Many of us have fallen in love again with British hospitality. With overseas travel almost impossible for so long, hotels in the UK have swung open their doors — and we like what we see.
Here at the Good Hotel Guide, we pride ourselves on selecting those small, individually owned properties that offer a truly personal service — the kind of place where guests are automatically given tea and cakes on arrival, where they feel immediately at home and can enjoy good food and wine. We are particularly proud of our César award-winners this year, which include a Scandi-chic thatched hotel on the Isle of Wight and a guesthouse in Scotland that has only three rooms. Revealed exclusively in the Daily Mail, here are The Good Hotel Guide’s top ten deserving winners…
B&B OF THE YEAR
Jane recommends doing a guided tour of the walled garden at Newbegin House in Beverley, which wins B&B of the Year
The Georgian townhouse’s interiors are filled with artwork and antiques, and the three bedrooms are equipped with thoughtful extras
Reserve one of the three bedrooms at Newbegin House in Beverley and you will be treated like old friends at Walter and Nuala Sweeney’s Georgian townhouse, with its interiors filled with artwork and antiques. The welcome starts with a large pot of tea in the sitting room. Thoughtful extras in the bedrooms include sherry, fresh milk and flowers.
A generous spread at breakfast ranges from poached eggs with prosciutto to pancakes and a full Yorkshire.
Don’t miss: A guided tour of the walled garden.
Details: B&B doubles from £90 (newbeginhousebbbeverley.co.uk).
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Locanda on the Weir (the third building from the right) is an uber-stylish restaurant with rooms at Porlock Weir
Co-owner Cindy Siu creates eclectic, appealing interiors with Italian and English antiques
Italian foodie flair goes hand in hand with West Country charm at Locanda on the Weir, an uber-stylish restaurant with rooms where Exmoor meets the sea, at Porlock Weir.
Chef Pio Catemario di Quadri makes as much as possible from scratch in his set five-course menus, from focaccia to creamy ricotta cheese. Meanwhile, co-owner Cindy Siu creates eclectic, appealing interiors with Italian and English antiques, classic and contemporary art and plenty of fresh flowers.
Don’t miss: The Doone Valley circuit on Exmoor.
Details: B&B doubles from £195 (locandaontheweir.co.uk).
Jane says that the thatched cottage of Hillside in Ventnor, pictured, ‘looks classically English from the outside’
Inside the Hillside, stripped-back, pale interiors are highlighted by colourful abstract art canvases
The thatched cottage of Hillside in Ventnor, on the Island of Wight, looks classically English from the outside, its terraced gardens tumbling down the slope.
Within, though, is a world of Scandi-chic created by owner Gert Bach.
Stripped-back, pale interiors are highlighted by colourful abstract art canvases, and there are great views out to sea.
Vegetables from the gardens supply the kitchen, which creates simple, superb dishes.
Don’t miss: Walks along the coast to Steephill Cove.
Details: B&B doubles from £133 (hillsideventnor.co.uk).
The Bell at Skenfrith, located along the River Monnow in Monmouthshire, wins best Welsh Inn
According to Jane, The Bell at Skenfrith (pictured) has a ‘fresh, contemporary feel despite the oak beams and antiques’
When the River Monnow flooded and flowed through the ground floor of The Bell at Skenfrith, its owners took the opportunity to give the former coaching inn a thorough refurb.
Now it’s looking all spruced up, with a fresh, contemporary feel despite the oak beams and antiques. Westies, whippets and wellies are all welcome in the Dog and Boot bar after a walk along the river in this lovely part of Monmouthshire.
Don’t miss: Order a picnic and head out for a day’s fishing on the Monnow.
Details: B&B doubles from £150 (thebellatskenfrith.co.uk).
