Last weekend my husband was celebrating his birthday so we decided to stay in Durham. We found the Victoria in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, looked at the pub's website and decided to make our booking. We thought that £60 for B&B in a pub was a little steep, but given the excellent location and the promise of nice real ale we thought it would be worth it.
The pub is only a few minutes walk out of the town centre, so very handy for other pubs and restaurants. The pub itself is absolutely gorgeous, a step back in time and beautifully preserved. The real ales were also very well kept, and were from several small local breweries. Even the man behind the bar was friendly and cheerful!
We were showed to a room on the ground floor which is set up to be a flat, with bedroom-come-living area, separate kitchenette with cooker and fridge (with large skylight), and then a separate bathroom. The 3 rooms were all separated with glass doors, which led to problem number 1 - no means of blacking out the daylight from the skylight into the bedroom.
Then the cellar cooling fans started kicking in, running for 20 mins, then silent, then noise, repeating ad infinitum through the night.
At 7.30am (on a Sunday morning!) we were rudely awoken by the pub cleaner emptying out all the bottles (very noisily), hoovering, banging doors, etc.
The last straw was someone banging on the door, tell us to hurry up for breakfast at 9.05am, even through we were told it was served until 9.15am. Breakfast was pretty grim, overcooked eggs, salty sausages and bacon.
After the breakfast we returned to our room and 10 mins later someone else was banging on the door asking for us to pay up as they were having to leave very shortly. When I complained about the noise levels the response was quite curt and rude. We begrudgingly paid up and left as soon as possible.
Overall I would recommend that you visit the pub if you like nice real ale in a historic environment, but stay elsewhere in Durham city!
- Also Known As:
- The Victoria Hotel Durham