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Report 2043: Northumberland in the Snow in January

By Eleanor from UK, Winter 2013

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Page 10 of 10: Hog’s Head Inn, Alnwick

photo by MAW

Bedroom, Hog's Head Inn

This is a newly opened inn just off the Alnwick by pass. Alnwick Castle was used for Hogworts in the Harry Potter films and the inn cashes in on the connection being named after the inn in Hogsmeade. Anyone expecting a replica of this is likely to be very disappointed, or relieved...

It is an attractive modern building with large and very comfortable bedrooms and an excellent shower with lashings of hot water. The bar and dining rooms are large and modern.

The dinner menu was basic pub grub with a few rather more exotic items on it, with more on the specials board.

For starters, Michael chose bacon, mushroom and stilton bake which was served on a toasted bap with salad garnish. I couldn’t resist the haggis with tatties and neeps. It was good and fortunately not too large or filling.

For the mains Michael agonized between steak, scampi or steak and ale pie, eventually settling on the latter. It was a large slab of pie with a dense meaty filling served with chips and seasonal vegetables. In fact it was a bit too meaty with little gravy to moisten it and he had to ask for extra gravy.

After great deliberation I chose the Burradoo Farm lamb loin sourced from a farm near Morpeth. There were two thick slices of lamb served on herby potato with braised cabbage with just enough tartness to make it interesting.

Again we passed on desserts.

There was a choice of two real ales. Tyneside Blonde from the Hadrian and Border Brewery is the house ale but we decided to settle on the guest beer, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.

The full English breakfast was a tasty and huge plateful of local Alnwick sausage, bacon, sauté potatoes, baked beans, mushroom, tomato and eggs, which lasted us all the way home.

The forecast for that morning was heavy snow spreading south. We reluctantly decided to leave exploring Alnwick and nearby Rothbury for another holiday and begin heading south, to be home before the snow. It was possibly the right decision as all the way south along the A1 were large signs warning “Severe weather forecast for today.”

We enjoyed our break even though the weather wasn't as good as we'd hoped, but at least we didn't get snowed in...


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