FOR anyone used to the chaos and cacophony of a big city, waking up in the peace of the Yorkshire Dales is, well, a dream. The Malabar B&B is plonked right in the middle of lush, rolling fields on the site of a former farm but its English countryside credentials come with an Asian twist.
Friendly owners Graham and Fiona Lappin both spent time in India and have added authentic design touches and fabrics to the six rooms and suites. Neutral and monochromatic tones are complemented by bright, beautiful throws on chairs and beds, the effect simultaneously soothing and stylish.
Throughout the rest of the property there’s an eclectic mix of antique furniture, including coffee tables from Mumbai bazaars, elephants from Kashmir and beds from Rajasthan.
Each room is named after something significant to the Lappins: mine, Millmount, refers to a farm in Ireland where Fiona’s father spent his childhood. All new guests are treated to a welcome afternoon tea — featuring amateur baker Graham’s delicious homemade Victoria sponge — in the rustic dining room, which is home to wooden beams, shabby-chic rugs and a traditional fireplace. Continuing the Indian theme, they also run a series of monthly Diwali supper clubs.
USP: As it’s so close to the Yorkshire Dales, its location is ideal. This is the kind of place where country walks and cosy pub lunches are the whole point. Sedbergh, a cute market town, is only a 40-minute walk away, connected by the Dales Way, which runs alongside the River Lune.
Who goes there? I spotted a mix of walkers, hikers and cyclists. There aren’t many rooms so breakfast is the ideal chance to chat to your fellow guests. The perfect place to switch off.
Venture out: The Lake District is a 40-minute drive away, with hiking routes aplenty, but within walking distance are the Howgill Fells, which offer stunning views across the landscape, and Fox’s Pulpit, a striking crag named after George Fox, who started the Quaker movement there.
I enjoyed strolling into Sedbergh, known as ‘Book Town’ due to its second-hand and antique bookstores. Westwood Books (westwoodbooks.co.uk) is Sedbergh’s biggest second-hand bookstore, with a specific section for first editions. Also check into No.6 Finkle Street (no6finklestreet.co.uk), with its Mad Hatter’s Tea Room, for a classic English cream tea.
■ From £160 per night, themalabar.co.uk