We’ve teamed up with Dorset Cereals to celebrate some of Britain’s most special B&Bs, honoured not only for their bountiful breakfasts but for their kind hospitality too. Here are some of the award-winners and runners-up so far.
Your own stone cottage with hydrangeas at the door – perfect! Tucked behind Louise’s house and antique shop, it looks on to a sunny patch of garden and is filled with gorgeous furniture, old beams and warm charm. The dining room is cosy with comfy armchairs, tea-making things and homemade treats; there’s a little table for tasty meals too – Louise brings it all to you. Upstairs find your pretty bedroom under the eaves. Or you can choose to stay in the amazing vintage carriage under an apple tree – children love it! A short walk to cafes and Helmsley Castle; return, settle with a book on an elegant antique sofa and feel completely at home.
Deep authenticity in this magnificent Grade I-listed house. The manor of Frampton on Severn has been in the Clifford family since the 11th century. There are exquisite examples of decorative woodwork and, in the hall, a cheerful log fire; perch on the Mouseman fire seat. Bedrooms are traditional with antiques, panelling and long
views. Beds have fine linen, one with embroidered Stuart hangings. Stroll around the ornamental canal, soak up the old-master views. An architectural masterpiece.
Through a pastoral landscape, past green paddocks and fine thoroughbreds, to a beautiful longhouse set in pretty secluded gardens surrounded by 130 acres. Its heart dates back to 1436 and its renovation is remarkable, highlighting beamed ceilings, Jacobean panelling and open fireplaces. Louise and David, brimful of enthusiasm for both house and visitors, give you four exquisite bedrooms in French country style, one with its own sitting room – very romantic. Louise happily does evening meals and hosts small house parties with ease. After a day out, return to great leather sofas and a wood-burning stove. Guests love it here!
Big mullion windows and contemporary classic interiors characterise this enchanting former refectory of a medieval abbey. Stylish bedrooms, elegant but cosy, have roll top tubs, drenching showers and views of garden or valley, while breakfasts are feasts of estate produce – apple juice, honey, rhubarb compotes, eggs, bacon, sausages, just-baked bread – served on white china in the drawing room with stunning views of the gardens. Guests have free access to 700 acres of woodland, the abbey and all the rest: borders, sculptures, benches, clematis, jasmines, roses and ornamental trees, a waterfall, a sunken herb garden, a wisteria arbour and a glory of wildlife.
This cute B&B in the New Forest mixes a warm contemporary style with some fine, old-fashioned hospitality – Ciaran and Cheryl go out of their way to make your stay special. As for their Arts & Crafts house, it sits on the southern fringes of Brockenhurst with a pretty garden at the back, where free-range hens strut their stuff. Inside, spoiling bedrooms come with airy colours, plantation shutters, then Vi-Spring mattresses for beautiful beds and robes in striking bathrooms. Breakfast is a local feast – eggs from the garden, artisan jams and honey, home-baked soda bread and granola, bacon and sausages from a New Forest farm.
The 20th edition of our new British B&B guide came out this month with an unrivalled collection of more
than 600 of Britain’s most special B&Bs.
“Our team of inspectors have
travelled the length and breadth of the UK looking for character originality, warmth,
authenticity and above all people that make your stay special. If the sheer
exuberance and individuality of our newest Special Places owners is a guide,
then the B&B scene is indeed alive and well.” Alastair Sawday.
Vote for your favourite on Dorset Cereal’s website.