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Sid - Not Vicious, Just Sarcastic!
Avondale Riverside Hotel (Bath)
Member Name: karenuk
Avondale Riverside Hotel (Bath)
Date: 25/02/02, updated on 25/02/02 (260 review reads)
Advantages: lovely surroundings, gorgeous main meals, good value for money
Disadvantages: stingy breakfast portions
Last weekend, I met up with three fellow opinion writers – Hannah (hpoulton), Kathryn (KathrynPenguin) and Ophelia (offy) – and we stayed in the Avondale Hotel in Bath. We met there around 12noon to 1pm on the Saturday and we left between 2pm and 3pm on the Sunday.
When we had decided to go away, we looked online for some information on hotels in the area which were quite cheap. We narrowed it down to a couple, then Ophelia rang up and booked us in – this was about a month ago.
Having the shortest distance to travel, I arrived at the hotel first. It is a very pretty building, right near the river. Although it is off a busy road, it is quite easy to imagine being in the heart of the countryside. Unfortunately, it rained most of the weekend, but is still an idyllic location.
It is rather deceptive at first, as you have to drive past several possible entrances until you get to the right one. It’s also a bit confusing finding the reception, so it took me a few minutes to work out where to go. There is a good sized car park there and if you park at the far end, you are nearest to the reception.
This wouldn’t be a good place to stay if you use a buggy or wheelchair, as there are plenty of steps outside, often winding and quite hard to climb. The main black door at the front is where you need to enter and you arrive in a dark bar / lounge area.
Here we were greeted by Sid, the owner of the hotel. There don’t seem to be many staff there, I think we saw about six people at most. Sid certainly seems to do everything – take bookings, serve food and drink, etc.
He is rather ‘in-yer-face’ though and his sense of humour can become quite wearing. I’m sure he is well meaning enough and certainly a hard worker, but his jokes with my eight year old made her cry and he still didn’t stop!
When I arrived, he was expecting us and had our receipts ready. We sat
in the lounge having drinks and waited for everyone to get there. The lounge is quite cosy, with several rooms off one another. It is pretty and quite olde worlde, with wooden beams, ornaments and hard tables and chairs. It is rather dark though, but some might say atmospheric.
After all four of us were there, Sid showed us our rooms. Kathryn and I had the room in the annexe, which was lovely – big and spacious with a double bed, single bed, large TV, kettle, full-length mirror and settee. We had an ensuite bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower, although no bath.
Hannah and Ophelia’s room wasn’t quite as nice. It had two single beds and was much smaller, with only a tiny gap between the beds. Also after using the bathroom, you had to go into the bedroom, then past both beds to reach the sink.
We were advised to book our main meal in advance, which we did. The dining room isn’t very big, but it was adequate for the amount of guests they had there. The meal was delicious, but not cheap. We decided to each have a main course and dessert, as well as drinks and our total bill for the evening was £72!
They cater well for vegetarians and were happy to change things to your specification. I had Stilton, Spinach and Pinenut Lasagne with a button mushroom confit, new potatoes and vegetables (£10.95) which was absolutely gorgeous and just the right amount.
For dessert, the one I wanted was a mousse type pudding and I asked them to check if it was vegetarian, which it wasn’t, so instead they gave me strawberry ice cream with crème fraiche – delicious!
The hotel has won awards for its food and you can understand why. Besides the usual menu, there are several extra dishes written up on the board each day, so there is plenty of choice.
The starters cost between £3.50 (soup) and £5.25 (smoked chicken salad), with the main courses between £9.95 (Mediterranean Vegetable Roulade) a
nd £14.95 (Medallions of Beef), then the desserts cost between £1.95 (coffee and mints only) and £4.95 (A selection of English cheeses with apple chutney and wafers).
Unfortunately, our breakfast on the Sunday morning could have been made at a different place! I had poached egg and toast which was two eggs on one slice of toast. Kathryn’s cooked breakfast consisted of little more than a spoonful each of baked beans, tomatoes and mushrooms. However, you could fill up on cornflakes and toast. But the breakfasts weren’t a patch on the main meals.
In the evening, we wanted to watch the Pop Idol special on ITV1 and ITV2, so Sid showed us up to the guest lounge which is ideal – a big room with fireplace (The hotel was very warm, by the way, we had to turn off some of the radiators!), widescreen satellite TV and two big settees. We were still up at 11:30pm when Sid went off to bed, so he told us how to get back to the annexe and checked we were all okay before retiring for the night.
After we had checked out of the hotel, we were allowed to leave our cars in the car park while we had another shopping spree in the centre of Bath. Afterwards, we nipped back in to use the toilets and have another cup of tea and Sid was very chatty and welcoming, as ever.
Incidentally, the toilets are very weird and wonderful. Look out for the 3D sculpture of a naked female torso on the front of the Ladies, you won’t be able to resist beeping those nipples!!
Although the website (worth a look, incidentally) says that children are welcome, there were only a couple of kids there and it did seem much more of a place adults would enjoy. It would be ideal for a romantic break or for a few friends together.
We enjoyed it so much that we are planning another weekend there in mid-October. (Any other Dooyoo members that would be interested in joining us, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!)
s available ~
Single from £49 per night
Twin ensuite £69 per night
Double from £55 per night
Double ensuite from £69 per night
Family room (3 people ensuite) from £79 per night
Extra bed from £10 per night
Four poster £115 per night
House (sleeps up to 8) £195 per night
Dinner, bed and breakfast £14 per person per night, extra to room tariff
Avondale Hotel and Waterside Restaurant
London Road East
TEL/FAX 01225 – 859847
TEL : 01225 – 852207
WEBSITE : www.avondalebath.co.uk
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
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