Cartmel Races may be an infrequent entry in the turf calendar but that's no reason to overlook this little Lakeland village and its historic Priory -- and absolutely not to forego a visit to this recently renewed and refurbished hotel: it's a genuine class-act winner.
We're not that familiar with Cartmel and, oddly enough, whichever local authority or tourist board operates in this area seems not to want to cater to visitor needs: there's no plaque or any other form of info on the wonderful (presumably medieval) gatehouse through whose arch one drives into Cartmel's little square, and nothing at all, either, on the stonework in the centre of that square -- but then, who cares about tourists, huh? Obviously, not English regional Tourist Boards. . .
Well, at least the Priory Hotel does care. We hadn't a clue where to go for lunch in a village where umpteen choices exist, but chose The Priory because it looked bright and fresh and -- a clincher -- an amiable member of staff (we never did catch her name) was smiling at us from the doorstep, so-ooo. . .
OK, a bar snack is a bar snack and on the face of it isn't the stuff from which reviews are made. But on this occasion, not only did the food impress but so did the environment, too: a truly welcoming lounge bar, small yet constricted, big comfy armchairs, and a decor which cleverly integrates yesteryear with today, stylish without being gratingly modernistic. Free wifi as well, though only if you're a BT Broadband customer, otherwise logging into this BT Openzone facility is expensive -- the hotel would be better advised to discard the Openzone hook-up altogether and just allow an open-access router.
Elsewhere, attention to detail is evident throughout (nice loos, etc) and pretty evident in the way customers are looked after, too: the young lady employee whose name we never knew proved to be a charming and attentive host, a real asset to this hotel, As for our lunch, we were pretty much stuffed full after merely consuming bacon and sausage rolls, so what a major three course dinner is like here can only be (pleasurably) imagined.
Thoroughly recommended, then: a small hotel in a small village but one that's big on style, value and customer service -- definitely, a winner.
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- Also Known As:
- Priory Hotel Cartmel Cumbria