Forming part of an elegant Georgian terrace, a short walk from the centre of the pleasant market town of Hertford, Number One Port Hill is the home of music biz exec Annie Rowley, who luckily for the rest of us runs it as an eclectically furnished and very comfortable three-bedroom guesthouse. Its very homely style, packed full of antique furniture, gilded and ornate mirrors, random sculptures and arrangements of flowers in big urns and vases, make it a unique place to stay – and there's always a lovely warm welcome to go with it.
Above all Annie and and her business partner Emily Sheridan have made Number One Port Hill into the kind of guesthouse you want to spend some time in. Among places to relax there's a comfy first-floor sitting room full of knick-knacks, books and magazines and a courtyard garden that’s as over-stuffed with plants and flowers as the house is with furniture. The upper floor is home to the 3 guest bedrooms, the largest of which is a spacious and comfortable room with a gilded antique bed, satellite TV and its own bathroom across the hall, which has a big bath and walk-in shower and lovely locally made toiletries. The other two bedrooms are cosier but also very well kitted-out, with en-suite shower rooms and toiletries, Freeview TVs and comfy beds with good quality mattresses and bed linen; and all three rooms have good tea and proper coffee, complimentary water, sweets, biscuits and other snacks.
You definitely won't go hungry: Annie is a keen cook and her ground-floor dining room – full of fine crystal and fancy china – plays host to an excellent breakfast buffet of artisan breads, cereals, fruit, yoghurt and preserves, as well as a really generous Full English, made with local sausages and bacon, which in summer you can also enjoy in the garden. Annie sometimes provides dinner as well, and with Emily hosts brilliant regular monthly local supper clubs that can take in anything from Malay to Argentinian to their popular ‘psychic suppers’. It's a great time to stay here, but if not don't worry: Number One Port Hill is a cosy, welcoming – and rather luxurious – place to stay at any time.
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