Wednesday, 11 July 2018

REVIEW: Rump and Wade and the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

After taking so long off, I’ve actually been pretty excited to get back into the habit of blogging regularly again. I always feel like I have room in my life for one other thing aside from work, and for the last year or so, that other thing has been wedding planning. But the planning is completed, so back to blogging I go! I’ve missed it. Hi! How are you all?

I had a few emails about reviews and whatnot before the wedding, and asked very nicely if I could put them off until June. Organising a wedding is kind of crazy, you guys. I felt like it made ME kind of crazy. There’s so much pressure on that one day, and it’s really hard to find space in your brain for anything else. But booking fun stuff in for afterwards has definitely helped me feel more like me – because eating delicious food is a pretty crucial part of what makes me ME.

I was invited to try out the Cromwell Hotel along with its adjoining restaurant, Rump and Wade, and so I trotted off to Stevenage for a little staycation with the husband in tow. I used to work in Stevenage, many years ago, but I’d never actually ventured into the old town. Turns out it’s really nice! Lots of cool bars and shops, and very pretty. We got in a few hours before our dinner reservation, so had a little potter then went upstairs for a nap and a shower.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

The Cromwell Hotel is LOVELY. It’s an amazing mix of old-fashioned and modern. The building is old – it used to be the farmhouse of John Thurloe, Oliver Cromwell’s secretary, and as Mr Thurloe died in 1668 that means it’s at least 350 years old. Thanks, Google! And also calculators! So inside is a cool mixture of wood panels and a period feel with funky d├ęcor, bright prints and a fair few chairs that I wanted to steal. Along with these lamps.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Our room was huge, beautifully decorated and super comfortable. I usually sleep really badly in hotels, but I couldn’t get enough of that massive bed! It was such a nice place to stay, and really quiet too. There was quite the warren of corridors to get to our room at the end of the night, but it was well signposted and a far quicker journey than if we’d gone out to dinner anywhere else. I would definitely stay there again for a treat, especially as it was so reasonable – you can book a double from just £69. Doesn’t the idea of popping out for a treaty dinner and then crawling upstairs to a fancy bed sound dreamy? I know I’m a fan.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire


We popped downstairs for a couple of gins in the sunshine before summer. There’s a huge selection, but I was instantly drawn to the Whitley raspberry gin with elderflower tonic. Fruity and delicious (with bonus rapsberries to munch). Matt asked the bartender for his advice though, and was directed to the nettle gin with Mediterranean tonic, which was surprisingly great. It’s taken a while for me to get into gin, but it’s happening. Probably because I’ve found alternatives for plain tonic, which I still can’t get behind.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

For dinner, we were shown to a massive comfy booth in the corner which was fab, as I could snap away without worrying about annoying the other diners. I loved the decor of the restaurant - it's huge with lots of space. The booths are great for a cosy evening, but there are also big tables that work brilliantly for large groups. The service was great - if anything it was a bit TOO fast, it felt a little rushed. Not a huge problem for me, but sometimes leisurely is nice.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Anyway, onto the food. I couldn’t not order the baked feta – it’s a recipe I tried a few years ago on here, and it’s one of my faves. I loved their varation, which came with sundried tomatoes, chilli and lemon and a pile of toasted pittas. It was delicious, and the sharp tomato paired perfectly with the salty feta. It was also huge – I could have cheerfully shared this, and I do not say that lightly. I’m greedy.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Matt had the ham hock, chorizo and cheddar terrine for his starter, which came with piccalilli and onion bread. The terrine had a lovely, smoky flavour from the chorizo and it went beautifully with the piccalilli. The only small criticism is that it could have come with a bit more bread - he was digging into my pitta to finish it all.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

For my main, I ordered the slow cooked shin of beef, which was incredible. It came in a rich chestnut mushroom and pancetta sauce with celeriac mash. Lord, this was so good. The beef was so tender, I only needed to poke it with my fork to break it apart and it went beautifully with the sauce and the mash. The worst thing about it was that it was so rich that I could only eat about half of it, which was pretty heartbreaking. You know when you're so full that you basically can't do anything except go to sleep immediately? That. But it was so worth the food coma - I live for this kind of food.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Matt got something very different, but equally great. The chargrilled lamb leg steak with spiced feta and courgette and mint cous cous, along with apricot salsa. It was an interesting combo, because separately the components were just okay, but together they came together to create a total taste sensation. The fruity salsa tied everything together perfectly.


Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Honestly, when dessert came around we were both kind of full and sleepy, but we shared some sorbets which were great - clearly made with real fruit, flavoursome and the perfect end to a rich, gorgeous meal. And the best part, we could just crawl upstairs and collapse into our massive bed afterwards - amazing! I am such a fan of these kinds of nights away.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

The next morning, we headed back down to Rump and Wade for breakfast. There was a great selection - fresh pastries, cereals, jams, toast, plus trays of bacon, eggs, sausages, hash browns and beans, and the option to have eggs cooked to order. I had a bit of everything, of course!

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

We absolutely loved our stay in the Cromwell Hotel and our meals in Rump and Wade - I told my sister about it (who is mere days from giving birth) and she got really excited about the idea of a staycation there after the bay is born. It's so perfect for that - reasonable prices, good transport links and totally away from it all. I highly recommend it.

Rump and Wade and the Cromwell Hotel are at High Street, Stevenage, Herts SG1 3AZ. The hotel and restaurant kindly paid for our stay and our food in exchange for this honest review.

Rump and Wade and Cromwell Hotel review - minibreak gastro staycation in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
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2 comments

  1. Ah I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I LOVE heading to Rump & Wade for brunch, and we celebrated Harvey's brother-in-law's 30th here a few months ago with dinner and drinks. So delicious! x

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  2. What a lovely hotel!! And dinner looks incredible :) Glad to see you back blogging!

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