Browsing Tag


5 min read, britain, we love

Top ten cosy fireside escapes

12th November 2015

‘Tis the season to batten down the hatches, don some woolly socks, and snuggle up with your favourite kinfolk, hot chocolate or robust red optional. The Danes call it hygge, we like cosy, but whatever you call that fuzzy winter feeling, we’re all agreed a roaring fire is essential. Continue Reading…

5 min read, inspiration, opinion

Unforgettable B&Bs – Toby remembers four of his favourite stays

18th April 2015
Unforgettable B&Bs – Toby remembers four of his favourite stays

Generous hosts, sensitive restorations and local, hearty food; Toby tells us what makes an unforgettable B&B, and why these are four of his favourites.



The Old Forge, Fanners Yard, Dorset


No one should run a B&B unless they LOVE hosting. Many forget this very simple rule, seduced more by the money than the prospect of welcoming strangers. Lucy and Tim are born hosts – generous-spirited, easy company and with a genuine love of sharing their home with others. And they’ve had the courage really to keep it home, rather than an ‘enterprise’. A B&B as it should be.



Château de la Bourlie, Dordogne, France

A dream – this place demonstrates perfectly how the world of B&Bs is now aeons away from the musty, fusty formality of yore. Simple, laid-back and with a touch of funk, Lucy’s set-up defies categorisation. Breakfast isn’t served, it’s delivered on a tractor to be eaten whenever you like. And you’ve not a bedroom in a house, but the run of a whole barn set in the grounds. It’s a touch pricier than usual, but then you have so much more than just a bed and a breakfast.


Finca la Ramallosa, Cáceres, Spain


An unbelievable feat of courage and passion, this is a pitch-perfect resurrection of a derelict hamlet in the remote wilds of Spain’s Extremadura. 6 miles down a bumpy track, into birdsong and quiet, and you come across a collection of old farmworkers’ buildings, sensitively restored yet with considerably more comfort than a Spanish 1950s labourer would have experienced. It’s unusual, without for a moment being naff. I want to take my whole extended family, as many – suggests the guest book – have done already.


Le Due Volpi, Florence, Italy


From the slab of salt-encrusted, oven-warm focaccia awaiting new arrivals to the rolling Tuscan views, this is classic Italy at its unpretentious best. Le Due Volpi is neither guest house nor B&B – it’s an Italian home, full of warmth and conviviality, that you have the privilege to call yours fora spell. Heidi welcomes you like an returning friend – it almost feels crass handing over a cheque at the end your stay.