Valerie is creative and her home an elegant blend of old and new: tapestries and art, large restored mirrors, antiques and modern pieces in your own sitting room. She’s also unstinting with treats, from wine to shortbread, kettle chips and chocolates. And breakfast is equally lavish: fruits and yogurts, excellent coffee, pastries, kedgeree or the full works served outdoors on sunny days. Built in 1880, the house sits on a quiet cul-de-sac off the high street, two miles from Bournemouth town centre with easy public transport. The garden is lit up in spring by blooming camellias and cherry blossom, and the whole house sparkles.