The Tudor House Hotel in Tewkesbury
By Alan Russell
Tudor House Hotel
51 High Street
Date of visit: Night of 28th and 29th April 2016
I used to work in the hospitality industry in a very high end restaurant in the Thames Valley. That building was built about the Tudor period and there were certain parts of that building that carried an aroma of countless joints of beef being roasted and served. It was a homely aroma then and when I come across it today it still makes me feel warm and comfortable.
At the rear entrance of the Tudor House Hotel was that very same aroma. I immediately felt warm and comfortable as we checked in.
Inside the building is wood panelled with ceilings of exposed beams on the ground floor. As befits a building dating back to 1540 the floors are uneven and creak as you walk across them. The main staircase is almost grand as it winds its way up to the first floor. The room we had was at the back of the hotel and looked out over the rear car park and then further across Mill Avon, the Avon River and water meadows where racing used to take place called The Ham. Off to the right was building that looks like a decapitated mosque which turns out to be a housing for something to do with water.
The welcome as we checked in was warm and friendly.
The building housing the Tudor House Hotel dates back to 1540 when it was built by the Pilgrim Fathers. As well as being an inn the building was used as an academy during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries for men who were barred from either Oxford or Cambridge because they were not Church of England and would not change their religion to achieve their academic ambitions; they were dissenters. Life for the building as an academic establishment was recorded in the census of 1841 and 1881 when it was described as a boarding school for girls.
The Prince of Wales, later Charles II, in 1651 after the Battle of Worcester is reputed to have hidden in a priest hole in the Mayor’s Parlour to evade capture by the Roundheads. I am fairly certain that every town in England has an old inn with much the same story attached to it much like most village greens have an oak tree that he was meant to have hidden in at some time or other but it would be nice to think a future king on the run at the time found safety, security and perhaps a roast dinner of beef during his stay at the hotel.
The frontage is fake Tudor which was added in the Victorian era. The oldest part of the original building still showing above this façade are the rain water heads which date back to 1701.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD
As I mentioned earlier we had a double room at the back overlooking the car park and across open country towards the southern reaches of the Malvern Hills.
The room was clean and spacious enough for two people and only had a shower.
Dinner was served in an extension of the main bar area which much like the experience at Melanie’s earlier in the day was tired or retro which ever spin you want to put on these things. My wife, who is vegetarian, opted for the vegetarian Balti pie. I opted for the two fillets of bass served with mash potato and some vegetables. The Balti pie got the thumbs up with only one proviso; there was too much of it. The bass fillets also got the thumbs up. To be safe budget about £15 a head here to cover the main course. We did look at the desert choices but ducked out as we both felt we had eaten enough already.
Breakfast is served in the Court Room. After the previous evening’s meal there seemed to be a slight lack of purpose over breakfast. The lady that was on was friendly and helpful but it was little details like running out of juice on the service counter, not having the right condiments on the table and just not showing an abundance of fayre that guests could help themselves to. I had the eggs benedict which is always a soft digestive start to the day and they were reasonable. My wife had the continental croissant which came with two wedges of cheddar cheese and pats of butter straight out of the fridge. The butter was softer than the croissant. Out of devilment we put the empty sugar sachets back in the bowl upside down ready for the next guest.
Cost of the bed and breakfast room was £69.
The ultimate question 'Would we stay again?'. The answer would be a 'Yes'.