“ Address: Rochdale Road / Denshaw / Saddleworth OL3 5UE / England „
Went for a special meal on Saturday 25th April, upon arrival the taxi was met in the car park to ensure parking was organised and we could be dropped off near the entrance. Good first impression! Went into the bar and found the decor modern, tasteful and sophisticated. Drinks were priced as per any good restaurant or hotel, Guinness slightly warmer that I would have liked but not an issue. The Head Barman come Chief Guest entertainer Alex was a superb host who made you feel relaxed and important as a customer straight away. He used a mix of humour and perfect restaurant etiquette to start off the evening. Alex was able to talk through menu in detail and even recommend suitable food combinations. The food was served timely but not rushed and was to the highest quality. Taste and seasoning was perfect and surpassed my expectations. As a regular traveller I eat at many hotels each month and do find it hard to find places the stand out. To find this one and being local maybe fatal for my waistline and appreciation of my wife's cooking! We enjoyed the starter and main course fully but had no room for deserts. We retired back to the bar and enjoyed some good chat with Alex again and good selection of whiskey. What was interesting was the offer of complimentary oysters after the meal which was a nice gesture that my wife accepted and pleasantly enjoyed. If there was any down side it would have been the shared bathroom facilities with the wedding function running in a separate room next door. Though the wedding did not direct interfere with your evening the inebriated state of some of the wedding guest is what you expect at a wedding but not a restaurant. Maybe toilets for the wedding function separate would help keep the much sought atmosphere intact. Overall an excellent place to eat, in a great rural setting with a superb host!
Another weekend and another family gathering in the north, in some sad circumstances this time. A hotel for a couple of nights was required and I decided to try Clough Manor in Denshaw, which despite the grand name is a small boutique hotel with, I believe, about 25 bedrooms. I had come across Clough Manor a few months earlier when I was considering venues for my father's 70th birthday party, although in the end we decided against it for reasons not related to the hotel itself.
For those not familiar with the area, Denshaw is one of a few extremely pretty villages surrounded by the Saddleworth Moors. It is a few minutes drive from junction 22 of the M62 and only about twenty-five minutes drive from Manchester city centre. I had made my booking through laterooms.com and was pleased with the rate of £55 per night inclusive of breakfast for two.
We arrived around midday, parked up and took a few moments to admire the stunning views from this high vantage point. We then went inside and within a few minutes were checked in and directed to our room on the first floor. Upon opening the door, first impressions were quite good. The room was spacious, the furniture was modern and we had an up to date, albeit small flat screen TV. Although we had come up a flight of stairs, the hotel is built on a slope so the room had French windows that opened onto a small, grassed area, although I won't call it a veranda as there was no outside seating, it would have been a bit too chilly to sit out anyway. We had some tea and coffee making facilities in the room, but no bottled water and only a couple of teabags and coffee sachets and we would have liked more.
The bathroom was not as attractive as the bedroom, it was quite dated with a fake mahogany bath panel and dreadful grey tiles on the walls and floor but at least it was clean. The shower was over the bath, it was difficult to get the temperature right as the hot and cold taps were separate and finding the right balance took me a long time. It did not help that the shower screen was fixed so it was difficult to reach round to the taps and I did not want to get into this bath before the water was ready as the hot water was absolutely scalding hot. The hairdryer was of the type that hangs on the bathroom wall, sounds like a vacuum cleaner and gives of a feeble puff of warm air at best so takes about five times as long as normal to dry your hair.
After a quick freshen up, we headed out for the afternoon and returned early evening. We were quite hungry as we missed lunch so decided to have something to eat in the bar area. We were the first people in but over the course of the evening a few other groups did come in and have a drink before heading to the restaurant for their meals. Apparently it was "Lancashire Night" which meant the staff all wore flat caps. We liked the bar area, the décor was contemporary and we got comfortable on the big brown leather sofas. The menu on offer in the bar was the same as in the restaurant, I decided to have a fish pie and my husband a chicken and mushroom pie. Service and the food was very good, although I thought £11 for a pie was a bit on the steep side.
After dinner we retired to our room, it was a bit chilly as the radiator was not working, we called reception and they quickly brought us up a heater and the next day maintenance fixed the one in the room. We managed to get a decent night's sleep, although the walls are paper thin and I found the bed far too soft and bouncy. I also didn't like the duvet, it felt like it was made of a waterproof material, a bit like sleeping bags are made of and the cover did not fasten so over the course of the night it tended to part company with the duvet itself. I reasonably well the second night too, although I think this must have been alcohol induced sleep as my husband reported being kept up by a disco complete with shouty DJ until gone midnight.
Breakfast was served in the dining room, which like the bar area was decorated contemporary style and was very attractive. Guests help themselves to breakfast cereals, fruit salad, yoghurts and juice. I decided to have some cereal, however the milk was not kept on ice and as I only like milk cold I had to leave it. We both ordered a full English, which was cooked to order and very nice. On the second morning I could not be bothered going down, buy my husband did and asked could he have some toast for me to bring back to the room and they were happy to oblige.
On the second evening we got in at about 9.30pm and as we had not eaten much during the day we decided to get something in the room. However they refused to do us anything hot, not even a BLT sandwich. I complained and they finally relented, although the food was not very good this time and we were annoyed that we could not have room service at 9.30pm even though they were still serving downstairs and were quite prepared to keep the house guests awake by running a disco until the small hours.
Our final bill was £200 which included two nights accommodation, breakfast and dinner for two both days and a couple of bottles of wine. Overall we thought this was reasonable. The other positive to Clough Manor was the staff, who other than the awkward chef who would not cook hot food, were all very helpful, friendly and seemed to try their best for guests. On the downside we found the room noisy as the walls are thin, the bed was uncomfortable, the shower was a challenge, we didn't like having to argue to get some hot food and my husband did not appreciate being kept up by a disco.
A few weeks earlier, I had stayed at the nearby Premier Inn in Milnrow. I thought Clough Manor would be a better experience. It was not and I know where I will be booking next time
Located on the Lancashire moors, the facitlity caters to weddings and business conferences.