Country House winner Askham Hall features a 17th-century pele tower and grade-II listed gardens
Prices for B&B doubles at the ‘comfortably cluttered ancestral pile’ of Askham Hall in Penrith start from £180
It all sounds grand at Askham Hall in Penrith, with its 17th-century pele tower, family heirlooms, French drawing room, and a Michelin-starred restaurant to boot. But Charles Lowther’s comfortably cluttered ancestral pile couldn’t be more relaxed; dogs and children are welcome.
Explore the grade-II listed gardens with their 230 ft herbaceous border and enjoy fresh produce in the cafe.
Don’t miss: Visit the family’s original home, Lowther Castle, with 130 acres of gardens.
Details: B&B doubles from £180 (askhamhall.co.uk).
The menus at Plantation House in Ermington (pictured) change every night, featuring local Devonshire produce and food from the kitchen garden
B&B doubles at Plantation House start from £170 – you will find home-made cakes and biscuits in the comfortable bedrooms
The menus at Plantation House in Ermington change every night, featuring local Devonshire produce and food from the kitchen garden. Chef patron Richard Hendey cooks as much as possible on the small hotel’s premises, from bread to truffles.
You will find home-made cakes and biscuits in the comfortable bedrooms, and breakfast can include everything from smoked haddock to bubble and squeak.
Don’t miss: Book an in-room massage; £65 for 80 minutes.
Details: B&B doubles from £170 (plantationhousehotel.co.uk).
According to Jane, the best room in Perth’s Woodcroft House, pictured, is a suite with an iron slipper bath and seats in the turret
The Arts and Crafts-style Victorian guest house – which has three guest rooms – was crowned the Scottish Winner
Although there are only three rooms in Perth’s Woodcroft House, you can order delicious meals in advance from extensive menus, including venison from the owners’ deer park, and a ‘free from’ and plant-based menu. You can take your own wine, too, with no corkage fee.
The best room in this Arts and Crafts-style Victorian guest house is a suite with an iron slipper bath and seats in the turret.
Don’t miss: Scotland’s oldest working distillery, Glenturret, in nearby Crieff.
Details: B&B doubles from £190 (woodcroft-house.com).
INN OF THE YEAR
Helen Browning’s Royal Oak (pictured above) in Bishopstone, near Swindon, prides itself on being fun, Jane reveals
The rooms in the quirky pub-with-rooms are named after fields. Prices for B&B doubles start from £95
A quirky pub-with-rooms on an organic farm, Helen Browning’s Royal Oak in Bishopstone, near Swindon, prides itself on being fun. The rooms are named after fields and everything, from the milk to the meat, is supplied from the 1,500 acres of farmland. Activities include foraging and wildflower painting.
Don’t miss: The in-meadow bath in the wild campsite, where you sleep on straw in pig arks.
Details: B&B doubles from £95 (helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk).
Rayanne House in Holywood, Northern Ireland, has been crowned the winner of the Eccentric category
The meal served on the Titanic the night she sank is replicated on certain nights at Rayanne House
The entire nine-course meal served on the Titanic the night she sank is replicated by chef patron Conor McClelland on certain nights at Rayanne House in Holywood, Northern Ireland, served in the beautiful period dining room with views of Belfast Lough from where the doomed ship sailed in 1912.
Don’t miss: Golfers should book the Rory McIlroy bedroom; they get discounted green fees at nearby Holywood Golf Club.
Details: B&B doubles from £150 (rayannehouse.com).
Four generations of the Fletcher-Brewer family have worked to make Porth Tocyn (pictured) a relaxed place to stay, Jane reveals
Parents who visited as children now return to the family-friendly Porth Tocyn, Wales, with their own families
Four generations of the Fletcher-Brewer family have worked to make Porth Tocyn, near Abersoch in Wales, a relaxed place to stay, and parents who visited as children now return with their own families. There is no charge for children sharing their parents’ room; and the hotel has everything from a games room to baby-listening devices. High tea is served to children so adults can dine child-free in the dining room.
Don’t miss: The Wales Coast Path runs by the hotel.
Details: B&B doubles from £130 (porthtocynhotel.co.uk).