We had a most fabulous stay at the Hallgarth Manor recently. We first visited the hotel 6 years ago but didn’t stay for the night due to our tight schedule. This time, we made it a point to stay a night in this beautiful hotel, just for the experience. The hotel used to be a country home before it was sold to developers which turned it into the hotel it is today. It was recently refurbished - the rooms have been given a fresh, modern look, yet much of the charm of the house remains.
The hotel is only about 15 minutes away by car from Durham City Centre, situated within walking distance to the historic Church of St Laurence. Ideal for a weekend getaway or for tourists who prefer a hotel situated in a idyllic, quiet setting instead of one in the bustling city.
Although we stayed only for a night, the staff at the hotel made us feel so welcomed that we felt we had been there for days. Although we arrived earlier than planned (at around 11 in the morning), Margaret, the receptionist kindly allowed us to check in to one of the rooms first. This helped greatly as we were travelling with our uncle and aunt in their late 60s, and 3 young children (not forgetting a whole load of luggage). Another staff member, Ian, kindly helped us carry the heavier bags upstairs. (There isn’t a lift installed in the premises, possibly to retain the charm of the original house). Another friendly staff, Christine, who was on afternoon shift at the reception, shared with us about the history of the house which we appreciated greatly.
Rooms - We love the rooms! I had expected a small, old-lookiing room with simple amenities (afterall, the house was built in the 16th century). Instead, we were greeted with a warm, cosy and inviting room. The beds were very comfortable; the bathroom was clean, well maintained, and even equipped with heated towel rails. (I was particularly impressed with this feature, and especially so in winter!) There was even a mini Nespresso coffee making machine in the room to make the coffee drinker happy.
Food - We had a fabulous lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, The Tavern. We ordered the ribeye steak which was juicy and succulent, the best we had tasted in a long time. The slow-roasted pork belly, traditional fish and chips and margarita pizza were delicious too. The portions were huge, with interesting and tasty sides. Kudos to the chef, Tom, for the amazing food; and thanks to Amanda, the restaurant manager, for her superb recommendations and warm hospitality.
Afternoon tea was a delightful assortment of beautiful desserts served on a 3-tier platter. They looked almost too good to eat! (I especially love the orange flavoured cake.)
For the kids, there is a huge garden by the side of the house (just beside the dining room) where they could run around freely and be wild. Though the weather was chilly, our kids had loads of fun playing in the garden while we sipped on our afternoon tea.
We enjoyed our stay and experience at Hallgarth Manor very much and will definitely return again. Thanks to the warm hospitality of the crew, we have wonderful memories of this very lovely hotel. less