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The George Hotel (Kettering)

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1 Review

Sheep St. / Kettering / NN16 0AN / England / Tel: 01536 518620

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      23.09.2007 00:41
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      A welcoming and cheery hotel, perfect for a short break (or longer!) trip to Northamptonshire.

      Regular readers of my reviews may have noticed that when we fancy a weekend away Mark and I tend to just up sticks and go. We’ll stay practically anywhere; a four star hotel, spa hotel, B&B or guesthouse. The thing is we now have a 4 month old baby, a shopping trip to Tesco requires military planning and a bag big enough to carry the average rottweiller. To say I was nervous when last weekend Mark suggested an impromptu family get-away to Kettering is an understatement, in fact I wasn’t sure we could fit all Hollies baby stuff into the car boot to actually get away!

      Anyway, off to Kettering we went. To really see how much we could push our luck (ha!) we didn’t book anywhere to stay so once in Kettering the first thing we needed to do was find somewhere in our price range and suitable for two adults, two children and a baby. Not as easy as it sounds. The George Hotel was the first place I spotted in Kettering City Centre; I actually went in to enquire about the prices before I even got the kids’ (and Mark) out of the car as the exterior is so obviously historical and downright lovely that I automatically assumed we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay here.

      The guy on Reception was fantastic; I explained how many of us there was and made sure he was aware how young Hollie is, he suggested a Family Room and assured me there was plenty of space for a cot to be brought into the room. I was relieved that The George could provide me with a cot - I thought my first task in Kettering would be to find a shop stocking travel cots as I’d forgotten to put ours in the car… The Family Room would cost us £75 per night, to include a full English breakfast on each morning of our stay. This is a bargain as I’d budgeted quite a bit more for our accommodation so we’d have a bit extra to spend on trips out and a nice meal on our last night.

      Our room was lovely. We’d been offered a ‘Z’ bed for one of our older children, but they decided to sleep top to tail in the single bed – and judging by their excited whispering each night this was definitely the most fun solution to the sleeping arrangements! The room was spacious and comfortable, and even when the cot was put up next to our double bed there was still plenty of room to move around. The room was light and airy with huge windows which let in lots of natural light throughout most of the day and early evening. I liked the pale, neutral décor in the room which again attracted the light nicely and meant we didn’t need to put the top light on until pretty late.

      There was no en-suite bathroom attached to our room, usually this would be a massive disadvantage for me as my eight year old sleepwalks but at The George the bathroom was so near our room that it was no problem at all for me to get out of bed and accompany Alice to the loo at night – ensuring that she didn’t leave the hotel and cause chaos in Kettering at 3am!

      We had a good quality colour TV in our room, as well as coffee making facilities and a direct dial phone. There is fresh linen provided daily which was just right for the time of year.

      While staying at The George Hotel you have use of the Lounge, Georgie’s Bar and Squires Restaurant. We used all three areas of the hotel and I thought they were all a great enhancement to our stay.

      Breakfast is served in the Lounge, which opens at 7.30am, as well as a good selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, pastries, scones and other light snacks. The room is tastefully decorated with large windows which practically touch both the ceiling and floor; this means the Lounge has good natural sunlight through the day and the view from the windows is across the pretty High Street in Kettering, making the Lounge an ideal place to sit for an hour and people watch! Residents can use the Lounge 24 hours a day, but this room is also open to non-residents until 11pm. During our stay I saw quite a few non-residents arriving to tuck into one of The George’s wonderful breakfasts.

      All other meals are served in the Squires Restaurant. Original dark oak beams and traditional furniture and artwork give the restaurant a definite historical feel, while remaining comfortable and bright thanks to the large windows and effective lighting. Squires serves delicious traditional English food at very reasonable prices and is open from 11am – 3pm and again at 6pm – 9.30pm. The Sunday carvery is always popular and you will be served from a range of traditional roast meats. The large open hearth and wood panelling adds a lovely focal point to this delightful room. Every meal we ate in Squires was absolutely delicious; I particularly enjoyed the Steak & Ale Pie which was a hearty meal and kept my hunger at bay easily until the next morning’s breakfast. Mark loved the King George II Mixed Grill which was the biggest plate of meat I’ve ever seen – chops, sausage, gammon, rump steak and liver accompanied by fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion rings, chips and… salad. Yes, salad. Hmmm, I can just about hear Momma WeightWatchers turning in her grave…

      Georgies Bar is the in-house pub and has a nice trendy atmosphere. The pool table and music channels will keep you entertained as you sip your drink and munch on the various bar snacks available. Sky Sports is generally shown during the day and while important sporting occasions are happening. The bar is airy with large windows and has stylish and comfortable seating, including some chocolate leather sofas. All the drinks you’d expect to find in a standard pub are available here, at prices competitive to other drinking establishments in the area. The good selection of cocktails are well made and truly delicious – perfect for rounding off a tiring day looking at everything Kettering has to offer.

      All in all, I felt welcome at The George Hotel and (unusually these days) I was made to feel that my custom was valued rather than being ‘just another booking’ at the hotel. The children enjoyed their stay and baby Hollie was coo-ed over by just about every member of staff at the place. My eleven year old daughter was particularly impressed by the fact that she was given a proper breakfast in the morning as in the last hotel we stayed she was offered Cocoa Pops and nothing else – a definite slap in the face for a tweenager like her!

      All members of staff that I came across at the hotel were friendly, helpful and courteous at all times. Nothing seemed too much trouble; whether it was a bit of information about the general area or a more substantial cry for help (like when it hit me that I had no way of sterilising Hollies bottles in our room!). Every query I had was answered quickly and accurately and there was no sullenness or irritability which is the thing I find often lets down this type of hotel.

      The George Hotel is an imposing building which was built back in 1639, many of the original features remain to this day and the hotel itself has had a massive revamp since the current owner took over in January 2007. The hotel caters for functions, be it a wedding, Christening, meeting or other corporate event and has fairly regular live entertainment. A tribute to Madness (wonderfully named ‘Badness’) is happening on 23rd November so I guess this will be the next time I visit The George – as a child of the 80’s I can’t really let a tribute to the Nutty Boys go unseen, it would be rude.

      Prices start at just £35 per night for a single off-suite room and the most expensive was our Family Room which cost £75. Considering the level of service you receive during your stay, the fantastic location in the centre of Kettering and the general ‘niceness’ of The George Hotel I’d say this is pretty damned good value.

      The George Hotel
      Sheep Street
      Kettering
      Northamptonshire
      NN16 0AN

      Tel – 01536 518620

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