Love it or hate it you'll never forget it and, there can be no doubt, some people will love Haddon House Farm. However, we can not include ourselves in this category as we found the entire experience overwhelmingly weird. Upon arrival we were greeted by Marylin, the kooky Canadian owner, who confused me greatly by asking, "how should I call you?" Not that this question is difficult to understand but it did set the tone for the next three days; that being strange. Whilst being escorted to the Monet room (so called because of the outrageous decor; all things Monet) my girlfriend was frightened and somewhat disturbed by the stuffed owls in the entrance hall. I, too, am not a big fan of walking amongst dead animals. The hall was also decorated with bark, dried flower arrangements and children with no faces: Creepy!
The Monet lived up to expectations. Not a single surface (wall, ceiling or floor) was without a Monet or Marylinesque "feature". It was the latter that disturbed us the most: A bust that looked like a child who had been punched in the face; seagull shaped toilet roll holder; poems, written by Marylin, that explained, using too much detail, how to use the Saniflow system; postcards, everywhere, explaining how you should behave; more owls on the windows; guests poetry in a notebook which ranged in quality from poor to downright bizarre; and a guidebook that was more of a guide to Marylin than a guide to Bakewell.
We think we need to explain the guidebook a little further. Firstly, the restaurant reviews. These were mainly of restaurants that Marylin didn't like except for one, Piedaniels, that she loves overwhelmingly and rated it 9.9/10 losing marks only for lack of visual colour. Visual colour? Secondly, the guide to Marylin. Do we really need to know that she is from Toronto, where her great-grandfather owned a shop; that she likes flying, with Bill (more on him later) in a microlight; that she occasionally lives within a mile of film stars; that she does local archeology courses? Or would we prefer to have knowledge of things to do in Bakewell?
One final thing about the room: The bathroom. The saniflow system can create some terrible smells and is very, very loud when in operation. Also, it was never explained to us that the bathroom was without shower. We took it for granted, when we called up, that it would be a bath AND a shower.
Onto breakfast, It is a good thing, no doubt, that guests are allowed to choose when they have their breakfast. However, upon arrival one is greeted by a single table which you have to share with all the other guests who have chosen to eat at the same time as you. Even if you are tired you really have no choice but to join the conversation, even if it is with people who are a bit dull and if it is basically a rehash of what you have read in the guide book (which it is). Also, Marylin cooks in front of you so she is an eternal presence; she likes nothing more than to talk about herself although, occasionally, she will also tell you of things she has read in the Daily Telegraph. During these infernal monologues she finds time to order Bill, her husband, around. Poor Bill, I rather liked him.
So, summing up, it is quite expensive (they charge £25 for an hour in the hot tub; the tub being our main reason for choosing the farm); it is bizarre; and worst of all, Marylin did not laugh at my jokes.
- Also Known As:
- Haddon House Farm Bed And Breakfast
- Haddon House Farm Hotel Bakewell
- Haddon House Farm B & B Bakewell, Peak District National Park