The inspector visits The Wentworth in Suffolk, where there are wall-to-wall carpeting, valances, and strict rules about where to sit at meals.
- Inspector Says This Aldeburgh Seaside ‘Museum Piece’ Is An Acquired Taste
- His ocean view room was ‘spotless but bland’ and made him feel claustrophobic
- Remember, the inspector pays his way … and tells it like it is
Some people may consider The Wentworth, on Suffolk’s Aldeburgh boardwalk, as a museum piece, with its wall-to-wall carpeting, valances and strict rules about where to sit and eat.
It’s been in the family forever (well, since 1920) and on the reception desk is a framed photograph of various Pritts, who have served as presidents over the years, providing gracious hospitality to those of a certain age.
Certainly the average age during our stay on a Sunday night is well above 70, which might not be surprising given that there is a three course dinner deal for £ 20 per person on Sundays.
The Wentworth is located on the seafront at Aldeburgh in Suffolk
The decor, and more importantly, the spirit of the place, has its roots in the early 1980s, when country home hotels began to prevail and when men were politely asked to wear jackets and ties if They wanted to be admitted to the ‘fine-dining restaurant.
There is no jacket and tie rule here, but that doesn’t stop several men from wearing ties, including one with an attractive tie.
Our room overlooks the pebble beach, with Maggi Hambling’s steel scallop sculpture a few hundred yards away. There is a horrible smell of cleaning fluid, so we open the windows, but it remains during our visit. Everything is immaculate, but bland. Despite the vast expanse of the sea, I feel claustrophobic.
The inspector’s bedroom overlooked the shingle beach at Aldeburgh.
There is a kind of private club atmosphere in the dining room, albeit quiet. We can hear every word from the next table, so they can hear us.
So it’s the best overall behavior.
“Listen to how he talks to his wife,” my wife whispers. I understand the point.
“Would you mind another drop of wine, dear?” I ask him.
“That’s better,” she says.
We don’t want to sit at table 26 at breakfast, so we found one in the corner.
“Excuse me, but you could sit here,” says a waiter, pointing to table 26.
The inspector said the hotel’s decor dates back to the early 1980s. The photo shows one of the bedrooms.
Which we do, and we are soon joined by the same couple as the night before, with whom we struck up a conversation.
Everything is wonderfully messed up here, right? says the elegantly dressed woman.
If it is. But the Wentworth is an acquired taste. I can think of many people who would love it, and many others who would run a mile.
The Wentworth Hotel, Wentworth Road, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5BD. Doubles from £ 110. For more information, call 01728 452312 or visit wentworth-aldeburgh.com.