“A chic little B&B with an Asian twist, set in a historic house in the heart of half-timbered Dinan”
It’s a steep climb up to the 5 rooms, but you’ll be rewarded with a cool, uncluttered space and beautifully preserved original features. But, while the stone walls and soaring rafters may be historic, the furnishings and fittings certainly aren’t: there’s a hint of Indochina in the funky Paola Navone chairs and log-like tables, and contemporary treats include spine-friendly UPD mattresses, snazzy clocks-cum-heating controls that resemble steel wands, and sleek in-room showers and sinks (thankfully, toilets are tucked away behind doors or partitions).
The 2 Standard Rooms on the second floor, Kampot and Champassack, are small but swish, with state-of-the-art rain heads hanging from beams in the glass-enclosed showers. A rung up the price ladder - and a little larger - is the Superior Room, Vinh-Long, which features a striking gold and black mural and a slate-lined double shower. It sits on the first floor next to the communal lounge, but as this is closed from 10pm you won’t find your slumber disturbed by night-owl guests.
We were lucky enough to stay in one of the 2 suites, Angkor, a cavernous space spanning the width of the house, with views over Place Saint-Sauveur to the front and the garden to the rear. A fireplace occupies one wall, beautiful panelling another, and the bathroom sits on a raised platform designed to resemble the bow of a ship. The other suite, romantic Luang Prabang, is perched at the top of the house, with a fabulous four-poster bed, a freestanding bathtub and a walk-in shower.
All rooms come with hairdryers, flat-screen TVs, unlimited WiFi access and - rather inexplicably - a stuffed toy sheep. You also get free bottled water and buttery crêpe dentelle biscuits - a lovely touch.
Breakfast is served in the first-floor dining room, where funky wicker lights dangle above a chunky table piled high with newspapers and glossy interiors mags. It’s a tasty spread of baguettes, brioches, cheese, ham, eggs, fruit, cereal and yoghurt, and Jérôme and Camille will ferry fresh juice and coffee to the table in quirky cups that resemble eggshells. There’s also a Nepresso machine and a selection of Mariage Frères teas which you can use to make a brew at any time, day or night (though you can’t take hot drinks up to your room).
If you fancy staying in one evening, Jérôme can whip up 4-course dinners by prior arrangement (see Rates). We sadly missed out on the chance to sample his culinary creations, which are based around whatever seasonal produce he finds in the market that day, but we’ve heard great things from past guests.
Otherwise, there are plenty of restaurants on the cobbled streets fanning out from Place Saint-Sauveur. We wandered up rue Sainte-Claire to Le Cantorbery, a friendly little place where meat and seafood are grilled over an aromatic wood fire. Here, we tucked into a huge platter of juicy prawns with aioli, followed by wonderfully tender steaks and a bottle of the latest Beaujoulais. We rounded things off with a coupe colonel (lemon sorbet doused in vodka) and a deliciously light Cointreau soufflé with candied orange peel.
If you want to splash out, head to Les Trois Lunes on rue de la Lainerie, where innovative twists on classic French cuisine (veal carpaccio with fine herbs, sesame-dusted tuna tartare, foie gras with spiced chocolate and caramelised apples) are served up in contemporary surroundings.
Children are welcome here, though it's a sophisticated place that's most suited to grown-ups - particularly as the steep stairs mean you'd need to keep a close watch on roving little ones. A baby cot (free) or extra bed (small charge) can be added to the Superior Room and both suites.
Babies (0-1 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available