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“Elizabethan banquet!”

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Lumley Castle Hotel
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Elizabethan banquet!”
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We travelled to Lumley Castle on a Hanson Travel Exclusive trip.
The hotel was really lovely and you could spend a while just looking around the castle at the paintings and scultures dotted around the place. Our room was in the courtyard and was very comfortable with a lovely bathroom.
The banquet was really good fun! There was lots of singing for your supper, and the novelty of using your fingers for the different courses!! There was Elizabethan entertainment between each course and the serving of each course and clearing away was very well organised.
Lovely hotel would recommend it to anyone! Seemed very popular for weddings!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Gina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Galway, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We had a two-night stay at Lumley Castle over the Easter weekend and it was a faultless stay. We arrived late on Friday night and we missed the Elizabethan banquet so we opted for room service instead. Since it was after 10pm, all we could get was a sandwich but that suited us fine. Helen at reception was extremely friendly and welcoming. What a lovely woman! Our room was in the castle and it was beautiful. It was very large and had a four poster bed with a lovely en-suite. My only complaint is that overall, the room was very dark. (Since it's a castle, i can overlook this though :) )
The next morning we had breakfast at about 9.30. It does say to get down as early as possible because it can be very busy but we were tired from the drive the night before. Since we were last down, there was very few fruits to choose from and they were not replaced during our meal. But there was plenty of other food to choose from so can't complain too much. (Although it would be nice if they could offer granola as well as the other cereals) Later that day we went to the Beamish Open Air museum. That was fantastic, although very busy thanks to the bank holiday weekend. A couple of hours ambling was enough for us though.. we wouldn't spend a full day there. It's more of a family attraction. After our day at the museum, we headed back to the hotel where we sat in the Library bar for a quiet drink before dinner. The bar is fantastic and so atmospheric. We could have sat there there all night. Next was dinner in the Black Knight restaurant. This was the highlight of our stay. So much so, we had a THREE hour dinner. We didn't want to leave. For starters we had the scallops, and the sweet potato with pigeon. Then we had the monkfish and lamb tagine, followed by the cheese plate and meringue, washed down with a couple of bottles of chianti. What a fantastic meal! It was absolutely to die for. Our waiter Simon was very friendly and nice to chat to also.
The next morning we didn't want to check out. Would definitely recommend this hotel. (It's worth mentioning that there were THREE weddings on Saturday and two on Sunday but at no point did we feel like the weddings had taken over the hotel. Apart from a few people hanging around outside, you'd barely have known they were on.)

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank niamhanderson22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blyth, England, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

I have read a lot of reviews about Lumley castle and there are good ones and bad one's- I suppose everyone has a bad day and some people have very high expectations.
So....this is my experience- we stayed overnight in a court yard bedroom- for me the room was just fine. very Comfy Bed good size bathroom and all the standard facilities you would expect- the room was very authentic within the tradition of the castle.
We booked in on time 3pm and the desk service was very good- even though they were very busy. after dropping off our bags in the room we had a look around and found ourselves in the banquet hall as they were setting up- the staff were lovely and told us about the history of the Banquet and what we could expect. we explored the castle and found out about It's history- they did what looked like a very nice high Tea- but we went for a walk and just happed to find ourselves at the local golf club and popped in for a swift drinky poo's.
A piper played us into the vaulted bar area at 7pm and there were a good mix of people there- some dressed in Elizabethan clothes- most were not- The bar prices were as you would expect £4 a pint and £3.50 for double spirit and mixer.
The master of ceremony came in and we were ushered into the hall and sat at out tables. so, ok yes they are benches and yes the food is served at the end and passed up, but for me that was all part and parcel of the evening. the entertainment was fun and engaging as long as you did engage and not just sit there- you have to get involved...or its pointless going. the staff were very attentive and friendly -the food was basic and ok- Broth/Bread- Fish in a shell- Ribs cooked to perfection- and yes the chicken and jacket potatoes were a bit dry-the apple crumble was fine and yes the red wine was rocket fuel and the mead was......eh Mead- I guess most of it was wasted, but as a whole it was a great night out and we made new friends by sitting next to people we had never met. we enjoyed the sing-along and the banter.
Now---the only thing i was not sure about was...there was a disco on afterwards and I'm not sure that works with an Elizabethan Banquet theme--oh well- we went to bad after all it was midnight.
After a very comfy sleep- a powerful refreshing shower- we went to breakfast- great setting, great staff and really good choice of Breakfast food.
I would recommend a visit and overnight stay- keep an eye out for deals and please keep an open mind and get into the spirit of the Elizabethan Banquet- the guys really work hard, so get into what they are trying to do you will have a great time.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
452 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 497 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We returned from our holiday and were looking for somewhere to eat with relatives. We tried many of our favourite places but being Friday evening all were booked.

