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“Delightful”

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The Old Vicarage Country House
Ranked #1 of 13 Presteigne B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Delightful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

The OId Vicarage is the perfect place to unwind. Paul and John offer the finest cuisine and a warm and welcoming environment. The rooms are carefully furnished with the beds being particularly fine. I slept very well indeed. There are some lovely walks in the local area and we were grateful to Paul for his local knowledge. We would certainly choose to visit the Old Vicarage again, and recommend it as a delightful and inspiring place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Andover, Hampshire, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

We have been staying at the Old Vicarage for some years and our recent stay was as enjoyable as ever and as interesting as our first visit. It is a wonderful property in a lovely area and John and Paul are great hosts, ensuring guests are comfortable in a very relaxed atmosphere. Our latest visit was in November so returning to a roaring fire with tea and scones was perfect after a day out. The breakfasts are wonderful and dinner served in the Dining Room special. Highly recommend a visit any time of the year.

Room Tip: All the rooms have their own unique charm. Call Paul or John for advice.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carole990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlands
Level Contributor
63 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

The Old Vicarage is just as fabulous as the last time we visited, and the time before that. The decor is beautiful, some new additions every time we visit. The gardens are lovely even in frosty sunshine, and the views and ambience are just perfect. We brought relatives this time as a celebration birthday weekend and they enjoyed the place as much as we did. Lovely breakfasts with mostly home cooked produce (I don't think Paul has got quite as far as making his own cornflakes yet!) set us up for the day, and the area is very pleasant and interesting to visit. Paul & John are perfect hosts, you feel like a valued friend when you return, and they are full of interesting conversation on all sorts of topics, and very knowledgeable about places to visit and see in the area.
we are already thinking about when we can go back and visit, our 22 yr old daughter is very keen to go with us next time (despite no mobile signal or internet) as she is dying to experience the beautiful beds!

Room Tip: All the rooms are beautiful, the four poster in the Burlington room is quite high so if you are smal...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LazyRizzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
radnorman, Owner at The Old Vicarage Country House, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
We are so glad that you enjoyed your return visit to The Old Vicarage.
We look forward to welcoming you here again in 2013.
With best wishes Paul & John
PS We have free wifi access available for guests
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

The Old Vicarage at Norton is set in some of the most beautiful Welsh countryside. There are rolling hills nearby which some of the rooms look out onto. When you step inside, the house reveals itself in its full glory. Each room has been painstakingly restored to its original Victorian character. Each is very different but each is elegant and welcoming. The owners, Paul and John, are the perfect hosts. If you choose to dine you will be served the best food, cooked superbly, and often using locally sourced food. The gardens too are a sight to behold. All in all the perfect place from which to explore the Welsh Marches.

Room Tip: A room at the rear has views over the hills.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

Trip advisor is a very broad church and The Old Vicarage is in church terms as far away as it is possible to get from the mainstream of hotels whether they are modest Travel Lodges or pricey Hiltons and Hyatts. In fact The Old Vicarage defies classification in that it doesn't conform to any normal model for a hotel or a bed and breakfast. In short, it is the opportunity to stay in a wonderful restoration of a Gilbert Scott designed vicarage and be fed and entertained by two of the most charming hosts I have ever met. Their motivation is to meet interesting people and so their web site is designed in part to 'put-off' those who might be disappointing and therefore disappointed. The house provides an endless range of starting points for fascinating conversations that make the days too short for all the things you want to do and say.

The three main bedrooms are all beautifully appointed and completely individual with superb views to the south. Actually the view to the north is in some ways even more entrancing and the garden at the back a gorgeously ingenious use of the land which falls steeply and affords terraces and a rill and grotto all with views. Our room, the Green Price room had a half tester bed and a very generous bathroom with those fascinating Victorian and Edwardian fittings that make you realise how conformist modern design is.

Dining at the Old Vicarage is superb and not to be missed. The breakfasts were a perfect set-up for our days of walking in the hills. We did not feel a trace of hunger again until early evening and had plenty of fuel inside to ward off the biting October winds up on the dyke. The pleasure of coming in to the drawing room and warming by the open fire cannot be adequately described (by me at least) and that followed by dinner. Paul Gerrard prepares meals that are really excellent. Simple rather than pretentious but with great attention to detail, often the product of hours of preparation. I have eaten in many restaurants over the years but I can not remember enjoying two meals as much as I did at The Old Vicarage.

As a final note to those travelling as we were as a couple, you may find that you are the only ones staying and that should not for a second put you off. The way Paul and John looked after us really did make us feel like a cross between friends and guests so we never felt the slightest bit uncomfortable about chatting to them as they brought us our meals or indeed ringing the bell in the drawing room to ask if we could have a pre-prandial glass of white wine.

