Picture this, a log fire is burning, you’re seated in a cosy countryside pub, the lights are low, the smell of fresh cooking is wafting into the room, and you have a glass of wine in your hand. Pure perfection! This was me, last week on a staycation to St Marys Inn.
Set in south Northumberland near the idyllic Stannington village, as part of a new community which is currently being developed, St Marys Inn pub and B&B is on the site of the historic St Mary’s Hospital. Built a century ago as the county asylum for Gateshead, the hospital closed in 1996. The Inn is in the bold and handsome former administration building. With its colourful red brick and contrasting window mouldings, handsome clock tower and arched doorway, it really is a striking building.
Myself and my other half headed up the A1 on a blustery Thursday evening for some relaxation and Christmas festivities! We planned our trip perfectly, we both took the next day off so that we could enjoy some time together before the busy lead up to Christmas. We were actually quite surprised at how near St Marys Inn is to us, it took us just half an hour to get there yet we felt a million miles away from home.
On arrival, we were warmly welcomed in by Robin, the general manager. I say this all of the time but it really does make a difference to an experience when the staff are so wonderful and from the minute we arrived at St Marys Inn we felt at home. Robin showed us to our room, explained how breakfast worked, and then it was time to unwind.
Our room was called the Catcleugh suite and it was truly stunning. The bedrooms have been designed with one aim; to give us customers a good night’s sleep! It’s clear that the customers of St Mary’s Inn are at the heart of the business.
The suite was light, tranquil and spacious. It had such a modern feel to it yet its traditional roots were prominent with a wrought-iron bedstead mix and a Victorian wardrobe. I adored the bed, the cushions were firm and the quilt was thick and soft. I was very excited to go to sleep that night! The finishing touches throughout the room make it very homely and it was totally spotless. I can’t fault the room!
My favourite part about the suite was definitely the bathroom. Talk about bathroom goals?! When I get a house, I’m going to show the builder this bathroom and say I want this one! So beautiful. I ensured I had a bath and a shower to make sure I experienced both too. More on the finishing touches, there were hotel samples of a few of The White Room products which I thought was lovely.
If you have a dog, St Marys is also a dog-friendly B&B. Bring your four-legged friend and they can stay the night, too. They provide a bowl and bedding too!
After feeling satisfied with our room inspection we headed down to the bar and restaurant. I’d already had a bit of social media stalk and checked out the menu before I arrived and honestly, I spent most of the day trying to decide what to order as the menu is jammed pack full of tantalising dishes!
The bar and restaurant is SO cosy and warm, the interior has a traditional English pub feel to it. I loved the contrast of wood furniture, it’s very shabby chic. For a Thursday evening, it had such a buzzing atmosphere.
St Marys Inn has a broad selection of wine, spirits and ales, I noticed since I’m such a gin queen! We were shown to our table by Sarah, our waitress for the evening.
After much deliberation on the menu, I went for the Smoked Salmon, Jerusalem Artichoke, Puree Orange Reduction and Pomegranate Salad for starter and the Turkey & Stuffing Pie with Sprouts, Bacon, Chestnuts, Roast Potatoes, Honey Roasted Vegetables and Pigs In Blankets for my main. My boyfriend went for Warm Pitta Bread, Tomato & Red Pepper Hummus to start and the 7oz Rump Steak, Fries, Baked Herb Crusted Field Mushrooms, Semi- Dried Tomato & Crispy Onions for main.
Sarah was so bubbly and friendly, we had a decent crack on with her too which was really nice. It’s great when you can bounce off the staff like you’re old friends!
After a short wait, our starters arrived, my smoked salmon salad was so fresh and light on the palette definitely the perfect starter choice. The hummus and pitta bread was all homemade which makes everything taste better, doesn’t it?
And then, in good time, our mains arrived! I went for the pie because it’s something I wouldn’t necessarily go for when I’m eating out but feeling festive I gave it ago and it was amazing! The pastry was cooked to utter perfection and the filling was mouthwateringly good! The vegetables were super tasty and my first pigs in a blanket was delicious.
My boyfriends 7oz rump steak was cooked to perfection, medium raw just how he likes it. I think I’ve mentioned this before that he’s such a picky eater, so instead of all the vegetables, they provided two fried eggs for him which I thought was a nice touch! The steak was so flavoursome and succulent too. The food as a whole was 5-star quality hands down, totally faultless.
Sarah tempted us with dessert and after a peek at the menu we couldn’t say no to sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate brownie! We were supposed to be sharing each pudding, however, my boyfriend hogged all of the sticky toffee pudding as it was that scrumptious. I did manage to get a bite thought and it was divine. My brownie was rich and melted in the mouth, I didn’t want it to end.
With our bellies full, we grabbed a gin at the bar and headed up to our room ready to jump into our inviting bed! We put the TV on and got snug for the night. St Marys Inn also provides tea and coffee complete with a few biscuits in the room too which was handy as I do love a cuppa before bed.
And just like that, after 8 hours of sleep, we woke up feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day. We both lead such busy work schedules so it was so delightful to have a lie in and just relax. The bed was super comfy and we both slept like a log all night, what a great nights sleep!
We then got up and got ready for breakfast. Robin explained to us the night previous that we needed to fill in a breakfast order in for the following morning. The breakfast selection was superb, I was shocked to see avo on sough dough bread with poached eggs instead of just your bog standard full English breakfast! I went for the avo and my boyfriend went for the full breakfast. We were really looking forward to the quality of breakfast after our fantastic meal the night before.
Breakfast definitely didn’t disappoint either. Absolutely outstanding. Breakfast is both of our favourite time of day food wise and we were so impressed by the quality of the produce and the presentation. Breakfast is hard to make look
We genuinely did not want to leave St Marys Inn, it is such a beautiful little place which felt like home. The staff were wonderful, our suite was fabulous and the food was unbelievably good. I can not recommend this place enough and I can’t wait to return. I can imagine it’s splendid in the summer!
Price wise, you can expect to pay £119 per night bed and breakfast which is spot on for the level of service and care that’s gone into the place. Currently, they have a Christmas specials menu on for £25.00 per person for a three-course meal which is available from 3 until 24th December in case you just fancied a night out. Drinks wise, it’s all reasonably priced, we paid around £20 for a bottle of wine.
I think I’ll head back there soon for a Sunday dinner!
*I was gifted this stay at St Marys Inn but all opinions and views are my own.