As we were new to this area, we tried to chose a B&B that would be central - so that we could explore the Durham Dales as well as Durham City and Beamish - and also one that had a bit of a 'wow' factor from its website. We got lucky! Dowfold House is in such a lovely location, on a hillside overlooking the country town of Crook, a seemingly quiet country location yet just a few miles from Durham, and local eateries much closer than that. Our room - the Pink Room - had lovely views, over a field with horses right next door, towards more hills and the tops of distant wind turbines. (Not everyone's cup of tea I know, but they're so far away as to be mesmerising!) Certainy not intrusive. We had a lovely modern bath/shower room with a proper window, not one of these enclosed rooms that rely solely on the fan to get rid of the steam! Loads of hot water and huge bottles of eco-friendly bath goodies made for a wonderful pre-dinner bath.
We were greeted by Rupert on arrival, who cheerfully showed us to our room and gave us a few minutes to drop our gear off, before being invited to tea and home-made cakes in the sumptuous Victorian living room, to fill out the necessary paperwork, and then left to relax.
And that seems to be the ethos at Dowfold House - Jill and Rupert are on-hand, but unobtrusive, and the atmosphere is relaxed and very pleasant. Jill is happy to lend books, brochures and maps - proper OS ones! - seemingly on demand, which helps immensely when you're new to a place. There's also a comprehensive list of local eateries, updated as guests pass on their own reviews.
You can see why the breakfast is award-winning. All the usual suspects are there - and we wouldn't have it any other way! - but it's the quality of the raw ingredients, the standard of the cook, and the presentation that make the difference. Rounded up by home-made bread and preserves, what a way to start the day!
The bed, incidentally, was so comfortable that we're in the process of buying a similar mattress!
We can't recommend this place highly enough.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
9 October 2011
Coo! now that's what I CALL a good review! Thank you very much. It tops off a VERY good week, wherein we actually WON the title of "Bed & Breakfast of the Year" at the North-East Tourism Awards. That was fabulous but, in the end, it's what guests think that matters, so your reviews are very important to us. We do work very hard on the "helpful but unobtrusive" bit, so I'm glad that worked for you. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
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