Chris Taylor, general manager of The Amble Inn, recently shared what makes this ‘pub with rooms’ so special, and his favourite Northumberland gems…
Tell us a bit about The Amble Inn?
We’ve just had our first anniversary and are celebrating a fantastic first year of trading as a brilliant new place for people to eat, drink, sleep and explore Northumberland. Amble is known in the media as the place to visit in Northumberland and is being tipped by many a travelista as a must-visit destination. People have long been crying out for serviced accommodation in Amble, and we’re over the moon to be filling that gap in the market – and being enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.
We’re proudly a pub with rooms. It’s all about that laid back, relaxed vibe and atmosphere you only get with a pub – that’s what we love about them! Enjoy your favourite drink, from a thirst-quenching real ale, to a winning gin and tonic or a warming mug of tea or coffee, and a stellar, home-cooked British pub dish. Then you get to stay with us in one of our lovely comfy rooms – and even bring your dog, too! Pubs are perfect.
What does it mean to the Amble Inn to be shortlisted for awards such as the North East England Tourism Awards?
It really is the icing on the cake of an incredible first year for us. It’s testament to our brilliant, hard-working team of staff, from front of house to everyone working hard behind the scenes in the kitchen and housekeeping who all share our great sense of pride for our inn and what we have created. It’s also a reflection of our success with our customers. We’ve gone from a brand-new unknown inn, to being in the heart of the community as a fantastic place to eat, drink, sleep and explore from. It’s a real benchmark of our quality and customer service and experience that we aim to give everyone who steps through our doors.
What makes The Amble Inn stand out from the crowd?
Although we’re a new build inn, people often comment that it feels as if we’ve been here for years! As well as investing in a superb environment that reflects Amble and the coast’s amazing heritage, with lots of quirky nicknacks and pieces, we invest in our team too, with lots of training opportunities, quality checking and opportunities to help them grow and develop their skills – whether that’s taking part in schemes like the Know Your Northumberland Ambassador Scheme or free online customer service training. We always have our eye on what the customer wants, and how we can do that the best way we possibly can. Whether that’s being dog-friendly, offering uninterrupted food service, the quality of our environment or local flavours and tastes.
What is your favourite part of the North East and why?
We’re not biased but it has to be the southern gateway to the Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty here in Amble. We love the scandi-feel of Amble’s harbour village – it’s a shopper’s paradise with lots of artisan gifts and local treasures. Warkworth Castle radiates history every time you pass and is always worth a visit – and Druridge Beach is breathtaking and always quiet – whatever the time of year. It’s perfect for everyone, from families for beach games and sandcastle making, to those looking to escape for a while and take in the endless views.
Are there are any hidden gems in the North East that you would encourage people to visit?
There are hidden gems around every corner – some of which we find out about from our customers and some we’ve discovered by becoming Northumberland Ambassadors with the Know Your Northumberland programme. One of our favourites is Amble Seafood Centre, it’s an amazing fresh fish and shellfish shop, which has an extraordinary interactive lobster hatchery that not only explains about little known lobster facts but is an important conservation project too. We love the touch tanks and there are events when young lobsters are released into the sea. We also love Warkworth Hermitage, this incredible hermitage is cut into the rock alongside the River Coquet river cliff and can only be accessed by boat.