Dalston Hall would be getting four stars if its price structure had been a little more realistic. It isn't really a £130-a-night hotel and the menu is incredibly over-priced - and we live in London! This is an historic hotel, with an interesting past - I'll let you delve further. It's reputed to be a haunted dwelling but if, like me, you don't believe in all that nonsense, you'll find this a relaxing stopover. Rooms could do with a little updating. This isn't a boutique hotel, although it could do with a few boutique flourishes. Our bath was from the 80s, the ceiling was peeling and throughout the room are messages of warning: don't put anything other than toilet roll down the toilet; no smoking in bedrooms... and I think there's a £200 deposit required if you want to drink wine in the room. In 2014, we know how to behave in a hotel room. We're not Keith Moon.
Il Divo was pumped through the main hall on a loop - this doesn't add to the atmosphere, but rather detracts. We thought that the hall should be used to seat diners, rather than have us eat in an extension to the side of the building. The menu was shockingly dear and this meant we couldn't afford to eat here for two nights on the trot. However, the food that reaches your table is very, very good and the staff are superb. The chef was given the night off on Sunday - this restaurant could be full every night by being a bit more reasonable with the price structure. In London, you won't spend more than £10 on risotto. But they're a very friendly bunch in Dalston Hall, and the two lads serving in the bar are courteous and quick to serve your drinks.
The rooms are quiet and beds wide and comfy. The hotel is delightfully warm even in the grip of winter. We didn't see a single ghost, but then again, you're not going to! Breakfast is included in the price and is very good, and throughout your stay you'll no doubt come across the owner - he made us feel welcome and was a friendly person to see around the place. Dalston Hall is a fantastic base to explore the area. You don't need a car. It's a 20-minute walk into Dalston, but go in your wellies or walking boots because there isn't a pavement for half the distance. Cars go like the clappers along this stretch of road, too. We walked into Carlisle on Sunday morning. It's five miles. Go out of the entrance, turn left, take your first left, and this will lead you to the Cumbrian Way. It's a well-used pathway and one of the things you'll notice is that in Carlisle, everyone says hello to you. In an hour and half, you'll be sipping a Starbucks on Scotch Street. A most enjoyable yomp.
We'd love to return, but this needs to be £90/£100 a night. The hotel was empty on Sunday, and it really shouldn't be. Still, we had a great time. Taxis from the train station are £10. But bring your walking boots and save some money! A good alternative to the expensive menu is The Thin White Duke at 1 Devonshire Street, Carlisle. Battered halloumi could end up being the death of me, but it was mega! With ch-ch-ch-chunky chiiiips! And visit Carlisle Castle - an excellent history lesson.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A unique 4 Star hotel nestling in the heart of the beautiful Cumbria, just 10 minutes yet a million miles away from the vibrant City of Carlisle, this magnificent Grade II listed Hotel provides the finest luxury coupled with discreet yet friendly service from the resident owners and their team. The perfect place to stay. Thirteen individually designed, lavishly furnished suites and bedrooms. The perfect choice for fine dining. Exquisite cuisine complemented by a splendid cellar. The perfect choice for weddings and celebrations of all kinds, be they on a grand scale or rather more intimate. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dalston Hall Carlisle
- Dalston Hall Hotel Carlisle, Cumbria