Andy Fisher is the Bar Manager and one of the Duty Managers at Babington House. His first ever shift was on May 12th 2014: ‘It was a Monday and I worked from 3pm. I have loved every minute since.' He has been involved with alcohol since 2000, working as a Whisky Ambassador for Diageo and freelancing for Belvedere, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg and Plymouth Gin. He was also a house music DJ and played over 500 semi-professional football games for clubs including Newport County and Bath City. This is his insider's guide to Babington and the surrounding Somerset countryside.

'Completed during the reign of Queen Anne in 1705, the main house is effectively very early Georgian in appearance (even though George I did not take the throne until 1714) and it was altered and extended in 1790. All of the 11 rooms in the main house are traditional in style. The outer buildings consist of a coach house where 12 rooms are located and the stables where our five family rooms are.

‘The Walled Garden which was added during the Victorian era houses our Cowshed treatment rooms and three contemporary Walled Garden rooms, each with a mezzanine level and outdoor hot tub overlooking the aforementioned garden. You can also have your very own House if you wish, the Lodge at the end of the driveway situated 500 metres from the main house is perfect for families.’

A room with a view

‘Babington's atmosphere is 'relaxed English country house' where we want our members and guests to feel at home. Every single one of the rooms is special but for me Room 6, situated on the top floor of the Main House cannot be beaten. A balcony with a bath big enough for 6 people notwithstanding the fact that there is also a bed outside. With a full panoramic view of the grounds, in the summer this room is so special.’

House specials

‘The Walled Garden Collins is a Babington House favourite which we offer throughout Spring and Summer. A simple variation on the classic Tom Collins with Bombay Sapphire, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a touch of sugar shaken with two different herbs picked daily from our walled garden. This cocktail changes every day and with over 20 different herbs to choose from including four different varieties of mint, the combinations are plentiful.’

Best moment of the day

‘Babington works throughout the seasons - during springtime with the flowers starting to bloom and blossom on the trees, relaxing on the outside beds in the summer sunshine, walking down the drive underneath the multi-coloured leaves in autumn - but you cannot beat it in the depths of winter when it is freezing and blowing a gale outside and all the Main House rooms have roaring fires going. Coming back to the bar after dinner, ordering a post prandial libation and cosying up in front of the fire is just perfect.’

House secret

‘Situated next to the Gym at Babington House we have a hidden icehouse, which would have been the fridge for the house 200 years ago. It is protected by English Heritage and there are only 28 (allegedly) left in the country. It has a depth of about 4.5 metres and ice would have been imported from as far away as Norway and even Canada.’

Local knowledge:

Café
‘Colonna and Smalls on Chapel Row, just off Queen Square in Bath is the creation of Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. Maxwell was the UK barista champion in 2012 and 2014 and was a world finalist in both those years, I needn’t go on.’

Pub
‘The Dark Horse in Bath on Kingsmead Square. Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail best new bar in the world, the secret is finally getting out. Owned by Louis and run by Clem, these guys are masters of their art and are worthy of their accolades.’

Shops / markets
‘Only seven miles from Babington, Frome Independent Market takes place on the first Sunday of every month between March and December. If booze is your thing, Independent Spirit of Bath on Terrace Walk is an off-licence that dreams are made of. Over 200 different beers, 50+ gins and even its own Whisky tasting room. Hook up with Chris and Christian and they will indulge all of your imbibing needs.’

Galleries and museums
‘Hauser and Wirth situated in LA, Zurich, London and … 14 miles away in Bruton. It really shouldn’t be here in the middle of Somerset but I am so glad it is!’

Favourite view
‘As one of the managers, standing in a full main bar watching and hearing the buzz as all of our guests and members are enjoying drinks - especially during a pre-dinner service - makes me very happy. As a guest, standing on the balcony of Room 6 and looking out is bliss.’

Babington House

Escape to the country with a stay at our original rural idyll, Babington House