If you’re looking to escape back in time and stay somewhere with character, charm and plenty of history then you need look no further than one of the Quintessential Bed and Breakfast collection of gorgeous English properties. These romantic private homes and grand country retreats offer you something very different and special compared to your normal luxury hotel break. Their unique collection of properties boast rich histories; original features; stunning interiors; sash windows; roaring fireplaces; magnificently manicured English country gardens and views to take your breath away.
Quintessential Bed and Breakfast has handpicked the very best luxurious private homes and boutique retreats with wonderfully welcoming hosts; all you have to do is pick the one you want to visit. If its charm, romance and tranquillity you’re after, then Pauntley Court, widely believed to be the birthplace of Dick Whittington, would be ideal for you. Poet Laureate, John Masefield described the property as “a place of great beauty and strangeness”, both steeped in history and surrounded by a ruined, yet beautifully manicured English country garden looking out towards the wonderful Cotswold hills. This exclusive and luxurious bed and breakfast run by husband and wife team: Mark and Melissa Hargreaves is the perfect escape from your hectic daily life.
Wrapped around a central courtyard and surrounded by a series of fascinating formal gardens, the terracotta walls of Pauntley Court positively glow in the early evening sunshine. This half-timber house, part medieval, part Elizabethan, with an early 18th Century addition will enchant from both inside and out with its very own dovecote, mill house, Norman church and trout pond with weeping willows all set in a beautiful and tranquil valley looking out towards the Cotswolds. This property features two spacious and stunning en-suite guestrooms named after remarkable figures in the house’s history. The Dick Whittington Suite is light and airy and has been decorated in a colourful English country house style, while the John Masefield Suite has a more classical feel with a marble fireplace and colour palate of creams and terracotta. Both rooms feature indulgently comfortable super-king size beds with the highest quality bed linen; sweeping long curtains hung around beautiful sash windows looking out over the ‘ruin garden’ and surrounding countryside as well as all the luxuries and modern amenities you could require including Nespresso coffee machines, TV, DAB radios and wifi. The bathrooms feature modern and yet tasteful-to-the-period fixtures and fittings, one with bath and rain shower and one with walk-in shower as well as fluffy towels and Neals Yard amenities.
When you arrive at this gorgeous period property you will enter through a beautiful hallway with painted ceiling before arriving at the stunning wood-panelled drawing room with magnificent rustic open hearth (which has roaring log fires in the wintertime) where you will enjoy afternoon refreshments of tea, coffee and homemade cake. In the mornings you can wake to a leisurely full English breakfast in the ballroom and gaze across the lawns and beyond to the unspoilt Leadon valley. A Pauntley Court English breakfast includes: locally sourced bacon and sausages, homelaid eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, porridge, a choice of cereals, natural yoghurt, homemade jams and marmalades, fresh fruit, fruit juice, toast and a selection of fruit trees. With advance notice, Melissa is also able to offer delicious home-cooked evening meals (Dining tip: try her fish pie and bread and butter pudding!) or you could try the Michelin starred pub (just six miles away) or the wealth of pubs and restaurants in Ledbury which Melissa will be delighted to recommend for you and she is even happy to arrange a taxi to take you there and back – seriously great service!
There is little left of the ‘village’ of Pauntley, so Pauntley Court really sits in splendid isolation with views across the Leadon valley and towards the Cotswold hills. There is plenty to enjoy and explore at the house: why not take a stroll down to the mill pond or around the wonderful lawns and sunken garden; recline on the comfortable sofa in the ballroom; or play a game of tennis on the private and secluded tennis court. If you are a fan of animals this quintessential English family home also features ponies, Kune Kune pigs, chickens, a cat and a terrier as well as being surrounded by meadows filled with cows and sheep. By prior arrangement with Melissa, you can try your hand at trout fishing or simply enjoy a deeply relaxing massage. If you want to explore the local area you can visit numerous local towns and cities along with the breathtaking Herefordshire countryside, scattered with historic houses, castles and gardens (Tip: Pauntley Court is ideally located for walking enthusiasts as footpaths run right past the door!). You can also try hunting, fishing, golf and clay pigeon shooting which are all close by and racing at Cheltenham is only half an hour away. Finally, if you fancy a little retail therapy, the Regency spa towns of Cheltenham and Malvern are only half an hour away too.
This luxurious and welcoming country retreat, perfect for couples and foodies, will enchant you and transport you back to a simpler time, ensuring you leave fully refreshed and relaxed.
Pauntley Court features in our top 5 best guest houses in the Cotswolds.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.