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The Inspector is wooed by The Grove of Narberth, a ‘beautiful, somewhat quirky’ B&B in Wales

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‘Seldom has a house been more captivating’: The Inspector is wooed by a ‘beautiful, somewhat quirky’ B&B surrounded by ancient woodland in Wales

  • The Grove of Narberth in Pembrokeshire, having undergone a ‘massive restoration’, offers 25 guest rooms
  • The Inspector stays in  one of the Herb Cottages near the main house, which has its own little garden
  • He finds that the property is dressed with ‘style and reverence’ and breakfast in the courtyard is a ‘joy’ 
  • Remember, the Inspector pays his way… and tells it like it is

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The wrought iron electric gates open slowly. But it’s only right that they do — because what awaits needs to be savoured at a leisurely pace.

Seldom has an arrival been quite so uplifting; seldom has a house been more captivating.

The Grove sits in a dip behind a little pond and surrounded by ancient woodland and stupendous hydrangeas, yet from the terrace at the front you can see Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Hills.

The Inspector calls at The Grove of Narberth (above), which sits in a dip behind a little pond and is surrounded by ancient woodland and stupendous hydrangeas in Pembrokeshire 

Neil and Zoe Kedward bought The Grove as a family home in 2007 just before the crash. Following a 'massive restoration' it now offers 25 rooms, including the Meadow Loft room (above)

Neil and Zoe Kedward bought The Grove as a family home in 2007 just before the crash. Following a ‘massive restoration’ it now offers 25 rooms, including the Meadow Loft room (above) 

The Inspector describes the property as a 'beautiful, somewhat quirky house'. Above is the bathroom in the Beca room

The Inspector describes the property as a ‘beautiful, somewhat quirky house’. Above is the bathroom in the Beca room 

Neil and Zoe Kedward bought it as a family home in 2007 just before the crash. It had stood empty for eight years and was in a ruinous state.

Many people would have sold up and moved on, but the Kedwards embarked on a massive restoration programme, with a view to offering a couple of rooms as B&Bs. There are now 25.

They are not hoteliers — and it shows. No ugly signage; no framed AA Rosette awards; no leaflets or ongoing marketing bumf. 

Pictured is the Beca room. The Grove's owners are not hoteliers, the Inspector says, but he applauds their style - 'no ugly signage; no framed AA Rosette awards; no leaflets or ongoing marketing bumf'

Pictured is the Beca room. The Grove’s owners are not hoteliers, the Inspector says, but he applauds their style – ‘no ugly signage; no framed AA Rosette awards; no leaflets or ongoing marketing bumf’

The lounge area. 'Seldom has a house been more captivating,' says the Inspector

The lounge area. ‘Seldom has a house been more captivating,’ says the Inspector 

An example of one of the dishes served at the Fernery Restaurant, which makes use of local, seasonal produce

An example of one of the dishes served at the Fernery Restaurant, which makes use of local, seasonal produce

Just a beautiful, somewhat quirky house, parts of which can be traced back to the 14th century.

The tall, narrow windows on the west elevation are exquisite; the wood panelling superb. The designer Martin Hulbert has done an excellent job, dressing the house with style and reverence.

We’re staying in one of the Herb Cottages about 100 yards from the main house. 

Ours has its own little garden, sitting room and several of the walls have old-fashioned garden implements hanging on them. It’s the most luxurious potting shed I’ve ever seen.

On a busy Saturday night, The Grove is crying out to have someone stationed behind the bar all evening but, like so many other places, trained staff are hard to come by.

It takes too long to get drinks and although our table is booked for 8.30pm, we don’t sit down until 9.15pm.

The designer Martin Hulbert has dressed the house with 'style and reverence'. Pictured is the property's Fernery Restaurant

The designer Martin Hulbert has dressed the house with ‘style and reverence’. Pictured is the property’s Fernery Restaurant

After enjoying breakfast in the courtyard, the Inspector wanders around the B&B's grounds

 After enjoying breakfast in the courtyard, the Inspector wanders around the B&B’s grounds

Anywhere else, I’d be in a strop and asking to see the manager, but not here, especially since the apologies are so sincere and fulsome.

Breakfast in the courtyard is a joy, too, after which we wander round the grounds, including a huge walled garden dedicated to cut flowers.

Base yourself here and you’re within easy striking distance of Barafundle Bay, the famous beach reached only on foot. Or stay here and never leave the place.

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Grove of Narberth, Molleston, Narbert, SA67 8BX. Doubles from £245 B&B. For more information call 01834 860915 or visit grovenarberth.co.uk

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