Sitting in eight acres of lawns and woodland with open country all around, this lovely country house dates back to 1640 and is a treasure trove of beautiful things – the Jacobean chimney piece in the dining room is one of the finest in the land. Guests have the run of the ground floor: a grandly panelled hall with a crackling fire, an airy drawing room for afternoon tea and a library filled with original art. You eat communally in the splendid dining room, merrily digging into Mark’s lovely home cooking – perhaps pâté with redcurrant jelly, a Barnsley chop with a red wine jus, followed by bread and butter pudding. Bedrooms come in smart country-house style: warm colours, smartly dressed beds, antique furniture, fresh flowers. There are sofas, silver teapots, perhaps a chandelier, then robes and the odd claw-foot bath in wallpapered bathrooms. Outside, chickens provide eggs for breakfast and bluebells run riot in spring. All of which would be blossom in the wind without Adrian and Mark, who go out of their way to make your stay here special. Ironbridge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, is close.