Hotel of the week: Castle House, Hereford


Where is it?Three minutes' walk from Hereford Cathedral, on the corner of a quiet, elegant street, most of which seems to belong to Hereford Cathedral School.

Where is it?Three minutes' walk from Hereford Cathedral, on the corner of a quiet, elegant street, most of which seems to belong to Hereford Cathedral School.

What's it like?Not what you'd expect, with all due respect to the Marches. It's a bit like finding the old Bela Vista in Macau plonked down in Barsetshire. The owners are a very rich Dutch couple, the Heijns, who are fanatical equestrians and Anglophiles.

Ambience?Small, welcoming, high-gloss, Anglo-Dutch. The terrace leads down to the old castle moat. The house is believed to date from the mid-18th century, but the TVs, hi-fi equipment and telephones are definitely 21st century.

Service?A patchy mixture of Herefordshire amateur and French professional under the direction of a suave, experienced Dutch manager, Ben Jeger. Sounds like a newly promoted Premier League football team, but shows definite signs of making the grade.

Food?Imaginative and accomplished with fabulous presentation, especially the desserts, which resemble sweet sushi. Local produce (Herefordshire beef, applejack brandy) well to the fore. Try the local duck eggs, fried with black truffles and white truffle oil for breakfast.

Rooms?Fifteen of them, all suites named after and themed on such famous locals as Nell Gwynne and David Garrick. Bidets, baths and separate shower cabinets in the bathrooms; personal fridges stocked to individual requirements; enormous beds, capacious sofas invite serious curling up. Fresh white roses in black-and-gold decorated drawing room and thick, creamy, understated stationery in blue suede folder.

Awards?Open for less than a year, it has already received a commendation in the new entries section of the Which? Hotel Guide. If the restaurant does not soon garner the cornucopia of Michelin awards they have up the road at Ludlow, the chef should be seriously displeased.

Clientele?A noisy trio of local mobile-phone-toting businesspersons rather lowered the tone of the cocktail bar early on Friday evening, but mercifully they pushed off elsewhere for a balti and lager. Only one other couple, elderly tweeds, in the dining room. Apparently (heard this before) packed out the night before and the night after. Corporate trade during the week (big local firms are Bulmers Cider and Sun Valley Chickens), international tourist trade yet to really take off.

Things to do?The cathedral's medieval chained library and Mappa Mundi within easy walk. River trips on the Wye opposite Dr and Mrs Heijn's spectacular modern complex of riverside bars, restaurants and serious food and wine shops. (Is Hereford ready for such sophistication?) Great walking. Periodic horse racing, and the Three Choirs Festival.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Life and Style
fashion
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
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

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches