As a special treat and for something really different we recently indulged ourselves in an Elizabethan Banquet at Lumley Castle, near Chester-le-Street, and just off the A1. Initially the night we booked was cancelled, so being able to move to another night easily, we were offered a room upgrade (into the castle), two free drinks each, and £10 each off overnight accommodation (which I strongly recommend). These gestures were greatly appreciated and made us feel wanted, even though we were only a booking of two where larger groups predominate
The treat commenced for us, booking in at 3pm and being shown to a show-stopper of a room. Across court yards, up and down stairs and past acres off wood paneling we arrived in room 43, with a more than adequate share of wood paneling itself. En route we gained a taste of part of the interior of the castle and for larger 'do's' it looked lovely. The room was complete with four poster bed, higher off the floor than I expected, but manageable and a large bath inset into the room, but with totally enclosed curtains if required. The room was darker than I normally would like, but after all we were in a castle, my only reflection was that reading was difficult.
The banquet itself started with drinks in the Baron's bar, where we were left a little too long, but then I do not drink, so it was not my thing. Eventually, we were shown into the reasonably imposing Banqueting Hall by a group of ladies dressed in Elizabethan manner and ushered by a jovial Master of Ceremonies, who presided over us for the rest of the night. If you want a change, which includes simple food of average quality, albeit five courses,excused perhaps by being 'Elizabethan' and utlising only a somewhat blunt knife, then this could be for you. The entertainment was enthusiastic undertaken and the group of lady singers did their job well; their harmony was delightful. The two gentlemen, the 'jester', not dressed for the part (unfortunately) and the MC did a splendid job keeping the banqueters happy. The meal lasted from about 8pm until 11pm, when a disco was on offer. We retired by then. The room was comfortable without being ostentatious and the breakfast was as good as any 4 star hotel I have used, with a good supply of fruit and a lovely individually cooked hot breakfast with decent choice, and served on a hot plate. We left straight after breakfast though the room was ours until 11am. Whilst I would not repeat the Banquet, the hotel can be heartily recommended.
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- Also Known As:
- Lumley Castle Durham
- Hotel Lumley Castle
- Castle Lumley
- Castle Hotel Lumley