The Fontmell

Shaftesbury, Dorset

Creative comfort cooking, unusual wines and brews in this vibrant community pub with swish rooms – a delight in the heart of Dorset


6 rooms


Rooms sleep 2


After a year-long refurbishment, the former Crown opened up shop in 2011 – with a change of name and a stylish new feel. Colourful cushions and striped bar stools, striking red and blue walls, deep leather sofas and a table laden with magazines and games combine to create a super-cosy feel. Quaff Keystone Brewery’s Sibeth Ale and mussels and chips at scrubbed tables – or follow glass-enclosed corridors across babbling Collyer’s Brook to the dining room, furnished in relaxed country-house style. Jazzy rugs, old tables, a wall of shelves stacked with wine bottles and books create an easy mood, so settle down and enjoy chef Tom Shaw’s imaginative cooking. Dishes include treats such as goat’s curd cigar with roasted baby beetroot and truffle honey, Cornish fish stew, spaghetti alla norma and banana tarte tatin. Delve into the wines – the list is eclectic – and stay the night. Fabulous rooms, named after ‘butterfly’ in various languages, ooze comfort and warmth. Rich colours and fabrics, fine linen and goose down, swish bathrooms and quirky details are there to seduce you; the best, Mallyshag has a fashionable roll top tub in the room.


  • Hot tub
  • WiFi
  • Swimming pool
  • Mobile reception
  • Spa
  • Breakfast included
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Bar
  • Parking on premises
  • Licensed premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Wheelchair access
  • Limited mobility
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Garden
  • Tennis court
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Children welcome
  • Books and toys
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Open all day.
Lunch, bar meals & dinner from £9.25. Sunday lunch, 2-3 courses, £17-£23.


Nightly price
from £75
Singles £65-£145.
1 Double
From £95
2 Doubles
From £125
1 Double
From £95
1 Double
From £155
1 Twin/double
From £75


Our home from home (we stay several times a year), perfect for a weekend away or pit stop en route to Devon and Cornwall beyond. The level of detail that goes into every corner makes a stay here very special indeed. Its a destination hotel, honestly no reason to leave during your stay, park the car and work your way through the delicious menu and sample the vast selection of gins is my advice ..

Antonia, London

What a joy to arrive at the Fontmell on a dreary December evening- warm welcome, attractive and comfortable room and then a delicious dinner followed by coffee in front of a blazing fire. Thank you and we hope to visit again.


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The neighbourhood

Local points of interest from John Crompton

  • Stunning walks with amazing views on Fontmell Down and surrounding areas
  • Compton Abbas airfield is five minutes drive away and is open to the public for private flying lessons in vintage planes. It also boasts a lovely viewing gallery
  • The historic town of Shaftesbury is four miles away. Beautiful views, complimented with Gold Hill, made famous when featured in the Hovis bread advertisement
  • There are lots of areas suitable for shooting, fishing, horse riding, etc. All of these activities can be arranged via the pub