Close to the Cathedral and its famed Mappa Mundi exhibition, this gracious small hotel occupies a handsome Grade II-listed mansion fashioned out of a pair of 18th-century Georgian villas over 100 years ago. A sensitive restoration programme has preserved many of the original features and the elegant decor and discreet, well-polished service recreates the feel of a timeless and hospitable private home. Attention to detail is a watchword at Castle House. The lovely bedrooms, including eight new ones in a converted neighbouring townhouse, are thoughtfully equipped and have fridges that can be stocked to guests' requirements. Late arrival suppers can be pre-ordered so that upon arrival you could find a light supper - maybe smoked salmon and chilled white wine - waiting in the room. There is also a decanter of sherry for a night cap. A lovely terrace is ideal for al fresco lunches and afternoon teas, and the gardens look over the old Hereford Castle moat. Noted chef Claire Nicholls creates delicious menus inspired by the fantastic offerings of local farms and regional suppliers. Her achievements have earned Castle House a reputation for being the best restaurant for miles. For lighter alternatives there is the very comfortable Castle Bar and Bistro with its bar menu and a full range of drinks on offer including malt whiskies and liqueurs. Hereford is a tranquil, enchanting city with a host of local attractions on offer, including the Mappa Mundi, the chained library, Cathedral and scenic Wye Valley.