“ Address: Old Hellaby Lane / Hellaby / Sheffield / South Yorkshire / S66 8SN / England „
Standing majestically above the swaying tree tops down a country lane off the busy main Bawtry Road, the Hellaby Hall Hotel beckons all with a taste for a little old fashioned grandeur to enter within.
With visions of Upstairs Downstairs with a hint of Downton flashing through my mind, we booked an afternoon tea which we assumed would be a tasteful little number with relaxing music playing in the background as we nibbled on exquisite cakes, with the added sophistication of a glass of sparkling wine.
When a bored waitress shuffled us into a dark corner of a vast, empty, silent room my illusions quickly began to fade. When she then insisted that it wasn't a dark corner at all and resisted budging on the issue (or setting up another table - oh the bother) my illusions were well and truly shattered.
Tea came in a suitably large teapot which made me wonder where the glass of wine was as I was starting to feel the need for a bit of cheering up. Then came the main event - the afternoon tea.
Let's just say that the cake stand didn't have to be sturdy to stand the weight of it. You could pop the sandwiches in your mouth like gobstoppers and with a dab of ham and a sticky substance that tasted suspiciously like fish paste, the bygone effect was more school party circa 1972 than Downton Abbey.
If I could slice a cake as thinly as these were sliced I'd be quite proud of myself and then we had the strawberry dilemma. One bowl of cream, one strawberry and two people. Surely it would run to a couple of strawberries. The scones were like granite.
I was ready to toast my vow never to return by the time my puny glass of bubbly arrived.
What the accommodation is like I have no idea, but if I was wanting a tasty treat in the area again - I'd opt for the fast food place up the road.
Hellaby Hall in Rotherham was the choice of venue for my recent work's Christmas party. It's a well-known hotel locally and one of only a few 4 star hotels in the area. It wasn't somewhere that I had been to before so I was interested to find out what it had to offer.
Over the years it has established itself as a premier venue for conferences, wedding functions and other events. Beds are still available so it is still officially a hotel by the true definition of the word, although I imagine that this now only forms a very small part of its business.
Upon arrival I was rather impressed by the exterior of the hotel. Since its tucked away off the main road down a short private road its not really visible unless you are actually visiting it so this was the first time that I had seen it up close. The main part of the building is housed within a former country house and is now a Grade 2 listed building. Separating this building from a newer annex where the majority of the bedrooms are there is a large car park. Our function was inside the old building, which is where the majority of the function rooms are to be found.
The lobby was very grand with a small reception tucked away in a corner against the left hand wall. There were plush carpets and lots of tall house plants in fancy pots. We were quickly greeted and asked which party we were from and then directed to our private room. Our room was mid size with a capacity of around 100. There was a bar and prints on the wall as well as a fully decorated Christmas tree and a small stage/dancefloor. I imagine that there are dozens of rooms like this of varying size throughout the building.
Our tables were neatly arranged and first impressions were good but we would quickly discover that the prices behind the bar were rather steep. I paid £3.85 for a pint of luke warm Castlemaine XXXX lager. The next problem related to the service, it wasn't slow it was quite the opposite and very rushed giving us the impression that they wanted us out as quickly as possible for the next party. The food quality however was very good so this was a real shame.
Overall this seemed like a lovely place but it was let down by the poor quality of the lager (and other drinks which everyone else moaned about) and their extortionate prices and the rushed service with the meals.
A 17th Century country house with 90 available rooms.