The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland

Stuart Forster reviews a stay at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

I headed to Alnwick, 45 minutes’ drive north of Newcastle, for a short break with my partner.

The Cookie Jar proved cosy and ideal as a base for a romantic getaway with plenty of fresh air. There’s plenty of good walking to be had in the surrounding Northumberland countryside. I’ve previously written about reasons to visit Northumberland.

Disclosure: Some of the links below, marked with a (£), are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

This boutique property has received numerous glowing reviews since opening in the autumn of 2017. The cosiness of the interiors is a key factor. Owner Debbie Cook drew on the creative talent of Dynargh Design’s Matt Hulme for The Cookie Jar’s interior design. His previous work includes Newcastle’s Hotel du Vin.

Seating by a table in the lobby of The Cookie Jar, a boutique hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland
Seating by a table in the lobby of The Cookie Jar, a boutique hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland.

The Cookie Jar is in premises previously occupied by the Convent of Mercy. If you’re looking for a special treat, reserve the Chapel, a suite whose stained glass windows and name provide unmissable hints as to the room’s former use. We popped in for a glance around and were impressed by the sinfully opulent decor.

Staying in this hotel placed us between the Bailiffgate Museum and Alnwick Castle. The town’s marketplace is a couple of minutes’ walk away.

The Cookie Jar is reopening on 4 July 2020 following the nationwide coronavirus lockdown that closed UK hotels.

Sign by the front door of the Cookie Jar along the street from Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England
Sign by the front door of the Cookie Jar along the street from Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England.

The vibe of The Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar proved welcoming, comfortable and easy on the eye.

Attentive little touches reinforced positive first impressions. There was a jar of cookies in our room (they didn’t last long!), bottles of mineral water, tea and ground coffee. Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet toiletries stood in the bathroom. Glossy magazines were spread on the coffee table by the sofa at the foot of the bed.

An almost empty cookie jar in my room at The Cookie Jar in Northumberland
Maybe I should have photographed this half-an-hour sooner? The almost empty cookie jar in my room at The Cookie Jar in Northumberland.

Bedrooms at The Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar has 11 individually furnished bedrooms in four categories. Playfully named the Mother Superior category, the suites feature freestanding bathtubs. We stayed in one of them, St Cuthbert’s Cave, with views of nearby Alnwick Castle.

Sofa and bed in St Cuthbert's Cave, one of the 11 guestrooms at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland
Sofa and bed in St Cuthbert’s Cave, one of the 11 guestrooms at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

I enjoyed a good soak in the bath before relaxing on the bed and watching a film on Netflix.

The freestanding bathtub in The Cookie Jar's St Cuthbert's Cave bathroom
The freestanding bathtub in The Cookie Jar’s St Cuthbert’s Cave bathroom.

In keeping with the hotel’s laid-back feel, dogs are allowed into The Cookie Jar’s bedrooms.

Freestanding bathtub in the spacious bathroom of the St Cuthbert's Cave, one of The Cookie Jar's Mother Superior category rooms.
The freestanding bathtub in the spacious bathroom of St Cuthbert’s Cave. The room is in The Cookie Jar’s Mother Superior category.

Food and drink at The Cookie Jar

The Bailiffgate Bistro is on the ground floor of the hotel. It serves lunch and afternoon teas to members of the public plus breakfast and dinner to guests. [See the hotel website for details regarding the availability of catering as normality returns following the coronavirus lockdown — lunch and afternoon tea will not be served until at least September]. Locally landed seafood and farm produce features on the menu.

Scottish salmon served for lunch at The Bailiffgate Bistro, the restaurant of The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland
Scottish salmon served for lunch at The Bailiffgate Bistro, the restaurant of The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Breakfast at The Cookie Jar impressed. We could help ourselves from a well-presented spread, including pastries and bread baked in the hotel kitchen, granola, yoghurt and freshly pressed juice.

Tables at The Bailiffgate Bistro, the dining room where breakfast is served at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland
Tables at The Bailiffgate Bistro, the dining room where breakfast is served at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Warm dishes were also available. The options included avocado toast with poached egg, a traditional English fry-up and American-style pancakes served with bacon and maple syrup. I opted for a local delicacy, a Craster kipper with toast and a pot of Earl Grey tea.

A breakfast of Craster kippers served at a table in The Bailiffgate Bistro, the dining room of The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland
A breakfast of Craster kippers served at a table in The Bailiffgate Bistro, the dining room of The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Noteworthy hotel facilities

The Bailiffgate Bistro looks out onto the hotel garden. It features a terrace with outdoor seating and a fire pit.

The garden also has kennels for gun dogs. The hotel regularly provides accommodation to shooting parties. Fittingly, the drying room has secure storage facilities for guns.

Cakes on a rustic farmhouse-style unit in The Cookie Jar's Bailiffgate Bistro
Cakes on a rustic farmhouse-style unit in The Cookie Jar’s Bailiffgate Bistro.

The lounge is a comfortable spot to sit and read or sip a drink.

Car parking at The Cookie Jar is available in bays in front of the hotel.

After visiting I can understand why The Cookie Jar in Alnwick is rated among the best hotels in the north of England.

Cars parked outside of The Cookie Jar on Bailiffgate in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Cars parked outside of The Cookie Jar on Bailiffgate in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Book accommodation at the Cookie Jar

Check room availability at The Cookie Jar via Booking.com (£):


Booking.com

Location of The Cookie Jar

The map below shows the location of The Cookie Jar on Alnwick’s Bailiffgate:

Google map showing The Cookie Jar in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Further information

The Cookie Jar (tel. 01665 510 465) is at 12 Bailiffgate, Alnwick, NE66 ILU, Northumberland. See the hotel website for further information about rooms, facilities and menus.

Are you considering a country break in Northumberland after reading this review of The Cookie Jar? Here’s an overview of things to do in and around Alnwick.

Take a look at the Visit Alnwick and Visit Northumberland websites for more information about what to do around Alnwick.

Illustrating photos are by Why Eye Photography.

Stuart Forster is an award-winning travel writer based in the north-east of England. He available for hotel reviews and travel writing commissions across the region and beyond.

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