Having pretty much spent up our holiday budget for 2012 we decided to squeeze in a break to the lakes at the end of August. Having shopped around on the internet looking mainly at price and secondly reviews we came across the Laurel Bank.
LOCATION - Its not too near the centre of keswick but its quiet here (the road is not very busy) and the walk into town is really lovely along the tree lined old railway track.
OUR ARRIVAL - We were greeted into a typical Victorian style hallway with a very friendly welcome by both Rodney and his wife (so sorry I have forgotten the name - was it Margaret?). The place clean, was well decorated and looked after and we felt at home and relaxed. They do insist you can inform them of an arrival time however but after speaking to the owners we soon realised that having been in the business for many years, they like to plan some leisure times into their days - which is fair enough. They can accommodate any arrival time - even if it means leaving keys with the neighbouring b&b. They welcomed our 2 year old with joy as they have a similar aged grandson.
PARKING - Brilliant, there is a private car park to the rear of the property with a space per room.
ROOMS - Well, what can I say. Maybe we are used to more raw outdoor surroundings but our room was fantastic. We were on the top floor on the road side. Double room plus a single bed and room for a travel cot. When we opened the door they had already provided a cot which saved us bringing in our own from the car. They said they could provide sheets for the cot as well but we had already got our own up with us. The two windowed room was very tastefully decorated, a red theme. Very very comfy bed. Quiet (perhaps because of 2nd floor??), and exceptionally clean - we actually found ourselves looking for faults and struggled to find anything. Same goes for the en suite room. Plenty of space, decent sink, clean toilet (probably ALDI loo rolls like in our house!!! lol) and and electric shower. I sometimes doubt electric showers when it comes to power, but no - proven wrong again, this shower was powerful, as hot or cold as you wanted it and free shampoo and conditioner was provided too. We did see into another room during our stay whilst walking past and it seems that all rooms are decorated very similar and to the same high standard.
EXTRAS - One day we decided to walk in Whinlatter forest and used the 'Packed Lunch' service that they offer. Margaret (I think???) provides this service on a very casual basis and will try and cater for every need. ie... this is what we have in - what would you like?? They will try and cater for every need - ie. muddy boots etc. - just ask.
MUFFINS - Margaret makes very low fat Muffins (too low fat for me - I have a sweet tooth) but my partner LOVED them - they are extremely moist and ours have big blueberries in them!
WI-FI - Worked brill - even in the top floor rooms, cant say much more.
BREAKFAST - Absolutely fine. There is a menu which includes a range of Fish choices (not always offered in some places) and although I don't fancy fish in the morning, Im sure it would have been nice. Everything expected is offered - unlimited cereal, fruits both fresh and in syrup, yoghurt's are not on the counter but you just need to ask. Orange, Milk etc.... Full English breakfast was good but I wasn't too sure about the sausage (which is not a complaint - I can be a bit fussy about my sausages - I have my select favourites!). Again everything expected on an English plate was on offer. Do not feel you need to stick to the menu - any mix will be catered for - ie. Scrambled egg and black pudding on toast if that's what you want! Our 2 year old son was catered for well - we just game him cereal and a spare plate was available for bits of toast / sausage etc.. We guessed that they like to shop at ALDI - who may I say do some great bacon and the creamiest yoghurt's!
SUPRISE - It was my birthday on the Thursday and through secret messages Rodney managed to come in to breakfast with a muffin containing a candle singing Happy Brithday!
VALUE - We are not used to paying more than a mere camp-site fee so we had to find good value. To be honest, for the service, welcome, room and overall experience I would challenge anybody to find better for the price we paid. I can see why the reviews of this place are all biased so high.
Thank you to Rodney and Margaret (??) for a wonderful stay.
If we ever decide to do another keswick visit without the trailer tent, then we will be seeing you again if you'll have us.
PLEASE TRY THIS PLACE
Chris, Hayley & Joel
The two front rooms I think are the largest with the top floor front room being the one we stayed in...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.