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The Beaumont, Hexham, Northumberland
A Victorian townhouse hotel with a bright, contemporary feel from the open-plan lounge bar-restaurant to the three floors of bedrooms. The latter vary, offering a choice between comfortable and well-priced to more characterful. With its pavement terrace and prime position opposite Hexham Abbey, the restaurant's Modern English food is popular with both locals and residents.
Rooms available from £115 per night
Nestled in Hexham town centre, opposite the abbey and town park and around the corner from the Market Place, it's in a busy location though not 24-hour noisy. The town lies just to the south of the main A69 between Newcastle and Carlisle (roughly mid-way between the two) and makes a good base for exploring south Northumberland. The 12th-century Hexham Abbey has a warm, intimate scale plus the town has a good selection of independent shops including a book store, pen and writing paraphernalia shop and toy shop.
By car: around 2 hours 30 minutes from York, 3 hours from Manchester and 6 hours from London. Free parking on-site.
By train: trains from Manchester (3 hours 30 minutes) and London King's Cross (4 hours) to Hexham. It's a 5-minute drive (or 10-minute walk) to the hotel. Book trains to Hexham.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
This four-storey sandstone Victorian building with its lofty pedimented dormer windows and glass-fronted open-plan ground floor certainly catches the eye. Public areas have a jazzy, contemporary look with parquet flooring, bold wallpapers, soft-grey paintwork and dark dado panelling. Leather and plaid-covered chairs mix with scrubbed wood and burnished metal tables.
A small lounge area of sofas and armchairs is part of the open-plan ground floor and within shouting distance of the bar. The hotel's small car park has cycle racks and if there's no more space, staff can supply discs and advise where to park. Throughout, staff are hard-working and attentive, even when the hotel is busy - which it often is as it's a popular locals' venue - and seem keen that all guests get the most from their stay.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
Spread over three floors, the rooms range from the good-value, a standard option with inoffensive dark-veneer furniture jazzed up with bold-print armchairs and cushions and mainly in the rear extension, to more characterful rooms with feature wallpapers, the occasional vintage piece and stylish bathrooms. All rooms, however, are a decent size and often come with bath as well as shower.
Room types: Standard Room, Superior Room
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, filtered water, TV, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
The open kitchen sets the tone for the enjoyable buzz in the dining area where all-day menus serve up Modern English food that's confident and punchy, such as sea bass with gnocchi and smoked mussels, and lamb with pancetta. Virtually all items, including the brioche for the homemade burgers, are made from scratch. There's also a short but well-judged and well-priced wine list.
Restaurant: Modern British cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients, seasonal menus. Mains include pan-roasted trout, lamb cutlets and short rib of beef. All-day dining, open daily.