“ Address: Castle Terrace / Warkworth / Northumberland / NE65 0UP „
I came here using a Groupon voucher which turned out to be excellent value for money. This is easily one of the best B&B's I've ever stayed in. We stayed in room 1 which had a great view of the castle. The room was lovely, I loved all the little extra's too such as a little bowl of apple's (each one a different colour!), a little dish of chocolate hearts on the bedside table, lovely cookies on the tea tray... it's all the little details that I loved. There were a couple of things I personally didn't like. We took DVD's to watch after seeing there was a DVD player but it was a small flat screen that was high up on the wall. I hate it when small TV's are put right up near the ceiling. I also loved the bathroom decor, but noticed hairs and dust on the baseboard running along the wall. There were toiletries by The White Company but they weren't replenished when empty. I wouldn't usually use them but I forgot my hair conditioner, so I used the tiny bottle on the first morning but it wasn't replaced. We had strawberries and champagne on our first night which were great! We didn't order any in room picnics but they do sound very nice. Be warned you have to order them at least 24 hours in advance so I recommend doing this before you arrive. Claire emailed us the menus after we had booked so we had time to look through them. The tea & coffee in the room is great, I've never been anywhere that actually leaves you ground coffee and a cafetiere (though unfortunately it only filled 1 mug at a time). I also loved the 2 guest lounges, though we never saw another guest. The cake left in the first lounge was a nice treat to come back to after a day out in Northumberland, and the whiskey room was relaxing. There's an honesty bar in one room with reasonably priced snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non). The whiskey room has a nice sleection of whiskeys and again operates as an honesty bar. However, there is CCTV in all the public rooms ('for the safety of our guests'). The owners have dogs who we could hear on check in but they didn't come into the public area. We did however find a cat one night crying to be let back into the owner's area, I even had a game of hide and seek with him, he didn't seem to like me much though! The breakfast's were really tasty and served in the lovely conservatory. It was quite nice actually as it was raining heavily at one point so it felt quite cosy. I recommend the Roxbro Rosti for breakfast, it was delicious. My partner tends to eat big portions for all the exercise he does, found the cooked breakfast portions to be too small for him (1 sausage, 1 egg etc.) but there was cereals, yogurts and fruit to fill himself up on. You can also request a smoothie to be made for you. The house is always nice and warm, which was great considering what a cold March it was. You can also control the setting on the radiator in the room which was nice as I prefer a cooler room to sleep in. Unfortunately during our stay we didn't sleep well at all, but this is no fault of Roxbro's. As it's an old house the soundproof isn't amazing, though I can't imagine it's normally a problem. However, during our stay, our direct neighbour had a snoring problem that kept us awake. It was practially like someone shouting out every 5 seconds, I've never heard someone snore so loud! It did put a slight downer on our stay. I liked how there was a little bell downstairs on the table which you just rang if you needed anything. They only provide fresh milk for your tea and coffee so on an evening I would ring the bell and receive a little jug of milk. In the morning there's a little glass jar left outside the rooms on the floor (sort of like a milk bottle style in a little stand!) with fresh milk in for your morning cuppa. I also want to say that our Groupon mentioned a Hot Tub but this wasn't in the guest folder or mentioned to us, but we didn't query it either. If there is a hot tub I would like to suggest that you could 'book' to use it somehow, maybe for an hour or 2, so you're not sharing it with random people... The local village has some really nice pubs, though as it's off season it's very quiet. The pubs are also very dog friendly. The B&B itself is in a great area to use as a base for exploring the rest of Northumberland like we did, visiting nearby Dunstanburgh Castle and Holy Island with Lindisfarne Castle. I would love to go back to stay in one of the larger suites here.
