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We are cruising in March of next year and leaving from Southampton. We will arrive a day early and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a hotel near the docks that is not too expensive but still clean and safe. Thanks for any input.

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Premier Inn West Quay and the Holiday Inn on Herbert Walker Avenue seem to be popular with a lot of people. Try hotel booking sites such as Trivago for price comparisons and availability, and also Trip Advisor.

All hotels will be safe and as for price, that could depend on when you book and how popular a hotel is on a certain day - if there are a few big ships in Southampton the same day, some hotels might book up fast.

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Hi Grumps,

March is early in the season, and I can't think of anything else that would cause a run on hotel rooms at that time of year.

Premier Inn West Quay, as Ray's post, is very popular with cruisers.
Premier Inn City Centre (New Road) isn't quite so well-located, and definitely don't book any other Premier Inns cos they're on the city outskirts. Premier Inn's adverts, confirmed by my own experience, is that their best prices are by booking direct.

Holiday Inn (Herbert Walker Ave) is popular with RCI, Celebrity & NCL cruisers, since it's at City Cruise Terminal's docks entrance. Rooms at the back look over the ship at its berth, or from rooms at the front the view is down Southampton Water - you can watch your ship arrive if you're awake at daft o'clock in the morning. The hotel has been in serious need of refurbishment for a number of years - but that was done earlier this year.
Again, avoid other Hol Inns - Southampton's two HI Express's are on the city limits. Ditto the city's two Hiltons, which is a shame.

Grand Harbour Hotel is across the road from Hol Inn, convenient for City Cruise Terminal & Ocean Terminal (Carnival brands like Princess, Cunard & P&O).

Also close by, two boutique hotels - Ennio's (a warehouse conversion, Italian restaurant with rooms over) and Pig in the Wall (built into the city walls - beware, TripAdvisor's map is still totally wrong).

The city's cheapest & most basic (but clean & modern and good value) is Etap, which shares a site with Etap Plus and Novotel (Novotel the best of those three) opposite the rail station.

Travelodge City Centre. Travelodge is Britain's second budget chain, after Premier Inns. This one's housed in an ugly former office building, but I've not been inside.

The Mercure Dolphin Hotel is a former coaching inn, with a lot of history. Very much more a part of "England" than the cloned modern hotels but history comes with sloping floors, rabbit-warren corridors, varied room sizes, etc.

Useful thumbnail map at the bottom of
[url]https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_accommodation.htm[/url]
All of these are easily walkable to the city centre & none are more than a £8 taxi fare from any cruise terminal.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)

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Oriana 6th march rooms for the 5th

non refundable (cheapest) rates
£36 premier inn
£38 travelodge

Accor brands(Etap became Ibis ages ago)
£35 Ibis budget
£59 Ibis
£89 Novotel
£55 Dolphin(Mecure)

(not sue why these two hotels are missing from next

Another popular hotel that has deals is
£62.10 Jurys

there may be deals and offers that will bring all these prices down.

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[quote name='John Bull']
The Mercure Dolphin Hotel is a former coaching inn, with a lot of history. Very much more a part of "England" than the cloned modern hotels but history comes with sloping floors, rabbit-warren corridors, varied room sizes, etc.

[/QUOTE]

Having stayed at the Dolphin for a pre-cruise night last fall, I would not recommend it. We love historical places, and I don't mind sloping floors or rabbit warren corridors, but there's a big difference between charming/historical and shabby, and our room was the latter.

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[quote name='Turtles06']Having stayed at the Dolphin for a pre-cruise night last fall, I would not recommend it. We love historical places, and I don't mind sloping floors or rabbit warren corridors, but there's a big difference between charming/historical and shabby, and our room was the latter.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to hear that, Turtles.
Mercure spent a lot of money on the Dolphin when they bought it about 5 years ago, it got rave reviews then. I was impressed when I visited then, but I've never stayed there.

I checked out recent reviews on booking.com & TripAdvisor - average of 7.3 out of 10 on booking.com, 3.5 out of 5 on T/A.
That's pretty middle-of-the-road, but I must admit I was surprised by the number of comments similar to yours - "tired" rooms & such - which I wouldn't have expected 5 years after a renovation.
Luck of the draw with the room mebbe?
Or being a very old building mebbe the maintenance is more demanding than Mercure thought.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :) Edited by John Bull

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[quote name='Turtles06']Having stayed at the Dolphin for a pre-cruise night last fall, I would not recommend it. We love historical places, and I don't mind sloping floors or rabbit warren corridors, but there's a big difference between charming/historical and shabby, and our room was the latter.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='John Bull']Sorry to hear that, Turtles.
Mercure spent a lot of money on the Dolphin when they bought it about 5 years ago, it got rave reviews then. I was impressed when I visited then, but I've never stayed there.

