Newest Review: ... anymore! Christmas 2008 was an absolute disaster.........We asked for vegetables to be served seperately, as in previous years and the ... more
Six stars! Haycock in Wansford
Haycock Hotel (Wansford)
Member Name: gollygumdrops
Haycock Hotel (Wansford)
Date: 10/02/01, updated on 24/05/01 (2522 review reads)
Advantages: Great staff, great building, great food
Disadvantages: Other hotels don't try this hard
The hotel looks great from the street as it has a large stone front and gardens filled with ducks. It does not appear however to have anything as prosaic as a car park, although there is plenty of on street parking. Check in and out are always fast and painless, and all staff are friendly and helpful to a degree that is almost painful.
Old hotels like this usually make a lot of compromises between history and efficiency, and never seem to pull it off. The Haycock is an exception. The main building has low, beamed ceilings, open fires and rattly windows. In here there are also a few bedrooms. I haven’t stayed in them as they are far too fancy and romantic for me and include at least one four poster.
Miserable souls like me who arrive at night and want somewhere quiet and efficient to sleep and work walk from the main building through what looks like a stable yard into a new wing. This wing is beautifully built in local stone to match the existing structure, but has all the modern conveniences I crave. The rooms are large and airy, with comfortable beds and plenty of space to work.
There are tea and coffee facilities and shortbread biscuits (hurrah - but not Walkers brand – boo). There are also fresh apples and little bottles of still and sparking water, which is a nice touch. The TV offers the four main channels, although not Channel 5, which is an
other plus. Sky Premier movie channel is included along with sports and news channels, but no porn! The rooms do have those pointless Corby trouser creasers, but are also rather sensibly kitted out with an iron and ironing board.
The bathrooms are great, and instead of those fiddly little sachets and earth destroying bottles of shampoo and bath foam they have great big glass bottles of Moulton Brown shampoo, soap and body lotion with pump dispensers. It is nice to be able to dispense the right amount and not to feel compelled to gather up the freebie selection of toiletries at the end of your stay. These may have proved too tempting for some guests though, as a sign now reads ‘available for purchase at £10 each’!
Room service is available, and though limited offers some tasty sandwich and steak type options. Breakfast is available in room and in addition to the standard hotel breakfasts for a small (~£4) supplement you can have Eggs Benedict, scrambled egg and smoked salmon or kedgeree. For a bigger supplement you can order champagne, orange juice and strawberries, although I’m certain the accountant and my customers would have frowned upon that.
The bar is superb. You can eat in there or just have a drink, and there are two main sections, one like a traditional pub with an open fire and little nooks and crannies and another which is more like a club or reading room with wing back arm chairs. I was able to have quiet a dinner drink and a read in here without having to employ my normal ‘leave me alone’ devices of a pint of mild and a copy of the Guardian.
The restaurant is even better. There are two main eating areas, in the building or in a huge conservatory. The menu is medium sized with plenty of variety. There are British, French, Thai, Italian and Moroccan style dishes, but the chef very wisely keep to just one country per plate and doesn’t attempt any bizarre fusions. The fis
h range is superb, from Thai Mussels to start through swordfish, salmon and monkfish options amongst others. The Tuscan salad is excellent and can be had as a starter or main course, and if you’re really chubby you can order a main course plate of it to share as a side dish between a couple of you, not that I’d do such an uncouth thing. Expect to pay about £25 per head plus wine for a normal, slightly less greedy, persons meal.
The meals aren’t all fancy, there’s fish and chips with mushy peas, or steak and chips, and if you eat in your room you can have anything you like and chips. Did I mention the chips? They are divine! None of your namby pamby French fries here. The Haycocks chips are fat and brown and crisp with light, fluffy snowy white insides, they audibly crunch when you bite them. I really liked the chips!
The meeting and function rooms have the same divide as the bedrooms. Sensible meetings in the new wing, weddings, parties, dinners etc in the old. This means that the miserable folk get clean efficiency and a free copy of the FT, whilst the celebration crowd get history and romance.
Whenever I’ve stayed or worked at the Haycock all of the employees have treated me as both a welcome guest and paying customer rather than a bed night and margin contributor to be processed. One final touch which I think summed them up for me was that with your key card is a small note telling you about a charity for carers that they support. An optional charge of £1 is added to your bill which is then contributed to this charity.
The Haycock isn’t cheap with room only rate for one starting at about £80, more for double occupancy and more again for the nicer romantic rooms. However, if you call ahead and agree a visit at an off peak time you can negotiate breakfast and evening meal into the price of your room.
I would thoroughly recommend the Haycock for business and leisure stays. <
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE8 6JA
Voice +44 (1780) 782223
Fax +44 (1780) 783031
More reviews in the field of Hotel National
- Comfortable predictability
- Can't be that good - they let me in!
- The beautiful Bonham
- Keep your eyes peeled for a bargain hotel deal!
- Lal Qila sunrise
- Would have been "wel" good without the sleepless nights
- BEWARE IF YOU ARE ILL!!!!
- Visit The Skylounge!
- A stones throw from Durham City Centre !
- A Decent place to stop for a night.