REVIEW: The Village Hotel, Warrington

We have visited The Village Hotel twice in recent months so I thought it was about time I posted a review. Mainly, this was because our most current experience was a vast improvement on the last time – which I think deserves celebrating. However, that is not to say that it is my dream venue!! 
On that basis, I’d like to declare an interest – this is not the sort of place I go to! That’s another reason for posting this review – I wanted to see how impartial I can be about something that I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself. 
The Village Hotel is part of the De Vere Hotels’ ‘Village’ chain – ‘where cutting edge meets every day affordability’.  This is in contrast to the De Vere hotel chain proper, which is more about luxury; golf courses, spas and the like! We were fortunate enough to spend a weekend at Wokefield Park, which was beautiful! The Village certainly is a step down from this sort of standard, but that is how it is marketed. 
That is not to say that the hotel is shabby at all. The hotel is just outside of Warrington town centre and boasts a huge car park, so no issues on that score. The hotel has a surprisingly large array of facilities, including a pool, gym and health and beauty suite. There is a bar and a number of restaurants as well as private hire rooms with a private bar, which is where we went for the meal and entertainment evening. The decor is minimalist and classic, which gives a nice clean feel. However, there are slight signs of wear – e.g. the checkerboard dancefloor was awkwardly stuck to the floor with some gaps, scuffs and breaks – no doubt through the heavy use it gets!!
We visited on a ‘party night’ – Soul & Motown night to be exact.  For £24.95 per person, this includes a three course dinner, live entertainment and then a disco and late bar until 1am.
Cream of Unidentifiable Soup
This is the sort of thing people go to for family parties; milestone birthdays, hen nights, that sort of thing. For £24.95 I expect a pretty reasonable meal and some pleasant entertainment. 
As with our last visit, the first course was soup. The first observation that strikes me here is that for the ticket price I would expect at least two or three options for each course, but apparently not. The soup tasted fine, however we couldn’t for the life of us figure out what it was! We were leaning to either cream of asparagus or cream of leek… I found it quite salty, but The Boy didn’t think this was the case at all. Served with a warm roll, this course was pleasant enough. However, a printed menu card would be useful to help identify your meal…
 The next course was a chicken dish, served with rice, a sauce (brown, but possibly not gravy??) and a selection of vegetables and salad. It was tasty and filling and for this reason I really wanted to highlight The Village. This is a HUGE improvement on the last time I visited. We were given a poor imitation of a roast dinner, with miniscule portions, bone dry chicken and rock hard vegetables. It was an absolute shambles and gave us cause to complain. So hats off to The Village for such a significant improvement in quality since our last visit. I think the only improvement I would suggest on this course would be more sauce (or a sauceboat on the table) as there was so much rice it was getting a little dry towards the end.
We finished with a cheesecake which was massive! So, if you like your desserts then this is the place for you. I was totally stuffed after finishing this and I enjoyed the flavour of the vanilla cheesecake topping.
After the meal, they break out the entertainment. Live singers with a backing tape, followed by the disco. If you’re out with friends, you’ve picked the night when they’re playing your favourite kind of choons then what’s not to love! Do nip to the toilet during the slightly cringeworthy recognition of the birthday boys/girls, hens, stags etc. though!!!
Hen do with frightening masks making them look a bit surreal!
For me, this is a mediocre 4 out of 5 Extreme Points, but I recognise that for someone who’s more into this sort of set up it would easily be a 7 or 8. I found that, for Warrington, the drinks are staggeringly overpriced and on the whole not that great quality (flat lager, served by disinterested staff). However the waiters and waitresses are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is good and the food is, well… edible. 
For the price, I would definitely recommend visiting a Bistro Live instead if you have one nearby. They are cheaper, and regularly provide special web offers which makes it cheaper still. You get pretty much the same deal, except they include a quiz in the entertainment, but the food is of a really high quality, with a vast menu selection – usually 4 or 5 choices for each course. If you’ve been invited to a do at The Village, you’ll enjoy yourself, but your wallet will be left substantially lighter. If you’re organising it yourself, I’d consider choosing another venue.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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