It is close to Christmas, so perhaps it was understandable that there was virtually no room left at the various inns in Durham itself. Hallgarth is pretty much a marriage factory just outside the city in lovely countryside. Gardens looked gorgeous with a dusting of frost. They had one room left which was the "cozy" room. Cozy it was, but to be honest, still perfectly serviceable with an excellent bed and an in your face tv. The bathroom was tiny and dominated by the shower cubicle - it might perhaps have benefitted from an extra few inches stolen from the room.
The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, and indeed apologetic whenever they were dealing with someone else and kept you waiting for a whole twenty seconds or so! Only issue was that my room was above the hotel office and the two poor chaps who had drawn the short straw of the night shift not unreasonably chatted to one another all night - probably without realising that there is no sound insulation up to my room.
Breakfast was excellent, but I was royally entertained by the panic of the absence of Santa. Given the time of year, the wedding trade was presumably in a lull, and to tide things only they were laying on a breakfast with Santa. So reception was dominated by deeply jaded parents and massively overexcited offspring who had wheeled themselves out for seasonal entertainment with the red clad old gent with a beard (and had come to the wrong place as the event was in the Mirror Room, whatever that is). However, it appeared that Santa had had a fairly serious Saturday night out and had failed to materialise. Staff were running around seeking a solution - I felt that a rock paper scissors competetion was about to be embarked upon to find a replacement. Anyway I had to leave to drive south, so I missed the denoument. However, for this guest, the breakfast show was quite the most amusing bit of inadvertent entertainment I had had at this hour of the morning for some years. Many thanks. less
leightaylor1, General Manager at Hallgarth Manor House, BW Signature Collection, responded to this review
Thank you for your kind comments and also for the little giggle I had while reading it.
I can confirm...drum roll...breakfast with Santa went without a hitch and Santa was on top form. We do hope to welcome you back again in the future and I’m sure we can entertain you once again.