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“A Gem!”

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Square & Compass Inn
Ranked #4 of 11 Ilminster B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 19, 2012

Tucked away deep in rolling countryside. Free House run by a friendly landlord with good selection of real ale and excellent home cooked food. Very comfortable rooms in a converted stable block. Beds are huge! Free wi-fi. Excellent for walking. Landlord is keen to keep music live and music gigs are held in The Barn at the back of the Inn. A great place to enjoy live music, good food and beer and sleep it off afterwards in a comfortable bed. Cant wait to go again

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank david w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 - 144 of 159 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2012

We stayed at the Square and Compass for one night early June. We did not read the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking.
The outward appearance of the stable block containing the bedrooms is welcoming with a notice advising arriving guests to ring the bell if no member of staff can be found. Having stayed in another pub in January and not being able to enter the establishment until 5:30 p.m. this was appreciated. A member of staff appeared quickly; we were shown to our room and told that the bar opened at 6:30 p.m.
The bedroom was large, plenty of storage, two tub chairs and a small table, and a large comfortable bed. The bathroom/wet room was large with a bath and wet area shower. It was tiled throughout.
However, I did not find the room to be of the expected standard of cleanliness. There was a considerable amount of dust, cobwebs and dirt in many areas of both the bedroom and bathroom. The extractor fan in the bathroom was covered in dust; a cobweb was hanging from a corner of the window the sill of which is the only storage area in this room. The bedroom was cold; we sat with our coats on and left the bathroom door open to benefit from the heat from the towel rail. We tried altering the dials but the bedroom radiator did not come on until we were having our meal in the pub that night. Likewise the water was not as hot as expected.
We ate in the pub that evening both enjoying an enormous chicken curry. Breakfast the following morning was also taken in the bar. We don’t eat a cooked breakfast so can’t really comment on the menu as toast is toast in any venue.
Since returning we have read the reviews on Trip Advisor and the owner’s response. No doubt as this review is not glowing it will also receive a reply. At £85 you do expect heating to be available for your room on arrival (and yes we did try every dial we could find including the radiator thermostatic control) and to be dust free.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Welsh40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
janetslow, Owner at Square & Compass Inn, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2012

We are sorry that you found it cold in the room. As you noticed, the heating is on in the bathroom all the time but the main heating is not on during the Summer - it is mid-June! You only have to ask and we can turn on the heating but it does mean that the heating is on for the whole hotel and some guests don't like it as they are too hot (although each room has it's own thermostat controlled radiators).

As far as the cleaning goes we really do take care with this but clearly it isn't good enough for some people. We hoover and dust every day but you obviously found it to be unsatisfactory. We do live in the country, surrounded by fields and if they are harvesting or ploughing there is a lot of dust around if we leave the windows open, however, we have to take more care.

Also,maybe if you were to tell the staff or management when you were here rather than waiting until you have gone, both our staff and ourselves, the owners, are absolutely committed tomaking your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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Reviewed June 9, 2012

We had a lovely time at the Square and Compass.It is great to find a place that's fiendly and informal.The staff were always happy to help. Reading one of the reviews I think some people spend too much time trying to find fault and don't appreciate what there is to offer,ie great food and huge portions,quiet location and friendly staff. Look forward to coming back next year.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Pauline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights on the Jubilee weekend and I chose this place becasue of the good reviews. The room was big and well equipped but is on the wrong side of becoming grubby. It is still new, so benefits from that overall appearance on first impression but after you have settled in you see the detail. It is not yet drastic but this is a hotel room, at hotel prices.
I intended to mention this to the management if anyone had been around at checkout or the second day's breakfast but the two young ladies working on the bill didn't ask and they were not the people to deal with it, in my view.
The bathroom is nice and big but the sink was stained and there is hair and dust, etc accumulating in the nooks and crannies. The bed linen was clean but the vallance was very dirty and stained with various coloured liquids and dirt and did not look like it had been washed for some time, if ever - room 7. Dust and fluff had accumulated so much as to be easily seen on the light fittings.
IF the management get a grip of this it will be fine but if they choose to let it slide, it will be a shame. I sound like some cleanliness freak but I am not. If you pay these rates for a room, you can get a clean one.
Breakfast - a previous reviewer mentioned dirty crockery and the breakfast area. We had a dirty cup and a fork with someone else's food on it the first morning and asked them to be changed. The food was quite good and the service from the young trainee was polite and helpful on both days.
The second day we had a dirty cup and a spoon with old food on it and that is not excusable after the same thing the first day. We only ate the cereal, toast and fruit because by then we had lost confidence on the hygeine standards.
I take the point in the earlier management response about the grubby pub. Yes, a pub can be OK like that in the evening and lunchtime; it does look a bit unappetising at breakfast but if that is how you like to deliberatley keep it then maybe it will work but we won't come again.
I wish the management the best with the business as they have clearly invested a lot to get the rooms built but if they ignore this sort of hopefully constructive comment there is only one way this place will go.
It also would be great if the dying olive trees and plants in the pots out the front had some water (unless they are delliderately treated that way for some horticultural reason..). At the moment it just makes what could be a very pretty place, look neglected. Good luck.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AshleyOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
janetslow, Owner at Square & Compass Inn, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2012

