Due to the sensitive nature of our visit I have delayed reviewing the Keelman. We visited in mid July. It was a family visit, made up of several couples. We stayed a few days here.
The Keelman has quite a few nice features such as its' own brewary and it is very close to a local popular park. Many people stopped when walking there dogs for a bit of a rest in the garden area. Sometimes the outside area got quite crowded. When brewing we did notice the traditional bar area had a very distinctive smell. There is also a mezzanine area upstairs where tables are laid out for meals. I did find it quite dark but this is part of the feature of the building as it is obviously quite old.
There is a large glass sided conservatory area where tables are laid out for meals and breakfast. The glass could do with a spring clean. It was very popular. We found the meals to be quite good pub grub. However, after a few days we felt like we could do with a change. Unfortunately, there are very few options locally in Newbarn to compete with the Keelman. This makes the Keelman have that 'well used' feel about it both in and outside in the public areas. I just felt it was a bit trampled and tired despite an obvious effort in the garden as I did see someone gardening. Just the number of people using it are having a negative effect.
I think breakfast was very expensive for what was on offer. I am saddened that bed and breakfast is no longer the 'package' it once was and now most establishments seem to favour offering 'continential' at a price and 'full breakfast' at an additional price. I find this flexible arrangement not such good value for money. I had two poached eggs and toast on recommendation and it was nice but at the same cost as full breakfast??
There are two separate accommodation blocks from the old brewary building. Some of my relatives stayed in the rooms just beside the pub and car park. I belive there is an accessible room, I did not see it but it might be helpful to note. I think the first rooms are in this block. ( say 1-5??) I noticed the family room my relatives were allocated was very spacious and neat. The room was very dark though, even in the day. There is a very well established hedge at the back of the building which restricts the light quite a bit. The bathroom was clean but I was always very concerned about the smell of damp which was very strong in the room. I could not have stayed the night there because of it and it would have been a bit of an issue for me.
We stayed in the second accommodation block which is down a little path from the pub making it a bit further away. The room was again quite spacious and clean. There were nice windows looking out that could be opened. Some care and thought had clearly been put into the renovation of this building and it was very pleasant making me feel quite guilty leaving my relatives in the other building!! The current picture demonstrating the Keelman is a picture of this second block of accommodation.
This place has great potential and due to the current lack of competition and location is really sucessful. The meals were lovely. I wouldn't say there was anything special about the service to commend it but we had no issues here at all.
However, overall I wouldn't stay here again although popping in for lunch is good if you can find a table!!
- Also Known As:
- The Keelman`s Hotel Newcastle Upon Tyne
- The Keelman`s Hotel