If you’re travelling to Hull by train, the “Royal Hotel Hull”:https://www.britanniahotels.com/royal-hotel-hull is ideal as it can be accessed directly from the station.
As check in wasn’t until 2pm we completed the paperwork, left our bags and set off to explore the 2017 UK City of Culture. On return we found our second-floor room (203) stiflingly hot with a sign informing us that the air conditioning no longer worked. Having said that, you don’t normally expect to need air con in Hull but unfortunately, we were visiting on the three hottest days of the year. So, we settled for the fan (which obviously hadn’t been switched on for a long time as it blew dust all over my black trousers!) and the noise of the traffic from the open window.
The room was large with high ceilings but as they’d pushed two single beds together, it’s size and location in the room meant one person had no bedside table and had to shimmy to get into and out of bed (this was obviously not me!) The room was, like most UK hotel rooms, beige and boring and it would have been nice to see some ‘Hull art’ on the walls. However, it had towelling robes (far too hot), coffee machine as well as a kettle for tea, TV, and iron with ironing board. The bathroom could have been a little bigger but the towels were white and fluffy and the water pressure in the shower reasonable.
I’d like to have told you about breakfast but at the restaurant on the first morning we were reminded we’d booked room only (whoops!). On our final night, we had dinner in an undeservedly deserted restaurant. We shared the local speciality to start: a Hull Patty, which for the uninitiated, is a deep-fried ball of sage-flavoured mashed potato. As this was a ‘fine-dining’ restaurant it was served with a sauce vierge rather than the chips and scraps you’d get in a fish and chip shop. This was Roy’s first experience of the delicacy and he was favourably impressed. A rump of lamb with mashed potato and root vegetables came with a red wine jus on the side and looked enticingly pink as requested, whilst my fish pie had plenty of chunky haddock and salmon. Both portions were a reasonable size unlike the monsters we’d experienced elsewhere. Our bill for a couple of G&T aperitifs and a bottle of wine was £65.
The ground floor had a large bar area, with a ‘fishy frieze’ around the ceiling and lots of various seating configurations and was comfortable at any time of day and unlike some hotel bars, appeared very popular.
On checking out (11am), our bill included room charges until I produced my email confirmation showing it was prepaid. Apologies were made and our extras settled before some last-minute shopping. On collecting our bags, we were told that the credit card payment hadn’t gone through. Having said I wanted to check my credit card receipts at home, I left without paying. Apparently, I’d booked when the hotel was still in the ownership of Mercure rather than Britannia which had caused the confusion. At home, having checked all our credit card statements and unable to find the payment, I rang the hotel only to be told the person was too busy and would I call back. I explained that wasn’t satisfactory and was told I’d be put through to the General Manager but found his answerphone. The saga continues . . . .
If like me you book room only, I’d recommend three nearby cafes for breakfast.
Costa (with outdoor seating down a pedestrianised street)
“Cooplands Orchard Cafe”:http://www.cooplands-bakery.co.uk/page/cafes-824 – great bacon and sausage sandwiches
“Fed N Watered”:http://fednwatered.co.uk/ – a large independent new café with equally large tea cakes slathered in butter