Bronbuild Hersham Village Walton on Thames, Surrey KT12 4RW

now trading as chideock house Bed&Breakfast

The Venue:- Chideock House Hotel Main Street Dorset 16thC thatched Hotel.
Grade 2 Listed Building

lovely walks, scenery and very good food I had great difficulty in getting the boys off this job what with their juicy steaks and salmon for lunch.

Proprietors Anna and George Dunn  very good hosts whether your just a workman or a paying guest we were spoilt rotten cant wait to get back there!

phone01297 489242e-mailVisit Chideock House

Clients Brief:- to change the residents lounge at 1st floor level into a numero uno bedroom with en suite bathroom with no disturbance to the restaurant trade pic right.

Problem a builder having notched a principal structural member at 1st floor level to such an extent  that the floor bounced when people walked across it the solution was negotiated between Bronbuild and the Proprietor who is a planner on Prestigious Contracts

Lovely views from that window! the partition you are looking at hides the Flitch beam and the

tie rod supporting the floor

"They're still doing the Dunn thing in Dorset" Daily Telegraph 24th June 2000

Paddy Burt Room Service

Ms MC of Crawley recommends the 15th-century thatched Chideock House in Dorset: "But don't go unless the Dunns are still there." (I remember this last bit as we're bowling down the motorway.)

So is this man with the. Infectious laugh who is taking us to our room Mr Dunn? How best to pop the question? Then inspiration hits. "Been here long? " I ask. "Five years." That's all right, then.

Our room has a rather odd canopy above the bed made of the same flowered material as the bedspread and curtains, and which looks, to my untutored eye, as if it's stuck on to that stuff people use to stiffen pelmets. It also has an Artex ceiling (don't see many of those around any more).

The next problem is soap—or, rather, the lack of it. Hands dripping, my husband emerges from the bathroom looking cross. There, there. I get on the phone." I' m sorry to bother you when you're busy ..."" " No prob," replies Mr Dunn. "I'll send one of the girls up, we've got girls everywhere." Soap's promptly brought by a girl.

Oh, I'm so glad the Dunns are still here. Especially as Mr Dunn's so jolly — I quite see Ms MC's point. Down in the bar, he tells us that the hotel was built around 1465 and is the oldest in the village. He should know. He's in the building industry and is often away (China, the States, he gets around), but when he's here he helps out, although his wife, Anna, is the one who really runs the place. "Will we meet Anna?" "If you see a human dynamo coming through here, that's Anna."

Soon, he's bringing us drinks and menus. "Righty-o. take your time." Oh, goody, the menu's not over the top as befits a one AA rosette restaurant. I quote from the AA: "The chef should have a mastery of basic techniques and produce dishes of sound quality and clarity of flavours, using good, fresh ingredients."

Nice-sounding food, not too complicated," I say gleefully... which leads to a gripe. As professional eaters-out, we are fed up with elaborate dishes into which butter and cream have been.hurled with merry abandon. Yes food like that makes us feel bloated. Our stomachs are not made of iron.. . End of gripe.

What Chideock House appears to specialise in is the sort of food people would be happy to eat for a week on the trot—which is important in hotels where people come on holiday rather than for one or two nights. "Rack of lamb?" queries Mr Dunn. "Righty-o. Anna serves it pink. Is that all right?"

The restaurant is simply decorated and calming to the nerves. It has an Adam fireplace, with, I quote, "a rare duck's-nest grate". Don't know about grates, just know this is a nice place to eat. Anna, it seems, has a penchant for pastry, as in "fillet of haddock and smoked salmon baked in pastry with parsley sauce" and "anchovy, olive and tomato tart".

My husband's being condescending. "Pub food," be declares. I disagree. "Simple maybe, but, unlike most'pub food, it's been thought about and it's delicately presented." I must confess, though, to being taken aback by my tart, which isn't very tart-like, being a square-shaped piece of puff pastry with a small square hole in the middle containing the filling, which is very salty. My husband's avocado and sweet-cured herring salad with chives is, he says, unusual — and he likes it. Ta-ra.

His main course is fillet of haddock and smoked salmon with a parsley sauce. Anna's definitely keen on pastry —the fish is tightly wrapped in filo. "And?" I fix him with a gimlet stare. "Very good." He finishes it all.

The star dish, though, is my rack of lamb: five, prettily arranged, delicate pink cutlets accompanied by spot.on vegetables. "Sensationally simple." Even my husband casts an envious eye. It's followed by the perfect crème brülée. His pud looks good, too: a bitter chocolate and orange concoction with its own jug of cream.

In their brochure, Anna describes herself as "the lady of the house". We meet her next morning at breakfast. Dynamic's the word. Mr Dunn, whose name is George, is serving breakfast, looking very smart.

Their hotel is unpretentious and nice to be in. Outside is a large garden with lawns, flower-beds and the sort of plants I thought had gone out of fashion years ago: red-hot pokers and marigolds…Paddy Burt paid £110 for a de-luxe double including dinner;£20.75 for wine.Total:£130.75.