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Our little black book of enchanting places

Lord Crewe Hotel, Bamburgh

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

As we chug out towards the Farne Islands the penny drops: this is where Grace Darling performed her extraordinary feat of heroism in 1838. As a schoolgirl I thought Grace was, well, amazing.Extrior, Lord Crewe Hotel, Bamburgh Grace Darling, you may remember, was the lighthouse keeper’s daughter who helped rescue survivors from a shipwreck off the coast of Northumberland. I discover that not only is my erstwhile heroine buried in Bamburgh, where we are staying, but she also has her own museum. And it turns out there are lots of delightful things to discover in Bamburgh, not least The Lord Crewe Hotel, our home for two nights.Restaurant, The Lord Crewe Hotel, BamburghThe Lord Crewe is a gastro pub with seven rooms, done up in contemporary country style: think wood floors, tongue-and-groove panelling and  exposed stone walls, decorated in a subdued Farrow & Ball-inspired colour palette. It’s just the sort of place I like: design conscious but unpretentious, with two dining rooms, a bar (which serves very good mohitos) and a lounge.Upstairs, the bedrooms are fairly plain but have all the modern must-haves, including crisp white bedlinen and a decent shower. True, our loo wobbles slightly, as does the wardrobe, but we love the massive tartan headboard and the pretty window seat with tea tray and biscuits. The best room is apparently No 5 but we are perfectly happy with No 3.Just up the road is an acclaimed seafood restaurant called The Potted Lobster which even in May when we visit is booked solid. We manage to wangle a table in the bar and dine on Shetland mussels, freshly dressed local crab and a half lobster grilled with garlic and parsley butter. With so much to cram into two days, including visits to Bamburgh castle, Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands, the only meal we eat at The Lord Crewe is breakfast and a jolly good breakfast it is, too. Full English for him; perfectly poached eggs for me.Extrior, Lord Crewe Hotel, BamburghThere are several other hotels in Bamburgh but not only is The Lord Crewe definitely the most charming, it also has the best location, opposite the mighty castle that was once the seat of the Kings of Northumbria and a short walk through the dunes from the expansive beach. Good value, too, at £135 including breakfast in high season (£105 in low season). Further information from The Lord Crewe Hotel, Bamburgh, Northumberland.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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