We rate this new entry as an especially useful stopover: 60 km south of Calais, ideal for a first night after a late-in-the-day crossing, or the reverse on your return to the UK. A more peaceful bed-and-breakfast is hard to find. On the outskirts of the sleepy small town of Aire-sur-la-Lys, Château de Moulin Le Comte sits in 25 acres of peaceful gardens that back onto the river Lys. The house is an imposing 19thC mansion, renovated in 2012. Each of the five bedrooms is cavernous: high ceilings, huge sash windows, bare wooden floorboards, chintzy furniture and colourful wallpapers. They work well, but we thought some carefully chosen painting or prints might have helped. Bathrooms are modern and well equipped, with fixed soap dispensers in the showers.
Francis, the owner, is a capable, amiable host, and speaks a number of languages, as well as being an accomplished chef. Each night he produces the table d’hôte for guests: a substantial five-course dinner, which at 30€, we thought was great value.
There isn’t much to do locally, expect some gentle walks and exploring the nearby town. But there are plenty of historical towns and sites in the area – you’ll get most out of your stay here with a car.