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REVIEW: Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland

By Victoria Turner– 6th September 2020

I’m itching to explore again both in the UK and abroad but until it’s safe to do so here’s a recap on an adventure I had in Northumberland back in 2018.

If you know anything about Northumberland you know it for its vast moorland, fells, and quaint villages. The village of Blanchland was built by 12th Century monks, using stone from the local Abbey. The village is on the border of Northumberland and County Durham and is home to a beautiful hotel called the Lord Crewe Arms.

A Northumberland Hotel

Situated in the heart of Blanchland is the ‘The Crewe’ as it’s locally known which took me and my best friend just under an hour and 45 minutes to reach from Harrogate. It was winter and we were greeted by a lady in a tweed waistcoat and a welcome roaring fire.  On our way to our room, we discovered this 12th Century Hotel had original features other “old” hotels would die for. From a stunning great hall to inglenook fireplaces, original long drops and stunning interiors after it’s refurbishment in 2014.

Bedrooms at the Lord Crewe Arms

Well, to say I fell in love with the hotel on the way to the room was only the stat as the room had been head over heels! The Radcliffe room, one of their largest suites, was in the turret – the oldest part of the hotel – dating back to 1165! It was unlike any room I’d stayed in before.

As I said, it was a suite and considered their Champion Room starting at £199.00 B&B per night. I soon realised this wasn’t like most hotels as every detail and need was taken care of. It’s rare that I visit a hotel where it has got everything right. The tea tray offered every tea you could imagine and Northumbrian fudge. Plus, for those who love a coffee first thing in the morning, the Nespresso machine was on hand to set you right! Oh, and let’s not forget the fluffy hot water bottle and bathrobes for those cosy nights as well as an orienteering pack for walkers – of which this hotel is perfect.

Dining at The Lord Crewe Arms

Dinner was booked in their The Bishops Dining Hall – a beautiful room with views of the garden and valley beyond. The interior draws on the heritage of the place – rich in history but with modern-day comforts. The food also reflects the character – honest but oozes personality.

When I saw pan-fried scallops with belly pork (£11.00) on the menu, I went gaga!  The scallops were sweet and cooked perfectly – just how I like them. The pork was of very similar texture to the scallops, so it would have been nice to have a contrasting texture to add interest to the very soft dish.

The restaurant had a menu of scrumptious sounding cocktails and we thought – why not, we’re on a girl’s night away! We gladly supped on a few gin, elderflower, lemon and champagne cocktail, at the reasonable price of £10 each. For a luxury hotel price – that’s good!

Emma chose a real winter warmer of a dish for her mains. The grilled lamb chops with braised shoulder and cabbage in a cream sauce (£17.00). I couldn’t resist the Rump of Ayrshire veal (£18.00) with spinach, potato croquettes and a beautiful Cumberland sauce. The redcurrant undertones of the sauce made it feel very festive!

Unable to avoid the classic sticky toffee pudding (£6.00), Emma tucked in, whilst I very much enjoyed a warm raspberry Bakewell pudding with raspberry ripple ice cream (£5.00).

A pub to rival all pubs!

After a wonderful meal in The Bishops Dining Hall, we headed downstairs for even more cocktails in the Hotel’s Bar – The Crypt. This atmospheric pub was like no other I’d visited. Bosting a barrelled vaulted ceiling and local ales including their very own Lord Crewe Brew. The pub is open to hotel guests and locals, including Tweet, a beautiful Lab-cross who welcomed everyone who popped in for a drink. We played a few board games in the pub before turning in for the night – to be honest, we wanted to take full advantage of our bathrobes and bedroom.

Rise and shine

After a pleasant night sleep, we headed straight for The Bishop Dining Hall and both ordered the Northumberland Breakfast, a hearty cooked breakfast with beans, mushrooms, egg, black pudding, bacon and sausage.

Sadly, it was time to check out – we really didn’t want to leave the place. But before we headed home we walked around Derwent Reservoir, soaking up the autumn sunshine and the stunning colours, as we reflected on our stay. I just we could have stayed a night or two longer.

Staying at Lord Crewe Arms

It’s a must-do! The Lord Crewe Arms have got it so right for couples and people wanting to explore nature in a quiet part of the UK. Their charming yet professional service paired with generosity, thoughtfulness and a relaxed environment makes this the most perfect escape anyone could ask for. The only thing to note would be the lack of phone signal, but for those who can’t cope without connection, the WiFi is very good. For families, the hotel does provide self-catering and family rooms. Although I wouldn’t say it’s geared towards a family market.

Girl About Yellow Star Rating:

Location: ****

It’s perfect for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.

Value: ***

It is expensive and with little other options to eat and drink in the village you will probably end up eating in the restaurant and drinking in the bar but it’s fantastic food so you’ll enjoy every evening you stay.

Facilities: ****

The hotel has thought of everything for your stay. From hot water bottles to walking maps and fishing reels.

The Square, Blanchland, Blanchland, DH8 9SP.
01434 675469
Rooms start from £129


Victoria x


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to visit the wildlife park free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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