Choosing to stay at Breedon Hall in Derby
I always find that the best places to stay are the ones where you feel most at home. From the moment we walked through the doors of Breedon Hall in Derby it was like we were family friends.
We’d chosen the B&B in Breedon on the Hill as the place to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We’d selected it on the basis that it provided a good halfway point between my parents’ home in Scarborough, which we’d just visited, and our place in Reading. Plus, we liked the fact that it looked as though it would provide a little luxury.
We’d also been searching for a place where we could slow down and relax for a couple of days. This would provide a welcome change to our usual routine, where we fly around visiting all of the nearby attractions.
As soon as we arrived I knew we had found the right place. Our host Charlotte welcomed us with the exuberant greetings of someone who loves having guests. After showing us to The Belvoir Room, she offered us tea and biscuits in the walled garden.
So, after discarding our bags in the beautiful room and resisting the temptation to throw myself face down on the extremely comfortable-looking bed, we headed outside.
Despite the fact that the previous few days had been chilly, the garden proved to be the perfect suntrap. It wasn’t long before we slipped into the relaxed mindset we’d been hoping for. Meanwhile Charlotte booked us into the pub over the road for dinner.
Afterwards Charlotte’s husband Charles joined us and the other guests. He explained that the grade-II listed hall had most recently been used as an office building. The couple spent two-and-a-half years transforming it back into a home. And Breedon Hall really does feel just like staying at somebody’s house. Their children bob in and out of the living rooms and their dog sits patiently watching his beloved tennis balls. (Despite the fact he never actually drops them in front of anyone to throw.)
We loved the relaxed nature of the place; the fact that we could come and go as we pleased, eat when we wanted and there was always someone around for a chat.
The Belvoir Room
Our room was gorgeous, with the comfiest bed and his and hers sinks in the bathroom – which I would totally love at home. However, I may have to persuade Mr A to take me back, so we can try out The Quorn Room which we spied as we were checking out.
On our first evening we ate at The Three Horseshoes pub. It had a lovely menu and also doubles up as a chocolate shop for any sweet-toothed visitors.
Breakfast at Breedon Hall was served in the dining room on the first morning and the kitchen on the second. In both rooms it’s family-style dining which allows you to get to know your fellow diners (most of ours were biking enthusiasts as the racing was going on at nearby Donington Park).
As a naturally chatty person this was perfect for me. On the morning of our anniversary it was lovely to talk to a couple who had got married the night before.
On our second night, which was a Sunday, we ate at the hall, as both of the pubs in the village are closed. There are two options for eating at the venue. The first is the ‘kitchen dinner’ which offers an informal set menu, eaten with other guests at the kitchen table.
The second is in the dining room, which Mr A booked as a surprise for our anniversary. It is the perfect ‘private dining’ spot and we were totally spoilt with a five-course meal. What I particularly enjoyed about this was that after asking us about our likes/dislikes when it came to food, Charlotte created her own menu for us. Every course was delicious, a reflection of her cordon bleu training, and we crept up to bed very happy, and full, guests.
A home away from home
What I loved most about our stay at Breedon Hall is that it feels like you’re staying with friends. Charles and Charlotte are incredibly relaxed about mealtimes and check out and are so friendly and helpful. It’s honestly the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in a B&B.
After a busy few months it was exactly the way we wanted to celebrate our anniversary, at a chilled out venue where we were still made to feel special.
Breedon Hall in Derby also offers self-catering accommodation in the Meynell Mews. For more information visit www.breedonhall.co.uk
Where’s your favourite place for a weekend break?