Stay Here: The Crown Hotel, ChertseyBy Francesca Brooking
In need of a breather from the city? It’s about time you escaped to The Crown Hotel in Chertsey, just a stone’s throw away from Thorpe Park. You can read more of our hotel reviews here. Here’s why:
The Crown Hotel is a beautiful old coaching inn located in Chertsey, Surrey. The current building dates back to 1899 but there’s been a coaching inn on that site since the 16th Century. Now a Young’s Pub with a hotel attached, The Crown is a cosy establishment with a touch of old-fashioned charm with its exposed brick walls, wooden floorboards and a large brick fireplace surrounded by squashy sofas that make you think of drowsy winter evenings by the fire. With rooms on-site, gastropub dining and a spacious open-plan beer garden with its own outdoor fireplace to boot, The Crown makes for a perfect weekend refuge and it’s just over an hour away from Waterloo Station. Ideal for those looking to relax after a day out at Thorpe Park (a mere 16 minutes by bus), The Crown offers everything from comfort to scrumptious pub classics.
I was surprised to discover that the hotel wasn’t in the pub building itself but instead in a more modern-looking building adjacent to it which contained 49 rooms. Our room was beautifully designed and although it overlooked the carpark, it meant that it was blissfully quiet even when the pub got busy in the evening. I instantly fell in love with the room’s elegant and timeless interior. Pops of forest green and scarlet brightened the white spread on the super king-sized bed. A sofa was sprawled in the corner and large windows filled the room with natural light to make it airy and spacious. Each room at The Crown Hotel has its own character but what ties them together is the timeless country elegance that almost makes you forget where you are. That, and an enormous cosy bed, a large flat-screen television, an ensuite, a tray of teas and a Nespresso coffee machine on the desk.
Dinner at The Crown was not your usual pub grub affair. Comfortable wooden tables laid out for dining were located at the back of the pub with floor-to-ceiling windows opening out into the beer garden. This created a more intimate space for diners without isolating them fro the social atmosphere of the pub. We sat down at a table hidden behind an exposed brick pillar and studied our menus. The Crown offers a selection of traditional gastropub food with a little bit of decadence. It’s pub grub with a little oomph, you could say.
The Crown Hotel menu had an option for a three-course meal so for starters I chose a broccoli and borlotti bean soup with sourdough bread. It was enormous; a hearty winter warner served in a dinky black cauldron with pieces of golden toast on the side. My main course was an incredibly gooey marrow, Somerset brie & hazelnut tart with Nutbourne tomato salad while my partner opted for a gargantuan portion of fish and chips with a side of mushy peas. The food was delicious but try as we might, we couldn’t find room for dessert. We had well and truly stuffed ourselves, although I was a little tempted by the chocolate & salted caramel brownie with vanilla ice cream – next time, perhaps! We made do with a pair of gin and tonics which we took up to our room and we spent the evening watching television in bed. Bliss.
Breakfast was held in the same spot as dinner. A buffet that almost spanned the entire pub greeted us the next morning with rows of sliced bread, a full English on hot plates, yoghurt and fresh fruit and as much tea, coffee, juice and water as you could manage. Our stay at the Crown in Chertsey was a real gastronomic indulgence.
The Crown Hotel is a cosy coaching inn with a modern touch which makes you feel right at home. It’s far out of London enough to make you feel like you’re on a mini-break but not to the point that you dread the journey back the next morning. The town of Chertsey is perhaps not on top of any bucket list: it’s fairly ordinary as towns go but the hotel’s proximity to Thorpe Park, Legoland and even Heathrow Airport makes it a worthwhile visit or pitstop.
A one-night-stay in a family room costs from £130 and £146 for a classic twin or double. Thorpe Park is 16 minutes away door to door by bus and trains from Waterloo Station to Chertsey take about 1 hour. Find out more about The Crown Hotel here.