Whenever we go away for a night we always do our research; what are the rooms like? What about the food? Is there a swimming pool? all the usual questions you’d find on TripAdvisor but when you have children, you do a bit more research to make sure it’s suitable with things to do for the whole family. We were recently invited to Crewe Hall, a QHotel in South Cheshire, to stay with the family and for Olly, our five year old, to report back on how he found it, KidsAdvisor style!
Staying at Crewe Hall, is it a castle?
As we drove into the grounds of Crewe Hall, we were all pretty impressed with what we saw. Crewe Hall is a Jacobean country house dating back to 1615 and it’s very grand looking. Olly’s first words were “Oh em gee, we’re staying in a castle!” It’s safe to say he couldn’t wait to have a look around and was excited to stay.
We checked into reception to find that we were staying in a family room in the newer part of the building, the West Wing. The receptionist gave Olly an activity pack and told us about a few of the family friendly things to do; there was a swimming pool on site in the health club and we would find a token in our room for Olly to exchange at reception to loan some books and games during our stay.
As we made our way through the hotel, we were really in awe of the decor. The hall retains a lot of original features with its grand fireplaces, intricate designed ceilings and heraldic animals lining the staircases. Olly really did think he was staying in a castle!
Our room in the West Wing was large enough for a double bed, a roll-away single bed and a travel cot. There was plenty of storage space along with an en-suite and hot drink making facilities. The fridge must have been an after thought as it was tucked away in the corner of the room (and not by the kettle) but lets face it, the children aren’t going to be bothered by that!
Unfortunately we found the cot that the hotel provided to be in a poor state and unsuitable for a baby so we reported back to Reception that we wouldn’t be using it (favouring our own SleepSpace travel cot that we take when travelling, just in case) and asked housekeeping to remove it. We were later visited by the Head Housekeeper who apologised profusely and thanked us for informing her team about the unsatisfactory cot which would no longer be used.
On Olly’s bed, one of the housekeeping team had folded a towel into the shape of a teddy bear which was a lovely touch and a nice welcome to the hotel.
We arrived too late to try out the pool (there are restricted times for family swimming) so we unpacked and got ready for dinner in the hotel restaurant, The Brasserie.
Child friendly food
The food at The Brasserie was incredible. It’s no wonder they have been awarded an AA rosette for quality cuisine. The Childrens menu is simple and appealing for young children and all meals include a Cawston Press Fruit Water. The Childrens menu is also an activity sheet so Olly was given some crayons and loved the word search and the colouring in!
On our first evening, Olly chose the garlic bread to start, a margherita pizza with pepperoni for his main course and chocolate brownie for dessert. Olly wasn’t keen on his garlic bread starter but the pizza soon made up for it. He said it was the best pizza he had ever eaten and said the chef was amazing! He even said the chef should be on Masterchef which was reported back to the kitchen and made the chefs evening!
On our second evening, Olly chose fruit and vegetable ‘bits and pieces’, he chose the pepperoni pizza again and opted for mini doughnuts with a chocolate dipping sauce for afters. Again, the quality of the food was really good, presented well and most importantly, was apparently “delicious”. We’ve not seen Olly eat so much in a long time!
Both my husband and I loved the food at Crewe Hall. I particularly enjoyed the corn-fed chicken breast served with jalapeño and mozzarella macaroni and Shilts loved the 500g Sirloin Steak served with triple cooked chips, grilled mushroom and tomato with a side salad. All the food we ate was hot, full of flavour and served with real attention to detail.
The restaurant staff were particularly friendly, with the Restaurant Manager Lello, engaging with Olly and making him feel very welcome. In fact, all the restaurant staff were helpful, attentive and friendly. We weren’t the only diners in the restaurant with children so it was good to see other families enjoying the hotel too.
The breakfasts are served in The Brasserie and are buffet style with hot and continental items available. A buffet style breakfast is perfect when you have children as they often want a little bit of this and a little bit of that and that’s certainly what Olly chose. He loved the pancakes, croissants, the freshly cooked bacon and eggs and the toast! For parents who want a bit more of a nutritious breakfast, there are cereals, fresh fruits, yoghurts, cold meats and a range of baked goods to enjoy!
Child friendly facilities
Olly couldn’t wait to go swimming so straight after breakfast as Freddie snoozed, Shilts and Olly went to the pool for a swim. The water was beautiful, they found it really warm and they could have stayed in it all morning. Towels are provided for guests to use so you don’t need to take your own!
We didn’t get time to exchange the token for games and books at Reception but I love the idea that there are child friendly items to loan whilst you’re staying at Crewe Hall. Olly loved to explore the hotel and spot the animals and people on the walls, he couldn’t believe how high the ceilings were and that the hotel had its own chapel! All the staff were friendly and we felt very comfortable there.
Olly loved the cookies and milk that were left in our room for him on our first night but was a little disappointed they weren’t left for him on our second night. It would have been nice for the hotel to be consistent with these as we all know how little ones look forward to an evening treat!
On our last afternoon in the hotel, we took baby Freddie for his first ever swim in the pool. It was warm and inviting and he managed a good 25 minutes in the water before becoming tired and needing a snooze on a lounger at the side of the pool. It was great to see him enjoying the water and of course, Olly loved that he could share the pool with his little brother.
We all enjoyed our stay at Crewe Hall and would certainly recommend it to families just like ours. I asked Olly for his rating of the hotel and I’m not sure he grasped the concept as he said he’d give it an 11 out of 10. I’m pretty sure that means he loved it!
You can find out more about Crewe Hall and book your stay here.
Disclosure: We were invited to stay at Crewe Hall for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own.