Your jaw will drop when you first catch sight of his stunning 16th century manor house in sleepy, rural Alstonfield. It's one of those places you think you might have seen on the telly as a BBC adaptation, although as far as I know its lovely owners, Jo and Robert, haven't hired it out as a location yet. The house has fine Georgian features and Regency additions, and an acre of walled gardens and lawns so there's plenty of seclusion, even though you're bang in the middle of the village. Jo's sense of design is 'country house meets classy vintage' so whilst the charming B&B rooms have a neutral palette, there's always an interesting something-or-other to take your eye – a lovely old chest of drawers perhaps, or an antique mirror slightly losing its silver, while everywhere there are vases and jugs of fresh flowers and candles. After a day spent yomping the hills, Jo serves tea and homemade scones in the elegant Regency sitting room in front of the roaring fire – how civilised is that? After breakfast (fresh fruit & berries, local bacon, sausages and Staffordshire oatcakes) in the oak-panelled dining room, head for the perfect lawn outside and make like Jay Gatsby.
PriceDouble rooms £110–£150 per night.
Opening TimesOpen all year.
Alstonefield Manor, Alstonefield, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2FX
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