This lovely small hotel makes a great base for a night or two in glorious York. It stands within the Roman wall, opposite St Denys Church, which lost its spire to cannon fire in the Civil War. It’s all the work of two sisters, Sophie and Maria, who renovated from top to toe, bringing a chic, colourful style to this Victorian rectory. Inside, you’ll find original art on every wall in the airy breakfast room, sofas in front of the wood-burner in the beautiful library, then a door that leads out to a gravelled courtyard, where you can sink into wicker armchairs when the sun shines. Bedrooms are just as good: cool colours, smart fabrics, excellent beds, ‘60s retro furniture. You get lots of art, coffee machines, iPhone players, flat-screen TVs. Some rooms are smaller, all have sparkling bathrooms, one has a free-standing bath in the room. Cross the river, weave through lanes, arrive at York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe. Back at the hotel, five excellent restaurants wait within 200 meters. Northern Soul nights take place locally, too. You won’t want to leave.