Do NOT even conisder this hotel if you have a toddler or young baby.
The room was shabby, the service only just adequate and we were made to feel like second class citizens.
Our son is two and on booking this fact was discussed. I made it clear that although he sleeps through the night at home, it could not be guaranteed if he was in a strange environment. Indeed, I did not book the Saturday night preceding the London marathon out of consideration for other guests.
On arrival at just after 6 pm on Thursday evening we were shown to our room. There was indeed a quarter bottle of sparkling wine (French, but not champagne). There were also fresh flowers and a bowl of apples.
However, there was also peeling wallpaper, and the floor under the bed was disgusiting. It was at least an inch think in dust and fluff and included such delights as a used sock, bag and slipper belonging to a previous occupant. Our son had been provided with a blow-up mattress.
This was adequate but hardly conducive to a good night's sleep. As for our bed, it should have been thrown out years ago. It rocked and squeaked every time you moved which drove us both mad. The bed linen was well-worn and the pillowcases had holes in them. Furthermore, there was no decent mattress protector. I am 19 weeks' pregnant and put towels underneath me in case of any problems with my waters breaking - just in case. I would hate to leave a soiled bed but can only guess at what previous occupants might have done. The curtains were shabby, unlined and did not meet and the window would not shut. There was no means of locking your door - one has to presume that other guests are honest.
The meal at £25 a head was merely adequate for the money. I would have expected the bottle of Semillon Chardonnay to be chilled and the food not to actually be out on the table when we sat down at 8.05 pm (dinner was at 8 pm).
We all had a dreadful night's sleep (not assisted by the fact that the previous occupant had set the alarm at 6 a.m and this had not been altered - our son awoke and would not go back to sleep as the room was light.)
Breakfast was at 9 am so we occupied our son by reading him stories and then my husband took him for a walk in the garden. Mrs Shepherd made a particularly friendly comment about him waking up so early. What do you expect in a hotel? Is everyone supposed to sleep until 8.30 a.m? He was no noisier than any other two year old. He was kept in the room, was not alllowed to run around, and sat up in bed with us reading stories.
His voice is piping but that, I am afraid, is that.
At breakfast our son talked to other guests and sat up at the table to eat his breakfast. He is perfectly capable of eating with a knife, fork and spoon and is well-mannered - saying please and thank you, and asking permission to get down from the table. He is not, however, as capable of conducting himself as an adult, and does drop food on the table.
That evening we arrived back at the hotel and discovered our quarter bottle of "Champagne" had been removed. Seemingly if you do not feel like drinking it on arrival then you cannot have it the next night! We went to bed early as we feared Alexander would wake early again. The Shepherds received guests at gone 10 pm which woke us all up. There are stripped wood floors everywhere - including the stairs (perhaps, given the shabby nature of the rooms they also cannot afford good good quality stair runners) which means that the whole hotel echoes. The Shepherds' dog enjoyed a good bark at the new visitors.
We felt that this was fair though. We did not expect the hotel to be totally silent and we are well aware that not everyone keeps to the same hours. However, we did expect a bit of give and take. The Shepherds' private room was next to ours and when my husband and son went to use the bathroom the next morning (at 6.40 a.m - after another sleepness night) my son was told by Mrs Shepherd to "get back in his room as other guests were sleeping". My husband and son needed to use the lavatory. They were not playing football on the landing!
Mrs Shepherd had advised us that "perhaps Alexander might like breakfast at 8.45" the folllowing morning. In other words, we were being segregated. The whole affair was rushed as her other guests were breakfasting at 9 am, and we had one bowl of scrambled eggs (burnt) between two adults and only 3 half slices of toast. I noted on departure when I went to say good morning to another guest that the second sitting had been provided with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, plus an apple tart. How sad. Smoked salmon is one of my son's favourite foods but we were obviously not worthy of it.
We paid our money (which incidentally is as good as everyone else's) and left. I will ensure that I tell everyone how badly we were treated and will advise my friends that another B&B would be a better choice.
Shepherds is shabby chic run by an inveterate snob. I too have travelled extensively and have lived all over the world. I, however, have learnt tolerance and respect for others which sadly the propritetor of this hotel has not. Foreign visitors please take note.
Our country is wonderful and friendly. Please do not spoil your stay by booking at Shepherds.
- Also Known As:
- Shepherd's London England