners have taken the Grosvenor Arms and turned it into something that seems to work on every level. Let’s start with the bar which has changed position to the other side of the hotel and has a much more lo-fi, boho chic feel, comfortable sofas, great lighting, nothing too bling, just relaxed, pared down cool. It’s somewhere you’d want to hang out from a morning cappuccino to your night-time Cosmopolitan and with opening hours from 7.30 am to 9 pm it seems the new look Grosvenor has just this in mind.

Food was always going to be crucial and the Grosvenor recruited head chef Neil Duffett from the Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest. A former Alex Aitken protegee he has inherited his love of the freshest possible seafood and fish which he sources straight from the boat. That might mean wood roasted hand dived scallops with a herb and garlic crust or speared Portland plaice with razor clams and chorizo. We can vouch for the seabass which comes with fennel and preserved lemon and is delicious.

It just feels like a great deal of thought has been put into this place to make it work for as many people as possible.


 

Conde Nast Traveller

Under the command of new owners, the hotel has recently undergone a refurbishment to transform the hotel’s ground floor and bedrooms. En-suite bedrooms feature freestanding bathtubs with products by Orla Kiely, soft handmade beds with bold headboards and a mix of contemporary and modern design. The community feel has been reinforced by bigger and more open spaces, with a larger restaurant and the addition of a smaller eat-in deli for less formal occasions. New Head Chef Neil Duffet (previously of Lime Wood, one of our favourite hotels in Hampshire) has made a commitment to using as much local produce as he can – expect hand-picked clams by local fisherman, organic meat reared on Dorset farms and fresh local vegetables. The policy extends to the bar too, which serves local ales from a nearby brewery.


 

The Hotel Guru

After a makeover, this former Georgian inn in the middle of Hardy country oozes casual elegance. Retire to stylish rooms upstairs after dinner in the first-rate revamped restaurant. Great service and classy accommodation without the high price tag.


 

Trip Advisor

What a lovely destination to walk into and indulge yourself for a few hours. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of our lunch yesterday, Going back with friends for lunch on Sunday.
The vision and talent that has gone into this place is to be admired and enjoyed. One day I hope, if we are all very good, there will be a Grosvenor Arms in every town in this country.