Lamely castle was free and when we asked a time expecting to be a reduced availability we were told any time. So we said 7pm. So reading between the lines I think what they do here is you book a table for the time you want then go to the library bar and wait until there is a free table ..so on a busy night you could be waiting a long time!

So, we wanted somewhere special to take our relatives. But there is no dress code here. Well, that's good and bad. Surely if you want somewhere to be special or have a posh up market atmosphere people need to be dressed nicely. To put this into perspective on the tables around us people were wearing football shirts ripped jeans and trainers on the other tables people were wearing sweat shirts and hoodies. A couple of women had dresses on but that was it...so a special place it isn't ..also children were playing noisy computer games so we had the constant ding ding ping ping do dee doo all night ...yes this make the visit here really special ! I would have expected the waiters to look after all guests...this was akin to the local MC Donald's not a good restaurant!

Next the food wasn't particularly good. In fact my sweet was sticky toffee pudding. The pudding was so hard I actually couldn't cut into it with my spoon and left it. We weren't even asked if our food was ok. I suspect the sticky toffee pudding was microwaved for too long hence the outer shell being very leather like!

Our bill was wrong but only by a few pounds so we didn't bother to contest it. But check yours!

The room was very cold with the doors open, I guess more to keep the staff cold than the guests as it was obvious everyone was cold as we all put our jackets on and the children on another table were being cuddled under the jackets of their parents!

All in all a pretty rubbish experience, Mc Donald's seems a more atmospheric place.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JohnSunderlandUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

Shocking customer service only interested in taking your money!
We got married here in March and after a lovely day have been left with the memory of our special wedding cards being stolen by the staff, guests being over charged in drinks the later it got and a refusal to refund money owed to us.
After several attempts of contact the castle to complain and getting nowhere as they are not interested now we have spent thousands of pounds we are now pursuing with the police.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank reidcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stoke Golding
1 review
Reviewed 15 April 2014 via mobile

I booked a feature room for my boyfriend and I as a Christmas present through Celtic Castles, who I must add are brilliant, I highly recommend them and will be using them again! This hotel/castle is truly a step back in time! If you're looking for somewhere different then this is for you! I was a little dubious and worried after reading reviews on here after booking. There were 3 weddings when we stayed there, I was able to park my car easily, sit down and have a drink in the library, staff were attentive and polite from start to finish, the rooms were warm and most importantly my boyfriend loved it which was my priority! On top of that the food and wine were delicious! We stayed in the King James Suite which was spectacular!! It truly was a medieval gem, the pictures just don't do it justice. As for people saying the rooms in the hotel are dark with undulating floors, it is an ancient castle!!!? It adds to the atmosphere and it made it great fun! The only tiny niggle we had was that the wifi was intermittent at times and a few boosters are needed around the castle. My job takes me all over the world, to some of the best hotels and I absolutely adored Lumley Castle!!

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank MissLMo83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014 via mobile

We arrived for afternoon tea with no booking and were greeted very nicely at reception and directed to the Library Bar.

The hotel is stunning, historical and ever so interesting. Female staff wear - badly fitted - period dress costume, which borders on tacky. They would look much smarter in knee-length waitress-style black dresses with aprons. It is worth noting that male staff don't wear period dress, which strikes me as odd.

We arrived at the library bar but were not greeted. In fact no-one was unless you knew the staff. We caught the eye of a waiter and asked for afternoon tea, service from this point was fine. However I saw people sit down and question what they were meant to do. Visit the bar, or stay put and wait for table service. In an establishment of this calibre, new visitors should be put at ease by being greeted and seated.

The food: delicious. The three tiered afternoon tea was at rest for the eyes as well as the mouth. A layer of sandwiches, then a fruit and cheese scone each, with cream, butter and strawberry jam, topped with a plate of small cakes. This was served with tea or coffee, and we were not charged for my tea top-up, a nice touch.

Back to the service. What a noise! The staff are quite loud, shouting drinks orders across the little bar and stomping around heavily. This is really distracting and might be acceptable in a tea shop, but not in a hotel of this calibre. Please keep the noise down. The environment should be friendly, comfortable, but discreet and with a touch of class.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Life-on-mars342
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lumley Castle Hotel

Property: Lumley Castle Hotel
Address: Chester-Le-Street, Durham DH3 4NX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#5 Romantic Hotel in Durham
#5 Family Hotel in Durham
#7 Business Hotel in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Lumley Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 74
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Also Known As:
Lumley Castle Durham
Hotel Lumley Castle
Castle Lumley
Castle Hotel Lumley

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