If you’re not already au fait with Frome, put it straight on your list to visit. This gorgeous little Somerset town is a buzz of cool creativity, with a renowned monthly market and winding cobbled streets lined by brilliant independents and enchanting tiny galleries. Bring a credit card and empty space in your bags; you’ll thank us for it.
Frome Bolthole is an old coach house that hides right in the middle of town, a quick stroll away from everywhere you want to be. It’s owned by a pair of artists – Ellie and Rich – who live in the main house next door.
They give you the lowdown on the best shops and boho cafes to visit during your stay and we adored everywhere they recommended, from a mini craft brewery to a fantastic plant shop (where we happily spent a fortune. Our Kip Guide to Frome is coming soon). But we loved the hideaway even more. It was such a beautiful space, filled with personality — and amazing value. Here’s how it all came about…
Kip: Did you have a deliberate vision for the eclectic décor?
Ellie: I’m afraid not – it was all quite organic. When Rich and I got together, we both sold our former homes and combined our furnishings to decorate the new property and this offshoot. Rich likes more modern, graphic art so his pieces worked well on the white walls in this space, whereas I have a more classic taste (quite shabby chic) so my art lent itself to the old plaster walls in the main house.
E: Furniture wise, we pretty much used what we already had, too, with some upcycling. I recovered the cushions on the old leather sofa with a vibrant gold/yellow fabric to breathe new life into it, and that worked well. As for the little design elements, they keep on growing. I have to admit that the penchant for Frida Kahlo is mine — and I can’t stop buying plants!
K: What’s your favourite feature of the hideaway?
E: The reclaimed spiral staircase that winds up to the mezzanine floor; it was originally from a famous Frome printworks, Butler and Tanner. I also love the views over St John’s church and up beautiful Gentle Street; the natural light in the space is fantastic.
K: Which features are the most popular with your guests?
E: The quirky objets and the boutique-y touches. I wanted the space to be stylish but feel comfortable and relaxed, too, so there are lovely Bramley toiletries and various Pukka teas plus a Nespresso. For ultimate spoiling, guests can order a breakfast hamper, full of local goodies.
K: Had you ever worked in hospitality before?
E: No, this was a complete jump for us both! I definitely enjoy the interaction with my guests – it’s lovely to find out a little about them and tell them our favourite things to do in Frome. But I also want guests to feel that they very much have their own space without interference from us. Our guests are always so lovely, and they genuinely fall in love with our amazing, creative town. They can’t get over the friendly, relaxed vibe here.
K: Any top tips for a stay?
E: Leave the car at home. It’s so easy to get here by train (a direct line from London) and everywhere in town is within walking distance. Also, come on the first weekend of the month if you can; that’s when the brilliant Frome Independent market takes place, with local and artisan producers from all over the West Country.
Read our full review and get direct booking details here.