A three-storey house with peaceful courtyard garden only skipping distance from York Minster? This 18th-century, terraced townhouse is so discreet, locals may not know it’s there. Once used by Minster clergy, it’s had a cool makeover that has retained its ecclesiastical calm: colours are soft and muted, rooms uncluttered and light. Painted floorboards emphasise the space while a mix of modern and vintage gives a quirky charm. Step off the quiet street into a bright-white hall and elegant rooms, cool in blues with a hint of French style. The sitting room has striped sofas and modern art while the spacious dining-kitchen is sleek with Shaker-style units and church-pew seats. Useful pantry, too. Up painted stairs to two floors of bedrooms, all harmonious slate-blues, creamy kilims on wooden floors, and well-chosen antiques. Headboards and funky lamps add splashes of colour. One double, and a single with sleigh-bed, are tucked in the eaves while crisp, modern bathrooms are squeezed between the bedrooms. York’s sights – walls, Minster, museums – are ridiculously close then return for tea in the tiny courtyard; a secret oasis.