Oasis of calm — Angelina Villa-Clarke checks into #1 by GuestHouse, York. Pictured is the hotel’s grand Georgian exterior York is buzzing. First, Clifford’s Tower, the city’s 800-year-old landmark building, recently reopened after a £5million restoration project by English Heritage. A snake of visitors queue to see inside what is the city’s second major historical site after York Minster. Then, along the Shambles, another part of York laden with heritage, Harry Potter fans try to take the best photo of the overhanging timber buildings. What is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe also happens to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Potter films. But a 10-minute walk from all the hubbub is an oasis of calm at new boutique hotel #1 by GuestHouse. Found in the Clifton area, the hotel has been carved out of a regal Georgian house, where interior designer Martin Hulbert showcases the many original period details alongside his quirky style. Most rooms have fireplaces, giant sash windows and elegant plasterwork contrasted with a rich colour palette and bold artwork. The sweeping, central staircase is a beauty. Just off the lobby is the Marmalade Lounge – perfect for afternoon tea. Decorated in honey tones, it is like a drawing room of old, with mustard-velvet chairs to sink into and antique finds, such as a delicate chinoiserie cabinet, to capture your curiosity. With just 39 bedrooms, #1 feels intimate and cosy. This is the second property from the GuestHouse brand and it aims to recapture the traditional ‘guest-house’ experience. While each room has its own design – some with four-poster beds, others with standalone tubs – they are all united by cosseting details. You’ll find slippers, Nespresso machines hidden in dolls’ houses and products by 100 Acres. On each floor, you’ll also find a complimentary pantry stocked with jars of sweets and Yorkshire treats, such as Bakewell tarts. Unusual details add a touch of fun – there are record players in the bedrooms and a ground-floor vinyl library from which to select your LPs. In the bar, you can sip an Utter Shambles cocktail as a toy train whizzes around the room – a reference to the nearby Railway Museum. The elegant restaurant, with duck-egg-blue walls, also champions local delights. There’s salt-baked beetroot with goat’s cheese; Scarborough Woof – a local dish using wolf fish and, for dessert, an inventive ‘Ruffle’s Bar’ with raspberry and coconut flavours. Breakfast is a feast of the GuestHouse’s own granolas, berry compotes and pastries. How about wild mushrooms on toasted sourdough, or a full Yorkshire with sausages and bacon from Lishman’s of Ilkley butchers? The basement has been transformed into an atmospheric spa, with massages and facials using Pinks Boutique oils. It’s dark and moody with exposed brick walls, hanging dried flowers and hand-woven textiles. It’s a heavenly spot to retreat to while York buzzes outside.