Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A very special place to stay in Wells

The neat cream building with dusky blue door and windows is the luxury B&B Merchant's House in Wells. D and MC stayed here last summer after we packed up the cottage in Holme and I went to stay at Titchwell Manor. I'm sure they had a lovely visit but we haven't spoken about really that much since then so we haven't compared notes yet.
The discovery was due to the kind ministrations of Alastair Sawday. What makes his guides so indispensable is in the title - Special Places to Stay. He uncovers and carefully details those places that are especially welcoming, especially beautiful, especially quirky or historic, especially good at cooking or especially unique. And Liz and Dennis (and their adorable dogs - friendly Poppy and more nonchalant Rosie) tick all the boxes with their lovely and wonderfully historic home. They have two rooms, one with a imposing oak four poster bed and the blue room. I'm staying in the blue room. I have a light airy room, lit by a chandelier with attractive wood topped distressed cream chest of drawers, matching bedside table, wicker chair, piles of covetable natural, sandy, blue cushions on the bed and chair - for me the colours of this coast and all those beach-y knick-knacks that I'd fill my dream beach hut with. The four poster room has a bathroom a short step across the hallway whereas I have a immaculate ensuite blue and white tiled bathroom.
In the morning Liz whips up the tasty breakfast whilst Dennis is in charge of the freshly made bread. You eat breakfast in a charming room that was once a butchers. The wonderful old wooden half door where the customer would lean over and ask for their cut of meat, the extra low floor stripped of wood for easy mopping and the grooves in the window where the rods of meat would hang bely the former occupation. Dennis also told us that alongside the building next-door the merchants would bring their boats to the door and when the necessary water was reclaimed and redirected the owner switched to horses and built stables to accommodate them instead. Parts of the Merchant House are the oldest buildings in Wells so there is lots of history to hear about over breakfast.
The situation so close to the quay means you can stroll on past all the boats to the beach, you may even see Dennis on duty keeping an eye on the sea in the look-out tower. I can understand why these rooms get snapped up so quickly because it feels like home and you won't want to leave.

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