Our journey to Tudor Farmhouse began with an adventure as we scanned the ominous snow flurries, wondering whether the three-hour car journey would be safe enough to make with our precious cargo - our five-month-old baby, Evan, in tow. After reading various road reports and loading our car with a last-minute winter survival kit (a throwback to my days as a Minnesota native), we were confident that we were prepared for all eventualities and were on our merry way.
Tudor Farmhouse is located in the charming village of Clearwell (population 350), which is home to Clearwell Castle, a Gothic castle built in 1728, and Clearwell Caves, a natural cave system which has been extensively mined for iron ore and now operates primarily as a mining museum.
Pull on your wellies and enjoy the great outdoors
Surrounded by 14 acres of grasslands and 27,000 acres of forest, Tudor Farmhouse is ideally positioned for those who love country walks. With distances ranging from a gentle one-hour stroll to more challenging walks of up to three hours, including stops at Slade Brook, Newland Castle, Millennium Green, Mortuary Chapel and Lovers Leap, there is the perfect walk for everyone to enjoy. Don’t fret if you’ve forgotten your wellies at home, as the hotel has a selection of wellies you can borrow during your stay.
The property is also home to a chicken run, an orchard and a kitchen garden, which provides fresh produce for the restaurant.
Guests can choose from 20 country-chic bedrooms, which feature the perfect combination of traditional features such as exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings, and modern amenities including roll-top baths, monsoon showers and the all-important Nespresso coffee machine to make your own cup of caffeinated joy - a morning necessity in my opinion.
A bathroom designed with relaxation in mind...
In keeping with the farm theme, room options on offer include suites, Cockerel rooms, Hen Rooms and Hatchling rooms. We stayed in Room 19, one of the five stylish Cockerel rooms. Located on the first floor, this mini suite had a comfy double bed and a separate lounge area, where the staff had kindly set up a travel cot for the baby. He obviously enjoyed having his own room as he’s never slept so soundly!
We loved that the suite had two televisions – perfect for couples who don’t agree on what to watch (as if that would ever happen) and the roll-top bath and rain shower with complimentary Bramley bathroom products were a real indulgence after a long journey. We also loved the gorgeous waffle bathrobes they provided - the comfiest robes we’ve ever used, which were perfect for lounging in as we read the morning paper.
Dining options at Tudor Farmhouse
The 2AA Rosette restaurant is headed up by Rob Cox (who recently won the prestigious South West Chef of the Year award) and is committed to using quality and locally-produced ingredients, most sourced from within a 20-mile radius of the hotel.
Breakfast is served from 8:30 each morning in the dining room or if you’re feeling too tired to venture to the dining room (or if you’d rather eat your breakfast in your jammies), you can arrange for room service.
In the dining room guests can help themselves to fresh fruit salad and croissants and can choose from breakfast classics such as oak-smoked salmon, poached eggs, grilled brace kipper or a classic full English.
Available daily between 12:00-14:00, guests can choose from two or three courses, or opt for the new six-course tasting menu (with accompanying flight of wines). This includes a beetroot and blackberry salad, white onion soup with duck egg, slow roasted Gloucester Old Spot pork belly with smoked apple puree, pan fried cod with hazelnut and truffle pesto, spiced rice pudding with dark chocolate and star anise ganache and coffee with homemade petits fours.
During our stay, my husband and I organised a babysitter so we could enjoy a much-needed romantic evening meal. We started with Gin Fizz cocktails in the cosy lounge with its wood-burning stove, the perfect respite from the -1C weather outside. We later moved into the intimate dining room with its sexy low lighting and quirky beamed ceilings.
Guests can choose from either a 3-course meal or a six-course tasting menu, which looked divine. Given we were on a limited timescale, we opted for the former. The lamb ravioli with wild garlic, morels and coco beans starter was as beautiful as it was tasty and the pan-fried cod with hazelnut and truffle pesto, Jerusalem artichoke and a chicken jus, was light and comforting. We loved that each dish featured a unique twist by pairing items you wouldn’t think to pair together but they worked remarkably well, such as the white onion soup with duck egg, oats and smoked prunes. Although I had earmarked the lemon parfait with rhubarb sorbet for dessert, alas it wasn’t meant to be as the restaurant manager informed us that we’d need to retire to our room for the evening as the baby had decided that he was missing our company! We weren’t too disappointed though, as it meant more time burrowing under the feather down duvet, where we dozed with ease thanks to the marvellously comfortable bed.
Exploring further afield
Guests can explore the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley area with local forager Raoul Van Den Broucke, who provides the hotel with local produce collected from the region. Raoul who stars in The Wild Gourmet TV programme is an expert in the local flora, mushrooms, herbs and fruits.
If foraging isn’t your thing, other interesting sights to see include the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and Puzzlewood ancient woodland, which featured in the Lord of the Rings films.
Tudor Farmhouse is a little gem of a boutique hotel in the heart of the countryside that’s ideal for those seeking a chilled-out stay.
Prices available from £130 per room per night based on two sharing a Hatchling Double Room on a B&B basis. Children under six stay free.
A summary of our stay at Tudor Farmhouse Hotel
The Miln Report - Luxury Family Travel
Having kids in tow during your travels doesn't mean you have to scrimp on style.