We all have close friends who we get on well with, like to spend time with and who we find are on our wavelength. Friends for whom nothing is too much trouble and who are prepared to go out of their way for you.
The lovely owners of the Manor House B&B in the hamlet of Fenwick in Northumberland were strangers to us when our party of six arrived, soaking wet, on their doorstep and yet we left feeling that we had made friends.
That is the mark of people who care and want you to share and enjoy their hospitality.
This stone built house dates back to 1755 and is typically Georgian in appearance. It was formerly two mirror-image cottages. The layout, due to the age of the building is somewhat quirky and has wooden beams. The internal doors are wooden, Abbey-style arched ones.
Immaculately decorated internally, it has three bedrooms, all of them en-suite with showers.The large family room is adaptable whilst the other rooms are a large double and a twin. There are the usual hospitality trays.
All have colour televisions with DVD players and a selection of DVDs to choose from as the tv signal can be erratic here.
The cosy guest lounge is a haven, with large and comfortable sofas, chairs and a wood burning stove. It doubles as the dining room, yet doesn’t feel cramped. Outside, there is a well placed sun-trap of a terrace.
The Tourist Board have awarded Manor House the accolade of a four star silver rating and it has also appeared in a national newspaper’s list of the best B&B’s in Britain. Praise indeed.
Owners Lynn and Steve were effusive in welcoming our weary party of hikers and we were soon settled in.There is no local pub in the hamlet and Lynn was quite amenable to providing us with an evening meal which we had requested in advance. A selection of wines and beers can be purchased.
My starter of breaded tail-on scampi with chilli dip was a tasty treat and came with lovely fresh salad. To follow, I opted for a delightful home-made short-crust pastry chicken and mushroom pie with four different fresh seasonal vegetables. The equally delicious steak and ale pie was lip-smacking too. All excellent quality. None of us could manage dessert. Service is relaxed with no sense of pressure.
We came down to breakfast the next morning to find a veritable feast awaiting. Everything from fresh fruit, juices, cereals, yoghurts and much more. The ‘full English’ option is always something I judge a place by and this was no disappointment.
Local suppliers feature strongly, with products from Chainbridge Honey Farm, Swallow’s Fish and many others in evidence.
If you need to chill-out, this is the place to do it with no distractions other than good hosts and lovely beaches and castles all close by.
For further information go to “www.manorhousefenwick.co.uk”:http://www.manorhousefenwick.co.uk. It can be found at TD15 2PQ if travelling by car.