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“Fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Fat Pigeon

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The Fat Pigeon
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Old Road, Brympton BA22 8TD, England (Formerly Brympton House)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Brympton B&B and Inns
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Fat Pigeon was a wonderful surprise. Booked on short notice to break a journey, finding this beautiful historic venue was a real treat. Quiet, comfortable an welcoming and delicious scrambled eggs from the on-site chickens. Highly recommended, will stay again.

Stayed April 2015, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
East Sussex, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

A few times a year my father and I will travel west and will always stay here. It is a wonderful building filled with so much character and history and you're always assured a delicious breakfast served by the lovely Lady Mary.
My last trip was very special as I woke up with views of the stunning gardens on my 21st birthday and was given a lovely gift from Lady Mary herself.
Will be sure to return for many years to come.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

I don't recognise the description of this place from the other reviews. I feel quite traumatised by the night I just spent there - it's probably one of the worst B&Bs I've ever stayed in. We paid £117 in advance, which was lucky for the Fat Pigeon because otherwise I wouldn't have paid half that.

Let me say the positive first. It's a very beautiful historic building (from the outside at least) and it's in a stunning, peaceful setting looking across lawns and a lake.

But..but...but.. first of all, our room wasn't just unserviced, it was still occupied by other people when we were shown to it. I wasn't offered another room, just a wait in the corridor while the previous occupants were hustled out, and a promise that it would be cleaned while we were out. Oh and no room key - they say don't trust guests with room keys, so you have to leave your room open to anyone else staying there.

On returning three hours later, nothing had been done: the bed was still unmade, the bin full, and there were still dirty towels and dirty cups lying around. There was noone around to ask for assistance, as there's no proper reception, so I tried ringing their out of hours phone number...no answer. I eventually found the person who'd shown us to our room,who promised to alert someone.

But four hours later, when it was time to put my baby to bed (in a travel cot I'd had to bring, as the Fat Pigeon won't provide cots), the room STILL had not been cleaned. I was forced to go running around the main house trying to find someone to do something. Eventually someone turned up with some clean sheets and said - and I still cannot believe my ears - "We don't clean the rooms between guests but we will provide a change of bedlinen". I had to repeat my request for some clean towels, as otherwise they would not have been forthcoming. (It was only later than I had a good look at them, and even the "clean" towels were heavily stained - one in particular had dark green stains and what looked like yellow building plaster stuck to it.) The bin was emptied, and a tea cup taken away, but the old teapot was left behind, full of cold tea.

As if waiting for a bed to be made seven hours after check in wasn't bad enough, the room itself was no great shakes. The furniture was pretty cheap and shabby - no antiques here. Cheap grubby roller blinds at the windows, not much attempt at decoration. No wardrobe and no hooks to hang anything, which is bad news if you're attending a wedding at the venue. You could either turn on the tiny TV or the kettle, but not both. The Wifi was so slow it was unusable. In the bathroom, two small squares of mirrored glass were randomly stuck high on otherwise empty walls: absolutely useless for doing make up or anything else. The previous occupant had propped a mirror on a radiator in a dark corner to do hers.

I'd give the bed - once eventually made - a 5 out of ten for comfort - it was two single beds pushed together, with cheap pillows. Americans would hate the shower - the water supply was very feeble although unlike the previous occupants, I at least managed to get some hot water. There were two large plastic bottles labelled "Aromatherapy Associates" shampoo and conditioner, but I suspect they may have been refilled with something else. Although both bottles were nearly full, the pump dispenser on one was missing, and clearly had been for some time.

Again, I absolutely don't recognise the description of the breakfast from other reviewers. We were charged £12 each, not £5, and for that we got no welcome, no choice of food, and from the sound of it, rather less of it. Without asking me what I wanted (or whether I wanted English breakfast at all), someone stuck an arm in front of me and plonked down a small plate consisting of one fried egg, one mushroom, one sausage, one tomato and one piece of rather hard bacon. There was also a sideboard with cereal, yoghurts, fresh fruit, white toast and tiny cups of tea and coffee. For some reason, jam was rationed - it had to circulate around all the tables. And £12 each was apparently not enough to run to any napkins - even paper ones.

