Wednesday 14 February 2007

Fantasy Castle: Flashy Toilets

Lumley Castle Hotel,
Chester le Street,
County Durham.
United Kingdom

Where is it?

Getting to the restaurant is a challenge, the place is a maze and there is so much to distract you on the way! To get there you leave the reception down a corridor before entering the inner courtyard. This is the first stop. The courtyard garden is fabulously lit. You then enter the castle again, and the music chamber (note the Harp for stop 2) before going through to the Library bar (stop 3 – for a pre-dinner drink). Leave the bar to the right and enter the corridor of busts (a slow walk rather than a stop). At the end of the corridor, turn left, go through the doorway and you’ll be at the restaurant.

To find the toilet from the restaurant, retrace your steps to the corridor of busts. The toilets are on the left, the gents furthest along just before the door to the bar.

What’s it like?

A combination of indecision (get up early and drive 5 hours or leave the day before and stop over), late booking (1pm on the day of travel), and a good dose of luck (a late booking discount web site) landed me at this fantastic castle hotel. Going into reception you wonder if it’s all a bit Disney fake, but then you quickly realise this place is a proper castle and doesn’t need to ham it up. This place is the real deal, a proper English castle that was built in the 14th Century.

The whole place is stuffed full of tapestries and comfy winged chairs – proper old style luxury. The toilets are no different. Spotless, spacious and quiet the opulence is carried through. Red tiled walls are complimented by ‘washed’ brown wall paper and coving that has cherubs galore. What’s more the 3 sinks have their own carved wooden awning. With a fancy mirror the whole effect is topped off.

Hell, the toilets alone are worth the trip, and the whole place is spectacular. And I haven’t even had time to tell you about the fantastic food. Best End of Lamb with Black pudding….. Oh yeah!

Marks out of 10:

Call it grade inflation, but this is a firm 12.

Comments to the management:

You don’t see toilets like this everyday. Such a cool place!

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