An aesthetic treat whichever way you look at it.

Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse

Have a quick look at the accompanying picture to this ‘natter’. Soak in the light. I wonder if it was taken in ‘the magic hour’, that time before sunset beloved of photographers. It only goes to remind me what a wonderful location Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse enjoys.

Walkers, motorists, horseriders and now canoeists gush about the scenery here. There is something about the human scale of the Wye Valley that appeals. The hills are eminently climbable; the river broad but not intimidating; the towns have a historic foot-friendly layout. No wonder people rate is as a most-English landscape. 

It is true, though, that Wye Valley Canoes Bunkhouse pleases the eye on a multitude of levels. Housed in a converted red-brick chapel, with the austere but shapely features intact, the bunkhouse is designed with an eye for style. I’ve written elsewhere that the interior deco wouldn’t be out of place featured as a showcase on one of those television shows. (You know, the ones that you don’t admit to enjoying!) The shiny steel tube slide from floor to the next makes me chuckle like a toddler when I see it.

That isn’t all, because after you’ve luxuriated in the designer kitchen you might want to pop next door to the River Cafe. Featuring a simple elegant menu of recognisable favourites – chicken breast, butternut squash risotto for example – spun in a gastro style, I would be tempted to eat there all the time. 

If my teenage daughter were there, she’d be lapping it all up and posting endlessly on a certain photo-sharing social media. Between the landscape, the decoration and the food, it is an aesthetic treat whichever way you’re looking.