I checked out recent reviews on booking.com & TripAdvisor - average of 7.3 out of 10 on booking.com, 3.5 out of 5 on T/A.
That's pretty middle-of-the-road, but I must admit I was surprised by the number of comments similar to yours - "tired" rooms & such - which I wouldn't have expected 5 years after a renovation.
Luck of the draw with the room mebbe?
Or being a very old building mebbe the maintenance is more demanding than Mercure thought.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)[/QUOTE]

We were in one of the larger rooms. Nothing about it had been renovated in recent years. "Tired" would be a good way to describe it. Old, stained carpet, barely any light in the bathroom, stuff like that. The hotel staff were exceedingly nice, but it's not a hotel I would choose again.

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John Bull,
I just wanted to say thank you for the heads up on The Pig in the Wall. My husband and I are always on the lookout for unique little boutique hotels and this one looks right up our alley. The reviews on Trip Advisor are also very good. I just booked one of the "spacious rooms" for the night before our cruise next year. I was afraid to wait due to the location and proximity to the cruise port.
Do you have any suggestions on things to see within walking distance of the hotel?

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[QUOTE=Kevin's girl;50897359]John Bull,
I just wanted to say thank you for the heads up on The Pig in the Wall. My husband and I are always on the lookout for unique little boutique hotels and this one looks right up our alley. The reviews on Trip Advisor are also very good. I just booked one of the "spacious rooms" for the night before our cruise next year. I was afraid to wait due to the location and proximity to the cruise port.
Do you have any suggestions on things to see within walking distance of the hotel?[/QUOTE]

Go through the city wall's West Gate, right next to Pig-in-the-Wall, & turn first left onto Bugle Street, opposite Duke of Wellington pub. On the next corner is the Tudor House & garden. All of 200 yards from your hotel, & worth an hour or more.
Down the little road alongside the Duke of Wellington pub is the Medieval Merchant's House, currently closed but hopefully re-open next year.
There are other minor sights in the general area such as Gods Tower & the ruined Holyrood church. The church was destroyed by bombing in WW2, which gives a clue as to why the "old-town" area is a mix of old & modern.
You can walk the city wall to Arundel Tower and the Bargate in 10 minutes. The Bargate was the main (northern) entrance to the city, & beyond it is the wide pedestrianized main shopping street called Above Bar (re-built after the Blitz), & several shopping malls.
SeaCity museum is in the Civic Centre (tall white clock tower), a ten minute walk beyond the Bargate at the far end of Above Bar. It majors on Titanic - doesn't have artefacts from the ship but takes you on a journey using re-creations & stories.
Solent Sky aviation museum is a 15 minute walk from your hotel. It's quite small, run by volunteers, & concentrates on aircraft designed & built in Southampton (including a Spitfire) or flown from Southampton (includes a Sandringham flying boat). The walk takes you past South Western House (hotel used by Titanic passengers) & a small deviation past The Grapes pub in Oxford Street (four crew-men from Titanic drank too much here and missed the sailing).
Don't go looking for Southampton Castle, there's only one unrecognisable little bit of its walls.

Best pub food locally is probably the Duke of Wellington, for a beer and a snack lunch perhaps the Dancing Man (where Bugle Street meets the waterfront), plenty of restaurants in the same area and along Oxford Street.


[url]http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/uploads/media_items/old-town-walk-map.original.pdf[/url]
Scroll down past the historic map, which will serve only to confuse you - your hotel is set into the wall at Weft (West) Gate, but the Grand Harbour Hotel opposite, and all the city's docks are on land reclaimed from the sea over the past few hundred years.
[url]http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/visit/things-to-do/attractions[/url]
[url]https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186299-d215486-Reviews-Bargate-Southampton_Hampshire_England.html[/url]
[url]http://www.solentskymuseum.org/[/url]
[url]http://www.thegrapessouthampton.co.uk/history/[/url]
[url]https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186299-d3244804-Reviews-Duke_of_Wellington-Southampton_Hampshire_England.html[/url]
[url]http://www.dancingmanbrewery.co.uk/[/url]

