B&B And Beyond: Halford House, Gloucestershire

A homely ambience is complemented by hotel-standard style and service at this elegant guesthouse, says Kate Simon

Where to stay in the Cotswolds? Wander the streets of its quaint villages and the B&B signs at every second step should answer your question. Yet, in Bourton-on-the-Water there is, apparently, room for more. This quintessential huddle of mellow yellow limestone buildings, the River Windrush coursing through its heart, is the location of Halford House, a sturdy 19th-century mansion bounded by walled gardens, which opened its doors to guests last July, offering well-located lodgings in one of the area's prettiest and most popular villages. And if you find the B&B experience a little too intimate, you'll prefer the hotel-style atmosphere of this managed bed and breakfast.

The Bed

The rambling house offers six double bedrooms (two large enough to take an extra bed) and a pair of two-bedroom suites – an interesting notion for a guesthouse – all with modern private bathrooms. The property has been brought up to date with bold colours, extravagant splashes of gold and silver, and florid wallpapers on feature walls, yet keeps its character intact, retaining gorgeous features such as the Victorian tiles in the hall and the beautifully carved balustrade of the central staircase. Flat-screen TVs, CD players, and access to free Wi-Fi, as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities and complimentary Natur toiletries come as standard. Dogs are welcome, at an extra charge of £10 per night.

The Breakfast

Mandy Shah, the manager of Halford House, has deconstructed a Full English into a list of ingredients so that guests can style a plate of whatever they fancy along with their tea or coffee. There's a generous buffet of croissants, cereals, yoghurt and fresh juices, too. Enjoy it in the pleasant dining room, with views of the garden (this is also the venue for afternoon tea, which can be specially arranged).

The Hosts

Elaine and Martyn Booth have turned what was formerly a family home into a superior B&B. Elaine formerly worked in the communications department at BAA; Martyn continues to work in the aviation industry. They first ventured into the hotel business in 2007, when they took over the Royal Adelaide Hotel in Windsor. This was followed in 2008 by the acquisition of The Dial House Hotel and Restaurant, two minutes' walk from Halford House. Dial House is a sophisticated property that admits children only if they are aged 10 or over. The couple's decision to create a B&B in the same town was driven by a desire to offer a more relaxed, family friendly alternative. You're unlikely to meet the Booths because Mandy runs things at Halford House. She was plucked from the Royal Adelaide for her impeccable skills as an obliging host.

The Weekend

Bourton-on-the-Water is filled with quirky amusements you never knew you'd have time for, such as The Model Village (01451 820467; theoldnewinn.co.uk), Birdland (01451 820480; birdland.co.uk), and Cotswold Motoring Museum (01451 821255; cotswold-motor-museum.com). In summer, though, you may be more preoccupied with finding a handkerchief of space among the picnickers on the grassy banks of the Windrush.

You're also within easy reach of the other delightful Cotswolds villages with their pretty limestone architecture. These include Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and Broadway, beneath the Worcestershire hills. Don't forget your walking boots to stride out across the gentle countryside to the nearby charming hamlets of the Slaughters and the Rissingtons.

The Pit-stop

Beetroot, parsnip and ginger soup or poached egg with English asparagus and hollandaise sauce is typical of the freshly made fare served in a large airy dining room at The Cotswold Food Store & Café (01451 830469; cotswoldfoodstore.co.uk). This lunch stop is just a few miles down the road near Moreton-in-Marsh. A two-course meal during the week costs £10.95, or £14.95 at weekends.

Make a dinner reservation at The Dial House, where head chef Paul Nicholson and his team have won two AA rosettes for their artful plates of deliciously different flavours, such as assiette of rabbit with gingerbread and rhubarb, and truffle butter-poached fillet of Cornish brill with oxtail, cep, salsify and sea aster.

À la carte, tasting and set menus mean you can sample their work to suit your wallet. Even better, the current special offer, Tuesday Night Two for £20 – two main meals and a bottle of wine – is a real bargain.

The Essentials

Halford House Bed and Breakfast, Station Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire GL54 2AA (01451 822244; dialhousehotel.com/halford-house). Doubles are available from £75 if you book by phone, otherwise they start at £99 weekdays, or £140 at weekends (minimum two-night stays), all including breakfast.

Kate Simon travelled around the Cotswolds courtesy of Carrentals.co.uk, which offers weekend car hire from Gloucester starting at £40

Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit