Rachel and Andrew Francis run a B&B called Taggart House, and they love what they do. Situated in the village of Walton-in-Gordano in the beautiful Gordano Valley (a National Nature Reserve) between the Victorian town of Clevedon and the marina town of Portishead, Taggart House is a relaxed and friendly, quality bed and breakfast experience.

Set in an acre of woodland garden, surrounded by nature, this is just the place to unwind; guests can watch the wildlife from their bedroom window and enjoy locally sourced produce for their breakfast.

Rachel and Andrew, their daughter Lily and new Cocker Spaniel puppy Hester, own a newly renovated contemporary home with individually designed rooms. Their latest addition to their B&B offering is a Blackdown Shepherd’s Hut, which offers a new and different space for their guests.

Rachel says: “We have so enjoyed running our B&B, but only had two rooms, so we wanted to expand in a more interesting and quirky way so the hut is now our third room. We wanted to make use of our lovely woodland garden and the hut sits perfectly in that space. We love the roof because it’s traditional looking, yet inside the hut is both modern and luxurious. The grey exterior fits in with the colour scheme of the house and our slate roof.”

Taggart House B&B is in the heart of the North Somerset countryside, which is perfect for exploring this beautiful area. A stone’s throw from the stunning coastal path, guests can just walk out of the shepherd hut door straight into the countryside. The cosy shepherd’s hut is named Ruby after the Francis’ beloved dog who passed away in February 2016.

Rachel has taken much delight in designing the interior of the hut. She says: “As an interior designer with over 30 years’ experience, it was a real treat for me to dress and finish the hut. Exceptional attention to detail is a trademark of our B&B, and the hut is no different. I chose the colour scheme and dressed the interior to suit the contemporary but eclectic feel of our home and B&B. Ruby will appeal to anyone who wants luxury in a wood!”

Andrew is delighted by their traditional addition, saying “We love shepherd huts because they are full of character and history, and at the same time provide modern living in a rural setting. We hope that Ruby will allow us to share our wonderful garden and our hospitality with more people. We also plan to have a few nights in her ourselves!”

The hut has been a hit with visitors so far. Andrew adds: “Those who have stayed so far have found it so peaceful and cosy, and they have commented on the setting and the babbling brook which runs outside the kitchen window. Also appealing are the bacon and sausage butties Rachel provides on request! Everyone has said how romantic Ruby is. It’s a real couple’s retreat.”