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“What a waste of money!”

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The Cross Keys Hotel
Ranked #2 of 13 Saffron Walden B&B and Inns
essex
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“What a waste of money!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2013

We ate here at lunchtime. I had a huge chunk of ciabatta with a thin layer of cranberry jelly, wafer thin pears and some sort of cheese. It was tasteless. My husband chose haddock rarebit and even after the waitress insisted that "everyone likes this!" we disagree! Small portion made cold by sitting on huge cold sliced tomatoes. What a pretentious restaurant. Do not waste your time and money hoping that I have got it wrong!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank elvisEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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233 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    85
    86
    28
    19
    15
See reviews for
56
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19
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

We stayed overnight at the Cross Keys, which is basically a restaurant with rooms upstairs. It is located right in the middle of Saffron Walden; there is limited but free parking at the rear. It is a historic building which has been nicely renovated.
Our room was pretty quiet; the building, being old, is not fully soundproofed, but the restaurant downstairs stops taking orders at 9 and is locked up by 10, so the sounds from below (which are not too obtrusive anyway) die away. It was compact but well equipped, with items like a hairdryer, electric heater (there is also central heating) a coffee maker and a clock/radio with an iPod dock. There were only two accessible free power sockets, but the staff provided us with a multiplug. There were some maintenance issues: the window did not close properly, the tap in the bathroom was rather loose, as was the toilet seat. When I reported those to the staff when we checked out, they were already aware of them - I got the impression that the management were rather slack on repair issues,
The food in the restaurant was very good. The menu had a pretty broad selection, with some good blackboard specials, though a number of fish dishes were 'off' on the night, as was a favourite dessert. Our starters, mains and desserts were all well cooked, well presented and had good flavour - a very pleasant meal. The atmosphere in the restaurant is quite cosy, and the service was reasonably attentive and friendly, without being obtrusive. Breakfast in the morning was equally good.
Overall, we were very happy with our stay. A bit more attention to simple maintenance issues - the problems in our room would probably take a handyman 15 minutes to fix - would really improve the overall impression of the place.

Room Tip: Room 3 is at the back, away from all roads and very quiet. Rooms 4-6 are on a side street; 1 & 2...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ngarara23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013 via mobile

Don`t waste your money! Food awful, staff poor - won't go there again. Seven of us tried the Sunday lunch following a lovely birthday celebration at home, and it was a disaster. The meat was tough and all gristle, it was not cut from joints and when it was sent back the chef wanted to know why.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Eddie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
280 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

After waiting aorund 15-20 minutes as they were full in the bar, The food here is very tasty but I do see they are missing a trick, some dishes only come with vegetables or potato, when a lot of other places offer potato and vegetables, this would be my prefered option. The steak and ale stew I had was very tasty with very good meat and I can't fault it. I personally feel they could charge a couple of pound less for what you get but there is no issue on quality. One problem some people might have trouble with is reading the text on the menu due to the handwriting style font used,

The ordering system is a plus point you do get nice fast service due to the use of technology and it's clear things are cooked to order from the time it took to arrive.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

I was not impressed at all with the prices or the food. Very average. The young girl who served us was very pleasant but rushed us. The Mediterranean vegatble soup had vegetables cut into literally inch square pieces which left not much space in the bowl for soup and they were not cooked well. We sat at a table for 2 were one seat was in the walk way which was very busy with customers and waitresses. It was very off putting as people kept brushing up against you. Too many covers in a small area. Staff stood smoking outside who went back into work without washing their hands. Generally over priced and unenjoyable experience.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank AshleyBuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2013

We arrived at 6pm intending to take advantage of the cheaper menu (before 6.30) However once we were shown the specials we could not resist the scallops with parma ham and parsnip puree. These were served on slates and looked extremely appetizing - they were wonderful - cooked to perfection. Fish and chips portion was huge and my chicken breast with risotto had a wonderful flavour and perfect texture. Too full for desserts (shame) We took a note of the wine as we enjoyed it so much. Service with a smile and great to find a 'different' selection of food out in the depths of Essex. A welcome change from the usual Pizza and Pasta style chains of restaurants found everywhere.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelswithfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poznan, Poland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2013

North Essex in general, and Saffron Walden in particular, is not currently a culinary oasis, but it does have several good to very good restaurants and gastropubs, where one will eat well on a consistent basis. The Cross Keys is very pleasant, the service friendly and very well-intentioned, the food first rate if not genuinely memorable. I didn't stay in the hotel, but did eat there twice, both times in the terrace area (during warm summer days). Very, very good -- and given its ambitions likely to continue to improve. Definitely worth a try if you haven't tried it already.

Room Tip: The High Street in Saffron Walden is never going to be much of a noise maker, but if you are sensiti...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew_in_Poznan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Cross Keys Hotel

Property: The Cross Keys Hotel
Address: 32 High Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1AX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Saffron Walden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Saffron Walden
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Cross Keys Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cross Keys Hotel dates back some 650 years and is one of the most important buildings architecturally and commercially in the centre of Saffron Walden. This beautiful Grade II* listed building was fully restored and renovated in 2012, re-opened on the Diamond Jubilee weekend. Now offering 6 wonderful en suite bedrooms in the main period building plus 3 new luxury en suite boutique bedrooms in The Cobblers Barn, offer handmade pocket sprung mattresses, duck down toppers, crisp bed linen and are loaded with old characterful beams and charm. All the comforts of today are here as well - in each room you will find a flat screen television , Nespresso coffee machines, free wifi, phone and iPad charging points and some rooms with air conditioning. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Cross Keys Hotel Saffron Walden, Essex

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