We decided to give ourselves a New Year treat and stay in castles with gourmet dining, staying first at Thornbury Castle, near Bristol then onto Peckforton Castle.
Peckforton Castle is a ‘modern’ castle, built specifically as a family home for John Tollemach in the 1840’s. First impressions are good as the castle exterior is appealing to the eye. Once inside the castle though you could be in any 4 star hotel. The reception area had a huge fire roaring but it was uncomfortably hot. Check in was quick (they don’t take amex!) and we were shown to our newly refurbished executive room, Huxley. I was disappointed by the size of the room and the view – a few tree tops and large metal tanks, maybe heating or water, not really sure.
The bed was comfortable and the bathroom modern with a slipper bath. Fluffy bathrobes and huge towels. Good quality toiletries. Refreshments tray under stocked, we had to request extras and fresh milk. There was a fireplace but it was empty!
We were booked into the restaurant 1851 for dinner. Restaurant had a nice ambience. The menu choice was rather restricted and we were not advised that for a small charge we could upgrade to a la carte – this was the start of one of my worst dining experiences. Although polite and friendly the waiting staff is young and inexperienced, often walking through the dining room gazing up at the ceiling.
The list of errors is endless but here are a few:
Drinks order taken after several minutes. Starter took almost 20 minutes to arrive and white and red wine appeared seconds before the starter, white was to go with the main! My partner was served first; I always thought it was ladies first. Starter not cleared away for at least 10 minutes. Main took a further 30 minutes to appear. At no time were our water or wine glasses topped up unless by request or by ourselves. No additional vegetables served with the main (although we noticed later that some other diners had some and they were on the inclusive menu also!) and not advised that the meal didn’t come with any. Empty plates cleared before other person finished but dirty side plates left. Not once were we asked if the meal was ok. When requests made to waitress/waiter these were not actioned. Had to ask for cutlery. All staff reactive rather than proactive. On the plus side the food was good but not excellent.
Breakfast was another matter – older more experienced staff, service good. Breakfast choice was excellent and plenty of it. All cooked well.
On the whole we enjoyed our stay and it was an excellent package of dinner bed and breakfast in an executive room for £169 but it was spoiled by the lack of dinner service.
I would be willing to go back again and give it another try as hopefully the staffing may improve if enough people complain. It would also be fun to try the falconry.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Peckforton Castle - An enchanting Hotel in the heart of Cheshire. Rising majestically above the Cheshire landscape, the castle is both enigmatic and enchanting. Originally the home of Lord Tollemache and built in the early 19th Century, this Grade I listed building is the only intact medieval style Castle in the country. Over the years the castle has been the location for numerous movies including Robin Hood and Dr Who. Now owned by the Naylor family, the stunning exterior has been complemented by a loving and considered restoration programme resulting in a magnificent hotel and venue offering contemporary luxury and impeccable service. Services include 48 stunning individual guest rooms, conference, events, and wedding facilities for up to 180. Tranquility beauty, on site Falconry and team activities all adding up to a rather magical experience. Dining at the Castle truly is a special occasion, welcoming the public as well as hotel guests. The 1851 Restaurant offers a dining experience fit for royalty. Holder of 3 AA Rosettes and a Taste Cheshire Award. Alternatively the more informal and cosmopolitan 2010 Brasserie, located in the former scullery of the castle, features many of the amazing features of the original scullery including two cast iron cooking ranges dating back to the 1840's. Peckforton Castle's enchanting medieval style beauty and stunning location make it a truly impressive and desirable venue for weddings, christenings, birthday parties, or just about anything that's worth celebrating. Everything plays a part; the fabulous setting, stunning location, the attentive service and smiling faces, the bespoke menus and decorations. A magnificent venue for conferencing and meetings. Within the medieval walls, old and new combine seamlessly to offer state of the art multi media and conference facilities. Captivating on arrival, Peckforton Castle's unspoilt, natural beauty will stimulate and motivate, delight the eye, inspire the mind, tantalise the taste buds and leave you enchanted. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Peckforton Castle Hotel Tarporley
- Peckforton Castle Tarporley, Cheshire, UK