Returning regularly to a hotel is its best endorsement and Lumley Castle is no exception. We popped up again initially for an overnight stay to visit aged relations on the coast but stayed an extra night. The hotel wasn't full so this time we were allocated a room in the main castle building as opposed to the Courtyard rooms, which are comfortable anyway. Our room this time in the main building was comfy and pretty well equipped although there were signs of cutbacks in the toiletries department and the room had only a shower but it wasn't a problem really. Because of the age of the building (and the plumbing) you have to expect and live with a few quirks but that kind of adds to the charm of the place. The bed, however, was large and comfortable and a good night's sleep was assured.
The restaurant, as usual, was very good indeed and I say this despite making a naff choice on our second night's dinner of stone bass and a mash of fennel and beetroot. The latter was near to horrid - simply not to my taste - and the fish (unusually for Lumley, a measly single fillet) was cooked okay. The white asparagus was fresh (top marks) but was virtually raw - I think the kitchen were aiming for al dente, but missed by a couple of minutes cooking time. I prefer this vegetable to be cooked through. The starters though were delicious on both nights and both our initial dinners were excellent. We declined puddings and desserts; apart from a lemon drizzle pudding nothing tempted us to increase our waistlines further. One niggle (not just with Lumley but a lot of English hotels) is there insistence on offering only English cheeses often with silly names like Stinking Parson's Fag End or Bucket's End Creamery Blue. Invariably these 'boutique' type cheeses end up being served freezing cold and are, as a result, tasteless anyway. The ones I've tried at a proper temperature leave a heck of a lot to be desired often was flabby flour or too much acid. So Lumley and everyone else; please at least offer some proper Stilton or mature aged Cheddar or Cheshire. But really, please, please put some good French, Italian and Spanish cheeses on the menu.
Breakfasts are terrific; Lumley do one of the best eggs Benedict I've ever eaten and the full English is, well, very full and un-greasy. The sausages and bacon are excellent without a trace of saltiness. Staff as usual were lovely, attentive, chatty and helpful. In short then another pleasant stay. We will be back.
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- Also Known As:
- Lumley Castle Durham
- Hotel Lumley Castle
- Castle Lumley
- Castle Hotel Lumley