Dating from the 13th century, Bridge House is reputedly a former monastery or clergy house and the oldest building in Beaminster. Whatever its antecedents, it is certainly a venerable and charming building and has been run as a hotel by Mark and Joanna Donovan for the last 3 years. Mark, a former television producer, and Joanna, a former retail buyer, took on the hotel as a major change of lifestyle. Their aim has been to build on the previous owner Peter Pinkster's good reputation, by 'updating where necessary, without destroying the hotel's unique charm'.
The sitting room and bar areas are cheefully decorated in cherry and green tartans; local artists' paintings hang on the cream walls. Lunch and dinner are served in the pretty pink-panelled dining room or the conservatory which looks out on to the walled gardens. Chef Linda Pagett has been here for several years. Young and enthusiastic, her cooking has made waves in an area blessed with quality local produce: fish, meat and cheese all come from nearby. Bread, biscuits, ice-cream and chocolates are all made in the Bridge House kitchens; even the marmalade that accompanies the satisfying breakfasts is made on the premises.
Bedrooms are all different, as would be expected in a building so full of nooks and crannies - including a priest's hole.