Review: Turkey & Tinsel
"We Must Be Mad - Turkey & Tinselling in November!"
29 people found this review helpful
I must admit I had always, perhaps, been a little 'sniffy' about the Warner holidays idea; comparing it to the Butlins of my youth. So when my partner offered a Turkey holiday before Christmas and I had objected because of the expense he said "No, a Turkey & Tinsel four day break at Cricket St. Thomas, Somerset." Rather warily, I said O.K., to humour him in his hour of holiday need.
Arriving at this historic grand house, set in magnificent parkland with sheep grazing and pheasants wandering around, asking to be served up for dinner because they are just so dim when it comes to crossing the road, it crossed my mind that perhaps I had got Warner's all wrong. However, when we were directed away from the Manor and on to the parking and reception area of the Leisure Centre and came up against, not one but two full coachloads and their luggage bustling to get booked in I changed my mind again. That was without all the other guests tryiing to check in. Finally arriving at our room we found it spacious, clean and well equipped for our needs.
The crunch came later in the restaurant……………………a free for all at the buffet and carvery if you were prepared to queue or have waiter service and be served miniscule portions, according to my partner who has a huge appetite, from a menu. If you left your timing and your tummy for later the carvery was being partially cleared away before you got to it and your waiter was rushing around serving others before practically ushering you out of the restaurant so he could clear up and lay up ready for breakfast.
As a really special treat, and I am always being so generously treated I have to admit, my partner arranged for what is so clearly NOT a "VIP Experience" at the evening entertainments. This Gold VIP Evening Experience, at £25.00 PER HEAD states, "includes a reserved VIP dressed table, complimentary drink of you choice, waiter service, half bottle of wine or Cava per person plus nibbles to enjoy on your table for one night of your stay." For that we had an LED candle on the table, a bottle of £16.00 wine (their price) a spirit and a soft drink. A little later a plate of a 50p bag of crisps was delivered together with a similar size peanuts. Please, I would advise you DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on this. No wonder no-one else seemed to be partaking.
There are activities arranged, if you can get up early enough and other leisure amenities, if you can get into them and, of course, the beautiful grounds to explore and walk but the weather was so atrocious it made more sense to stay inside and look around the Historic House itself, where you should book to stay in, even if a little more expensive. Cricket House was the back-drop to the making and filming of, "To the Manor Born" television series with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles – loved it myself. Previously privately owned, in 1998 it was sold to Warner Leisure Hotels who invested £20 million to transform and thence develope it. It does, however, still retain its historic, still used, Cricket St. Thomas Church between the two sites and should not be missed – it is just so full of historic information; a review on its own sometime.
Each day was treated as part of Christmas, hence our "Madness" in partaking! Including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve with a piper piping in the New Year down the Grand Staircase.
PROS to go for:- The entertainment is ongoing and excellently produced and performed. The Rooms and atmosphere in Cricket House. The peaceful parkland, especially in warmer and summer months I should imagine. The food is good and well cooked There are lifts to all floors, absolutely necessary for the disabled.
CONS to avoid:- You are constantly being rushed from your room in the morning, even if you have arranged for breakfast to be served there. The dining experience in the restaurant is uncomfortable, squashed in and, again, rushed or you are ignored and then rushed – you cannot seem to win here. There is no chance of being involved in any leisure activity unless booked WELL in advance and who wants to think of what you may feel like doing immediately on arrival? We certainly didn't.
On reflection, I have to admit, I am still ambivalent about Warner's.
29 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.