Travel: Hotel of the week: Penrhos Court
Lying in the hilly Welsh borders, Penrhos Court is within spitting distance of the Offa's Dyke Path, the Black Mountains and the famous "book town" Hay-on-Wye. Address: Penrhos Court Hotel & Restaurant, Kington, Herefordshire HR5 3LH (tel: 01544 230720).
What's it like?
So beautiful that even on a heavy winter's day it stops you in your tracks. The half-timbered former manor farm dates back 700 years.
Intimate and informal. The peace and quiet means you can press the pause button on the irritations of everyday life.
Owner Martin Griffiths does the maitre d' bit without affectation and staff are friendly.
They're smart and have an individual touch. Each of the 19 bedrooms is named after a bird: Magpie, a double room with shower, costs pounds 80 per night.
Penrhos Court was the first restaurant in the UK to qualify for the Soil Association symbol. It is also recommended by the Good Food, Egon Ronay and Michelin guides. A four-course dinner costs pounds 31 per person without drinks.
A mixed bag. Some guests are quietly well-heeled, others are drawn by the eco-friendly ethos.
Things to do?
Besides residential courses at the hotel, such as on food and health, there's golfing, hang-gliding, rally driving and go-karting nearby. It's also ideal for walkers as the surrounding scenery is lovely.
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