Old Reading Room

Frome, Somerset
Bed & Breakfast
+44 (0)1373 813487

Relaxing B&B with views of woodland and fields, a cottage garden and friendly poodle. On a quiet lane, a stroll from the middle of Mells


2 rooms


Rooms sleep 2

The Experience

Mells is a treasure with its medieval centre and liberal sprinkling of charming cottages. You’ll find Vicky and John’s attractive house up a lane in the quiet wooded valley on the edge of the village.

It’s a home with a friendly feel and entertaining hosts. Sleep well in a bedroom in the eaves, listen to the hoot of owls at night and birdsong in the morning and come down for a generous breakfast in the kitchen: delicious local bread, fruit and eggs laid by happy hens within a cockerel’s crow of the kitchen.

Sit out in the sunny cottage garden, head off on walks from the door. A 10-minute stroll through the village takes you back centuries – thatched houses, a beautiful church (famous for its Munnings equine statue and the graves of Ronnie Knox and Siegfried Sassoon), a tithe barn – and a particularly welcoming, highly recommended coaching inn, The Talbot.

Old Reading Room - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Sitting at the kitchen table eating Vicky's legendary breakfast
  • Strolling down to The Talbot Inn for dinner
  • The warm welcome from Vicky, John and Pompom the poodle
Old Reading Room - Gallery

You should know

  • The bathroom has a traditional roll-top bath and shower attachment
  • One room has a separate bathroom next door


  • Swimming pool
  • EV charger
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Spa
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Licensed premises
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Fire guard
  • Cot available


  • 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

Check in
Check out
By 11am
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property
Pubs/restaurants 5-minute walk.


Nightly price
from £125
Singles £95.
2 Doubles
From £125



A lovely stay at Vicky and John’s historic house in the beautiful village of Mells. Very attentive, kind and generous hosts. Breakfast was delicious and the rooms were very comfy and quiet.

Lucy, London

Perfect hosts and location: Vicky & John are a charming & fun couple, and are fantastic hosts who attend to your every need and create a warmth you won’t find find in any hotel. The home-cooked breakfast is superb and, along with their ever welcoming poodle PomPom 🐾, starts your day off with a smile. The house, location, bedrooms & facilities are wonderful, and provide a tranquil place from which to explore the surrounding area or to simply relax & enjoy the historic village itself. Thanks for making our stay so memorable x

Paul, Northumberland

Many thanks to Vicky & John . What a find !. Wonderful hosts , enchanting location, & such an interesting house . Quintessential Sawdays , with a pinch of France , not forgetting the gorgeous Pompom.

Gabrielle, Chichester

John and Vicky were perfect hosts, breakfast was to die for!! Our room was lovely and the bed so comfortable! It's off the beaten track but you must visit the Talbot 10 mins walk away. Delicious dinner and wine. We will be back!!


We enjoyed our stay here enormously. Vicki and John are generous and interesting hosts. We enjoyed the art of good conversation with them as well as our stay in their home, full of beautiful objects and many books. Just perfect, not forgetting Pompom!

Celia, Exeter

We had a most enjoyable stay at the Old Reading Room. John & Vicky are superb hosts. Vicky's breakfasts are really something special. The house and surroundings are beautiful, accommodation exceptionally comfortable and within easy walking distance of the village with the Talbot Inn and Walled Garden a 'must' to visit. Thanks both of you for a really lovely stay. Highly recommended!

Michael, Bristol

A very comfortable three night stay in John and Vicky's beautiful home. They are delightful and interesting company and went out of their way to make me feel welcome and relaxed. Mells is a beautiful and tranquil village and I came away refreshed and hoping to visit again soon.

Sally, London

Our first visit to the Old Reading Room. Beautiful old building that has been converted in to an attractive and comfortable home and B&B. Friendly welcome from John and Pom the dog along with lots of information to help us settle in. Pretty bedroom with the cosiest bed and lots of lovely touches. Great breakfast in the morning with fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, and a super cooked breakfast produced on the Aga by Vicky (so much admiration for people who cook on an Aga!!!) :) and plenty of fresh coffee. Thank you for a fabulous stay in such a beautiful location. We'll definitely be back :)

Lois and Mark, Crawley

Delightful welcome to Vicky and John's home, tucked in the woods surrounding Mells. Large comfortable beds to match the wonderful cooked breakfasts - recommend Vicky's mushrooms, John's coffee and great conversation!

