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Eco-friendly Northumberland hotel and restaurant Batlesteads is offering an evening of Burns Night celebrations in the most traditional Scottish style.

On Saturday 26 January, the Wark hotel will host a traditional four-course dinner, with an original 19th century menu by Scottish chef Meg Dodds that was prepared for the first ever Edinburgh Burns Club meeting in the early 1800s.

Known as 'the Scottish Mrs Beeton', Meg Dodds was the 19th century version of a celebrity chef, acclaimed for her Cooks and Housewives Manual of 1826.

Dinner will begin with King James' recipe for 'het kail cock-a-leekie soup', followed by the Scottish staple of rarebit haggis, served with 'neep purry' – a puree of swede, carrot and ginger.

The main course will be a het joint striploin with whole caramelised roast onion and rumbledethumps, a traditional side dish of crushed potatoes with onion, cabbage and leeks. For dessert, guests will enjoy 'ither – orra eattocks cranachan', a classic Scottish dish of raspberries with toasted oatmeal, honey and whisky cream.  

Traditional entertainment for the evening will come courtesy of Burns Night toasts and speeches, and a Northumbrian piper.

The Wark/Hexham area of Northumberland is closely associated with Burns Night – it was part of Scotland up until 1296, and Robbie Burns himself visited Hexham on his tour of the Borders in May 1787.

Battlesteads' Burns Night Dinner costs £30 per person, and starts at 7pm.

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Award-winning eco-hotel Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is increasing its sustainability credentials even further with the addition of a new wild mushroom farm on site.

Housed in a converted shipping container in the hotel’s gardens, the temperature and humidity-controlled farm allows the hotel to create the perfect conditions for growing wild mushrooms all year round.

Battlesteads has worked with Snowdonia-based Yr Ardd Fadarch (Welsh for "The Mushroom Garden") to create the mushroom farm, which maintains a steady temperature of 13ºC and humidity level of 85% to provide optimum growing conditions for the mushrooms.

Built in March, Battlesteads trialled growing grey oyster and shitake mushrooms first, and, after that proved a success, has moved onto growing both yellow and pink oyster mushrooms.

The home-grown mushrooms are now being used by head chef Eddie Shilton in the Battllesteads restaurant, featuring in dishes such as a demitasse of wild mushroom soup and a shitake and oyster mushroom tagliatelle with wild garlic pesto.

Richard Slade, owner of Battlesteads, said: "Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we are always looking for new ways to produce more of our own home-grown ingredients on-site and reduce the food miles of our restaurant. We already grow 95% of the herbs, salads and green vegetables used in the restaurant in the Battlesteads gardens and polytunnels, and now with the mushroom farm we are able to offer the types of wild mushrooms usually only harvested in the autumn all year-round. It makes a big difference to the quality of our restaurant dishes too – fresh ingredients always taste the best, and it doesn’t get much fresher than coming from 30 seconds outside your door!"

Battlesteads is widely recognised as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the country, having won numerous awards for its sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint to just one fifth of the industry average.

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Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is gearing up for the festive season with the return of its popular Christmas Wreath Workshops.

Taking place on Friday 30 November and Saturday 8 December at the hotel in Wark, starting at 9.30am, the workshops will include welcome morning refreshments, mulled wine and a three-course lunch, as well as the two-hour workshop.

During the workshop, you’ll be provided with aprons to protect your clothes, bags of holly, boxes of decorations and bundles of the best quality wire-edged fabric ribbon – along with step-by-step tuition from Northumbrian Wreaths and Flowers to help you create a stunning wreath for your house.

At 12pm, mulled wine will be served as the workshop ends, followed by a delicious three-course lunch featuring the very best local produce, including vegetables, herbs and salads grown in Battlesteads' very own kitchen gardens.

There will be wine to accompany the meal and tea and coffee to finish, before guests head home to hang their new home-made wreaths in time for Christmas.

Tickets for the wreath-making workshops can be purchased in advance online and cost £60 per person, including all wreath-making materials and protective clothing, and all food and drink. £30 is payable on booking as a deposit, and the remaining £30 is due on the day.

Spaces on these workshops are limited – so book now at here, email info@battlesteads.com or call 01434 230 039.

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Northumberland hotel and restaurant Battlesteads, near Wark, has been named as one of the winners of the 2019 Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Award for eco friendly hotels.

Published on Monday 8 October, the 2019 Good Hotel Guide is the UK's leading accommodation guide with independent advice and reviews of luxury and boutique hotels, B&Bs and inns.

