February 1, 2016
After feeling completely overwhelmed with all the chaos of Christmas, the prospect of a night away at Newton Hall was a much-welcomed respite and just what my partner and I needed.
Positioned in the tranquil Northumbrian countryside, the 18th century country house of Newton Hall is a stone’s throw away from the beautiful coastal village of Beadnell.
Arriving at the hotel at around 4pm, I was impressed by the sweeping gravel driveway and the grandeur of the building in the winter sunset.
We received a very friendly greeting from John (the hotel’s general manager) and Sean (assistant general manager) before being shown to our room for the night – the top bridal suite, aptly named Beadnell Bay due to its picturesque views of Beadnell. The décor of the hotel didn’t go unnoticed as we made our way up the stairs to our room, which was situated on the top floor.
The word ‘quirky’ definitely sprung to mind but in a way that encapsulated the charming individuality of the venue, something which the Apartment Group (which Newton Hall belongs to) is well known for.
The room itself was stunning; the signature feature was an enormous bathtub located beneath an arched, sash window and decadent chandelier.
Original wooden beams, bare brick walls and an impressive walnut wardrobe were just some of my other favourite features.
There were a number of little extras which added to the warmth of the room: our towels had been folded into swans and were set beautifully on the bed next to a box of chocolates (from a local company in Alnwick, The Chocolate Spa) and, along with the complimentary tray with bottled water alongside tea, coffee and biscuits (the coffee also being sourced from a local supplier- Pumphreys Coffee), there was a selection of fresh fruit and a handwritten card wishing us a ‘fantastical’ stay.
Another huge plus was all of the complimentary bathroom products – no need to panic if you’ve left your toothbrush at home (or your shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and even moisturiser).
After settling into the room it wasn’t long before we needed to get ready to head out for our dinner reservations at The Joiners Arms – the five-star coaching inn that is just a two minute drive from the main hall (or a pleasant leisurely stroll in the warmer months).
Being the village local, it had a warm and welcoming atmosphere- also helped by the cosy twinkling lights and tasteful Christmas decorations. There was also excitement in the air as a wedding party celebrated together the night before the big day.
Our host for the evening was a gentleman named James, whose extensive knowledge of the wine list came in very handy when my partner was having a difficult time choosing which bottle of red to go for. He was also very happy to recommend starters and main dishes, most of which comprised ingredients sourced from local suppliers. With so much choice from seafood platters, hearty meat dishes and plenty of vegetarian options, the help was much appreciated.
After much deliberation I began with the creamy leek, potato and watercress soup, which came served with artisan breads and unsalted butter. The watercress added a subtle peppery undertone which gave the soup a wonderful depth of flavour.
My partner, meanwhile, settled on Szechuan peppered squid strips with garlic and sea salt aioli, noting that the batter was light and cooked perfectly, ensuring the squid wasn’t overdone.
Moving on to mains and, while I tucked into a fillet steak served with real chips in beef dripping, onion rings, slow-roasted beef tomato and grilled field mushroom – all with a peppercorn sauce, my partner opted for a traditional crown roast of bronze turkey dinner with all the trimmings and lashings of rich turkey gravy.
My steak was cooked to my preference of well-done, charred somewhat on the outside, adding to the delicious smoky flavour.
Never people to skip dessert, my partner rounded off his meal with deliciously moist homemade sticky toffee pudding accompanied by butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, while I chose the Irish cream cheesecake, crème Chantilly and chocolate truffle, which was divinely delectable.
After an undisturbed night’s sleep, we ended our stay the following morning with fresh apple juice and two flawless full English breakfasts, the perfect way to round off a faultless overnight stay.
Combining an award-winning venue and five-star food, Newton Hall offers a ‘bold, romantic and fantastical’ getaway, for couples of all ages and families alike.
If you fancy feeling rested, contented and catered to, then I strongly urge you to pay this wonderful place a visit- a hotel which genuinely goes above and beyond to deliver a guaranteed magical stay.
Newton-by-the-Sea, Nr Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3DZ