Is sleeping in a castle on your bucket list? If so, you will need to book a evening at Walworth Castle Hotel close to Darlington. I was invited to evaluation an overnight keep at this luxury North East England hotel and sample a meal in the hotel’s newly refurbished 1189 restaurant. The wannabe princess in me just couldn’t resist the possibility to keep in a true-life castle hotel so off I went, with my Prince Charming in tow. Immediately after our fairytale-like expertise, I may possibly just have to seek out additional UK castle hotels to keep in for future trips!
If you have normally wondered what it is like to reside like royalty, study on…
My evaluation of Walworth Castle Hotel
About Walworth Castle
Walworth Castle dates back to the 12th Century, when it was owned by the Hansard household who famously documented parliamentary debates. The book of Hansard is nonetheless referred to in legal battles nowadays, so the A Level Law student in me geeked out a small at the possibility to sleep in their old pad. The castle has supplied shelter for royalty – in 1603 Elizabeth Jenison, the owner at the time, entertained King James VI Scotland, who was travelling down to his coronation to develop into King James I of England. He slept in what is now Walworth Castle’s bridal suite. What a way to commence wedded life…
Walworth Castle has gone by means of quite a few incarnations more than the years and was even a college for girls in the 1950s. I just adore staying in buildings that have a story to inform! Can you think about all the aristocratic soirées and scandals that have most likely taken location right here all through history?
The owners have spent £8million maintaining the castle hotel searching majestic considering the fact that they accumulated the home in 2000, so I was keen to see if it was income properly spent.
As the wheels of our carriage – sorry, automobile – crunched more than the gravel automobile park, we had been right away struck by Walworth Castle’s impressive facade. This is not just a castle by name: it appears like the ones I grew up seeing in fairytales.
We received a friendly welcome from Jess on reception, who led us up a grand strong oak staircase to our area. The regal stained glass window, suits of armour and oversized gilded mirror remind guests of the grandeur of their surroundings, but I didn’t really feel like I required to whisper, fortunately!
Our 4 Poster Area
The focal point of our area was the conventional 4 poster bed, swathed in heavy textiles and raised higher off the floor. I imply, if you are going to keep in a castle hotel, you sort of have to sleep in a 4 poster bed, ideal?
The area was equipped with a modest Television, tea and coffee creating facilities (comprehensive with posh biscuits and Union Jack mugs) and we had a significant window searching more than the properly-tended green land surrounding the castle hotel.
One particular may possibly count on a evening in a castle to be a bit drafty but we had been pleased to discover the area good and toasty.
Though the room’s decor was very rightly on the conventional side, I was pleased to discover that the bathroom didn’t stick to suit. It had a decent energy shower and complimentary toiletries that smelled deliciously like parma violets.
There was a wedding taking location in the Cardinal Court and a handful of guests relaxing in the sophisticated Hansard area the evening of our keep. I genuinely do assume it would be a beautiful location to get married, and had we been preparing to get married in the UK rather than in booking our venue in Italy, I unquestionably would have deemed Walworth Castle as a venue.
A evaluation of dinner at Walworth Castle’s 1189 Bar & Kitchen
The hotel’s onsite restaurant has just undergone a £50,000 refurbishment, and I believed it looked attractive. Dark wood contrasts with peacock blue seating, a log fire keeps diners cosy and the original wonky flooring has been retained, which means the new luxe furnishings do not eradicate the restaurant’s medieval heritage.
The menu is varied, with casual ‘Early Bird and Bull’ possibilities served in the course of the day and almost everything from fajitas to chateaubriand out there in the evenings. There’s also a Specials menu that looked really attractive.
I was pleased to see that the chef makes use of locally sourced, seasonal components wherever feasible. They also have an impressive gin collection and the wine list is divided into ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’. We ordered a bottle of Shiraz from the ‘Good’ menu and possibly we’re just low cost dates, but it was so scrumptious that we took a photo of the label so we’d bear in mind the name!
We weren’t going to order starters but the curry spiced scallops served with cauliflower purée and Granny Smith apple caught our consideration. I’m glad we ordered it, simply because Tom mentioned it was the very best starter he had ever had and asked if he could skip dessert and just order the scallops once again! It was completely flavoured the kick of spice didn’t overpower the delicate scallops and the contrasting textures produced it an fascinating dish.
For mains, I went for some thing I haven’t eaten for years: suet pudding! 1189 fill theirs with oxtail, beef skirt and true ale, accompanied by olive oil mash, seasonal vegetables, watercress and jus.
Tom opted for the 9oz 21-day dry aged fillet steak, which was served with grilled tomato, mushrooms, chips, pickled onion rings and bourbon sauce. The sauce was extremely wealthy and a bit a great deal for me but he enjoyed his meal and we each commented that the chips looked and tasted like roasties, which we had been not at all angry about. I normally steal his mushrooms and even they had been completely performed!
We shared dessert, and chose the sticky toffee pudding simply because that is what we order wherever we go if it is on the menu. The pudding itself was a great deal lighter than I’m made use of to but that suggests you can consume additional of it, ideal? We had been undoubtedly offered a generous assisting and the accompanying rum and raisin ice cream and brandy snap basket gave the dessert a boozy kick that we loved.
There’s a beautiful, relaxed ambience in the 1189 restaurant and the employees are friendly and on the ball. I’d advocate checking out the roast platters they looked scrumptious!
Breakfast at Walworth Castle Hotel
Breakfast is served till 10 at weekends so we had been in a position to delight in a lie-in prior to trotting back down to the 1189 restaurant. There’s a continental spread with cereal, fruit, yogurts and pastries to preserve you going even though your option of cooked breakfast is ready. Ours didn’t take extended at all and when it arrived, it was attractive. The complete English was comprised of locally sourced sausages, eggs, black pudding and so on and my French toast with bacon and syrup was yummy.
We couldn’t resist mucking about in the kids’ play region just outdoors soon after breakfast. Undoubtedly valuable if you are staying at Walworth Castle with youngsters!
We had been provided glass bottled water to take with us for the drive dwelling when we checked out, which I believed was a good touch. I appreciated that they weren’t plastic, also!
If you are searching for a exclusive location to keep in North East England and are contemplating hotels in Darlington, or just fancy lunch or dinner someplace new Walworth Castle is a fantastic option. We had a really memorable keep in our English castle and will unquestionably be back for a further meal one particular day quickly.
Have you stayed at any other castle hotels in England, or in Walworth Castle Hotel itself? I assume I’m going to do some investigation into other castles to keep in!
You can verify costs and availability for Walworth Castle Hotel on booking.com
If you are exploring the North East, you may possibly discover my ultimate guide to the very best points to do in Newcastle useful. For everyone going to England, study my guide to northern cities to check out for additional England travel inspiration!
I was invited to delight in a complimentary overnight keep and meal at Walworth Castle Hotel but all opinions are, as normally, my personal.