THE LOWDOWN >>
Mel and Jake Phipps are your hosts at The Hut B&B at Piercebridge.
The pair swapped corporate life in London for a calmer, more rural, existence in North Yorkshire a few years back – and they haven’t looked back since.
The pair’s two charming shepherds’ huts, which lie moments away from their family home, were born out of their ambition to take glamping to another level, offering guests all the luxuries you’d find in any posh city centre hotel in rural, rustic surroundings.
Things like plush king-size beds, Pinterest-worthy en-suite bathrooms with proper bathtubs, flatscreen TVs, super-fast Wi-Fi, generous dining areas and wood-burning stoves.
Creating two luxury B&Bs on wheels was the goal – and if you ask me – it’s definitely been reached. They’re some of the best-looking, most sumptuous, shepherds’ huts I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling home.
They say good things come in small packages – and boy does this ring true when laying your head in one of these hip hideaways.
There are two to choose from – the Garden Hut and the Field Hut – and they’re both mini masterpieces.
Measuring 18 foot by nine foot, from the outside, they look teeny. ‘How on earth have they managed to fit a bathtub and a double bed in there?’ was my first thought. But looks can be deceiving – and what awaits behind their doors is nothing short of dreamy.
They’ve been expertly-designed – and it shows. Jake, an award-winning designer who now runs a workshop in Richmond, and Mel, a long-time interiors-lover, have put their skills and passion to good use, optimising the space available to them in the most stylish way possible and filling each one with personality and individuality.
My pal and I settled into the Garden Hut, which is tucked away within a walled garden, lush with herbaceous borders and fruit trees, adjacent to Mel and Jake’s home.
Venture inside and you’ll discover it’s dark and moody – but in the good way. The tongue and groove panelled walls, painted in deep navy, cocoon you as the sun begins to set, making the whole place feel cosy and oh-so-intimate.
By the time we dropped our bags, the sun had already set – leaving us with nothing to do but fire up the wood-burner (there are logs provided) and sit down to a spot of dinner.
Somehow, Mel and Jake have managed to squeeze in a good-sized dining area for two in each hut – and we took full advantage of ours throughout our stay.
We brought our own wine and nibbles, but if picnic-style suppers aren’t your thing, there’s always the local pub, just over a mile away.
Before we hit the hay, some well-needed, end-of-the-week pampering took place in the glorious en-suite bathroom, which is blessed with trendy metro-style tiling and a stunning feature wall.
Do like we did and fill the ample tub with your favourite bubbles, pop a face mask on and shut the door for an hour or so, while your chum, or other half, takes advantage of the flatscreen TV.
ADDED EXTRAS >>
Chocolate brownies, biscuits, tea, coffee, hot chocolate… they’re all included. The perfect supper-time treats.
You’re also spoiled with a delicious breakfast hamper, which Mel personally delivers to your door.
In there, you’ll find ice-cold fruit juice, fresh tea and coffee and a bread basket with organic butter, preserves and Yorkshire honey, plus your choice of hot and cold dishes. Things like avocado, poached eggs and smoked salmon on toast, homemade nutty granola with yogurt and full English brekkies.
The sausages, bacon, bread, honey and preserves are all local and the eggs come courtesy of Mel and Jake’s very own chickens.
It’s all delicious.
BOOK IT NOW >>
One-night stays for two people start from £135. Hamper breakfast service included. For more information, give Mel a call direct on 07812 837 831, or visit thehutbandb.co.uk
For walkers and cyclists
The Yorkshire Dales
For historic strolls
The Auckland Project
For cool exhibitions
The Bowes Museum
Grange Road on Darlington
The Hut B&B at Piercebridge, Holme House, Piercebridge, Darlington, North Yorkshire, DL2 3SY