Hotel: Late Booking At The Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow Village

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments ● 
Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow Village

I was working in the South of England the other day and heading home. By the time I reached the M1 I checked the SatNav and decided I wouldn’t get home till near midnight and, having been on site doing user training all that day following six hours travel the day before when I reached the hotel at 1930, I decided that I needed to stop off instead of traveling all the way home.

The Norfolk Arms in Ringinglow Village, just outside Sheffield and at the gateway to the Peak District National Park, is a hotel I have used before a number of times. It is a little off the direct route, but it is clean comfortable and has good food and friendly staff.

I stopped at the last lay-by on the A43 just before the M1 and gave their booking number a call (t: +44 (0) 114 230 2197). Five minutes later I had a room booking and had confirmed that I would be able to get their while their kitchen was still open (they did kindly tell me to call in advance if I was going to be delayed and they’d sort something out for me).

When I arrived I was quickly checked in and was allocated to Room 1 which is right at the top of the stairs on the first floor (second floor to our American cousins). While at some hotels I wouldn’t like this room due to potential for noise, the Norfolk Arms is usually quiet and Room 1 has an en suite with a shower with absolutely fantastic water pressure (it feels almost strong enough to flay the skin off your back).

After check in I dropped my bags in the room and went back down to the bar and ordered the Hunters Chicken (7 oz chicken breast topped with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce). Very nice meal and great value at less than £10.

I picked a good week to be there as well as Guinness was on special at £2 a pint.

I first stayed at the Norfolk Arms back in 2009 and it is still one of my favourite places to stay.

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Hotels: Madejski, Reading

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments ● 
Madejski, Reading

I recently had business in Reading and stayed at the Madejski Hotel; this is part of the Reading Football Club stadium complex. I always travel with the SatNav giving directions so the hotel was easy to find.

The Madejski is a modern hotel with everything that means. In a lot of ways this is a good thing, but the dining room is a large cavernous room surrounded by lots of glass.

This means all sounds in the dining room are amplified and echo loudly. Having just finished a five hour drive to get there I found dinner a somewhat tiring and annoying experience due to the noise level.

I was also somewhat restricted in terms of what I could order off the menu as the majority of items contained sauces or spices I don’t like. That said I did enjoy the burger although if I had stayed a second night then I’d have had to have had the burger again.

Breakfast was a buffet affair and was pretty good (I prefer buffet breakfasts as I can get exactly what I want to eat).

Overall, I’ll try to avoid the Madejski on any return trips to Reading.

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