Just when we thought our research in 2011 was good and we’d pretty much bottomed the best B&Bs in the county, I stroll into Low Mill in Bainbridge, and WHAM. Instinctively I know I’ve found our number one place to stay this year. That’ll teach me to be complacent.
Jane and Neil spent a weekend at the Angel at Hetton and had a little trazz around, as you do, not even with a shopping list. They were drawn to the derelict mill, and despite having no intention of re-locating, put a ‘silly’ offer in the following week and whadya know? Six weeks later they were packing their London lives up and moving north, the proud owners of a listed, falling down building, complete with all the (not working) mill workings including the wheel.
They're a friendly, warm couple and at the moment wear slightly insane grins behind which you know lie a year of the hardest work they’d ever undertaken.
Originally a flour mill, it was built in 1783. Old Doctor Cole lived here for years, and his twin hobbies were doll’s houses (both collecting and making; he was commissioned by Harrods!) and miniature trains. Apparently his collections were staggering so he opened the house to the public. A narrow gauge rail line ran through the ground floor. I know. Extraordinary.
They’ve done an amazing job. Builder Neil clearly knows his onions; all the finishes are fabulous. I’m guessing Jane’s eye is in the detail and the funkily re-covered vintage Parker Knoll wing chairs in the lounge (and a ton of other fantastic details) are a testament to it. The (now working) winding gear is evident in the huge but toasty warm living room and the upstairs suite (though not at night, natch).
Three glamorous bedrooms are full of interesting bits of history as well as fabulous big beds, lovely linen and Jane’s signature colour splashes, but if you’re feeling flush, the Workshop is the one to go for. It’s an enormous room, big enough to throw a decent party in; check out the huge stone fireplace warming up the sexy copper bath in the corner.
Open fires, original contemporary artworks, family ephemera and green views are all here for your delight. Jane cooks a mean dinner – simple but nicely thought-through; in the summer, a thrilling eerie perched over the river is the perfect place for a pre-prandial. All this and Aysgarth Falls a pleasant walk away, and Hawes just down the road. Go for it!
How Much? £90 - £150, dinner £17.50 - £22.50
Kid's Stuff? Not really
Well Placed? Hawes, Leyburn, Askrigg and Middleham a hop away
Good Grub? If you're not eating in, strike out for the Wensleydale Heiffer in East Witton or the Blue Lion at West Witton - both fabulous pubs with great food. The Sandpiper in Leyburn is another good option.
Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3EFTel 01969 650553
Part of Stay North Yorkshire
Review by Mandy, 29 December 2011blog comments powered by Disqus