In a conveniently central location, just outside the city walls, Joan and Peter Pyne’s Georgian-style townhouse offers a characterful alternative to hotel accommodation and is popular with cultural visitors to the city.
A listed building (and open to the public on European Heritage Day), this end-of-terrace house was built in 1867, has a beautiful big first floor drawing room typical of the time and, as well as many period details such as ornate plasterwork and marble fireplaces, it is full of old furniture, books and informal historical display.
The listed status imposes limitations (there is no lift, for example, and it is a tall building; and not all rooms are en-suite) but, working within the guidelines, improvements have been ongoing over the years. Most recently, for example, they have revamped the basement and have made two/ three more bedrooms – one comprising two bedrooms with a shared bathroom between them, all lockable.
Although not large, these new basement rooms are nicely done up – stone walls painted fresh white, lovely fresh bedlinens - and windows looking out onto a patio area increase the sense of space. The rooms overall vary in size, position within the building and outlook, but are well appointed with TV, tea./coffee making and broadband - and some back rooms overlook the patio.
Breakfast is served in an elegant dining room, where the table is beautifully laid in traditional style. Locally sourced produce is used where possible and, as well as hot dishes, other good offerings include fruit compôtes (apple and raisin, and rhubarb, for example), home baked breads and home made marmalade and jams.
While it does not offer the space and comfort of an hotel, this is an interesting place to stay, authentic and full of charm; it is reasonably priced, the location is very good and you can park free outside overnight (but be warned that there's a one hour restriction between 8 am and 6 pm.)
*** Joan and Peter Pyne also run the more budget-conscious B&B The Saddlers House nearby at 36 Great James Street