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We shall not return
Opinión escrita el 15 de Septiembre de 2021
The review by CharlotteCheshire of August 2021 is accurate and worth reading.
We had previously stayed at the hotel and recalled our previous visit as enjoyable, and looked forward to 2 nights at Blackaddie House to provide a spot of luxury at the end of a Scottish holiday. We were disappointed from the very start by the treatment that we received upon our arrival.
When we entered the hotel, a gentleman in the bar area made some remark and moved behind the bar, leaving us in uncertainty as to what we were supposed to do next. However, when I ventured into the bar, I discovered that this was where we were to check in. No welcome. No personal introduction. No customary exchange of civilities. No spontaneous offer of help with luggage. Finally, when the man saw my wife struggling with luggage, he did offer help and carried one case up.
My wife and I discussed amongst ourselves the discourteous introduction, and who it was that we had seen. We thought he was Italian. The folder in our room still identified Ian and Jane McAndrew as proprietors, so we assumed initially that the man was a manager looking after the hotel in the McAndrews' absence. As our stay progressed, it dawned on us that we had in fact been met by the new owner of the hotel and I confirmed this by reading the TripAdvisor entry of August 2021 by Charlotte Cheshire. There was no ownership information displayed in the hotel.
Who does own the hotel? By searching the Scottish land register and Companies House, I established during our stay that:
• the Hotel was bought by James Vito Ltd (registered in Warwickshire) for £587,000
• the Directors of James Vito Ltd are Paolo Recina, indeed an Italian national, and Anna Trippon. The latter appears to live in Droitwich.
It is easy to establish that Paolo previously had connections with an Italian restaurant in Droitwich and with a hotel-and-restaurant in Birmingham. I thought that you would like to know that.
Throughout our stay, we found it no pleasure to deal with Paolo and another male staff member. Their lack of graciousness and their brusqueness detracted from our experience. It is usual in a small owner-managed hotel like this to chat pleasantly with the owner, which of course gives the owner the benefit of a good personal relationship with the customer by which to establish repeat business; we had no such experience at Blackaddie.
But, our room and bed were comfortable, spacious and spotlessly clean, indeed the hotel seemed very clean throughout. The hotel building was presumably a country house when first built and it is a very pleasant building. The television worked but the wifi didn't: Paolo subsequently explained that he was in the process of getting this defect sorted out.
The quality of the food was mixed but even the good dishes weren't outstanding to our way of thinking. Unfortunately, there were some low points, especially poached eggs with undercooked whites that were translucent and gelatinous. The dinners consisted of 4 courses with a choice of main course and pudding, but with no choice of starter and an intermediate course between the starter and the main course. On our second night, the intermediate course was roast onion ice cream sprinkled with onion ash! Such food may win prizes for pretentiousness and be fawned over by fancy chefs wearing the emperor's new clothes but is a big mistake to our point of view.
The menu listed the possibility of tea/coffee after dinner, for £5. On neither night of our stay were we offered this but, on the second night, we went into the bar to ask for tea and coffee to be served there for us - which it was. We would have preferred it if normal courtesies had been followed and these drinks had been offered by the staff, but normal courtesies are not as readily available at Blackaddie House Hotel as would be desirable.
The breakfast bacon was excellent but not so the sausage, which was poor and I suspect to be factory-made.
The hotel is in a beautiful area with a pleasing walk available along the River Nith which flows at the back of the hotel. We visited the splendid gardens of Drumlanrig Castle (the castle itself was closed that day) but were disappointed that there were no spaces available to book at Dumfries House. We also enjoyed seeing the small town of Thornhill, just down the A76.
The hotel could be a lovely place to stay. From our experience, it isn't.
We paid £720 (including £34.29 VAT) for a dinner, bed and breakfast package for 2 nights, purchased whilst the hotel was under its previous ownership, dinner being priced at £65 per head. We expected excellence in exchange for this much money and we didn't receive it.
When we left, I had a chat with Paolo during which I told him of the good and bad points of our stay, including our unhappiness as to the fact that the previous proprietors were still named as the owners. It is to Paolo's credit that, when I inspected the internet 2 days later, I found that the old ownership information had been removed from the hotel website and Facebook page. I hope that he will soon have time to tell the world about himself.
mis-advertised and very over-priced
Opinión escrita el 15 de Agosto de 2021
If you are thinking of booking at Blackaddie House Hotel, there are a number of things you should be warned about. First of all, it has just been taken over by new management - but is still being advertised under the auspices of the previous chef-owner, who dominates the hotel publicity (and the main reason we booked) but who is no longer here. However, this place has clearly been over-priced and struggling for some time, and the new owner, having taken up the reigns a week before our arrival, definitely has his work cut out. But the cost simply does not reflect the quality, and for such a steep price tag, you expect far better. When you're served cold plates at breakfast, watery gruel for porridge, warm white wine at dinner (only part of the fridge was working...?) and if you're told the WiFi is fine when it clearly never works, then the expense is unjustifiable. The most astonishing thing (the new owner will surely want to rectify it asap) is the statement in the room literature saying that consuming anything in the bedrooms brought in from elsewhere is "bad manners and unacceptable" and will be charged for "retrospectively".
The food at dinner was okay but nothing particularly tasteworthy, and it all seemed a bit stuck in the past.
Having said all of the above, Blackaddie could be fine in the right hands, and with good money spending on it: our room was spacious and reasonably well appointed, and there was a large wet room style shower and bathroom complete with jacuzzi bath, showing evidence that some upgrading had been previously expended. The dining room, though old-fashioned, was light and pleasant, and overall, there is plenty of potential for a lovely, fine dining country house more worthy of the price... Perhaps I'll check the reviews in a few months' time!
michelin chef, left !!!
Opinión escrita el 14 de Agosto de 2021
we went assuming a michelin star experience would be had. On arrival no help with cases.They did not have a record of our dinner reservation.At dinner we asked for 2 different white wines by the glass. Both were warm.The owner explained that only half the fridge worked !!!!!!! The food was of good ingredients but the sauces were tastless.When I commented . I was told the michelin chef/owner had sold and had left the week before, but the existing chef had worked for him.Perhaps so, but the food was, at best, ok. Bedside light didnt work.Pillows were hard.Ordered breakfast at 8am. Got there on time and then went looking for someone at 8.10 am as we had seen no one. ASll in all , a shambles .bill for roome , dinner and drinks £410
Short stay at Blackaddie House Hotel
Opinión escrita el 7 de Agosto de 2021
Blackaddie House is small, country hotel in a quiet location. It is comfortable with friendly and helpful staff. The chef is excellent. The dinner and breakfast were the highlight of our stay. The only negative thing is that it was not possible to get a wifi connection in our room. The staff were not able to fix the problem. I had to tether my mobile phone to get to the internet. At the price of this hotel, and in this day and age, that should not be necessary.
Overnight foodie break.
Opinión escrita el 22 de Junio de 2021
Pleasant secluded quiet situation , quaint country house feel , very good food . The room needs a bit of tlc I understand that the property’s has been sold and would expect the new owners to put their stamp and energy in ,which is much needed. Nothing really to complain about but a few new ideas and some enthusiasm needed.