Dowthorpe Hall Skirlaugh, Hull

This is proper posh! A real Downton Abbey, with all the trimmings, but fortunately not occupied by mad aristocrats but by John and Caroline Holtby whose family have lived and farmed at Dowthorpe for over a hundred years, and who will welcome you very warmly.

The late Georgian house stands in four acres of lovingly tended garden complete with summer-house (fabulous for drinks in the summer) and swimming pool. The vibe inside is Country House Chic meets Elle Decoration, with three spacious, comfortable bedrooms full of antiques and Jane Churchill fabrics; two have delightful views over the grounds and all have spotless bathrooms.

Downstairs, the elegant be-chandeliered dining room has you coming over all Brideshead, and there’s a stylish sitting room with roaring fire and sleeping dogs to park your feet on. Take your evening meal in here in the winter – it’s cosy and intimate. Caroline is a passionate foodie who prides herself on sourcing the very best ingredients as locally as she can, so treat yourself to one of her delicious dinners.

There’s a sort of timeless elegance here, a good mix of old and new furniture (one or two ornate cupboards – Jacobean? – look priceless. They’re not from DFS, anyway) but the thing you notice first is Caroline Holtby's warmth and humour; she says that regular guests turn into friends – a concept that’s easy to imagine. 

How much: £80-90 per room

Kids Stuff: No problem

Good Grub: Caroline’s fabulous three course dinner will set you back £25 – go on, put a frock on and pretend!

Well placed:  A clutch of fabulous stately homes are within carriage distance: Burton Agnes, Burton Constable, Sewerby Hall and Sledmere house to name but four. Nearby Beverley has the Minster, the races and the Prescotts.

Dowthorpe Hall

Skirlaugh, Hull, East Yorshire, HU11 5AE

Tel 01964 562235

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Type: B&B

Part of Stay East Yorkshire

Review by Mandy, 18 November 2011

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