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St Valery, Alnmouth, Northumberland
A five-minute walk from the beach in one of Northumberland's most attractive seaside villages, Alnmouth, the large Victorian villa of St Valery offers a relaxed and stylish adults-only B&B. Rooms are large and airy with an understated mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings, while leisurely breakfasts mix in some unusual dishes.
On the village's one-way main street, but away from the beach end, it's relatively quiet and easy to find, just three miles from the A1. There are no sea views but it's only a five-minute walk to the beach, while the village's pubs and restaurants are strolling distance. Alnmouth Station, on the main east coast line, is a 20-minute walk. Alnwick, with its famous castle and garden - the latter with its romantic Treehouse Restaurant - is a ten-minute drive. Along the coast to the north are a string of attractions including Craster fishing village, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh castles and Howick gardens.
By car: 2 hours 30 minute from York, 3 hours 30 minutes from Manchester and 6 hours 30 minutes from London. Free parking available.
By train: London Kings Cross to Alnmouth is under 4 hours. The hotel is a 5-minute drive (or 20-minute walk) from the station. Book trains to Alnmouth.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
While original features of the end-terrace Victorian villa have been retained - high ceilings, tiled fireplaces, polished-wood staircase - the décor and furnishings have been subtly and stylishly updated. Pale grey walls, modern rugs on stripped-wood floors, designer lights and a mix of artwork create a modern sense of cool.
There's no sitting room but guests are welcome to use the dining room - with a log fire when chilly - and on warmer days there's a decking area at the back. Owner Harvey, helped by his little terrier, Roxy, run the place with a laidback charm. He'll offer to dry clothes, store bikes or prepare picnic hampers, and will give you candid advice on the local eating places.
- Honesty bar
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
Spread over three floors, with a dog-friendly room on the ground floor, the three rooms share the same relaxed and coolly modern style but vary in the details. Expect to find traditional rugs on stripped floorboards, milky-white and ice-blue walls, handsome sleigh beds and vintage-style upholstered armchairs mixed with designer lamps and contemporary mirrors. Bathrooms are sharp in shades of grey.
Room types: St Benedict, St Cuthbert, St Bede
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
Breakfasts are a relaxed affair, starting with fresh fruit salad, Greek yoghurt and granola, and then going off piste with dishes such as quesadillas with a savoury topping and mushrooms with crème fraiche on sourdough, as well as the standard B&B choices. A good choice of evening options - bistro, seafood, classic pub - are within easy walking distance.
Breakfast: served daily from 8:30-10am. Dishes cooked to order include breakfast quesadilla, smashed avocado on toast and Full English.