More about Thornbury Castle
We have just returned from a fabulous weekend at Thornbury Castle . We were there to celebrate our 10th Wedding anniversary . It was a surprise stay organised by my husband. On arrival I was greeted at the car and shown to our chamber which was reached at the top of a spiral staircase. The room took my breath away . A massive chamber , with stone walls , a four poster bed , tapestry about 12ft long , an open fireplace and additional touhes such as a decanter of sherry , sweets , home made biscuits etc.
The archway to the dressing area was beautiful and the bathroom giganitc, complete with bathtub , double shower etc. The bathrobes were huge and snug and molton brown accessories welcomed !
On arrival for dinner on the same evening we were greeted at the door , shown into the magnificent lounge area where we enjoyed canapes and drinks , before making our dinner choices. The food was EXCELLENT as was the service . On return to our chamber the bed was turned down and chocolates placed on our pillow.
The staff could not do enough to help . they were thoroughly attentive without being intrusive , throughout the weekend.
My husband discovered that we had actually been upgraded as there had been a cancellation the previous day, and with the knowledge that we were there for a special occasion , they altered our booking,so we stayed in a suite as opposed to a de luxe room . Either way , I ony heard positive comments from other guests whilst we were at Thornbury and recommend it unreservedly for any special occasion .
A unique experience , and one which will be cherished . Need I say more ?!
Another fantastic stay
12 months ago my then fiancee and I got married at Thornbury Castle and we continue to excite and delight in this most fantastic hotel. We returned for our anniversary in October this year and reluctantly left after a great 2 days. We have vowed to each other to return each year and stay in a diffferent room (so we're good for 25+ years!) which must be the best testament possible to any hotel.
We have stayed in all levels of bedchambers, breakfasted, lunched, afternoon tea'd and dined, each experience being fantastic. The staff are most friendly and helpful without being false or intrusive and this gives the place a most relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
I know I must not add any comments detrimental to other reviewers but I have to question whether you've been to another Thornbury in the UK!
See you in 2006, Thornbury, if we can wait that long!
Fantastic staff, beautiful place to stay, hated the plumbing!!
My husband and I stayed at Thornbury Castle for three nights. I got a package through Luxury Link which included a picnic lunch, dinner in the restaurant one night, breakfast daily, a bottle of champagne on arrival and a bottle of castle wine. For the price I paid, it was a bargain.
We had the Woodstock room, which was in one of the turrets at the front of the castle. The room was incredibly spacious and clean, and the furniture was very fitting for the room - four poster bed, comfy sofa, table and chairs fit for room service, and a decent telly. There was a bottle of sherry and biscuits for snacking, and bottles of Ty Nant water came with the room. The bathroom was a bit too modern for my taste - I've stayed in other castles around the UK and this one was just a bit too grandmother-like for me, but hey ho. The toiletries were Molton Brown (fantastic), and there were cosy robes too. There was no water pressure to speak of in the shower, so I washed my hair for three days in the bathtub! However, this was a minor annoyance and not particularly surprising.
We had room service one night (excellent service, fantastic food) and we ate in the restaurant another night. The food was OUTSTANDING and the chef and staff should be extremely proud - I highly recommend making time for a meal here. Our waiter was a lovely Spanish gentleman who had been working at the castle for thirty years; he is a real credit to the hotel and made the evening extra special for us.
We took pre-dinner drinks and then our after-dinner coffee in the library, which is a lovely room; when we went in for our coffee, there was an American gentleman in there with shorts and running shoes on, which seemed highly inappropriate - this is not the sort of place you run about how ever you like in, and the demeanor of the place really deserves to be preserved with respectfully chosen dress. We had dressed nicely for dinner (hubby: jacket and nice trousers, I in silk trousers and a nice top and jacket) as had everyone else in the restaurant.
The real "cherry on the cake" for us was Jonathan, who we can only assume was a concierge or some type of manager - he did not give us his title, and we would not stoop to asking him for it. He was there every morning to greet us with a handshake and recommendations for the day, and was usually there to welcome us back in the evenings. Jonathan is one of the reasons we are planning on returning as soon as we can. He is a true hotelier in every sense, and his hospitality pervades the place.
One other note: do not shy away from the Thornbury Castle wine! We were a bit skeptical, as English wine has not really been something that has had many kudos in recent years - but this wine, a white, was fantastic. We even brought two bottles back to the US so we can enjoy then with some cheese and relive our happy memories of our time at the castle.
The homemade chutney is also delicious, as it their homemade museli!
Treat yourself! Go to Thornbury Castle!
My wife and I visited thornbury castle to celebrate a birthday. We had asked for their best room and were allocated the Henry VIII suite. On arrival, the staff know you by name, the Concierge ensures all luggage is taken to the room prior to moving your car to the car park.
The hotel itself is awe inspiring, beautifully unrestored in places and the grounds are a treat for the numerous photo opportunities.
The room was stunning, four poster bed roaring fire, jacuzzi hot tub, regulalrly topped up decanter of sherry, freshly baked biscuits and glorious decor.
