West Virginia, West Virginia
June 30, 2004
Our stay at the Dower House was for three nights, and our party consisted of a group of four women, including my mother, sister, younger daughter, and myself. We were looking for a comfortable base for exploring the Peak District, and we were willing to pay for something with charm as well as comfort. The Dower House proved an ideal choice.
Only one of the Dower House's three spacious guestrooms is en suite, but private baths for the other two rooms are close by and comfortable, with old-fashioned fixtures that are entirely appropriate for the setting. Each guestroom has its own eclectic decor, including antique furniture—one room has a four-poster bed—comfortable seating (upholstered chairs and, in one room, a full sofa), and carefully selected wall and window treatments. All guestrooms have color television, full tea and coffee service, and hair dryers.
Our party lodged in the two "private" rooms, and our two baths were located immediately across the hall within an aesthetically charming alcove. Especially given that we shared our rooms as if they were a single suite, the dash across the way to our baths was not an issue. Given our circumstances, "private" served well indeed. For the usual party of two, however, travelers uncomfortable with anything less than full en suite should request the third room.
The Dower House is thoroughly guest friendly. Except for the fee paid on departure, it is altogether possible to believe that one is truly an invited visitor in Marsha's home. The garden and three large rooms on the ground floor--foyer, sitting room, and dining room—are all fully accessible. An honor bar located in the stairwell is generously stocked with a variety of labels and mixers. During our stay Marsha and her husband John provided our party with over-the-counter cold relief from the family medicine cabinet, impromptu lessons on local lore, "celly" tape to wrap a parcel, directions on how to reach various nearby points of interest, and a full measure of courtesy and hospitality.
At its current rate of £85 per room per night, double occupancy, the Dower House is relatively expensive for B&B-style accommodation. Nonetheless, based on the quality of the services provided and of the surroundings, such a rate is more than justified. When you call for reservations, don't forget to ask after Percy—who, of course, is the true owner of the house.
From journal Root and Branch - Family Ties to Derbyshire