We are very sorry, but life's too short! We are not taking part in a TV reality show.
We have a full set of staff working 24 hours a day who are very enthusiastic and who, we think, do a really good job. This kind of review is completely demotivating for our staff, if they should get to read it. We are just a really old fashioned country pub with good quality accommodation. We do try to please every one of the thousands of people who stay here.
If you want to crawl around on your hands and knees and look into the light fittings for dust, then may be you need to stay somewhere else.

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Reviewed May 31, 2012

What a great find in the lovely Somerset countryside.
It is only about 18 miles from the coast at Lyme Regis and is a mere 10 minutes or so to some of the best NT houses in the area. The Saxon town of Ilminster with it,s lovely Minster and quaint shops is close by
Lots to see and do.
This is a very friendly pub. You will receive a great welcome from Chris and Jean.
The accommodation would shame many a 4* Hotel in Britain-why stay in them?

Huge comfortable beds with a variety of fluffy towels changed evey day.
The bathrooms had piping hot water, a bath and a very mod wet room.

The pub had customers who were friendly and prepared to make a coversation with you. How rare is this in Southern England!
There is a great range of real ales ciders and wines.
Typical hut top quality pub food and be warned the portions are huge!!

Well done Chris and Jane you deserve all thee success for your hospitality.

Room Tip: All of them
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank finian29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

We stayed at the b&b for one night, we found the room clean and spacious but with no heating. Their website fails to inform that the venue is used for wedding parties, and with that goes the noise late at night from the disco and revellers, so it was almost midnight before we were able to sleep.
The breakfast was nice, but the dining area was not. The cups and saucers were stained, the wooden tables were not cleaned properly, and the general condition of the dining area was poor and in need of a refurb

Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank crissiWolverhampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
janetslow, Owner at Square & Compass Inn, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2012

We are sorry that everything wasn't perfect about your stay. The Stables hotel was built about a year ago at a cost of £250k. The rooms are fully heated - you just have to adjust the controls to suit the temperature you require. We are sorry that you didn't realise this. The rooms are also fully sound insulated and we are glad you were able to get to sleep before midnight as there was a large function going on in The Barn. We would like to point out that The Barn is substantially built and completely soundproofed and stands separately, some distance from the hotel rooms and the Pub. We think the noise that you heard was probably customers leaving the pub which was fully booked for dining that evening. We are sorry about this but we think this is fairly normal when you stay in a busy Pub that closes at around midnight.

As far as the 'shabby dining area' is concerned - we think you must be referring to the Pub as we have no separate dining area and all meals, including breakfast, are taken in the bar area. We like to think that the Pub is a very traditional, original, old-fashioned country pub. We have been careful to keep it less than polished. Everyone seems to like it like this as there aren't many left!! We are proud to say we have been in The Good Pub Guide for 14 years and when we were assessed by the AA for our 4 Stars they liked the fact that it was an old pub with character and even suggested that we didn't use table cloths at breakfast and just left it is a 'pub experience'. Most people that come here realise that they are going to stay in some really nice accommodation built in the grounds of an old fashioned, 'dated' pub, on the back of which we have built a state of the art, large, commercial kitchen from which three Chefs produce very good food.

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Reviewed April 20, 2012

I stayed at the Square and Compass on business for six weeks and felt welcome straight away. The rooms are spacious and private as they are in a separate dwelling which means you don't have the problem of feeling uneasy about being in someones house.Chris and Janet make run the business extremely well and being there for that amount of time its clear to see they have got it right! The staff are fantastic and are a credit to the place,so attentive and friendly.The food was very good.I have left with very fond memories of the staff and the locals, I could'nt have asked for a better place to stay,I'd reccommend it to anyone!Thanks.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Matt H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Square & Compass Inn

Address: Windmill Hill | Ashill, Ilminster, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Ilminster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Ilminster
Price Range: $97 - $127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Square & Compass Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Square & Compass Inn Ilminster, Somerset

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