The Editor's Choice Awards highlight the top 10 hotels in the UK in each of 16 categories. Battlesteads has been recognised for its 'unique blend of sustainable hospitality and astronomy'.

Battlesteads has received glowing reviews from many of the Good Hotel Guide’s independent reviewers, including comments like "Our luxury lodge was superb, with every comfort," and "The most fastidious traveller would struggle to find fault."

Owner of Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, Richard Slade, said: "The Good Hotel Guide really is the ultimate guide to the best hotels in the UK, and we are delighted to have received one of the esteemed editor’s choice awards for 2019. We pride ourselves on offering a sustainable tourism experience without sacrificing luxury or comfort, and it is fantastic to have our eco-friendly efforts praised by the guide."

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Shooting star season is almost upon us, and award-winning Northumberland hotel Battlesteads is celebrating with the return of its popular Shooting Star Suppers.

The only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark will be hosting a series of events starting on Monday 8 October, to coincide with successive meteor showers over the coming months.

Starting at 9pm, the Shooting Star Suppers are suitable for ages 14+ and begin with a light supper of sandwiches and soup in the Battlesteads Restaurant before heading to the observatory – a Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site – for a tour and talk.

Battlesteads' expert astronomy team, led by Roy Alexander, will be on hand to explain the origins of shooting stars, meteors, comets, asteroids, and will teach you how to collect micrometeorites in your own back garden.

Then guests will settle down to watch the celestial fireworks shows, which typically peak after midnight. For any guests who would like to learn more about how to capture shooting stars with a DSLR camera, the Battlesteads team will be on hand to give you some top tips, and the observatory will be kept warm and cosy with free hot drinks – although wrapping up warm and bringing a blanket is recommended.

Shooting Star Suppers will take place on Monday 8 October, Sunday 21 October, Monday 5 November, Saturday 17 November, Thursday 13 December, Friday 21 December and Thursday 3 January; when the Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids, Geminids, Ursids and Quadrantids meteor showers are at their respective peaks.

The Draconids meteor shower on 8 October produces about 10 meteors per hour and it is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner. This year will be a particularly good time to see the shower, as there will no moonlight, and it can be seen earlier in the evening than most.

Shooting Star Suppers at Battlesteads Observatory start from £27.50pp with concessions available. Overnight stays at Battlesteads Hotel can be added from £50pp on a bed & breakfast basis.

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Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Northumberland is setting the standard for energy saving and environmental responsibility in hotels, after recording a carbon footprint five times lower than the industry average.

The award-winning eco hotel has been tracking its energy usage and carbon footprint since 2012, and in that time has reduced its carbon footprint from 24.64kg CO2 per room night to just 5.85kg CO2 per room night in 2017.

Carbon footprint is measured by the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the accepted standard for the hospitality industry, which has set the benchmark for hotels at 31.1kg CO2 per room night – more than five times greater than Battlesteads' figures for 2017.

Owner of Battlesteads, Richard Slade, said: "Since switching to a 100% green energy supplier Ecotricity in January 2014, we’ve been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint despite increasing our occupancy. Initiatives such as having a biomass boiler, producing solar energy on-site, being very selective with our suppliers and constantly looking for new ways to save energy are helping us to pave the way for a new generation of environmentally-conscious, sustainable hotels."

Will Guyatt, Head of Communications, Ecotricity, added: "We’re proud to be powering Battlesteads – Richard and his team are helping make Britain a greener place, and do a great job spreading the word about renewable power from the wind and sun to both hotel visitors and the wider hospitality industry."

The software Battlesteads uses to record carbon footprint, ConServe, is designed specifically for the hospitality industry and allows businesses to monitor, interpret and improve their environmental performance, while tracking progress of any initiatives introduced to improve their eco-friendliness.

Diana Prince-Parrott from ConServe said: "ConServe allows users to easily identify inefficiencies in operations through a correlation of consumption to industry metrics, such as room nights or food covers, through a comparison against automatically-sourced local weather information or through a review of site consumption outside its operating hours. The use of the platform is accompanied by Considerate Hoteliers' reporting and account management service that makes even easier for clients to track trends in performance and monitor consumption, emission and cost data. 

"Not only is Battlesteads’ carbon footprint less than a fifth of the industry average, but it is also the lowest figure recorded from Considerate Hoteliers’ portfolio of ConServe users – they are setting a fantastic standard for the industry."

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Reviews from Trip Advisor

"Very, very impressed with the hotel and staff"

"Quality hotel, quality service, quality food, quality ethics"

"This is a place where the guests still matter"

"Fabulous service and food in this wonderful family hotel"

Some of our Awards

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