WALKING through the doors, I was struck immediately by the Rudloe Arms' unique decor which left me with one thought: this is not your ordinary hotel. Instead of a clinical reception and half empty and commercially decorated lobby, the rooms oozed cosiness only comparable to the Danish concept of hygge.

With low lighting, Victorian furniture and dozens of armchairs mixed in with a medley of signed Terry O'Neill photographs, vintage toys and Michelin men, we were made to feel at home.

Admittedly, the decor isn't to everyone's taste and both my boyfriend and I were struck by the pictures of half naked women that adorn the hallway and lead up the stairs. Looking back, I think the initial shock and the hotel's quirkiness certainly added to our experience.

We were shown some of the rooms, starting at £165 a night, which have been decorated by owner Marco Pierre White, and they took our breath away.

The Circus room, which had a giant circus sign from years gone by as the headboard of the bed and wall-size tapestries, was stunning. Everything, even little details, is circus-themed, from ornaments and books relating to circuses to clown paintings and vintage money boxes.

One thing notably absent from the rooms in the main house are showers and televisions. Here guests are encouraged to sit back and relax. The annexe is more modern, we were told, and without the individual style of decor.

Our bathroom, which had a giant roll-top bath in the centre surrounded by vintage advertising mirrors, was dreamlike and certainly added to the homely feeling the Rudloe Arms generated.

One thing featured in every room: enthralled by their past, Marco has scoured the country to find old and distressed rocking horses. Ours, which stood at about four foot tall, added an air of grace.

After a tour of the grounds, which Marco has begun to reclaim from years of neglect, we took ourselves off to the cosy restaurant at the back of the hotel.

Starting with stubbed cabbage on a bed of fresh tomato sauce (£6.50) before moving onto roast hen pheasant (£16.50) for me and a fillet of Aberdeen Angus with snails (£24.50) for Chris, cooked by head chef Phil Bayliss, the meal was the perfect way to end the night.

The Rudloe Arms will certainly provide an escape for the cosmopolitan traveller but the owner hopes it will also appeal to locals wanting a break with a difference.