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Tower House, York
On the northern outskirts of York, a mile from the centre, this large Victorian end-terrace house has been remarkably transformed by Tony and Diana Brennan into a luxury B&B. From the uber-modern breakfast room with its glossy black-and-white styling to classily themed bedrooms, everywhere has been created with a smart designer's eye. Bedrooms range from the romantic Versailles-influenced room to the ritzy Rococo styling in another, while Diana's Singaporean background shows in several oriental touches in the fabrics and ornaments. Fittings, fabrics and wallpapers are all top-quality, down to electric blinds and even a sunken bath. The Brennans are very hands-on, cooking breakfast to order and offering nice touches such as a free shuttle service into the city.
If walking into the centre, you enter along Gillygate with its collection of quirky, independent shops and eateries, including Café No. 8, a trendy bistro.
Tower House is in Clifton, a busy suburb in the north of the city with plenty of restaurants. It's a 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk into the city centre.
By car: 50 minutes from Leeds, 1 hour 40 mins from Manchester and around 4 hours from London. There is free parking at the hotel.
By train: London Kings Cross to York takes around 2 hours. The station is a 15-minute taxi ride from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's perfect for people who want a touch of luxury but in a more intimate setting than a hotel, and who don't mind the extra walking that being out of the centre involves. Co-owner Diana has a Singaporean background and it shows in the occasional oriental vase or ornamental fan - and her careful but lush sense of style.
Service & Facilities
There's no sitting room but guests are welcome to use the breakfast room and help themselves to hot drinks and fruit.
- Breakfast room
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free Parking
Our favourite is either the Oriental King room with its bold feature wallpaper of Japanese characters or the Samurai room with its cool, monochrome palette, and Japanese-style screen door to the bathroom with sunken marble bath. The attention to detail is fanatical, whether the electric blinds, shelves for shower and shampoo bottles in the showers or first-aid kits and Kit-Kats.
Golden Versailles King, Samurai, White Rococo, Oak Four Poster, Four Poster, Oriental Tang Super King, Oriental King, Oriental Qing Hua Super King
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, furniture, TV, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The modern breakfast room, with its sparkly black-tiled floor, white walls and glass atrium-style ceiling, makes a bright start to the day. Eggs Diana is co-owner Diana's personal creation of scrambled eggs, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and basil perkily served on a muffin.
Breakfast: cooked fresh to order, full English, choice of egg dishes, yoghurt, cereals, muesli, fresh fruit and juices, freshly ground coffee. Served daily 8-10am, order through app.