Castle House hotel is an elegant Grade II-listed mansion, with an unrivalled location, owned by the Watkins family. Hereford is a tranquil city, whose fine cathedral houses the world-famous Mappa Mundi and Chained Library. Peace reigns in the hotel’s enchanting terraced garden, overlooking the old castle moat. Of the light-filled public rooms, the smart sitting room and restaurant have French doors leading on to the garden. The latter is the domain of one of the country’s top female chefs, Claire Nicholls, whose imaginative food has won a clutch of awards. For light meals and cocktails, there’s the Ballingham Bar and Bistro. The 24 bedrooms and suites are all stylish and individual, split between the main building and Number 25 Townhouse, where there are eight striking rooms, each offering an array of treats, from a hospitality box filled with local produce to underfloor heating in the bathrooms. A hotel that fits perfectly into its surroundings and ticks all the boxes. Doubles from £150.
Name to Know: George Watkins. When he’s not on the farm, in the kitchen garden or tending his pedigree herd, he’s working at the hotel and is happy to answer any questions.
See: Hereford Cathedral is a must visit for both the Mappa Mundi, the only complete world map of its kind to have survived, and the Chained Library.
Eat: The hotel boasts delicious seasonal menus, with much of the produce grown on the owner’s Ballingham Farm. You must also try Castle House afternoon tea – it is delightful!
Buy: All sorts of local ciders, wines and spirits can be found at the Hereford Cider Museum and Tanners Wine Merchants – take some mementos home with you.
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