We were given a great welcome by Sofia when we arrived quite late last night. This place is such a treat we’ve started to make it a regular stop.

Sofia is happy to accommodate animals — in addition to us with 10 dogs and two cats, there were three police vehicles with 12 dogs, and group of six hunting dogs, and Sophia’s own Golden Retriever and donkey.

Everything is beautifully thought out with some quirky touches that raise a smile, both inside and out. All over the hotel there are little nooks and crannies — ‘losings’ and ‘findings’ if you like — as you lose sight of one treat, another pops up around the next corner. Even the corrider has special stopping-off places to admire the view.

Sofia doesn’t provide evening meals but has a remarkable relationship with a nearby takeaway. Within minutes of ordering piping hot pasta and local salad arrived.

In front of a large open log fire in the middle of the dining room, we ate supper, drank a glass of local wine, and got on with our emails. Wood plays a large part in ensuring the guests’ comfort — a wood-burning boiler in an outhouse produces hot water and runs the central heating.

We shared the lounge with the police dog-handlers. After our meal we were amused to see some of them had fallen asleep in front of the football!

Hotel dining room

Corridor

Sunlight streams in

Eco hot water and heating — a lovely smell of burning wood pervades the garden when the boiler starts up

House, dining annexe and a garden made for lingering

The lake at the bottom of the garden, with a chair placed ‘just so’ for maximum enjoyment

Scarecrows!

A rather special tractor

Entrance to the barn

Even the car park has its own delightful little spots