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“Quick bite with the family” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cross Keys

Cross Keys
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4.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   32 High Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1AX, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 14 Saffron Walden B&B and Inns
Little Wilbraham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Quick bite with the family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

After a trip out with my wife, daughter, grand daughter and mother-in-law we called in at the above. It was early Saturday evening at around 5.30pm and the place was busy; nearly always a good sign, though it can backfire sometimes. Not this time though as everything we had was excellent; all freshly cooked and really tasty. We will be going again and I do hope they keep Doom Bar on the ales list as this was a very good beer!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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73 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
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    8
    6
    4
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15
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012 via mobile

We needed somewhere to stay on a journey between Cambridge and London, was a last minute decision based on a Google search and it was fantastic! The room was fantastic, wonderful character, beamed ceiling and panelled walls. The pub staff were very friendly when we didn't seem to know where to park/what we were doing! The food was amazing, well presented, full of flavour and the service was excellent! After the best night sleep we've had in a long time (the pillows/duvet/mattress were all incredible) breakfast was also top class, served in the coffee shop with a lovely selection of teas, coffees, everything! Suffice to say I'm looking forward to the next time we get the excuse to head through saffron so we can stop again!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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East Anglia UK
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

This was the second Sunday in a row that we have been to The Cross Keys. Last Sunday we had the carvery, which my husband enjoyed but I felt that the vegetables were a bit too limited. Peas and roasted veg, i.e. carrots, peppers and onions. The potatoes were also not crisp and the meat was coming to the end at 2 p.m. Desserts were very good. Today he wanted to have the carvery again, but I had decided to have something different. At 2.30 we were told the meat had run out, despite lunch being served until 5 p.m. He chose calves liver and bacon and I chose rock shrimp in tempura batter with a portion of chips. The calves liver was full of veins and very chewy. Hardly any gravy, as is the trend now, so dry. My rock prawns were tiny and encased in batter that was uncooked and wet inside and oily outside. The chips were overcooked and dark brown. Desserts were again delicious. I told the waiter when he collected our plates about the prawns, and he said 'I'll tell the chef'. I hope he does, but I would not risk this dish again. The place was full and there is a really good atmosphere. The young staff are friendly and very pleasant. However, if the food is not good, it won't last and the owners need to get to grips with this.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Langkawi, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I'll be quick. If you take a moment to read my review of the Eight Bells, you'll know I know Walden well. I've lived here since 1974, so I remember when the Cross Keys was the place you DIDN'T go!

What a transformation! The huge refurb has been tastefully executed, mixing a little bit of modern in a very old environment. Features like the fireplace have been kept and the atmosphere is fantastic. It's the kind of place you could relax for a whole afternoon after eating your roast at the carvery.

The food: being put on a stupid gluten-free diet by my doctor the only option for me that wasn't meat was a risotto. This was a little frustrating and I hope their menu becomes more accommodating for those with special dietary requirements. I went for it anyway. Well I can honestly say it was one of the best risottos I have had in a very long time! My brother, who went for a roast, said it was 'ok', but complained the potatoes were a little hard in the middle. He was pleasantly surprised that they had a carvery, however. Nice touch.

We relaxed and drank with a couple of friends and must have spent four hours in there - the longest time I have ever spent in the Cross Keys, testament to the great turn-around they have achieved with this place,

The only thing that let it down was at the very end: a distracted owner-manager (his words, not mine) took no interest in my compliments or comments. I told him how good the risotto was and how polite and professional all the staff were, but he had little to say other than to expedite the credit-card payment. We tipped well after confirming that the credit card gratuity would be seen by all the staff, but he said little and kept looking over his shoulder.

My advice would be for the owner-manager to just remain the owner, and allow someone else to manage front of house. Perhaps someone who takes a bit of interest in developing a relationship with their potentially life-long, loyal, local customers who may just return time and again to this cosy, friendly establishment.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

My wife and I had an an overnight stay with breakfast at the Hotel.

When we booked in (on a busy, cold, rainy Saturday lunchtime) the place was very busy, with everyone rushing about serving lunch, drinks etc. Despite this we found the staff to be very helpful and courteous. The faciities in our room were excellent, it was spotlessly clean and our bed was very comfortable. After an excellent nights sleep our breakfast was more than ample and freshly cooked. There was nothing not to like about the place.

Our stay represented excellent value for money and we would most certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Salamander Bay, Australia
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

Five of us had the fixed price lunch at £12 for two courses and £15 for three courses. These were very good value with a good choice of items and very large portions, even for the small plates. The desserts could not be finished - doggy bags for the brownies! The restaurant was very busy, on a Monday.
The refurbished rooms were not viewed but the restaurant has been nicely renovated while maintaining the 'olde worlde' charm in this sixteenth century building. A criticism may be that there is not a separate bar for those who only want a quiet drink. That would not be possible under the present setup.
Service was professional and prompt.
Overall, good value for money spent.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

My friend and I have just been to the Cross keys for their well advertised "Sunday carvery". We were greeted very nicely by the front of house but once seated the experience quickly went down hill. The carvery food was average- some burnt veg and very dry beef. Once we had finished our lunch our plates continued to sit infront of us for at least 30minutes. The staff hurried around but never seemed to attend any tables. We also over heard that with the carvery you got a free desert. Seeing as our plates and empty glasses were still on the table we decided to pay up and leave. Will not be going there again.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cross Keys

Address: 32 High Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1AX, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Saffron Walden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Saffron Walden
Hotel Class:4 star — Cross Keys 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Cross Keys Saffron Walden, Essex

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