St Valery bed and breakfast in the bijou fishing village of Alnmouth in the wildly beautiful county of Northumberland in the UK – is no ordinary B and B. It is as luxurious as a boutique five star hotel but has just four lovely rooms and so everything is on a very personal scale. Fluffy white towels, Egyptian cotton sheets, king size sleigh beds and stand alone baths are the order of the day and rooms are individually decorated with each having delicious aromatic organic toiletries from Neom. You will have to drag yourself out of your cosy surroundings to experience the beautiful beaches and coastline hereabouts, but it really must be done.
Upmarket and upstairs
St Valery is a turn of the century grand Victorian Terrace, a former family home which retains many of its orginal features, including tiled open fireplaces and even the servants’ bells! Uniquely for such a small establishment, St Valery is very dog friendly. If ‘have dog will travel,’ is your motto then this is the place for you. You will stay in a ground floor room, and in it you will find a doggy bed, bowl, treats and even a special towel for sandy paws. Dog sitting and dog walking services are provided by your helpful hosts if you need them. Roxy the resident dog at St Valery will even share some of her doggie dinner if you’ve forgotten yours.
Northumberland Street Alnmouth
When you first arrive at St Valery there is home baking and coffee on offer – I can highly recommend the lemon drizzle cake. There’s a well stocked honesty bar if you fancy something stronger and bar snacks are hard to resist. Mozzarella and tomato popcorn was a new discovery for me, not to mention goats cheese and pepper flavour but they were surprisingly tasty! There is a charming outside area with decking to relax in which is a bit of a suntrap and your hosts can organise picnic hampers, bike rental and restaurant reservations on request.
The honesty bar
There’s only one road in and out of Alnmouth and it ends at the view out to the North Sea. A small and friendly former fishing village, set on a pretty estuary, Alnmouth is a very picturesque stop on the coastal drive up the East of England, with its colourful cottages and restaurants, pubs and coffee shops. There’s a golf course and lots of lovely walks around the area but the beaches here are the jewel in the crown of this part of the world.
Come on in!
The huge tourist attraction of Alnwick castle which features in the Harry Potter movies is less than five miles away, easily accessible from Alnmouth village. There’s a well known Arts festival here each year where local artists open up their homes as temporary exhibition spaces, and there was a beer festival about to swing into action at the local pub, the Red Lion, when I was there. Otherwise, staying here is like stepping back in time. This is a pretty laid back place, and an ideal location to take time out of the rat race for a relaxing break.
All quiet in Alnmouth..
A full home cooked breakfast is on offer at St Valery with locally sourced fresh sausages and bacon from the famous Carter’s butcher in nearby Bamburgh. Coffee is Pilgrim’s blend, ground and also produced locally in Holy Island. I opted for the more unusual smashed avocado (all the rage) on Sourdough toast with poached egg which was both substantial and extremely tasty.
Smashed avocado on Sourdough – yum!
There is tea and coffee with fresh milk and nibbles in each room, and a small jar of sweets which was seriously depleted by the time I left.There are a few good places to eat in Alnmouth but you will need to book ahead as they get busy. Harvey, our host, booked a local seafood restaurant ‘Hooked’ for us and it was the huge distance of two doors down from our lovely B and B! The moules and frites were top notch and I particularly enjoyed the kipper pate all served in a bistro which would have been the front room of a family home in days gone by. The desserts were very good too with the white chocolate creme brulee deserving a special mention and all washed down with a tasty chenin blanc.
A couple of minutes from the beach, St Valery only opened in April but it is already proving extremely popular with visitors from all walks of life. This kind of authentic high end bed and breakfast is quite a rarity in Northumberland, and if you enjoy the great outdoors and the spectacular coastline then you couldn’t find a nicer place to stay while you enjoy it. Minutes from the main North/South A1 highway and a handy stop on the train route from York to Edinburgh, it is an ideal place to break your journey up the East Coast of England.
A good night’s sleep awaits
Harvey the proprietor is very friendly and helpful and really goes the extra mile. Why not try St Valery where a warm welcome awaits from a real fire in the grate, Roxy the dog and the lovely village of Alnmouth. Check the website for prices availability and offers. St Valery – Alnmouth