‘When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is a secrecy, there is a luxury, there is fantasy. There is comfort. There is reassurance’ – Diane von Furstenberg
Since we got married in 2013, and despite our anniversary being at the end of March, we always try and go away or do something special. For the last couple of years we’ve just been out for dinner but this year we decided to treat ourselves to a night away at one of our favourite pub hotels, The Joiners Arms in Newton by the Sea.
One of the only things I dislike about the Joiners is that it’s not actually where we got married, however everything else ticks all my boxes. From the outside it looks like your standard country pub. White and black with a generous beer garden at the front. The bar/restaurant is also your standard cosy country fayre, big windows that let in lots of natural sunlight, good food and a fully stocked bar with local real ales and an impressive wine cellar.
More about the restaurant later but the absolute show stopper, the hidden gem of this place is undoubtedly the absolutely beautiful guest rooms. This was out third visit and we always try and stay in a different room each time. This time round we were staying in Silver Beach which is one of the more expensive rooms that looks out towards the gorgeous Northumberland coast.
The room comes with a beautiful four poster kingsize bed, a Juliet balcony, dark mahogany desk and wardrobe, and large bathroom with walk in power shower and gorgeous natural local toiletries. Honestly I could have stood under that shower for hours, it was probably one of the nicest showers I’ve ever had!
Because we were celebrating, and had visited before so knew how beautiful the rooms were, he hung out there for a while before going down to the restaurant for dinner. On check in I was a little disappointed when they didn’t offer us a complimentary drink like they have done on previous visits however they have replaced this by putting ingredients in your room to make your own french martinis, which actually is a really nice touch – you can have a large glass of white wine any time, anywhere (like in my kitchen for example). We’d been kindly given a bottle of moet from my brother and sister-in-law for our anniversary so we enjoyed that (and the french martinis) as our pre dinner drinks in the room.
We were having such a lovely time that we almost forgot to go down for dinner, however once in the restaurant our rumbling tummies took over as we perused the menu over (even more) drinks from the bar.
It’s a traditional gastro pub with a traditional menu and it’s coastal location means that fish dishes feature heavily on the specials board. When we visited the special was tuna steak however all our celebratory drinks meant we were after something a little more substantial so we started by sharing the camambert.
For mains we both decided to keep it simple, as in our minds, you simply can’t beat good hearty food done well. Dave paid homage to the fact it was a Friday night and went for fish and chips and I had the burger. Both hit the spot perfectly, the fish was meaty and not too greasy and the burger was just the right amount of pink to be able to really taste the quality of the meat.
After all of that there simply wan’t room left for pudding so we sat and finished our drinks then retired to our room. The hotel offers a complimentary turn down service so we we got back to the room the duvet was pulled back, the lights dimly lit and smooth radio on. I’m not sure what kind of behavior they were encouraging with that kind of decadence but it was straight to sleep for these full, drunken cats!
One of my favourite things about staying in food hotel in undoubtedly the breakfast and the meal the night before must have stretched my stomach because I was well up for my devilled eggs on toast the next morning. Now I’m sad to say despite being my favourite meal of the day this time the Joiners Arms let us down where it previously excelled. On our last two visits breakfast has has been served in your room and you were presented with a list of items on arrive and could just tick what you wanted. They even sourced me some marmite on my toast on one occasion even though it wasn’t listed. However this time breakfast was served down in the restaurant and you ordered off a menu.
That said breakfast was pretty lovely and there wasn’t much that wasn’t available. I’m just disappointed I couldn’t eat my breakfast in my pjs.
So whilst there were a few little perks that the Joiners seem to have done away with which is what made us so taken with it in the first place, it still stands up as a really high end b&b and we’re still on a quest to sleep in every room!
Address: B1340, High Newton-by-the-Sea, Alnwick NE66 3EA
Phone: 01665 576112