Southampton's not a tourist city, but there's plenty to keep you amused for a day or two.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :) Edited by John Bull

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[quote name='John Bull']Go through the city wall's West Gate, right next to Pig-in-the-Wall, & turn first left onto Bugle Street, opposite Duke of Wellington pub. On the next corner is the Tudor House & garden. All of 200 yards from your hotel, & worth an hour or more.
Down the little road alongside the Duke of Wellington pub is the Medieval Merchant's House, currently closed but hopefully re-open next year.
There are other minor sights in the general area such as Gods Tower & the ruined Holyrood church. The church was destroyed by bombing in WW2, which gives a clue as to why the "old-town" area is a mix of old & modern.
You can walk the city wall to Arundel Tower and the Bargate in 10 minutes. The Bargate was the main (northern) entrance to the city, & beyond it is the wide pedestrianized main shopping street called Above Bar (re-built after the Blitz), & several shopping malls.
SeaCity museum is in the Civic Centre (tall white clock tower), a ten minute walk beyond the Bargate at the far end of Above Bar. It majors on Titanic - doesn't have artefacts from the ship but takes you on a journey using re-creations & stories.
Solent Sky aviation museum is a 15 minute walk from your hotel. It's quite small, run by volunteers, & concentrates on aircraft designed & built in Southampton (including a Spitfire) or flown from Southampton (includes a Sandringham flying boat). The walk takes you past South Western House (hotel used by Titanic passengers) & a small deviation past The Grapes pub in Oxford Street (four crew-men from Titanic drank too much here and missed the sailing).
Don't go looking for Southampton Castle, there's only one unrecognisable little bit of its walls.

Best pub food locally is probably the Duke of Wellington, for a beer and a snack lunch perhaps the Dancing Man (where Bugle Street meets the waterfront), plenty of restaurants in the same area and along Oxford Street.


[url]http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/uploads/media_items/old-town-walk-map.original.pdf[/url]
Scroll down past the historic map, which will serve only to confuse you - your hotel is set into the wall at Weft (West) Gate, but the Grand Harbour Hotel opposite, and all the city's docks are on land reclaimed from the sea over the past few hundred years.
[url]http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/visit/things-to-do/attractions[/url]
[url]https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186299-d215486-Reviews-Bargate-Southampton_Hampshire_England.html[/url]
[url]http://www.solentskymuseum.org/[/url]
[url]http://www.thegrapessouthampton.co.uk/history/[/url]
[url]https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186299-d3244804-Reviews-Duke_of_Wellington-Southampton_Hampshire_England.html[/url]
[url]http://www.dancingmanbrewery.co.uk/[/url]

Southampton's not a tourist city, but there's plenty to keep you amused for a day or two.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)[/QUOTE]
Thank you again. I have copied all of this to my planning file so that I don't loose it. I'm really happy that there is enough to see and do to keep us busy for at least a day. My husband's favorite when we have visited is fish and chips. He says we can't get it to taste the same here in the US. Would The Duke of Wellington be a place where he might find Fish and Chips?

We are great plane buffs, so the Solent Sky aviation museum sounds like a place we will both be happy to see. It also sounds like it should be easy for me to sneak in a little Titanic sightseeing. I'm also very happy that it is all easily walkable. I'm looking forward to exploring the area :)

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We're also on the prowl for good fish & chips in a Southampton pub and are wondering about Red Lion or Duke of Wellington. Is it a toss up or is either preferred? Or any other recommendations within walking distance of Ennio's. Thanks!

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Most pubs offer fish & chips. Usually cod these days, and [U]Beer[/U]-battered seems to be the "in" thing.

The quality in pubs & especially in cafes is very variable, some use bought-in ready-battered & frozen fish portions & some even use frozen chips.
Same applies in the US - we've had good there & we've had awful.
The Duke of Wellington uses fresh & I've enjoyed fish & chips there, I don't know about the Red Lion. Both pubs are very historic.
On Town Quay, just a few yards from Ennio's, the Platform Tavern is a traditional spit-and-sawdust pub which serves fish & chips, I've enjoyed eating there but don't know their fish & chips. The same people run the atmospheric Dancing Man in the nearby Wool House (those who've visited Southampton in the past will remember the Wool House as the home of Southampton's maritime museum before Sea City museum was built) but no fish & chips at the Dancing Man.

