You don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to fall under the spell of Hallow & Crux, but if you love the books and films you’ll have a particularly wizard time staying here. The stylish restaurant-with-rooms is set within a sandstone building that dates from the 1600s. Better still, it’s set in the heart of Northumberland right next to fairytale Alnwick Castle – which, of course, doubled as Hogwarts, the imposing School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in all eight Harry Potter films. Scenes from the films are subtly referenced throughout Hallow & Crux’s surprisingly grown-up design. There’s a witch’s hat here, a broomstick there and a set of school ties in Hogwarts colours hanging in a corridor. You may also walk past a stuffed owl, a portrait or two of fictional sorcerers and a replica Sorting Hat, but it’s whimsical and classy enough to appeal to anyone. There are just four rooms but they’re packed with wow factor and feel surprisingly grand. Bare stone walls and wooden panelling make the most of the historic setting, while the overall feel is a mix of vintage and contemporary. The two largest rooms, the Common Room and the Dumbledorm, are double-height and exceptionally spacious. Both have standalone roll-top tubs and walk-in showers in huge bathrooms. You may also walk past a stuffed owl, a portrait or two of fictional sorcerers and a replica Sorting Hat, but it’s whimsical and classy enough to appeal to anyone Each room has its own colour scheme, though faux-candle lighting, heavy fabrics, wizardly knick-knacks and over-sized statement beds add some clever consistency. When it’s time to head out and explore, Alnwick’s sights are close at hand. The statue outside the building commemorates the knight Harry Hotspur, an ancestor of the Duke of Northumberland who lends his name to London’s Tottenham Hotspur football team. The current Duke resides around the corner in Alnwick Castle, where the grounds offer lovely walks along the banks of the River Aln. Step inside the castle for tours that take in nearly 1,000 years of history. I recommend rounding off your day with supper and cocktails at The Dirty Bottles, the freehouse pub that’s part of the Hallow & Crux family, then descend into dreams in your king-size bed. It’s an experience I can sum up in a single word: magic. USP: This boutique B&B capitalises on Pottermania without alienating any muggles. The rooms: Overflowing with character. For a real treat, book The Dumbledorm, which overlooks Alnwick Castle. The food: Downstairs, The Dirty Bottles is an American-style smokehouse that’s remarkably good value. The meaty menu also has veggie options plus plenty of Alnwick ales and cocktails made with locally distilled spirits. Breakfast is a mighty feast of Northumbrian produce, such as kippers smoked just down the coast in Craster.