As a base for visiting the wonderful Beamish open air museum, it is unbeatable; as a standalone country hotel it is excellent.
We spent 3 nights there this month to allow 2 full days to visit the museum at a relaxed pace, we should have booked 2 more to explore the surroundings. It is a beautiful, imposing building, set in acres of stunning grounds. Grassland, woodland, wildlife, all nature is here to see and admire. As soon as you enter you begin to become aware of why it has 4 stars, not by the cost, as it is very reasonable for this standard of hotel, but by the ambiance and attention to detail that is obvious. The staff have that ease and professionalism that shouts training and experience, this is coupled with the gift of making you feel as if you are their most important customer but one who is known enough to be friends.
The furnishings are carefully chosen to enhance the age and character of the building but that does not mean that they are not very comfortable or practical. The bathroom was huge with a double Jacuzzi (we’re too old and stiff to use it fully), a wet room style shower(non-slip mats supplied) and the other usual equipment was of a high standard. A nice touch was the newsletter pushed under the door each night giving the weather forecast and local/hotel events.
The breakfast room was luxurious with thick table clothes and napkins. The food was outstanding, the cold items were attractively laid out and the hot cooked to order using local ingredients and done to perfection.
Stables, the main restaurant, was atmospheric and the food exceptional. The menu was large enough for choice but small enough to prevent confusion. My wife loved the Isle of Skye scallops, my favourite was the potted wild rabbit, with soft poached egg and accompanied with orange segments with pickled carrot strands. Without wanting to appear ”foody or cheffy”, it shouts balance.
The whole experience was excellent and we will go gain. Everywhere appeared to be very accessible.