I know this is a very old house, and I would not expect everything to be immaculate. But I do at least expect basic standards of hygiene and a sense that the proprietors are welcoming, rather than tolerating guests through gritted teeth. My strong suspicion is that they treat guests staying overnight before/after a wedding like mugs - people who will pay any money and won't know any better. Unfortunately this is not the case.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mary H, Manager at The Fat Pigeon, responded to this review, March 28, 2015
Dear Bizarre
Staying in a Grade 1 listed house with all its quirks is not for everyone - and you might have been better at the Premier Inn as you suggest
Obviously we have no control over events next door although the bride and groom who booked and paid for your room and were very happy with it knew there was an event the day before
Breakfast was also not provided by us - although our prices are the same
So sorry that you felt the need to post your review to the wrong site
The Fat Pigeon team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

We were booked into the Fat Pidgeon by a friend as part of her wedding event at Brympton d'Evercy, as it adjoins the wedding venue, which is the only reason we stayed the two nights of our booking. Frankly we were considering decamping to the Premier Inn down the road on night one.

I live in a very old cottage, so I am used to character buildings and will distinguish between features that come with the territory (i.e. single glazing that lets in every peep and murmur of sound) and those that really could be avoided (i.e. the clanking of bottles being recycled under our single glazed window at 10.30pm and 8am the following morning, accompanied by merry banter from the kitchen staff).

In a nutshell, room 10 (and certainly room 16, of which more later) was not up to standard for the price this establishment charges. Simple things would help bring it up to scratch, such as a bathroom door that does actually close in order to preserve marital bliss, and a small chest of drawers so we could put away some of our clothes rather than living out of our suitcase. It would have to be a small chest, as the room was so tiny that nothing else would fit, certainly not a wardrobe. The mini hanging rail was quite inadequate for our purposes.

Don’t even get me started on our own personal Hellmouth under the bathroom floor. There were gaps between the floorboards through which a weird orange glow could be seen. Being naturally nosey we pressed our eyes to the gap to see what was causing it, and it was the back of the downlighter for the room below. The downlighter that was not enclosed and would not take well to having water spilt over it. The downlighter that was below the gaps in the floorboards next to our bath. We felt safe and secure.

On the subject of safety, on arrival, we were given the key to our room, as one would normally expect. It seems we were the lucky ones, as our friends were told that there was no key to their room as wedding guests often walked off with them, and that nobody was given keys. They had to spend the night and leave their belongings in an unlocked room when there were people staying from another wedding party that they had never met and certainly had no reason to trust. They struck lucky as they had actual shelves on which to put their clothes, but lost out on the lights not working so they had to get by using their bedside lamps, and with their radiator being disconnected and upside down. There were also no hangers whatsoever, nor anywhere to hang anything.

They also struck out the following morning when they had no hot water whatsoever after a long trip the day before, so couldn't shower before their check out time of 10am. I was told by one of the staff that the hot water frequently runs out when other guests use it first, and was accused of stealing it all myself, albeit in a jokey manner. They were told it would take 30 mins to heat up again. They were still waiting two hours later.

This is just not acceptable when we were being charged £120 per night. I know a gorgeous boutique B&B near Tal-y-Llyn in N Wales where they charge similar prices and they would die of mortification before allowing this sort of shambles to take place.

Cooked breakfast was tasty, but way overpriced at £12 for a small sausage, a small rasher of bacon, an egg, a mushroom and a tomato, plus the usual cereal and toast etc. On the minus side there was no choice whatsoever, on the plus side everything was already prepared and we were served very quickly.

So, although the building itself is lovely and quirky, I really cannot recommend anyone should waste their money by staying here. I can only assume standards must have dropped dramatically since the previous glowing endorsements, and the proprietors are relying on a captive audience from events next door to make their money. A very poor show.

