We've stayed at Cricket now more often rather we can honestly recall, and reviewed it more than once, not always favourably. This will be our last visit for the foreseeable future, but only because we want to concentrate on going further afield.
Things went through a period of decline around the time of our last review, and all the changes for the worse were put down to "customer feedback" in the General Manager's response to that review. Customers wanted cheaper champagne, crisps instead of fruit and no chocolates in their welcome packs, apparently. We felt this was, at best, disingenuous.
From our long-view perspective (there have been two new GM's since then) we have seen things turn for the better again. We always stay in the Purtington Suite and always dine at Fennochi's, which is included with the suite.
So the first obvious improvement was that, since we asked last time (in April) for a safe in the suite,a safe has been provided. Now, that genuinely is an example of something done "in response to customer feedback"!
Meanwhile, for the first time as a matter of policy, Fennochi's is closed on Monday (changeover day) evening. So like it or not, we were dining at Treetops. Luckily, Maria (who used to run Fennochi's) now has the helm in the main restaurant. While the service is pressured by weight of diner numbers, the staff do their utmost and the food we sampled in Treetops was exceptionally good. The gammon steak with sweet potato chips was far superior to the anticipated mass-produced fare; at least on a par with anything we've eaten elsewhere. With no previous experience of Treetops, we would have no hesitation in dining there again.
We never go to any of the evening entertainment in the Pavilion, so we can't comment other than to recommend not to stay in the main block near the smoking terrace, where the late night drinkers congregate. From the historic house, this is all well beyond earshot.
We also stayed at Cricket last Christmas, when the piano and harp recitals in the house were truely sublime, and in April we held a small lunch party in the Boardroom on our China Wedding Anniversary for a group of close friends. This has become once again the kind of hotel we wanted. Idyllically quiet in the historic house, secluded, and most essentially, child-free.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 239 bedroom AA4 star Country House Hotel, Set in stunning Somerset countryside amongst 160 acres of beautiful lakes and gardens. Our adult only policy and 1/2 board packages with nightly entertainment and pool with leisure club make us ideal for a short break. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cricket St Thomas Hotel, Lakes And Gardens Hotel Chard
- Cricket St Thomas Historic Hotel
- Warner Cricket St. Thomas Hotel Chard, Somerset