Today’s blog consists of a review of my recent stay at the 4 star County Hotel in Newcastle and I would like to share my experience of my first trip to the city.

As a birthday treat for my girlfriend I booked us a one night stay at the County Hotel in Newcastle. Part of a deal provided on Livingsocial I saw it as the perfect place for us to spend our first trip away together and was something we could look forward to. We took the train from Huddersfield which was a journey of just over two hours. Arrived at Newcastle early afternoon to find the hotel conveniently situated directly opposite the station, absolutely perfect for those travelling to the city by train, especially those who chose not to travel light (including myself!)

Check-in wasn’t until 3pm so upon arrival before heading into the hotel we had a brief walk to a nearby Yates’s to grab a bite to eat. Perhaps should have dropped off our luggage but we hadn’t walked too far. Once we had eaten we then proceeded to check into the hotel, greeted by a polite gentleman on reception who processed my Livingsocial voucher and informed us that our free bottle of Prosecco could be collected from the Hotel’s bar at our convenience.

We spent a couple of hours at the hotel and as evening approached, we went out for a meal together at well known Italian restaurant chain Bella Italia which was within walking distance from the hotel in the nearby shopping centre. Finding the place wasn’t the easiest of tasks despite enlisting the help of usually reliable Google Maps, yet despite the slight mishap we eventually found the restaurant and enjoyed a lovely two course meal. We skipped starters and each had a main and a dessert, which with a Groupon offer was only £18 between the two of us, plus the additional cost of drinks.

We then began to explore the night life Newcastle had to offer. We weren’t expecting it to be too busy with it being midweek however we visited a few bars including Revolution, it’d be rude not to take advantage of their 2 for 1 cocktails offer after all! We visited a couple more bars and had our last drink in cocktail bar The Botanist. Whilst walking there we crossed paths with a large number of drunken students, some of whom were dressed in smart attire, others in togas. Must have been social night, not that this was a problem, must be a familiar sight given Newcastle’s reputation as a place renowned for its nightlife. All the bars we visited were within a short walk from the hotel and so no taxis were needed to be called. We had considered going into Bijoux, made famous by MTV Show Geordie Shore, however decided to give that a miss and head back to the hotel.

The following morning we enjoyed breakfast that was included as part of our stay. It was served between the hours of 6.30am and 10am and so we went down to the hotel’s restaurant to check out what was on offer. Amongst the selection was a full English breakfast, with several offerings of fresh fruit and a variety of cereals. And we were kindly offered a hot beverage to accompany our meal. We then headed back upstairs to make the most out of our late check-out of 1pm. Upon check out the receptionist kindly offered to store our luggage at the hotel which was much appreciated given that Storm Doris had unfortunately meant that the weather had taken a turn for the worse, and constant rain blighted the skies. Despite this, given our train home wasn’t until 19:10, we took some time out to explore the area, including the nearby Millenium Bridge. We stopped for a drink in the Pitcher and Piano Bar/Restaurant which was located on the Quayside. After spending an hour or so in here we headed back towards the centre to grab some food and decided on Handmade Burger Co, which was located in the food court at intu Eldon Square, where we had had a meal at Bella Italia the previous night. Our final stop was at the Starbucks located next door to our hotel, we ended up spending a lengthy amount of time here given that the weather left us with little option but to seek refuge indoors as much as possible. The time to head back home arrived. We got the train back to Huddersfield as scheduled but Storm Doris meant that the rail network had suffered several delays and cancellations but this only added an extra 30 mins into our journey. Could have been far worse I suppose!

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend the hotel, particularly due to its location. Pricing was very reasonable and despite a minor issue with the room (that being the toilet wouldn’t flush properly), the service we received was second to none and we particularly appreciated the hotel receptionist’s offer to store our luggage. In terms of the trip overall, despite only being a one night stay our first trip away together was a fun-filled, enjoyable one. Perhaps we might have been able to do more had the weather have been better but made the most of it nonetheless! Next stop, York!

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