A spur-of-the-moment choice, as it was talked up so well ('Ashfield Country House Hotel'). Anyway, who could resist the chance of lodging in a refurbished Gothic estate house once visited by Gladstone, no less.
Today its once-spacious policies are built over and it lies almost lost down a cul-de-sac amidst layers of more recent building. Nevertheless the building's former Victorian stolidity impresses, and nowhere more so than the interior. Formerly the offices of the local Urban District Council - a sure guarantee of significant levels of architectural abuse - it has been lavished with money, and a degree of sensitivity to present a passable representation of its period. The public rooms are alarmingly spacious and grand, and in the bedroom we were given, one could have swung several cats tied together.
Sadly, here the good times ended. We had arrived as a funeral party was just leaving, and the interior had a hollow air about it. Two lads we took from their dress to be 'clearer-uppers' were rolling the makeshift table tops away, and we commandeered one to sign us in. The floor of the room we were given seemed not to have been vaccumed since Gladstone picked up his bag and left. It contained nested within, the usual 'Bathroom Box' clumsily inserted within its spaciousness, and, to accommodate a couple of wall switches, the double bed had been bumped up close to the wall, with no space for a bedside table with lamp and making access near-impossible. Nary a picture of Victorian 'Sweetness and Light' or a dour-faced Will staring down to relieve the walls, and certainly no nod of respect in the repro furniture to its former period splendour.
We had arrived on a day when only bar evening meals were provided, and chose a safe fish and 'hand-made chips'. The chips were stunningly good; the fish proved to be tiny, little fingertip sized pieces, lying at the heart of huge meteorite's of brown batter which exuded a continuous stream of clear runny liquid when pressured; the peas were cold. We could not eat it and so sent it back. The lad who brought them was apologetic, and returned with the offer of a glass of wine, but with little will now left we retreated up the rather grand staircase.
Breakfast was a more hearty affair; Continental but what a decidedly good choice on offer - croissants, cereals, grapefruit and orange, yoghurt choice a fruit bowl and toast. The nice 'young John Lydon' who attended could not have been more helpful, and caring of our well-being.
On signing out, the sending back of our supper the evening before had clearly not made it to the final bill. But all was soon sorted and off we drove, successfully negotiating the maze to its rim and so off on the road ahead.
How disappointing. This hotel has so much potential to succeed and live up to the fine literature it puts out. But to do so its anonymous owners need to be present, and much more hands-on involvement in beefing up the bits that would get it right;on the human resources side, serious investment in customer-care training, attention to dress presentation, a house-manager fiercely overseeing cleaning staff, - and always, service, service, service. And on property management, a good bit of tweaking to underpin its Victorian strengths - sourcing inexpensive furniture, carpets and pictures more appropriate to its period from sale-rooms.
If the snapshot that we encountered is a true representation of its day to day operations, some radical intervention is required for it to be here in two years time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1755 Ashfield House is an elegant English Country House standing in its own landscaped grounds and overlooking the Douglas Valley. We host exclusive weddings, functions and conferences in style and also have a first class restaurant Sunday Lunch. The original sweeping staircase, beautiful bay windows, ornate columns and panelled library bar create a special atmosphere that is quite unique. We are 5 minutes from the M6 motorway but you will feel the peace and quiet of a country manor house. All of our ground floor areas are disabled access friendly. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline and Booking.com so you can book your Ashfield House Hotel & Restaurant reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ashfield House Hotel And Restaurant
- Ashfield House Hotel & Restaurant Wigan, United Kingdom