BTW, Ennio's is effectively rooms above an excellent if slightly expensive Italian restaurant. And next door is La Regata, an excellent Spanish restaurant. But don't expect to find fish & chips at either. ;)

The best fish & chips tend to be from traditional fish & chip takeaways ("chippies"), though not Chinese chippies or takeaways that major on kebabs & such.
Mike's Fish & Chips is by far the best in the city centre. It's a very ordinary-looking shop in a very ordinary parade of shops alongside the Texaco gas station in Queensway (which runs parallel to High Street), a five minute walk from the Red Lion.

Or there's the Harry Ramsden's fish & chip restaurant in the food court of West Quay shopping mall.
Fish & chips was always reckoned to be something that needed to be operated by the owner & you couldn't roll out a chain across the country. Harry Ramsden ran a very highly-rated chippie in the north of England (Yorkshire?) & a few years ago his successors set about proving everyone wrong. There are now branches throughout the country - the quality is excellent & the prices very reasonable, though like all chippies the atmosphere is very "fast-food". Not the place for a romantic dinner ;), more for lunchtime - and the opening hours of the West Quay branch reflect that.
[url]http://www.harryramsdens.co.uk/england/southampton/[/url]

None of the places I've mentioned are more than a ten-minute walk from either Pig-in-the-Wall or Ennio's.

English Language lesson for the uninitiated...........
Chips are effectively fat "fries".
What Americans call chips, we call crisps.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)

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[quote name='John Bull']… The Duke of Wellington uses fresh & I've enjoyed fish & chips there, I don't know about the Red Lion. Both pubs are very historic. On Town Quay, just a few yards from Ennio's, the Platform Tavern is a traditional spit-and-sawdust pub which serves fish & chips, I've enjoyed eating there but don't know their fish & chips...[/QUOTE]Thanks for that comprehensive primer on fish & chips ... or is that fish & fries? :cool::cool:

The takeaway joints aka chippies sound fab. I expect they're not licensed and would lack the charm of an historic pub, so we've decided to have a pint and some fish & chips at the Duke of Wellington and then amble over to Red Lion for another round. I also appreciate you mentioning the Platform Tavern. Ya gotta love the spit-and-sawdust description! We may pop in on our way back to Ennio's, though on a Friday nite with live entertainment, it may be too crowded by the time we get there.

JB, thanks for being the oracle of all things British. Your English language lessons are the best, even for those of us from the Commonwealth!

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[quote name='MightyQuinn']Thanks for that comprehensive primer on fish & chips ... or is that fish & fries? :cool::cool:
JB, thanks for being the oracle of all things British. Your English language lessons are the best.[/QUOTE]

I could not have said it better myself.

[quote name='John Bull']Most pubs offer fish & chips. Usually cod these days, and [U]Beer[/U]-battered seems to be the "in" thing.

The quality in pubs & especially in cafes is very variable, some use bought-in ready-battered & frozen fish portions & some even use frozen chips.
Same applies in the US - we've had good there & we've had awful.
The Duke of Wellington uses fresh & I've enjoyed fish & chips there, I don't know about the Red Lion. Both pubs are very historic.

The best fish & chips tend to be from traditional fish & chip takeaways ("chippies"), though not Chinese chippies or takeaways that major on kebabs & such.
Mike's Fish & Chips is by far the best in the city centre. It's a very ordinary-looking shop in a very ordinary parade of shops alongside the Texaco gas station in Queensway (which runs parallel to High Street), a five minute walk from the Red Lion.

Or there's the Harry Ramsden's fish & chip restaurant in the food court of West Quay shopping mall.
Fish & chips was always reckoned to be something that needed to be operated by the owner & you couldn't roll out a chain across the country. Harry Ramsden ran a very highly-rated chippie in the north of England (Yorkshire?) & a few years ago his successors set about proving everyone wrong. There are now branches throughout the country - the quality is excellent & the prices very reasonable, though like all chippies the atmosphere is very "fast-food". Not the place for a romantic dinner ;), more for lunchtime - and the opening hours of the West Quay branch reflect that.
[url]http://www.harryramsdens.co.uk/england/southampton/[/url]

None of the places I've mentioned are more than a ten-minute walk from either Pig-in-the-Wall or Ennio's.

English Language lesson for the uninitiated...........
Chips are effectively fat "fries".
What Americans call chips, we call crisps.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :)[/QUOTE]

Thank you :)

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[quote name='Alaskanb']We had excellent fish and chips at the Duke of Wellington. Freshly prepared --delicious.[/QUOTE]

Two votes for the Duke of Wellington seems to make it the place for us. My DH will be so happy to have the fresh fish - fish and chips :) Thanks

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Oh, just one more thing ...