Going down to dinner, the pre dinner snacks are served quickly, again all staff address you by name despite never meeting you before. The house wine produced at Thornbury is gorgeous. The food is en par with Ramsay or Pierre White. The waiting staff clearly love their work and are the ultimate professionals
Please dress up for dinner, long dresses and suits add to the ambience, jeans (as one guest wore) lower the tone and to be fair produce glares from other guestd that could spoil one's evening.
After a glorious night's sleep, breakfast is as big or as small as you wish with all taste's accounted for (The smoked salmon and scrambled eggs are to die for)
The thing that makes Thornbury so glorious is the attention to detail from the staff. The manager is hands on and deals with all issues efficiently and always has the guests' best interest at heart. Little touches like piping "Happy Birthday" on my wife's pudding plate was gratefully received even though I had only mentioned her Birthday when booking the room nearly a year ago.
Yes it is expensive but worth every penny. Five star service which makes an important special occasion, precious.
Perfect Romantic break for us
Took my American fiancé here for a weekend break. We had one of the two best rooms in the place which admittedly was --- expensive but BOY was it worth it. Room is definably the best I've ever (and probably will ever) stay in. Open fireplace, bed was perfect, room was HUGE, service perfect.
The only thing I could complain about (if I was pedantic) was the free mineral water was left unchilled near the fireplace and got heat bubbles in hehe!
TV was well hidden in some fitting furniture but that never even got turned on. Just the smell of the place - the look, the feel, was perfect.
Thonbury itself is just a little village, few nice places to eat, probably best driving to Bath and Bristol if you are seeing the area but we rarely went out of the place. The castles got some great gardens to enjoy too (which I ended up driving into by accident in the dark!)
Staff were great, offered to park my car, knew who I was without introducing myself (very impressed!), friendly, even offered to find us a fireworks display to go to (as we went Nov the 5th time). They did laugh when I opened the door at night to a suit of armour facing me which scared the life out of me!
Didn't try the food, was a bit posh for us! hehe If you want a 6* experience this is the place to go! You feel like royalty sitting in the lounges sipping drinks enjoying the portraits of Henry the 8th etc.
For a romantic break, I'm gonna find it hard to beat this place!
thanks to all
UK Taster Tour
After years of dreaming and planning, my big UK tour is now a very pleasant memory. A bit much to pack into 12 days, but not a major stop I would have given up.
It all began with four days in lovely London. Hilton Honors points took care of my stay at the comfy Langham Hilton where the staff took excellent care of me. The days went quickly with visits to old friends like the British Museum (recently spiffed up), Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London. The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace was a real treat after failing to see it in my three previous trips. Tea at Fortnum and Masons has lost some of its charm as nearly all the customers were fellow Americans. A relatively new highlight is the Museum of London.
From London, it was a quick and easy train ride to Windsor. Most of the castle held little charm to me, but it was definitely worth the trip on two accounts. First off, St. George's Chapel is a wonder for those with even the slightest interest in English history or architecture. I spent nearly two hours in that building alone! The other treat was knowing the queen was in residence. Her flying banner told me she was sleeping right across the street from my hotel.
Now the adventure truly began as I picked up my rental car at Heathrow. Driving on the left was nowhere near as bad as I had feared. The real problem was sitting on the right-hand side of the car. After a week of driving, I still had no idea how to judge where the left side of the car ended. The dreaded British roundabouts turned out to be a blessing since I could just keep going around until I found the desired exit (not always clear from the AA directions).
The major stops on my self-designed tour were Avebury, Glastonbury, Wells, Warwick, Chester, Conwy, York, Durham and Hadrian's Wall. Warwick was a bit of a disappointment as the (relatively) new Tussaud's ownership has stripped away much of the authentic charm. Nearby Kennilworth, however, more than made up for it. Chester proved to be a good base for exploring North Wales despite being a last minute itinerary change. Highlights of the Wales visit included a visit to Ewephoria for a demonstration of how the dogs work the sheep and the lovely walled town of Conwy.
York was one of the highlights of the trip and deserved well more than the time I alotted for it. Probably the best day of the entire vacation was the one I spent at an archeological dig with York Archeological Trust. YAT has a program under which anyone can participate in an actual dig for a day or two or even longer. Nothing will beat the memory of finding Roman pottery shards and a bronze-age worked flint. Other treats were an evening cruise down the Ouse to the bishop's palace, the Jorvik Center with it's amazing Viking finds, and tea at the famous Betty's.
Much of the trip centered around staying at a couple of very special castle hotels, both of which I highly recommend. Thornbury Castle Hotel is the better known of the two. Located just north of Bristol, it makes an excellent base for a large part of England. The room I had was just amazing with a large and incredibly comfortable canopy bed, stone walls, and all the modern conveniences. The dining room and grounds are worthy of a stop in themselves as is the small village of Thornbury. Up in Northumberland, Langley Castle Hotel is near Hadrian's Wall. Nowhere near as well known as Thornbury, it is equally authentic with some unique features. The Greenwich room in which I stayed had the loveliest window seat carved into the 7 foot thick walls. Between the physical features and wonderful service, these are two places to which I look forward to revisiting.