Built in 1720 and Grade II star listed, this was a dusty old wreck before the enthusiastic new owners took it on. Find a lovely bar with a wood-burning stove, very warm and cosy; a library with a mix of tables and comfy chairs for a quiet read, a big dining room and a café with a high beamed ceiling and a more contemporary feel. Quirky oil paintings dot richly-coloured walls and the proportions are grand.
Bedrooms, suitably bear-like, are all a good size with handmade mattresses of Dartmoor wool, English linen curtains and delicious local biscuits – some have huge copper baths and all have Bramley soaps. Wake to homemade granola, buttermilk pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, eggs how you like. Menus from chef Chris Button are nicely short, ethical and local with game in season, tapas nights and Dorset ales and wines.
Stroll through one of the few remaining Saxon walled towns for shops and the pretty quayside, bustling with boats.