Northamptonshire is the county of spires and squires. And here, on the through-road of this fascinating medieval town, is a listed squire’s house – once home to a merchant who traded in the marketplace opposite. Enter the heavy oak door and step back 400 years. William, courteous, hospitable and upgrading with aplomb, is forever tweaking the ambience. Facing the courtyard at the back (furnished for summery breakfasts and aperitifs) are the quietest rooms; all have sumptuous fabrics and wallpapers, dramatic touches and divine beds. Delightfully quirky, spanking new bathrooms with power showers are as special as all the rest.