On our recent trip up North Mr Tart did all the planning of where we were going to stay. We had just stayed in Lumley Castle which had been incredible and I thought the next hotel couldn't really compare to a 14th century castle. When we turned up at Roxbro House I was pleased to be proved wrong - this place is amazing! LOCATION Roxbro House is in Warkworth, a small place in Northumberland. Warkworth is most famous for its castle in the centre and the B and B is directly opposite the castle. There is street parking directly outside and although there wasn't a huge amount we never had a problem finding a space. CHECKING IN To check in you need to knock on the door, it's not a large hotel with a 24 hour reception. We arrived much earlier than we expected because Durham Castle had been closed. The sign outside did say that they were in from around 4pm. We tried knocking anyway but there was no answer. This was no problem - we were quite happy going around the castle and going to tea and cake afterwards. It is absolutely fair enough that they are not always there to open the door as this is a family run place. We went back around 5pm and then checked in with no problem. The man who checked is in was very friendly and efficient and showed us everything and offered to carry our bags. THE ROOM We were staying in the Ethel Nobel Room. I was pretty much speechless when I saw this room. Firstly it was enormous. I only wish my bedroom at home was this big! The whole room was beautifully decorated but the best bit was that it looked out over the castle - I was once again a happy historian! The main bedroom had a huge bed with a large wooden canopy headboard. There were two bedside tables and one had an iPod dock and radio on it. By the window was a tea table with tea and coffee facilities, including a cafetiere, although herein lay out only gripe - this was dirty on our arrival and wasn't cleaned after our first night despite me leaving it off the tray (although we did forget to ask them). This should really have been checked. In one alcove was a lovely cabinet with a flat screen TV and DVD player on top. In the centre was a mantelpiece, with a dish containing roses chocolates (could this place get any better!). In the other alcove was a large wardrobe with plenty of hanging space. There was also a small dining table and two chairs. The room was decorated very opulently, with faded gold and red flocked wallpaper and matching curtains and a gilt mirror. The bed was incredibly comfortable. There were plenty of pillows and covers. When we went into the room we found it was too warm so we turned the radiator off for most of our stay but the room would certainly be toasty in the winter and there were also extra blankets if you needed them. The dining table was in the room because you could ask to have breakfast in your room if you wanted. We didn't opt for this although we were very tempted but decided to get up and go for the sightseeing. The B and B have also started offering dinner in your room. The selection for this wasn't massive but it looked very tasty, including things like curry, Irish stew and Caesar salad. These room picnics needed to be pre-ordered. We decided to venture out to a local pub which I highly recommend called the Hermitage for dinner. The bathroom was stunning. It had flock, gothic style wallpaper in pink with Parisian style pictures. In the centre was a roll top bath - my dream -from which I could lie and look at the castle - bliss! There was also a large rainforest style shower. The towels were large and fluffy. There was a fireplace in here as well with candles should you wish for a more romantic bathing atmosphere - just remember the matches. The B and B offers a lovely selection of Gilchrist and Soames toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, bodywash etc but they do have a notice asking you not to take there out of the hotel as it was costing them a lot of money which is fair enough in a small hotel. On the back of the bathroom door there was a robe each to use during your stay as well as a pair of slippers each. This added touch of luxury was much appreciated when relaxing in our room. BREAKFAST This was served downstairs in the dining room. The cold selection was laid out on the sideboard. There was a great selection of fresh fruit, yoghurt, nuts and cereal which we had first both mornings and were delicious. On the side there was a also a selection of juices. We had the orange juice on the first morning but on the second we decided to try one of the freshly made smoothies they offer. We went for orange and mango and it was scrummy! The selection of hot food is great and all freshly prepared. I had the 'Roxbro Rosti' both mornings and it was delicious. It was shredded potato, fried, with mushrooms, bacon and a perfectly poached egg on the top. They also had full English, kipper and eggs Benedict (which came served on croissant rather than English muffin). There was also a lovely selection of jams on the table and tea and coffee. Breakfast was served by Claire, the owner of the B and B and she was an absolute delight. She was so friendly, asking us about our day and where we'd eaten etc and also offering advice about what to see and how to get there. OTHER POINTS The hotel has some lovely communal areas. Next to the reception area there is a lounge room. In here you can relax with some music playing. In here there is an honesty bar where you can help yourself to drinks and snacks and then write down what you had and add them on to your bill the next day at breakfast. There are also free cakes on offer in this room which are another really nice touch and the millionaire's shortbread was amazing. The Whiskey room was definitely Mr Tart's favourite room. In here there were antique leather chairs, lovely books on Northumberland and a large cabinet with a huge selection of whiskies. Mr Tart sampled two and was in his element as we sat in here playing a board game and relaxing. In here there was also a DVD cabinet with probably a couple of hundred titles to select from to watch in your room and the selection was very wide ranging. There is also a hot tub in the garden of the hotel according to the website but we didn't see this and it wasn't mentioned so I can't comment on it. Other services offered by the hotel include treat packages, where you can order champagne or chocolates for your room, although they do need notice for these. You can book a romance package and there will be champagne in your room upon arrival (maybe I should hint at this for next time!). We did think about getting the movie box (popcorn, ice-cream and chocolate) while watching a DVD but we were too full so decided it would be wasted. It was £6 if you did fancy it though. PRICES We paid £100 per night for our two night stay in this hotel. While this is probably more than we would normally pay for a B and B for this place I think it's a good price. This is a winter offer, however, and the normal price of the room that we stayed in would be £130. Considering the size of the room and the quality of everything in the hotel I think the prices are absolutely fair enough. The prices for the Lounge Bar were very reasonable. Some examples would be a glass of wine for £2.80, a beer for £2.50, a Baileys for £1.50 and vodka was £2.60. All soft drinks were 60p and snacks were 60p. The whiskies in the Whiskey Room were £4 each. RECOMMENDED I think you can probably tell that I think this hotel is something pretty special! There really is nothing bad that I can say about it (apart from one dirty coffee pot). Everything was comfortable, the décor was stunning, the ability to have a bath in a roll top bath with a view of a castle was like being in heaven. The breakfast was delicious and the service was brilliant. There are just so many added touches of luxury while at the same time giving an old fashioned homely feeling. I would go back in a heartbeat!