Elizabeth, Brighton

We booked very last minute. Had a very warm welcome, a beautiful easy stroll into the village to meet family, a lovely cosy nights sleep followed by a glorious breakfast with fun and stimulating conversation. We would certainly return.

Joanna, Salusbury

Bed and Breakfast as it should be! Great stay with John and Vicky who were charming hosts and very helpful with local information, bookings for restaurants etc. A fascinating character house in the lovely village of Mells, plus entertainment from Pom Pom the dog of course! Thoroughly recommended.

Jason, Norwich

We had a lovely stay with Vicky and John in their delightful home. We were made very welcome and felt like old friends. Very warm and comfortable with the most delicious breakfasts.

Linda, Melton Constable

Fantastic stay! Vicky and John (and not forgetting Pom Pom the dog) were so welcoming, and the room was lovely and cosy. Lovely bath and an incredible breakfast. Can’t fault it...

Catriona, London

Cannot fault the warm welcome we received, John and Vicky being consummate hosts. The accommodation was very cosy and the breakfast was a joy.

Stephen, Bury St Edmunds

Vicky and John were charming hosts. We were warmly welcomed into their beautiful home. Our room was comfortable and breakfast was excellent. Advice from John re walks and a great local pub was much appreciated Highly recommended

Karen, Exeter

John and Vicky couldn't have been more helpful, and we had a lovely stay. The house is comfortable and interesting, and I particularly appreciated the piles of books and the patchwork bedspreads. Breakfast was enormous, delicious and satisfying. We would definitely go again.

Alison, Bristol

John accommodated my daughter & partner at very late notice. They thoroughly enjoyed the home comforts & a fabulous breakfast.

Richard, Nottingham

A lovely and comfortable stay in the beautiful village of Mells, welcomed and looked after fantastically by John and Vicky and of course the gorgeous Pom! Thanks so much.

Katie, Newbury

Exactly what we look for in a Sawdays B&B : charming helpful hosts, tasteful decor, comfortable bed, delicious breakfast with lively conversation, just like staying with friends !

Christopher, London

Wonderful hosts, Vicki and John made us feel so welcome in their home. Highly recommended - they were so helpful during our stay.

Mark, London

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The neighbourhood

Mells is a delightful medieval Somerset village. There’s a community-owned shop, post office and café; the walled garden café serving outdoor snacks and drinks from April to October; and the popular Talbot Inn (10-minute walk). Frome is a 10-minute drive – a thriving town with galleries, bars, good restaurants, independent shops and an excellent market on the first Sunday of the month. Babington House (five minutes) has it all: restaurant, bars, spa, events, wedding venue, gardens and more. Longleat or Wells can be reached in 25 minutes, Bath 30. And don’t forget Bruton for Hauser and Wirth art gallery and restaurant, and The Chapel with its huge bread oven (20 minutes).

Local points of interest from Vicky & John Macdonald

  • We have signed up to Sawdays CLEAN AND SAFE CHARTER.Stunning medieval Mells. Selwood Street, The famous Talbot Inn, St Andrew's Church, and our lovely friendly community-owned shop, PO and Café.
  • Babington House 5 minutes drive (we'll drop you there for weddings). Walks from 1 to 4 hours - detailed written guides.
  • 20-30 minutes drive to Wells (amazing Cathedral and interesting medieval town),Roman and Georgian UNESCO-site Bath (all amazing!), Glastonbury (The famous Tor and the home of the music Festival, Bradford and Longleat, Bruton (Hauser and Wirth),
  • Close to the Sustrans bike route (and tunnel) to Bath. Great Houses and Gardens to visit - Stourhead (where Chippendale learnt his craft), Montacute House (used for Wolf Hall), Longleat (wonderful house, events and Safari Park)
  • 10 minute drive to Frome - the home of vintage clothing, a monthly super-market (town filled with artisan stalls)
  • We don't insist on a minimum stay


Vicky & John Macdonald

After spending most of their adult lives in London and abroad, John and Vicky came across their house (and Mells) by pure chance and have been settled here happily for years. With children flown the nest they started B&B in 2013 – initially prompted by the number of visiting wedding guests. They enjoy getting to know their guests and helping them make the most of their visit to this area.