Lord Crewe Arms
Wonderful historic building, with unique Crypt bar, cosy dining rooms and spacious character restaurant; comfortable, well equipped bedrooms
The good pub guide review
It might sound like a pub, but the Lord Crewe is in fact a lovely hotel with a modern country style that maps harmoniously on to the historic building: it was built as a guest house for the neighbouring monastery in the 12th c and the architecture is remarkable. The Crypt bar is a medieval vaulted room with thick stone walls, lit by chandeliers and with family crests on the ceiling. There are high wooden stools by shelf tables and against the armour-plated counter, cushioned settles and plush stools around a few little tables, with Crewe Brew (named for the pub from Twice Brewed) and two other Northumbrian ales on handpump, more than a dozen wines by the glass, a notable gin list, expertly made cocktails and a tap cider. Locals, walkers and diners enjoying an aperitif mingle easily here, welcomed by the genuinely friendly and helpful staff; board and outdoor games. The hotel has several eating areas, including the stone-flagged 'larders' area with a baronial fireplace, shaded picnic tables in the garden and the grand Bishop's Dining Room, which features a fine old wooden floor, cushioned wall seating and leather-cushioned dining chairs around oak-topped tables, fresh flowers, antlers on the walls and a large central candelabra. It's a real treat to stay in one of the 21 bedrooms, which range from cosy to luxury suites, some with their own woodburners; breakfast is excellent. Derwent Reservoir is nearby.
The good pub guide food review
A 'bar bait' snacks menu (including haggis scotch eggs and reuben sandwiches) is served in the bar. You can also eat from the main restaurant menu, focused on seasonal local produce, which might include 'jambon persillé' ham hock with egg yolk dressing and sourdough toast, pear, stilton and walnut salad, dry-aged Northumberland sirloin steak with fries, whole grilled plaice with samphire and new potatoes, roasted artichokes with whipped taleggio potato and warm vegetable dressing, and puddings such as chocolate mousse with salted caramel and hazelnuts and apple and blackberry crumble with custard. Set Sunday lunch is served as a sharing platter for the table, and afternoon tea is available.