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“Hart to Heart”

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The White Hart Hotel
Ranked #4 of 15 St Albans B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 May 2012

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster, as my club, Chelsea FC, I have supported since 1957 when working as a journalist in London at the offices of The Daily Herald, Odhams Press, Long Acre, began to see a goal that most people thought impossible: The Cup Double. The FA Cup was won, and then to step 2. Champions League. On Frid. 18th. May, 2012, I celebrated my birthday, and chose to travel to St. Albans by train, 1st. class, on the Saturday so as to watch TV and THE MATCH. In the 1970s my parents would take me to The White Hart,. Holywell Hill, St. Albans for a Friday steak & chips, washed down with copious amounts of large sherries which were the fashionable drink of the time. My journey by London Midland was punctual, on clean trains, and the route took from Northampton - Watford Junction, and then onto the St. Albans Abbey Flyer. When I lived in Watford in the 1950s-1970s this service was run by a steam train. From the Abbey station ( there is also a main line station in St. Albans to Kings Cross ) turn right at the exit and walk for about ten minutes up the famous Holywell Hill, and at the abbey entrance on the left is fgacing The White Hart hotel, which has stood on this spot for over 500 years, which is some achievement. It has 15 rooms and each has its own ambience due to the long history of the building. These are not rooms one finds in the 'hotel chains'. Modern services prevail in each room. I chose room 14. I checked in late on Saturday afternoon, and being so hungry booked a seat in their Tudor restaurant. However, before I took my seat for 18. 30, I enjoyed a pleasant pint of ale, known as 'Asylum' in the front bar which overl,ooks the entrance to the abbey. One can just see parts of the abbey, cathedral from the hotel. The front office manager, Adam took me to my seat which I chose to be in an oak pannelled alcove, at a two-seater dining table. The menu varies from time to time and on this occasion I chose a starter of Caesar salad which was 1 of 7 options. For my main course I selected the char-grilled rump of lamb set on creamed spinach, woodland mushrooms and red wine jus. I ordered what proved to be a delightful bottle of Sicilian red wine, and for later a bottle of champagne Bollinger, with which to celebrate my birthday plus 1. The table service was excellent but the restaurant was not too busy, so no challenge there. I did get to speak to two other diners who were living not far from St. Albans - Wheathampstead. We chatted about the hotel and general matters. I finished what was a splendid meal, priced at £40.+. The starter was £5.95, the main course £15.95. the rest was the wine charge. I kept the champagne charge separate on a different credit card. I left the Tudor restaurant and found a seat in a quiet corner where I could enjoy my chilled bottle of bubbly. The TV was switched on but I chose not to watch the whole match, as it was too stressful. However, by the time Chelsea had reached penalties to decide the result, I simply had to watch the famous last kick. GOAL ! and Chelsea were double cup winners, and had the Champions League Cup at long last. It had been a long wait. The evening ended with a steady climb up the ancient wooden staircase to my Room 14. I slept like a log in a very comfortable bed, and at 09.45 was woken with a call for breakfast. I quickly got ready and joined several families who were already well into their meal. I ordered a full English breakfast and Buck's Fizz with fresh orange juice. The breakfast was perfect, as was the strong black coffee. All - in - all this was a HART to HEART, as I recalled the time when my late parents would also celebrate business achievements or return from worldwide travel. My mother having travelled the world, with such exotic places as Persia as it wasa then known and Afghanistan. I did not take lunch but rather enjoyed my champagne. Mid-afternoon I took my leave having spent an hour talking to the owner and proprieotr who gave me a potted version of the hotels' fantastic history. I thoroughly recommend this hotel. For car owners there is a private parking area in a safe yard at the rear of the hotel. My train departed on time and before long I was back in Northampton, with something of a hangover. But it was JOB DONE. The White Hart, genuinely is to be recommended for all the right reasons. I will return with my son and friends in the near future.
Geoff Hamilton, editor Anglo-Nordic Times Intl. /LOOK NORDIC, ( Fd. 1976 ). 19-20th. May, 2012.

Room Tip: Before completing booking at reception check the room given to ensure it matches your requirements...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank geoffrey d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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374 - 380 of 423 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2012

We stayed one night here. The location is great - very near the town centre, with free parking. The Tudor building is amazing.
We stayed in a recently refurbished superior room. The room itself was okay but the most important things (bed and shower) were great. However, the fan in the bathroom was broken and made an awful noise when it came on and we jus had to wait for it to turn off. It woke and scared our baby at 3am but luckily the bed was big enough for the three of us after that! We can't know for sure but one of the chaops at check-out seemed to know about the problem already when we told him.
Breakfast was made to order and very nice.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank GLouR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

Very helpful and friendly staff; well appointed room (no 6) although could have done with some additional lighting; very clean; great breakfast and the sunday lunch was also very good. will definately visit again.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kjb59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Great food and service all delivered to our cosy table by the roaring log fire in the charming oak panelled dining room. I'm always a fan of something a bit different and our pre dinner visit to Nick the Tarot Reader in the hotel's sitting room gave the evening an interesting and fun twist. Armed with a large glass of Chablis we had out fortunes told before tucking into the best lemon Sole I've ever tasted. A great evening and a restaurant well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank 44Alison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

I stayed at the hotel with my partner for one night and we booked a superior double with breakfast. Booking was easy, helpful and friendly and the room was spacious and very clean. The shower is worth a mention as the cubicle was huge and the power certainly wake's you up!
For breakfast we had a cooked full English, which was hot and very tasty! There was a good choice of cereal and juice.

Overall a very pleasant stay in a lovely old building..would recommend.

Room Tip: Superior Double was lovely.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LFC_SG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2012

I was concerned by the mixed reviews for this accommodation especially as it was a night stay for our silver wedding anniversary. I will give our experience which was good.

We had one night in room 6 (superior double). It had been recently refurbished. Room was tasteful/modern, clean, plenty of tea and coffee, huge plasma tv opposite the nice bed. The bed was larger than most (very soft - not my taste but good if you like it like that). Room 6 is at the back so not too noisy either.

The en suite was very nice, simple but with a great shower.

The manager was a younger chap who was great. Very welcoming and helpful and cooked a very nice breakfast.

The corridors to the room were pretty grim but then we weren't staying in the corridors!

So, if you get room 6 and the younger manager then highly recommended :-)

Room Tip: Ask for room 6. Ask for rooms at the back as front rooms are on a busy road and above the bar
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank g a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sequoiastalbans, Owner at The White Hart Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 March 2012

We are pleased that our guests enjoyed their stay.
We are expecting to redo all the corridors later this year as we took the view that the rooms were more important.

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Reviewed 5 February 2012

We booked a superior double for a recent one night stay in St. Albans and we were blown away by the acommodation.

Smart, clean and warm (an important fact on a night where St. Albans was caught in a blizzard) we would definatly stay here again.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank Wormella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The White Hart Hotel

Address: 23-25 Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1 1EZ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > St Albans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in St Albans
Price Range: £90 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The White Hart Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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