Hotel of the Week: Cantre Selyf


Where is it?

Where is it?

A few doors down from the police station in the heart of this pretty Welsh town. Finding it proved fiendishly difficult and required five circuits of the town's one-way system. It eventually dawned on us that the only way to reach it is to turn sharp left at the HSBC bank along a cobbled path that looks banned to traffic but actually isn't. Address: 5 Lion Street, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7AU (tel: 01874 622904; email: cantreselyf@imaginet.co.uk; website: www.cantreselyf.co.uk).

What's it like?

One of Brecon's most historic and grandest houses, dating back to the 17th century but predominantly Georgian, it has been restored to former glories after a period spent as a dental surgery. The decor is tasteful but not twee, while the one-acre garden at the back is pure bliss.

Ambience?

Imagine Jane Austen crossed with Dylan Thomas. It is also intimate: there are just three bedrooms. And very informal - don't be surprised if you find a dog nuzzling your ankles. There's a comfortable lounge with large sofas to sprawl upon while watching a television disguised as an antique-looking cabinet.

Service?

Friendly, personal, but not intrusive. Owners Helen and Nigel Roberts, who bought and renovated the house after leaving London five years ago, greet you at the door, show you to the room, cook and serve supper.

Rooms?

Two doubles and one twin. All come with shower and toilet ensuite but there is no bath in which to soak aching joints after a hard day's walking in the mountains. Try to book the bright and spacious bedroom at the back overlooking the garden. Rooms cost £50 but are reduced to £30 if you're on your own.

Food and drink?

Supper is optional, but strongly recommended at a bargain £12 for two courses or £15 for three. Helen does all her own cooking using local produce, including fresh vegetables from the garden. There are three choices of main course, including one vegetarian option. On the first night I drooled over a delectable lamb in port and damson sauce, rivalled only by the second night's encore of trout fillets with bacon and almonds. The wine list ranges from £8 for a decent white to £14 for a very good Rioja.

Awards?

Four stars awarded by the Welsh Tourist Board and mentioned in numerous brochures and guidebooks.

Clientele?

Somewhat peculiar if only to judge by two Americans we met there. "How do we get to Pontypridd?" said one. "We hear there's really great shopping there." Possibility too of bumping into George Melly during Brecon Jazz Festival in early August. Owners do a lot of festival entertaining during the jazz weekend.

Things to do

Walking and more walking in the magnificent Brecon Beacons. If it's really too wet, which is frequent, try the South Wales Borderers and Monmouthshire Regimental Museum, just down the road, with its remarkable display of Victoria Crosses.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss