Muddy stays at The Swallows Rest
There’s a reason why The Swallows Rest B&B came in the top five B&Bs in the world on TripAdvisor! And if you don’t think that’s impressive enough, they’re also a Muddy Award winner for Best Boutique Stay (the most prestigious of the two, of course!) Their philosophy has always been ‘we don’t do ordinary’, and with nothing but 5 Star reviews, it’d be rude not to test it out for ourselves.
The Swallows Rest is situated in the pretty village of Brigstock on a quiet country lane overlooking fields and a vineyard. The sun was shining and birds were singing when we pulled up in the early evening, and I knew immediately it was going to be a relaxing stay. Whether it’s work or leisure, it’s always lovely to be out in the countryside, and this didn’t disappoint.
The three beautifully furnished bedrooms are designed with every comfort in mind to make you feel at home…with a little luxury added. The superking beds with sumptuous mattress toppers and Egyptian cotton bed linen are top class. I really think they were the nicest sheets I’ve felt in a long, long time (and I chased up what they were in case I had a few quid spare to treat myself). With free wifi and a 42 inch flat screen tv, there’s a good reason to stay in bed and binge-watch Netflix to your heart’s content. A selection of Teapig teas and ground coffee are available and the homemade cookies top it off with a heartfelt touch (I think Plus One nicked half of mine).
The luxurious ensuite bathrooms offer powerful showers and baths, super fluffy towels, underfloor heating, heated towel rail and lovely organic bathroom toiletries. I’ve visited many hotels and B&Bs in my years as a journalist, and the bathrooms were the cleanest I have ever seen. I also nicked a few style tips too. Top notch!
SCOFF & QUAFF
The wow factor continues into the next morning with the scrumptious breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and The Swallow’s Rest didn’t let us down. Served in a bright and airy dining room or on the garden terrace when the weather is fine, it sets you up for a great start to the day with a fantabulous view of the beautiful Northants countryside.
It is always freshly cooked to order and uses mostly locally sourced ingredients, delicious ‘Swallows Rest Sausage’ and dry cured back bacon from the local butcher, the eggs are from the chickens next cooked and cooked however you like ’em! A Continental Breakfast is offered during the week which includes homemade bread, freshly baked croissants/pain au chocolate, fresh fruit salad, yoghurts & cereals, Nana’s marmalade & homemade jam and Brigstock’s very own honey. Porridge with maple syrup or overnight oats with berries & chia seeds is also on offer, just chat to Sam the owner.
Nothing was too much trouble for her, she sorted me out with vegi sausages and even got one of her sprogletts to run to the shop for soya milk. I felt very looked after.
OUT & ABOUT:
It’s close to Oundle, Corby and Kettering, and within easy access of the A14 at Junction 12, just off the A6116. There’s some lovely walks around Brigstock, take in the sights of the honey coloured stone houses, a couple of pubs or stroll over the A6116 bridge to Fermyn Woods Country Park. Hop in the car and there’s plenty of family days out just a short drive away, with Rockingham Speedway and West Lodge Rural Farm among many options. Fancy something relaxing for the grown ups? Head to Rushden Hall for a splendid spa trip. We went out on the Friday night to the very lively and super tasty Tap & Kitchen in Oundle.
I visited a couple of years ago, and each time I’ve had a very creative and seasonal meal there. It’s really buzzy with a wide offering on drinks and they really try new food combinations out. The crab and scallops were delish and matched with a reasonably priced ‘boxed’ wine from St John’s Wood London (boxed wine’s where it’s at Mudsters, paying for the wine, not the packaging)! And the hanger steak was super tasty as usual, as was the belly of pork (generous portion too).
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: It’s pretty clear why this B&B pleases so many of its visitors and scored so high on Tripadvisor. Everything was VERY high spec and they accommodate for anyone; families, couples or a relaxing weekend away with the girls. It’s got a lovely vibe, the rooms are a good size and the owners are friendly and can be as discreet as you like. I’d definitely go back.
Not for: It’d be hard to find anyone who wouldn’t enjoy a stay here but, as a small, cute B&B, it’s not really for big party groups.
£££: Prices start at an obscenely reasonable £75 and include breakfast.