Room Tip: Avoid room 10!
See more room tips
Stayed March 2015, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mary H, Manager at The Fat Pigeon, responded to this review, March 28, 2015
Dear Bizarre
We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay
Staying in a Grade 1 listed house that has been described as the most beautiful house in England is not for every one though; some people simply fill more at home in a travel lodge
As your room was booked and paid for by the bridal party (who were delighted with it) and they again put your breakfast arrangements in place in the private house next door we can't really comment any further
The fat pigeon Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

This place just oozes character from oak beams and boarded floors to the large inglenook fireplace in the breakfast room. As soon as you walk in the door the smell of hundreds of years of history hit you.
On the down side the plumbing can be temperamental and there is renovation building work going on around the place but well worth a visit.

Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herstmonceux, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

Just one night at The Fat Pigeon was a delight. From the superb setting to Lady Mary's hospitality. Persuade her to give you a guided tour and don't forget your camera.
And try her scrambled eggs from her own chickens!
I'll be back.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

As usual, my wife Jill made all the booking arrangements although somewhat uncharacteristically she seemed excited by the prospect of staying in what I thought would be just another rural B&B.

What a surprise I was in for. 'The Fat Pigeon' is most certainly not your everyday run of the mill B&B. To start with, the building itself is located at the end of a beautiful tree lined drive. Don't be put off by the old and seemingly derelict building in front of the gravel car-park area, this is a work in progress and the end result will eventually become a sympathetically restored additional guest area.

Reception was easy enough to find and we were greeted by a very cheery young lady who escorted us to our room. The en-suite room was a very cozy double and had one of the most comfortable beds ever.

Jill and I were both very excited and wanted to go exploring immediately but were rather tired after the drive from the 'Midlands'

We had arranged to meet a friend and his daughter at a local restaurant and dined well before returning to 'The Fat Pigeon' and crashing out. After a refreshing nights sleep, we made our way downstairs to the dining area which was incredibly interesting and homely.

We were greeted by Lady Mary Herbert herself who offered to make us a cooked breakfast if we wished. Jill declined preferring to settle for the cereals, toast and juices. I on the other hand however could not resist the offer of a 'Full English' although but chose not to go for the fried bread. I guess one might call that Lady Mary's healthy full English option.

When my plate arrived I initially assumed I had been given a sharing platter. Wow, loads of bacon, two fantastic chipolata sausages, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms and a couple of the most wonderful local fried eggs, all washed down with orange juice and a cup of tea.

Lady Mary Herbert disappeared back into the kitchen only to return once I had finished eating afterwards we chatted just like an old friends. I had to point out that my breakfast was one of the best I had had for many years and for just £5.00, it was probably the best value, I had ever had.

Lady Mary Herbert who of course we were not expecting to meet proved to be a splendid and otherwise engaging hostess who most insisted that if we should stay at 'The Fat Pigeon' again would be offered a room in the old house itself which was both unexpected and something of an honour.

We were subsequently invited to wander around the grounds and gardens which Mary Lady Herbert was obviously very proud of. She had a business engagement otherwise she would have taken us on a tour.

Although it was not the best of weather, Jill and I decided to go for a wander and we are so glad that we did. The grounds, the buildings and the lake and little family church were all amazing. I imagine one could spend an entire day or more marveling at what this venue has to offer.

It was a shame to leave 'The Fat Pigeon' but we both agreed that we would be back again not least because of the hospitality and uniqueness of the place but also because for sheer value, it could not be beaten, oh' and next time we might even bring the kids. Many thanks Neville & Jill

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fat Pigeon

Address: Old Road, Brympton BA22 8TD, England (Formerly Brympton House)
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Brympton
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Brympton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Fat Pigeon 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional yet stylish B&B located in the heart of the West CountryWe are 10 minutes away from the county town of Yeovil and just over 2 hours from London by train (Waterloo to Yeovil junction) or by road using the nearby A303.The Fat Pigeon offers all of the comforts of a smart boutique hotel, but at bed and breakfast prices. We have a lovely breakfast room, 10 beautifully designed bedrooms - most of which are en-suite (with full Wifi access and a TV/DVD in every room) and a large garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brympton House Hotel Brympton
The Fat Pigeon Brympton, Somerset

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