Through my day job at boutique accommodation website i-escape.com, I’m lucky enough to stay at some pretty amazing places. The most recent was Berdoulat & Breakfast, just a short hop away in Bath, and it’s shot straight onto my list of favourites.
Set in the Georgian heart of the city, this elegant townhouse was built in 1748 by ‘Founder of Bath’ John Wood the Elder (the man behind the Royal Crescent and The Circus) and has now been transformed into a family home and B&B by Patrick Williams and his Istanbul-born partner Neri following a lengthy stint as council offices. The rather unusual name comes from the couple’s architectural and interior design practice, Berdoulat, and it’s clear they knew what they were doing during the renovation: panelling has been restored, original paint colours have been painstakingly recreated from tiny flakes found underneath layers of old wallpaper, and the hall is papered with deeds charting the building’s history.
But despite all these nods to the house’s heritage, there’s nothing remotely museum-like about it. The whole place is infused with a relaxed, happy vibe, and I felt at ease from the moment I arrived. It’s stylish, too: the décor is dominated by powdery greys and deep petrol blues, offset beautifully by rich wooden floors, and dotted here and there are wonderfully quirky antiques (a book press turned table, a weathered statue of Mary and Child). There are even model cars perched whimsically above doorways, and a brass door knocker in place of a toilet flush in one of the bathrooms.
The two guest rooms are calming cocoons decorated in muted tones, with plush carpets and snuggly-soft throws. One has a huge stone hearth (a remnant from its past life as a kitchen) and an 18th-century headboard that was salvaged from a French monk’s cell; the other, where I stayed, has a four-poster bed and a deep circular bathtub – perfect for long, lazy soaks while nibbling the homemade chocolates which Neri leaves for every guest.
There’s also a fire-warmed library where you can sit back with a book plucked from a vast collection of Penguin paperbacks, but my favourite room of all was the open-plan kitchen and dining room, which is lined with an artful jumble of crockery and dominated by an island unit that’s so large Neri and Patrick dub it their ‘kitchen continent’. It’s here that Neri cooks up breakfast for guests each morning – either a Full English piled high with locally sourced bacon, eggs and sausages, or a zingy Turkish spread (in the name of reviewing I tried both and found them equally delicious).
In short, I fell in love with Berdoulat & Breakfast. It’s sophisticated, soothing and totally spoiling – I can’t wait to return!
Book a stay at Berdoulat & Breakfast via i-escape.com.
Photos by Neri Kamcili