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“An unexpected delight”

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Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“An unexpected delight”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2012

Last minute decision to book here, and so glad we did. Our room was large and comfortable (a bit tired) and when the hot water didn't work they immediately gave us the key to use another room. The surroundings are lovely and peaceful and it's a really nice walk along the river into Alston. We had a half-price deal for accommodation and to be honest if we'd paid full price we'd have been disappointed. But the food was the star of the show, probably the best we've ever had. I've eaten in Michelin star places which weren't as good. We stayed there over a month ago and I still think about the kedgeree for breakfast! Although they didn't have kippers either morning, and my husband's eggs florentine were distinctly over-cooked the second morning. The petits fours with coffee were beautiful, and probably the bargain of the year. Service, although friendly, could be a little slicker. The hotel is halfway on a journey we make often so we'd definitely stay again, esp as we know about the gourmet deals which we'll look out for!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank sauzie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 19 July 2012
Once in a while we get reviews that give us that warm feeling of a job well done. This is one of those occassions. Thank you so much-bargain of the year, Michekin standard....words fail us!
we look forward to your return.
Sicereley.
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

Traveller rating
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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
Rugby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2012

During June2012 my wife and I toured Cumbria and the south of Scotland. Only for 8 days and the weather was some of the worst we have encountered.Fortunately we had been able to plan a bit of a gastronomic treat and stayed at high quality hotels. All were really excellent and we enjoyed everyone ( see other reviews) However there is always a winner and overall Lovelady shield in our opinion is it. We did not even meet the owner, which is unusual, but we think he had his mind on other things such as an AA food inspector to give them an extra star. The hotel and grounds are even just a little tired but something about the welcome, the surroundings and especially the 8 course taster menu we had just took the biscuit, combined with the best full Cumbrian breakfast I certainly have ever had . Try this place you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Its not just a hotel room you are booking you must enjoy the food too. That is more than just excell...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank benno448
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
Dear Benno,

Thank you so much for your kind comments.
It makes such good reading after the previous review. It really does puzzle us sometimes when guests such as yourselves say our food is so good and then the next says its tasteless. How is a restauranter to make sense of it all?
Believe us when we say we are so grateful.
Come back to "The Winner" soon!
Kind regards.
Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2012

We stayed on the wettest weekend of the year, but had booked for its location in the middle of now where and it's fires as we intended to do nothing but stay in and read our books. Our room was fantastic! It had beautiful views out of the windows an with a sofa and four poster bed what more could you need. Breakfast was delicious and lunch was soup and sandwhiches with a bottle of wine, just what we wanted. Tea was great especially the port and cheese board. Couldn't recommend it more will be going again! The perfect place to unwind

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mrstomo15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
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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
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
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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
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    • Cleanliness
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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
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Helpful?
Thank Millups
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
Reservation Options:
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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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