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“Homely & Memorable”

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Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 14 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2012

My husband & I booked a one night stay (using a Travelzoo offer) to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary on the actual date of our anniversary - so we were hoping that it was special. We were not disappointed. From the moment we arrived the member of staff who greeted us made us feel that nothing was too much trouble. We were shown to Room 9 - four poster bed, couch, lovely en-suite - all we could possibly require and more. Our room had a great view up the garden and out into the open countryside. We were given a copy of our Seven Course Taster Menu for our forthcoming dinner that evening and it sounded really enticing however some of the ingredients were things I could not eat (although I liked them). I was really disappointed because I had, as requested emailed ahead with dietary requirements and I had received a reply. Therefore it troubled me a little as there were about 3 courses which contained ingredients I could not eat. Not being someone who likes to make a fuss I was reluctant to say anything however as this was a very special occasion I felt I should and eventually I spoke with another member of staff who introduced me to the chef. At this time there was only about two hours before dinner. Chef put me totally at ease and he almost redesigned the menu to suit my 'tummy'! I don't think many chefs would be so accommodating. When we had dinner later and it was faultless. Not large portions but beautifully put together both in taste and presentation. (Home made breads were mouth wateringly good). We left the dining room very happy and satisfied. The service was good and attentive, just one small glitch - for one course we did not receive our 'paired' wine until after we had finished that course.
The dining room and all the seating areas are comfortable and cosy. Yes as others have commented, there are some 'tired corners' such as the garden which really does need a bit of TLC. However you have to be very 'picky' to let these small things devalue the whole experience.
Breakfast was out of this world. One of the most extensive menus we have ever had the pleasure to choose breakfast from, my kedgeree was outstandingly delicious. The serving staff at breakfast were extremely attentive, friendly and efficient. At check out I believe I was dealt with by the proprietor who in previous feedback has been described as a 'bit grumpy'. Nothing could be further from the truth from my experience. He was charming and quite humorous. I certainly 'left the premises' with a smile on my face and the thought that we would soon return.

Room Tip: Room 9 for a romantic trip
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MAGGIE50CLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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566 - 572 of 688 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2012

A last minute decision to head for the North of England led us to this wonderful place through the KGB discount system.
From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left.....we were very well looked after.
Our room was very spacious and the bed large and comfortable.
Two things would mark the experience down slightly and that was that the En Suite was a little small but who stays in the bathroom long enough to worry about such things on holiday? and secondly, although clean, the carpet in the restaurant needs to be replaced as spillages have taken their toll over the years it has been laid.
The staff (all of them) were always polite and helpful.
I do not say this lightly....The food was, without any doubt, the best I have ever eaten in a UK hotel of this standard. The Chef would not come out to front of house to accept his praise which was a little dissapointing but staff said this was normal for him.
The two days we were there was memorable and we will go back to eat there, if not to stay should we find ourselves in the area. A seven course taster menu left us bewildered that such food could come from the kitchen of a Hotel not rated higher than it is. Breakfast was exceptional too with the Eggs Florentine being amazing!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Millups
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2012

The hotel is set in a valley with beautiful surroundings. The hotel is clean and functional with 3 different sitting areas for guests downstairs next to the dining room. The staff are friendly and couldn't be more helpful. We had issues with room allocated and were moved without any fuss. Had dinner one night in the restaurant which was delicious - not sure how good value for money it is (we had a deal on it and it was good value). I would certainly stay here again and recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank happycamper78London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2012

We recently stayed at the lovelady shield hotel with a Travelzoo offer, 7 course tasting menu and wine. The hotel is in a beautiful location, even though the rain was pouring and the mist did nothing to enhance the scenery, (yes, in June). The person who booked us in, was aware that I had informed them that I do not eat cheese, and explained that alternatives would be offered. Our room meant we had the view as per the professional photo above, overlooking the croquet lawn and fountains, which was beautiful. I agree, some parts of the hotel are looking a little tired but this did not distract from the trip. I believe that you get what you pay for, and on this occasion, I think you get far more than that.
We were dreading the pre-dinner drinks (as we also consider ourselves to be grumpy and do not like to socialise), but there were plenty of places to sit and enjoy our drinks.
The dinner was faultless and the wines ok (sorry Peter, but my unrefined palette definitely preferred your wife's choice of wine!). My husband will source the smoked goats cheese from the internet and we were provided with the recipe for the flat bread which was served with the cheese course (I did receive an alternative too).
After dinner, contrary to our standard behaviour, we met a charming couple from Miami, Florida and chatted into the wee hours, without feeling pressured into purchasing drinks etc. Again, we thought the wine list was extensive and very reasonably priced.
Finally, the breakfast was the best we have ever eaten. We have visited Michelin starred restaurants and recently stayed at The Hand and Flowers, but the breakfast there did not touch this one.
Overall, an excellent trip, beautiful location, fantastic food, and knowledgable staff. We would recommend.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank joan t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2012

We chose this hotel through a red letter day gift. The hotel was clean and . functional but not special. We were put in a very small attic room, was this because we were using a gift card. We decided not to eat there as seemed too formal. We were pleased we made this decision. However, breakfast was very tasty. The area was also lovely. Not hugely impressed.

Room Tip: Don't have the attic room.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AmeliaLeeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2012

I booked a weekend for my partner, sister and her husband. Although I expected great scenery, I was surprised at how breathtaking the scenery was. The rooms are fine - nothing special but lean and functional. Staff were exceptionally friendly andd efficient. The highlight of my trip was the breakfast. I 've travelled the world over and it takes a lot to impress me. Lovelady Shield managed it with their outstanding breakfast choice and quality. Only a short drive from impressive sections of Hadrian's wall and Nothumberland National Park it was an ideal weekend.
Well done. I will certainly be back.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank 1000_Angela_1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2012

We stayed here following the purchase of the gourmet tasting menu TravelZoo voucher (my first ever TravelZoo purchase)

Booking our dates hotel was really simple and everything was clearly explained to us. Finding the hotel was really easy, the scenery all the way was beautiful. The service at the hotel was so welcoming. I had informed when I booked that I don't eat beef, when I checked-in this was confirmed and queried whether I would be happy with a lamb alternative. This lamb was superb. No words can describe how much I enjoyed this along with the rest of the courses on the gourmet tasting menu. The wines that were paired with each course were all so wonderful.

The room we were given was clean and beautiful with a stunning vista from every window.

Additionally, I was able to get an emergency supply of toothpaste from reception after I accidentally brushed my teeth with shaving cream - thank you so much again for your help!

I have and would highly recommend this hotel, the staff, the food, the location to everyone. I'm so glad I bought the TravelZoo voucher otherwise I would never have known such a beautiful place exists. And I'll definitely be purchasing from TravelZoo again!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SujataG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel

Address: Lovelady Lane, Alston CA9 3LX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Alston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Alston
Price Range: £87 - £118 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
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Also Known As:
Lovelady Shield Country Hotel
Lovelady Shield Country Alston
Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel Alston, Cumbria

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