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“Disappointing”

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Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2012 via mobile

Arrived to a warm welcome then taken to our room which was quite small with a tiny bathroom (disappointed there was no bath) the only plus point was a lovely comfortable bed. We decided to have dinner in the restaurant and went for the 2 course summer menu which was very poor with no taste (ginger ice cream was nice) breakfast was good but only after we were almost home we realised we had been charged £ 68 for dinner which didn't include any wine. The room wasn't cheap so with the dinner fiasco feel really ripped off!!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jm3287
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 3 July 2012
Hello readers,

Grumps (short for grumpy old bu**er) here responding to, what we think. is a totally unjustified review.

First we have to point out that if you purchase a last minute economy airline ticket you cannot expect to be upgraded to first class. It's about getting what you pay for. Room upgrades are not a rite of passage.

Unlike airlines if we do have better rooms available on the night we do upgrade our guests. These guests booked on a Saturday night when we are always full and they were put in the room purchased.

ALL our bedrooms have King sized beds (no "four foot six jobbies" here!) which means the rooms have to accommodate them comfortably and yes our classic rooms are not the largest in the house but they are comfortable. We have stayed in a lot smaller rooms in our lifetime. The reviewers failed to say what wonderful views over the fells they had from their room-priceless!

One thing they did get right was the comfort of the bed. All double sprung with fine Egyption cotton linen which gives, we hope, a wonderful nights sleep.

Finally onto the food. We are amazed that they felt the food was tasteless, something other guests certainly do not agree with. It is true that they selected two courses but then chose to have an extra dessert course (Hence the comments about the ginger ice cream!) They therefore had a three, not two, course meal for £64.00, not £68.00 equating to £32.00 per head which is outstanding value for a two rosette restaurant.

"Most nasty reviews are done by hidden guests that do not make themselves known. This is our business and we do take all criticism very seriously, but we are finding it harder to do so away from mysterious, scared guests who won't even share their experience with us at the restaurant but decide to hide behind a mask and type away to their heart's content.

"We always invite guests to give us their opinion for good and bad comments. We like to call it customer feedback. Why don't people talk to us restaurateurs and hoteliers any more when they have a gripe or are dissatisfied? We do understand that our food is not going to suit all palates and that, for us, surely is part of the whole adventure."

We try our hardest to give the best possible experience we can but these types of review not only hurt but are factually incorrect.

There, Grumps has got it off his chest.

Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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620 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Tyne and Wear
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2012

Excellent quality and presentation of food. Having stayed one night via Travel Zoo promotion, we'ed certainly return for the food alone. The setting is lovely, down the long drive nestled next to the picturesque River Nent. Walks from the hotel carpark in 3 directions and all way marked.

Room Tip: We were in room 1: enormous bed and nice view to side of property with river Nent.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NewRecruits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MAGGIE50CLE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Millups
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank happycamper78London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
488 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 340 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank joan t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, England
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AmeliaLeeds
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

Property: 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 13 B&Bs / Inns in Alston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel 3*
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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