Friday 14 January 2022

The Old Smokehouse, Rugeley | review

Believe it or not, I'm not a huge fan of Christmas. It was my grandad's favourite time of year and one that he made so special for us all - I've struggled to truly enjoy it since he died, which I know he would hate but it is what it is. He's been gone for 10 Christmases now, and 2021 was the year I decided to get a grip and do something special for the occasion. So I booked my boyfriend and I into the Old Smokehouse in Cannock Chase/Rugeley for the festive period!


I booked through Snaptrip - the booking process was straightforward and I was able to pay a deposit and then pay the balance at a later date. We paid £474 for four nights, from the 23rd-27th December. This meant we were there for the whole of 'actual Christmas', so I was more than happy with the price! We got an email from the owners around a month before we went with all the information we needed, and they communicated with us so well answering any questions we had.

The accommodation

The house is absolutely tiny, but for two people for a couple of nights it was perfect. I wouldn't have liked to stay there any longer as we were both starting to feel a bit cramped, but we did
genuinely adore the house. You enter into a small kitchen complete with mini oven, microwave, toaster, a 2-ring hob and a sink as well as ample cupboard space and all your cutlery, plates and so on. It has a fridge but no freezer, so do bear this in mind. There was a bedroom with a small double bed, a little living area with a sofa and table, and a bathroom which had a toilet, sink and excellent shower. 

The best bit, though, was the hot tub just next to the bedroom - with french doors leading out to this bit straight from the bed, it was just glorious. The tub itself was spacious and had all sorts of bubble settings and so on, and I spent a lot of time in there just relaxing and thinking and daydreaming.

The Old Smokehouse is ideal for a couple, and genuinely does have everything you need. We were even provided dressing gowns and slippers! The heating works brilliantly, and we couldn't fault the place. One tiny snag would be that the wifi isn't great, but it's the countryside so we weren't mad about it...

The area

We don't drive so we got the train to Rugeley Trent Valley, then a taxi to Tesco where we did our Christmas food shop, and then another taxi to the accommodation itself. It's at the bottom of a really long country road, next to a campsite, and opposite Cannock Chase park itself. We definitely felt like we were in the middle of nowhere - meaning it was quiet, beautiful and very green.

We love a drink so we turned right out the driveway and left off the road, onto a main road so we had the Cannock Forest on our right. Here's you'll find Go Ape, a cafe, play area and loads of walking trails. It's an ideal place if you're an outdoorsy person! We, however, are not so we carried on straight down that road in search of The Chase, which is a big Marstons pub that do food and show all the football. There's a dart board and fruit machines, and all of the staff were so friendly - as were the locals. We felt at home immediately and everyone was so welcoming. It's around a half an hour to 40 minute walk but so worth it, and taxis are easily available around here.

As much as we loved The Chase, we did venture further into town and visit some other pubs. One was the Vine Inn, who have their own brewery and also do food. It's a much smaller pub, full of character with a pool table and some outdoor seating too. In the middle of Rugeley (it's a very cute market town) we popped into Bar No3 for some cocktails which were well priced and lovely. Someone had jokingly recommended we go to the Shrew, a strange bar/nightclub that probably would have been bouncing were it not 9pm on Christmas Eve when we visited... if you want cheap drinks and sticky floors though, this is for you!

One thing we both said time and time again during our trip was that the locals are so bloody friendly. Everyone we met was lovely, chatty and full of banter. 

All in all

We absolutely loved our time at The Old Sokehouse. Paul and Lesley, the owners, couldn't do enough for us. They even cooked our roasties for us on Christmas Day, and knocked with hot chocolates for us on Boxing Day. I would recommend a stay here just for them alone! It really is a lovely little secluded haven, with the added hot tub bonus of course, and we adored everyting about it. Take us back...

Is this somewhere you'd stay? Let me know in the comments!

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