The Joiners Arms, Northumberland

It was the Husband's birthday a few weeks ago and, faced with the choice of going anywhere at all (within reason - I had to drive) to celebrate, he decided on a trip up to Northumberland and a night at The Joiners Arms in Newton-By-The-Sea, near Craster. We'd been wanting to try the Joiners for a while, having heard great things, and knowing that it gets booked up quickly, we were lucky enough to nab the last room available.

The Joiners Arms is described as a gastro pub and luxury 5* inn, set in the small village of Newton. It has five individually styled rooms - when we arrived we cheerfully greeted and shown to ours for the night: Sandwood Bay, which was all tartan fabrics, thick, soft carpets and dark wood so had a really cosy feel about it.

I loved the little touches like a wooden crate with tea, coffee and hot chocolate, and nice toiletries (I'm a sucker for nice toiletries). The first thing I did was kick off my boots, pour a glass from the complimentary bottle of prosecco on the dressing table (I was loving this place more by the minute) and lie down on the beautifully comfy bed.

I probably could have stayed there until dinner but, wanting to make the most of our mini break, we decided to head down to the beach, around a 15 minute walk away. The sun was just starting to go down by this point, so we stopped off at The Ship Inn which is a tiny pub in a courtyard surrounded by cottages right on the seafront, and sat outside with coffees to watch the sunset.

We'd booked a table in the Joiner's for dinner so headed back for that. The pub itself is quite small with a restaurant part to the side, which is where we sat as the bar area was busy with lots of people already eating, which has to be a good sign.

I had gammon, and the Husband had pork belly, both of which were delicious. Also, I had to try the cocktails, obviously (I can recommend the New York Cosmo). And the jam roly poly for dessert. Because....well, because it was jam roly poly, possibly one of the best puddings ever. EVER. In addition to the yummy food, the service was great - our waitress couldn't have been more helpful.

After a couple more drinks we decided to watch a movie in our room...I think I got about ten minutes into it and the next thing I knew it was morning and time to get ready to go down for breakfast. Ooh, I haven't mentioned the shower. THE SHOWER! It was a wet-room style thing, huge and powerful, and I only got out once my fingers started to go wrinkly. Definitely a highlight. For breakfast we had the full shebang - bacon, eggs, sausage...and it was a tasty as our evening meal.

I'd definitely recommend the Joiners Arms if you're looking for somewhere to stay in Northumberland with great service, delicious food and luxurious surroundings. If you can get booked, that is - we were hoping to return for our anniversary in a couple of weeks but the place is completely fully booked. Having visited, I can understand why!


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