In some ways good but some disappointments
higvin, Brussels, Belgium
First the positives. Close to the spectacular Cheviot Hills and Hadrian's Wall. Ancient inn with cosy public rooms. Our room (4) was a decent size and had a very comfortable king-size bed. But it was disappointing that while the inn is close to lovely countryside, its immediate surroundings aren't as great as you might think. There are lots of pine plantations nearby and the artificial lake Kielder Water we thought was underwhelming - although no doubt great for water sports enthusiasts. If there were good walks from the hotel they weren't obvious and staff weren't informative or especially responsive to our interest ('go and look at the brochures'). Also it's not entirely the silent rural idyll you might expect. There's a local through-road at the front of the hotel and while night times were generally quiet, if you have a room facing the road, as we did, you'll hear vehicles going by regularly from early in the morning, many to do with the local timber industry. Over three nights we found the food pretty good. We enjoyed the roast lamb, the partridge, the salmon and various pies (game and mushroom; steak and kidney). Excellent local draught beer and some good wines on offer (we liked the Italian Pinot Grigio and Sicilian Nero D'Avola). But, while the website gives the impression of cozy firelit rooms where guests are welcome to sit and read, this is not entirely accurate. On one evening, when, admittedly, there were only six customers and, other than us, they were all in the dining room, where there was a lit fire, we were told the fire in the bar we were sitting in couldn't be lit because there weren't enough customers. On another evening, when a fire was allowed in the bar, it was slightly unpleasant to have to listen to senior staff gossiping about junior staff to other junior staff. As to the fires, I did wonder whether possibly more people would come if the place felt more welcoming with a fire lit on cold evenings irrespective of the number of customers. In a similarly cost cutting way, unless you asked for two eggs for a cooked breakfast, you received only one - and, while it did ensure we were off and out exploring first thing in the morning, the strict 8 to 9 breakfast hours were not hugely relaxing for a holiday (bear in mind too that the kitchen closes at 8.30 on the dot in the evening). Despite the high price of accommodation, staff cleaning our room on one occasion left us with a third of a bottle of shampoo and a sliver of leftover soap when they ought to have supplied new. One morning there was only one staff member serving at breakfast - which meant service was predictably slow. And the door into the bathroom didn't close - and I'd say hadn't for some time. Why didn't they notice this and fix it? A bit below what you might expect for £110 a night. While the Pheasant has attractive aspects, the warmth of welcome, attention to care of guests and the limited knowledge of staff about walks in the immediate area mean that it didn't match our experience at other old pubs we've stayed at in England's north, for instance the Rose and Crown at Romaldkirk in County Durham or the George at Hubberholme in the Yorkshire Dales.
Superb Inn, Great Service.
NikEdinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
My wife and I had the pleasure of staying for 1 night in October, rest assured we'll be back again. Set in the Keilder Water national park, the Pheasant Inn is wonderfully remote giving you the feeling of being 'away from it all'. It is a typical English Inn with a roaring fire and a warm welcome, the only sound we heard was the hooting of an owl in the distance. Our room was comfortable, warm and very clean with large fluffy towels and lovely toiletries provided, the view was over the nearby rolling hills. We also had dinner at the Pheasant, the food was in keeping with the surroundings, wholesome ,hearty and plenty of it with a great selection of local produce to satisfy weary travellers and locals alike. Special mention must be made of the staff and owner who were very friendly, with nothing too much bother for them with a great line in chat too. Best of all was the breakfast, showcasing the best that Northumberland has to offer, just the perfect way to start your day.
Tim T, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
We usually have 3 or 4 short holidays in Northumberland and a highlight of many of these in recent years has been a meal at the Pheasant Inn. However, on this occasion (Saturday 28th October) all I can say is the whole experience was bitterly disappointing. When we booked our table we were advised that the Inn was “extremely busy” on that evening. So we were quite surprised, when we arrived and the bar/dining area (to the right of the main door) had just 4 customers in it - and indeed during the evening many tables in that side of the restaurant stayed empty, though did appear busier on the other side. We waited 40 minutes for our starters, when they arrived (2 cheese soufflés + 2 tartlets) - the cheese soufflés were microwaved to oblivion, had long since deflated and were rubbery, eggy messes swimming in a pool of scalding sauce - the whole lot tasted of exactly nothing. After the starters another long wait, then some vegetables arrived on the table - languished there for several minutes and then the waitress came to take them away again “they’re not your vegetables!” She announced – “good” said one of us who had accidentally touched the dish, “they are stone cold” – “are they really?” Was all the reply we got as she headed off towards the kitchen, a waitress came in the opposite direction with 2 identical dishes of vegetables, they literally crossed a few feet away from our table - the whole thing was completely bizarre! At least those were hot and actually quite tasty, which is more than can be said that the main courses. Duck confit were cold, and strangely salty - a vegetable lasagna had one over bearing taste ‘burnt!’ I have no idea what was going on that night, I would give it just one star - however, there was a young guy who was serving us with the wines and he was really nice helpful and cheerful so I actually give them an extra staff him and the memories of some of the other meals that we’ve had there - but I would never go back again.
Great for visiting the Observatory
The Pheasant is in a great location if you are visiting the Kielder Observatory. Our room was clean and very comfortable and the food was excellent. The staff were very helpful when we needed food out of usual hours. A pleasant and comfortable stay.
Lovely food, cosy pub, would recommend
peter b, Keighley, United Kingdom
We went here for tea after cycling round Kielder Water. Having popped in beforehand and been accommodated with a last minute booking we already had a good impression of the service. The food didn’t disappoint either, it was all delicious. Price wise it wasn’t cheap but was good value. The beer was good and the atmosphere cosy with a roaring fire. We were so impressed that we are looking at staying here in future. Excellent.