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“Too good too miss!”

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Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Appleby, Cumbria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Too good too miss!”
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Having previously stayed at Lovelady, we received an offer via e-mail for the 7 course gourmet tasting dinner which was an offer just too good too miss. Like our previous stay, the dinner was absolutely fantastic, the wines were divine and breakfast is cooked to absolute perfection. All of which are served with complete unpretentious friendliness.

The focus of our stay was for the dining experience which meant we didn't spend much time in the room but are pleased to say we found our bed incredibly comfortable, the room was clean and warm and I was thrilled to find a hotel hairdryer that had the capacity to actually dry hair!

We will definitely stay here again - thank you.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lucy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 April 2012
We would like to thank Lucy S for her review. As hoteliers we really try to give our guests the best experience we possibly can because we really do care which is why we get hurt by some reviews.

So it is so reassuring that we do get it right sometimes. We are so pleased that you found the room clean. The mattresses are V Spring, arguably the gold standard in beds, which is why we become puzzled as to why other guests find them uncomfortable!

So dear Lucy S, thank you so much and we look forward to wecoming you back "home"
Peter and Marie Haynes
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620 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We took this one night offer via Travel Zoo. The deal inc. b&b, 7 course taster menu with matching wines to each couse - so you must appreciate that I am writing this to review this deal.

Very warm and friendly greeting - felt like we were guests at a country house party.
Nice big room with all home comforts and good views, but do agree with others it is starting to look at wee bit tired.

The food was good and well presented with slightly bigger portions than we have had at our previous taster experience - in fact I couldn't eat all of my pudding - much to my husbands delight! Coffee was served in one of the sitting rooms - much better than at the table. We very much appriciated that our host/owner came to each table to pour the wine and to tell us a little bit about each one plus a bit of chat. Breakfast was also very good.

A minus for us was that we all had the same dining time which made it feel a little bit like a cafeteria. We have been to other 'taster' experiences where time of dining can be pre-booked - apprecite this is difficult but it is much better.

We were invited to meet in the bar for a pre-dinner drink and canapes which was nice but the bar is very small and some folk were sitting in a small ine of chairs along one wall - it also forced us to 'mingle' which I really don't want to do unless asked/prewarned. Perhaps it would have been better to have used one of the lovely comfy sitting rooms so that we could more intimate.

As we had been invited for a drink and canapes we were a little surprised to find we would pay for the drinks. It wasn't a problem to pay for a drink but maybe the invitation wording could be clearer? e.g 'Canapes will be served in the bar at ....please join us....

We were invited 'couple by couple' to be seated which felt a bit odd? Much better for all to be invited into the dinning roon and then for someone to seat you.
The dining room is lovely, but quite bight for evening and very very silent. We could all hear what the folk on the other tables were saying so it was difficult to fully relax. Dim the lights, add more candles and subtle background music then it will be perefect.

The staff/ waitresses were lovely but I do agree with some other comments - perhaps a little more training /knowledge would be good in the restuarant. Although it did brighten our day when I asked for a particular type of tea and the response was "Oh, I've never heard of that one!"

It has been very difficult to rate this hotel. On the one side we felt very 'at home and comfy' and didn't want to leave. On the other we wouldn't want do the 'bar thing' or maybe even the resturant again (just because of notes above). Our host said that he had comments that said 'he's a grumpy old bu**er'. This is certainly not so. Mind you I'm a Yorkshire Lass and used to GOBs.' So I totally disagree - He is a charming and very knowledgeble 'old bu**er'' who obviously cares very much for his guests and his hotel.

Very good value for the deal we got but doubt we woul paid full price.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bingbing555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 24 April 2012
Hello it's the grumpy old bu**er speaking!

Moan moan moan...........moan!

Now let me see. Do you know it never fails to amaze us as to why guests gravitate to the bar. Yes it is a small and delightfully stocked one but why don't guests sit in one of our more comfortable lounges? We will find you. You will not be forgotten......and we do not insist that you should pile in there.

We do try to commence our tasting service at 7.30pm. This is in order to give you the time to enjoy the experience and for it not to be rushed. We do take tables in one by one in order that we can present the guest to their table, give individual service when seating, tend to their needs with regard to any extras such as water. We dread to think of the bun fight if 30 guests turned up all at once into the room fighting for "the best" table. Ryan Air springs to mind with everyone rushing for the window seat!!!

...And yes we are a "silent " hotel with no music. The grumpy old bu**er says deliberatly so too! Some guests actually find this refreshing but we do agree that when there are a small number of guests dining some background music might be of benefit.

What your reviewer has got one hundred per cent right is that we do care and care passionately about giving our guests the best experience we possibly can...and yes, sometimes we make mistakes but we hope the vast majority (who do not write reviews, hint hint!) agree with us. So a very big thank you for the sign off.

The miserable grumpy old bu**er, alias Peter Haynes

PS Please come back, oh yes Spring improvements are under way!
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Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Like previous reviewer I found the hotel looking tired but netherless comfortable and did not detract from the enjoyment of our stay.

The food was fabulous, breakfast was just superb and certainly the best hotel breakfast I have had in many many years of staying in hotels. The breakfast was made to order and it was the finaest ingedients. I would recommend the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. The staff were very friendly and helpful and we were very warmly welcomed, I am glad I went and would consider returning

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KMDRH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2012

The food at this hotel is wonderful, however the hotel itself is a little tired.

A warm welcome on arrival, I have to say that the lady that greeted us and provided drinks from the bar was excellent - remembered all the little variations and was extremely friendly.

We stayed in a superior room from which the views were outstanding, it was spacious and comfortable but felt in need of refurbishment - nothing specific but just generally needing attention, dare I say it heading for a bit shabby. The shower was poor, not hot enough or powerful enough and water spraying in every direction! The grounds were nice but again really need some attention, I know it's early in the year but would have thought a bit of work would have been done by now.

The food was quite simply beautiful. The tasting menu was imaginative and exciting and we thouroughly enjoyed it. The young waiting staff could do with a bit more training ("here's your consom.... oh I don't know how to say it, here's your soup") but that didn't really detract from the meal. The following morning offered the best breakfast menu we've ever seen.

So on the whole an enjoyable stay but would we go again? Not sure.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simon_Jackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wetherby
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 April 2012

I have read with interest the comments regarding this hotel and though I have not actually stayed there as yet, I thought I would comment on my experience with the owner, Peter.

I have had to cancel my booking this morning which was for tonight and tomorrow night due to my mother's serious illness. Peter could not have been more understanding and not only accepted the very late cancellation with good grace, but also advised me that I could ring him when things are more stable and that he would honour the booking .

I was expecting that I would have to lose this break through kgb but rang him out of courtesy (rather than just not turning up) and although it is now probably too late for him to offer the accommodation to anyone else I believe that he could not have been more accommodating or understanding about my current situation.

I look forward to taking my short break there in the future.

Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jean W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 23 April 2012
We would like to thank your reviewer for responding.
There have been an odd negative comment on how we deal with cancelations and this respondent demonstrates what we are about. Yes it would have been easy just to take the money but we do have feelings. As we have stated before, when there has been a genuine reason for cancelation we do understand and rebook without charge. We are not, despite some vitreolic negative reviewers , mercanaries.
Thank you so much and we hope you will have a lovelay time at Lovelady when you do come.
Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel

Property: Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Address: Lovelady Lane, Alston CA9 3LX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Alston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Alston
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,631 - ₹ 15,335
Hotel Class:3 star — Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lovelady Shield Country Hotel
Lovelady Shield Country Alston

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