If you often wonder what it would have been like to live in a bygone era then your imagination will have a feast at The Old Vicarage.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank m558d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham UK
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

We have just returned from 3 nights at the Old Vicarage, Norton which is just outside Presteigne. I'm not confident I can do this beautiful home and its proprietors justice but will try my best.
If you love all things Victorian - furnishing, lighting, art, accessories then look no further. Without being in the least bit contrived, Paul has created a mini time-piece but one that beats with a human heart. It is not a museum but a home. It envelops and welcomes you as a visitor but where before you know it, you will feel it is your own home such is the warmth and ease of the hospitality offered by both Paul & John.
Every room is a visual feast. Look through the huge sash windows onto an unspoilt landscape of rolling pastures, hedgerows and of course the pretty church with its timber spire which the vicarage, of course, once served. The rooms are sumptuously and richly decorated but not oppressively so, and once your senses have had chance to be re-calibrated from their default 21st C setting, you will find yourself adjusting to a new rhythm which is more leisurely and sedate (the fact your mobile phone will find no signal helps with that feeling of being liberated from the world of work emails too!).
What lifts the Old Vicarage above all other establishments we've enjoyed is the company of Paul and John. Paul's enthusiasm, professionalism and knowledge enhanced our stay and added a totally unexpected but entirely positive dimension. If after a few days here you haven't learned something new nor engaged in a friendly and stimulating debate then fie upon you!
The food; can we eat anywhere else now that we have dined at Paul's table? We ate heartily at both breakfast and supper. At breakfast come down to dine on fresh fruits (including spiced apricots and prunes steeped in tea, all home-made of course), a full English breakfast followed by toast & home made preserves, marmalade. However, you must, absolutely MUST, eat here in the evening at least once during your stay as this is an experience not to be missed, but one which I feel has now raised our expectations of other establishments to 'unreasonable'. After preprandial drinks in the sitting room and a roaring log fire, the gong signals we should repair to the dining room where the two of us were served with our starters (the meals are table d'hote, but Paul will ask if you have any dietary requirements, but we have none :). On the first evening we enjoyed risotto made with home cooked ham (what else!), followed by bream as the main course (beautiful) and then a lemon tart baked to an old friend's Yorkshire recipe (sublime). Our final evening's starter was twice baked goat's cheese souffle, followed by slow-cooked Gressingham duck. The pudding was definitely 'old school'; steamed pudding topped with jam and served with the most sublime creme anglais.
The location of the Old Vicarage, once you can drag yourself away, surpasses expectations too. This is walking country par excellence. Three days were insufficient to even scratch the surface of this area which straddle the English-Welsh border. We did two walks which included parts of Offa's Dyke and didn't meet a soul.
This is a place in which to recharge your batteries and which we can recommend unreservedly.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gill1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
89 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2012

This is the height of Victorian Accommodation, style and class. Any hyperbole is merely the truth. This was a 2 man project a lifetime (X2) in the making.
The interior is a work of art, melding Victorian style and Modern placements. The décor is rich but not foreboding and imposing. The House sits on top of a major hill, so there is a near 360° view. The rooms are large and all have a view. It’s great for couples but I see here a great corporate retreat. There are two ample rooms for gatherings inside and a garden room with a large table outside. The house has 3 bedrooms and the self-catering Coach House has more room. The assistant VP’s can stay nearby. The bedrooms are lush and romantic with curtained four-posters. The beds are raised high so that you can hide (and open!) your suitcases and not ruin the dreamy space; a fantastic idea. The bathroom suffered from a vast door that took up space when open, but was large. TV is in the library and not cluttering your room.
The garden is perfect in execution. Based on my landscaping education, I would say it is historically accurate. In front there is a large lawn with island beds of color. In back there is a series of more private and intimate garden rooms. All open to the wider view of pastures and bosques. One of my favorite design elements is a small rill running through a slate terrace and ending in a waterfall. It’s there.
The hosts are very congenial and well-educated. As fitting with the setting and décor, Paul is well-versed in the history and current state of the Anglican Church. They do not disappear and have to be summoned when needs arise. This is a lifestyle business and they can always be found since you are sharing space with them. But, fortunately, not the kitchen. They will, of course, allow you your privacy. Tea tray was standard.
We visited in the area:
Herefordshire, England: Hampton Court Gardens, Stockton Bury Gardens, Westonbury Mill Gardens. Wales: Powys Castle, Chirk Castle, Erddig Gardens. Check Out Those Reviews.
Dinner- was tasty and attractive. We started with a smoked haddock soufflé that was delicate on the tongue and yet satisfying like comfort food. Paul makes his own bread for dinner and there was good wine. Now the main course was a bit sticky and dicey; tongue planted in cheek. We had neglected to tell our hosts that we both have heart disease but that he should make something we wouldn’t normally have. He made a steamed steak pudding! You know, 10 hours of preparation and 10 centimeters of lard crust. The inside was tender and delicious but the crust can be a little off-putting for us Americans. Also, they aren’t going to stand around like footman, so you have to be willing to get up and serve yourself. There is no passing at this gorgeous but mammoth table. Actually, it makes you feel like Lord and Lady Poundshave.
Breakfast- I was unwilling to have another Full Welsh but this was a new place, (fill in excuse) and considering last night‘s meal, the promise was great. We were not disappointed. This was the only place in Wales (out of seven) where the preserves were home-made and the orange juice was fresh. Now I see that we missed afternoon tea. I’ll guess we will have to return.

Room Tip: All rooms are great and have a view. The Old Vicarage is not really in Presteigne. It is north of th...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DaveandChip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Vicarage Country House

Property: The Old Vicarage Country House
Address: Norton, Presteigne LD8 2EN, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Presteigne
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Presteigne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deservedly winner of the Tripadvisor 2012-14 Certificate of Excellence and 2007 Visit Wales (Welsh Tourist Board) Best B&B in Wales, The Old Vicarage, Norton, Presteigne is situated in beautiful walking country on the Welsh/Herefordshire border. Enjoy the stunning Victorian decor, furnishings & fittings, comfortable beds, dinner by candlelight with excellent food and wine, delicious breakfasts using superb local produce and the lovely landscaped gardens with fabulous views across the hills of England & Wales. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Old Vicarage Country House Presteigne, Wales

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