Starting a canal boat holiday in Market Harborough, we needed overnight accommodation in the local area, for the previous night. Our daughter-in-law’s mum and granny were joining us aboard the boat, and also planned to overnight locally, so finding a B&B with 2 available rooms was a little more challenging. No problem, as I found Stonepits Farm Bed & Breakfast, which is about 5 miles outside Melton Mowbray and about 25 miles to Market Harborough.
Stonepits Farm Bed & Breakfast
As the name implies, it is a functioning farm, located in a small village, a few miles outside Melton Mowbray. The address is a little vague – Pickards Ln, Melton Mowbray, but Sue provided excellent and detailed directions with her confirmation. On arrival, we were met by Sue and her 2 friendly dogs.
Stonepits Farm from the gate (courtesy of website)
Stonepits Farm B&B
The guest’s accommodation is the building on the left side of the above photo. Originally the garage, they raised it to include a 2nd floor, and developed it into their spectacular B&B.
Once we parked the cars, Sue welcomed us and invited us to join her for a tour of her facilities. Judi and I had the lower floor, which is a large king sized bedroom and huge ensuite.
Huge bedroom with King Size bed (courtesy of website)
King size bed in lower floor bedroom (courtesy of website)
The room is huge, and with windows on 2 sides, it has plenty of natural light. The ensuite is also huge, with one of the most spacious showers at any B&B we have visited. The room is supplied with tea, coffee, freshly baked biscuits and cakes. All toiletries, and their are many choices, are top quality. The website states, “Luxury accommodations” and the quick tour of the bedroom would definitely prove the statement on the website.
Upper Twin Room (courtesy of website)
The upper floor has twin beds, with Erica and Nan reporting the room was of a similar standard as the lower floor.
Sue then walked us around the guest kitchenette and lounge. The kitchenette has a small fridge, microwave and comes with a supply of plates, cutlery, glasses, etc. She also provides a case of water and jug of fresh milk. The lounge has a number of seats/couches, and she even provides a selection of board games.
Once we brought our luggage in, Sue arrived with a tray of tea/coffee and some biscuits/cake. Sitting in the lounge, one of the dogs came in to join us, so I got to play tug of war and fetch.
In the morning, breakfast is substantial. The table is set with an excellent selection of cold cereals, fresh fruit, yogurts, milk and a selection of home made marmalade and jams. The cooked breakfast was incredible, with all ingredients either coming from the farm or being locally sourced.
While chatting with Sue, she mentioned that her daughter attended St Andrews University, when I advised being from Strathkinness, a small village outside St Andrews. She mentioned staying at a Strathkinness Farm B&B, and when setting up her own B&B, she based it on the Strathkinness Farm. I found this very interesting, as my mum & dad started the first Strathkinness B&B and encouraged a number of other locals to start B&B’s, to accommodate the growing number of visitors to St Andrews. Hence the reason this B&B was very similar to the very successful business my parents ran for many years. It certainly is a small world.
We drove down from Alnwich, while Erica & Nan came from Glossop, so after arriving at the B&B, we didn’t want another 5 mile trip to Melton Mowbray for dinner.
The Anne of Cleeve Pub & St Mary’s Church in background (website photo)
We agreed to meet up at The Anne of Cleeve Pub on Burton Street, which has ample parking out back. This is one of UK’s most historic pubs, with part of the building dating from 1327, which was a home for chantry monks. The pub received its name from Ann of Cleeve, the short term 4th wife of King Henry VIII. As part of the divorce settlement she received the building as a gift.
The Pub’s resident dog (courtesy of website)
This is a classic old UK pub and when we entered, the dog in the above photo was curled up in front of the roaring fireplace.
Bar & fireplace with a roaring fire
Note the sign above the door at the end of the bar. It wasn’t a joke, the doorway was about 5′. If you didn’t duck, you would certainly be grousing.
Bar as seen from the fireplace
This was a classic pub, with a very friendly publican and locals. We enjoyed some excellent conversation with both the publican and the locals around our table. Of course, we did manage to get the dog’s attention, so he waddled over for some pets. Unfortunately, their galley was closed, but they suggested heading over to the hotel across the street for dinner.
When seated at a table, we were pleasantly surprised to receive menus for the Sunday Carvery. Wow, all 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, which was very reasonably priced. Visiting the carvery, you have the following options:
- 1 Course (carvery) – UKP 7.49
- 2 Courses (carvery + starter OR dessert) – UKP 9.99
- 3 Courses (carvery, starter & dessert) – UKP 12.49
All of us opted for the 1 course, so we headed up to the carvery. They had roast beef, pork, gammon, lamb and turkey available. I tried the pork and lamb, with yorkie, roasties, stuffing, roast parsnips and a couple of vegetable and gravy. Both meats were exceptional, cooked to perfection and really moist. The entire meal was tasty and piping hot, and at UKP 7.49, an exceptional deal.
If you are in the area on a Sunday, I highly recommend this hotel’s Sunday Carvery, great food, at a very reasonable price.
Next up on our journey around the South of England is Kent and the medieval city of Canterbury.