Every once in a while a place comes along that redefines conventional notions of accommodation. Having said that, there are at least two challenges with manorhaus. How to describe it? And how to fit it all into a review of 200-odd words?
We have to start with the owners, Gavin Harris and Christopher Frost, because it is their passion for art and architecture that defines this unique building. manorhaus is variously described as a restaurant with rooms, boutique hotel and art gallery. It combines these roles seamlessly. On entering, there’s a gallery space featuring changing exhibitions by contemporary artists and designers. But that’s just the start of the art. It infuses the entire building.
It’s tempting to say that the bedrooms are works of art in themselves. Each one has a theme, taking as its inspiration a particular artwork that is then cleverly replicated in the décor. But at least as inventive is the way in which cutting-edge interior design has been playfully and professionally blended into the Georgian fabric of this fine old townhouse.
All the must-have luxury items are there – the Egyptian cotton bedlinen, fluffy duvets, robes, upscale toiletries and fabulous bathrooms. And, to complete the picture for guests, there’s a library, sauna, steam room and a 20-seat cinema with weekly film club.
Back downstairs, there’s more: a split-level bar and highly praised restaurant where, again, the accent is on contemporary taste informed by the traditional values of fresh, local ingredients. ‘We strive to present a menu celebrating the very best of Welsh produce, some of which is literally on our doorstep,’ says Gavin.