Another odd review this, but (unlike my Silverton review the other day) not because of the experience I had. In this case, it’s more because this hotel is in the town I live in, and there’s probably not many people that have stayed in a hotel in their own town.
Well, me being a bluff old romantic (!) I thought it would make a nice change to do the whole “weekend away from home” thing with Jem. However, I was mindful that I’m still trying to buy a house, so I had budgetary constraints to think of – which ruled out travelling down to London or anything like that.
So I thought, “why not stay at a hotel closer to home? It avoids excessive petrol costs and because you’re such a horrific loner there’s loads of places in the town you’ve never been to anyway.”
While looking for a suitable hotel I came across a page about The Wakeman Trail on Facebook, which is basically an art project started by pupils of the former Wakeman School in Shrewsbury, where they produce ceramic tile artwork that is installed into many of the “filled in” windows around the town – and the Sandford House Hotel was one such location.
Enough backstory, what about the hotel?
Well, I called the hotel to make my booking and spoke to the manager Ceri, who was very friendly and is clearly enthusiastic about the hotel and the town (I’ve since discovered that he is very much involved with promoting tourism within the town, which is another gold star in my book!)
Upon arrival, Ceri greeted Jem and myself and showed us to our room which was immaculately presented, with a large bed (top marks here, being a tall bugger I’m quite picky about the size of the beds that I sleep in!) and with all of the accoutrements that one would expect from a good hotel room.
I’m also very picky about showers – and the shower in the room that we were given was also excellent, easy to maintain at a good temperature and with enough power to give a nice invigorating shower. This actually made me somewhat reluctant to go home to my paltry low-water-pressure “shower.”
Tea and coffee making facilities were plentiful and Ceri was more than happy to provide additional sachets of coffee one of the nights when I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to overdose on caffeine.
No stay at a British bed and breakfast is complete without the latter part of the deal, of course. I never used to be one for a fry-up (and indeed, eating first thing in the morning can still sometimes leave me feeling a little delicate) but when you’ve paid for breakfast it seems churlish not to take advantage of it.
The traditional English breakfast served by Ceri and his wife Jackie was fantastic, just the right amount of everything to leave me feeling ready to face the day ahead, but without leaving me feeling like I’d just eaten an entire bean harvest. The bacon was expertly cooked – something I’m also quite particular about – and went down a treat.
So, what did you get up to in your own home town?
Ironically enough, nothing particularly exciting. Visited the new Museum (which may be the subject of a future review) and went for a few meals out, and then some walks around the town and Haughmond Hill.
But, we had terrific weather, so it didn’t really matter that we could have done this any weekend – it was still nice to get away from my flat for a weekend and have someone else make the bed, cook the breakfast etc.
I’d like to think we were pretty easy as hotel guests go, but Ceri and Jackie were wonderful hosts and even though I’m unlikely to go back there (I do live here after all) I’ll certainly be recommending them to anyone visiting me in the town!
Address: Sandford House Hotel, 37 St Julian’s Friars, Shrewsbury, SY1 1XL
Tel: 01743 343829