After the build up to the wedding and excitement of the day itself it’s time to relax and enjoy the first few days of your marriage. And, increasingly, couples in the UK are choosing to delay their honeymoon for a while and opt for a mini-moon instead. Rather than abandoning guests for a hasty flight straight to a far-flung destination, it suits many newlyweds to have a romantic break closer to home immediately after the nuptials, and wait for a while before taking the “proper” honeymoon.
Set in a stunning location in The Derbyshire Dales, Dannah Farm Country House is an idyllic destination for your romantic break. Situated above the Ecclesbourne Valley on The Chatsworth Estates at Shottle, surrounded by green fields and perfectly located for walking in the Peaks or gentle strolls straight from the front door, the geography alone could make the farm a firm favourite. However, its 5-star status comes down to much more than that.
We fell in love with the charming character of the place, the excellent accommodation, the private chalet-style spa facilities, delicious locally-sourced cooking, and the fact that it is a family-run, friendly place.
It was dark and pouring with rain when we first arrived, and we were soon welcomed by owner Joan Slack, who showed us to one of several beautifully decorated and equipped rooms, ideal for a special occasion. We were in The Garden Room, a spacious series of rooms really, featuring a grand four-poster bed and leather sofa alongside modern touches such as a wall-mounted flatscreen TV in the bathroom, which itself includes a state-of-the art spa bath and everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel. The gorgeous furniture and hi-tech features are mixed in with local products, very stylish decoration and a country cottage feel.
Once daylight came in the morning, we opened the shutters and were enchanted with the view of the garden, which would be perfect for lazing away a summer’s day.
While the farm is a bed and breakfast, Joan, husband Martin and the team are extremely helpful and it is no trouble to get taxis to nearby restaurants or pubs in the surrounding villages or towns. They will also serve a selection of platters to your room if you prefer to stay in and relax. Judging by the standard of the breakfast, which was absolutely superb, this seems like a great option.
Aside from falling in love with our own room, the bedrooms were linked together by beautifully decorated, cosy sitting rooms where you can sit by the fire, take tea and read magazines, peruse books about local walks or take a drink from the bar – which consists of a cupboard full of goodies and a book that you just write an I.O.U in for the tipple of your choice.
If you’re looking for a spa experience, you can include The Spa Cabin in your booking, giving you exclusive access to a luxurious chalet-style relaxation area. The Spa Cabin includes a sauna, double steam shower, a comfy lounge with all of the audio visual technology you could ask for, outdoor showers and a private, sheltered outdoor hot-tub from which all you can see is the rolling green landscape of the farmland. The Spa Cabin has room for up to six people, so it is also suitable for small group bookings, and means there is more than ample room for the two of you to relax to the max on your mini-moon.
Dannah Farm is a very special place to stay indeed, with its country setting, friendliness, rural character and luxury making it the perfect quiet, boutique hideaway where you’ll feel at home and amazed at the same time.
Emily Gravenor, Editor, White Weddings, Summer/Autumn 2011.