We booked a couple of nights (at short notice) in the Lake District between Christmas and New Year. Having done a lot of research on this site we settled on Coniston in preference to the busier locations such as Ambleside and Grasmere. We were glad that we did - Coniston is a pretty village, surrounded by great walking areas but with a choice of village pubs and small shops. Much nicer than the hustle and bustle of Ambleside. We selected the Yewdale based on more recent good reviews (which we subsequently discovered was due to an ownership change a year ago) and price/availability.
Parking on the street was fairly easy (the parking that the hotel has is very small) but I imagine it would be more of a challenge in summer. We were shown to our room upon arrival and given some local directions and advice on things to do. The room was small (Room 5), with an interior view - the bathroom even smaller. The bed was not the best (time for a new mattress).......but all-in-all considering that we were not planning on spending much time in the room it was okay (and it was clean).
The hotel bar is lively and seems to be the more popular pub in the village for locals. We also visited the bars at the Crown Inn (dead - no atmosphere, few people), The Sun (not particularly nice) and the Black Bull (good pub with local beer and the most popular with tourists). Our food experience in the Yewdale was so-so. We had dinner there on the Friday night when the pub was quite busy. The service was fine and the food was served timely. We shared a pate starter which was good (although a little more toast would be nice). My wife had the sausage and mash special ("special" I assume because the type of sausage varies - this was pork and apple). It was a good portion (three large sausages) and for pub food was fine. The disapointment was the Steak and Ale pie (which has had positive comments on this site) - I must have been unlucky. The meat was overcooked (it tasted as though it had been heated up more than once) and the pie was dry. We passed on dessert but we were offered complimentary mince pies which were much appreciated.
We did try to order dessert on our second night. After spending the early evening in Keswick we arrived back at 9pm and hoped to have a drink and dessert in the bar. Upon seeing us reviewing the dessert menu the barman went off to check for us and came back to tell us that it was too late (the kitchen closed at 9pm and it was now 9.10pm). The family sitting next to us were just served their main course as we sat down. While I understand that a kitchen has to close, cutting a slice of cake for residents 10 minutes after the closing time is not too much of an imposition and 9.10pm on a Saturday night is not that late! We tried our luck for any of the mince pies from the previous night but nothing doing!. Undaunted we went out to the car to get a fruit loaf we had bought from Brysons in Keswick that afternoon which we ate in the bar with our G&T.....delicious!!
The highlight of the Yewdale is the breakfast which is excellent - freshly prepared and served in the very pleasant cafe area. As noted by others, breakfast is served until quite late which is a big plus for us.......we arrived just before 10am on our first morning and were greeted with "you must be room 5"......clearly we were the last guests to get up! On the second morning my wife went on ahead to order. She decided to be different and order the salmon which on the menu is described as the "Posh Breakfast".......unfortunately with a French accent "Posh" is too similar to "Poach" and she was duly served poached eggs on toast! They happily replaced it however and she got her salmon. The full breakfast though is definitely the way to go....and worth coming back just for that!
Would definitely return - mainly for the location and the breakfast. Also in comparison with other Lake District properties, the price is reasonable
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Yewdale Inn is a situated in the centre of Coniston and therefore central for the scenic delights of the Lake District. Built of local stone and slate in 1896, it was once part guest house and part bank. Eight centrally heated bedrooms with en suite, tv and tea-making facilities, provide comfortable, restful accommodation, and an excellent Cumbrian breakfast starts the day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Yewdale Hotel Coniston