Is it possible to walk from Ennio's to Ocean Cruise Terminal Berth 46? Google maps shows a 10-min walk via Town Quay and Cunard Road. But there's a notation that a section is along a partial restricted usage road. I know google doesn't always get it right, so does anybody know if this route is no go for pedestrians? We'd sure like to walk if it's possible, as methinks a cabbie wouldn't be too thrilled to take a fare for such a short distance.

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[quote name='MightyQuinn']Oh, just one more thing ...

Is it possible to walk from Ennio's to Ocean Cruise Terminal Berth 46? Google maps shows a 10-min walk via Town Quay and Cunard Road. But there's a notation that a section is along a partial restricted usage road. I know google doesn't always get it right, so does anybody know if this route is no go for pedestrians? We'd sure like to walk if it's possible, as methinks a cabbie wouldn't be too thrilled to take a fare for such a short distance.[/QUOTE]


Very easy, ten mins or less. And you'll see your ship almost as soon as you exit Ennio's.
"Restricted use" refers to the dock gates & all roads within the docks. Each dock gate has a security post, but I doubt you'll even be quizzed since you'll clearly be heading for a cruise.

Use the traffic lights near Ennio's to cross the road.
Shortest route is via the new Dock Gate 5. For vehicles that's an exit only but it has a sidewalk so I don't think it makes any difference to pedestrians - if it does, simply carry on to Dock Gate 4 (Central Road), which adds 3 minutes to your walk.

Because for vehicles it's only an exit, Gate 5 isn't signed - instead it's signed Triangle Parking (don't go into the [U]first[/U] parking lot, opposite Gods Tower, its [U]only[/U] a parking lot & it's fenced off from the docks)

Minimum cab fare is something like £5. Might be worthwhile if it's raining heavily.

[B][COLOR="Red"]JB[/COLOR][/B] :) Edited by John Bull

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The wetherspoons next to the dolphin is a good stop for ale, they have a decent selection at very decent prices, not a traditional pub though.
Their fish and chips are quite good value as they change to hand battered from frozen.

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[QUOTE=Kevin's girl;50910070]Two votes for the Duke of Wellington seems to make it the place for us. My DH will be so happy to have the fresh fish - fish and chips :) Thanks[/QUOTE]

Last fall, about 20 of us on our Roll Call had a fabulous pre-cruise dinner at the Duke of Wellington, arranged in advance. The folks there could not have been nicer, and the food was excellent. They gave us a private room upstairs, and then people got to enjoy the wonderful pub downstairs. Many in our group had fish and chips; I opted for the cottage pie, which the owner made especially that night for the two of us who had ordered it (from a menu they emailed us in advance). They'd wanted a certain minimum number of orders to make the cottage pie and didn't get it, but still made it for two of us, that's how nice they were.

Best story from that dinner: the dessert choices they emailed us included "spotted dick." I can safely say that not one American on our Roll Call had heard of this, and you can imagine the conversation about it that ensued on the Roll Call. :)

Bottom line: we totally loved the Duke of Wellington.

(PS: I opted for the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. :p )

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[quote name='John Bull']Very easy, ten mins or less. And you'll see your ship almost as soon as you exit Ennio's.
"Restricted use" refers to the dock gates & all roads within the docks. Each dock gate has a security post, but I doubt you'll even be quizzed since you'll clearly be heading for a cruise…[/QUOTE]Thanks JB. You're better than google. :):)

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I can say a couple of things about the Premier Inn West Quay. It isn't anything special but it was clean and we slept quite well as it was quiet. However we were very cold as the heat in our room wasn't working and they finally brought in a space heater for us. One thing I did like was its proximity to shopping and eateries. It is right next to the big mall and a street of shops including Boots if you need any medicines or toiletries. The taxi fare to the pier was about 8£.

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[quote name='Turtles06']Last fall, about 20 of us on our Roll Call had a fabulous pre-cruise dinner at the Duke of Wellington, arranged in advance. The folks there could not have been nicer, and the food was excellent. They gave us a private room upstairs, and then people got to enjoy the wonderful pub downstairs. Many in our group had fish and chips; I opted for the cottage pie, which the owner made especially that night for the two of us who had ordered it (from a menu they emailed us in advance). They'd wanted a certain minimum number of orders to make the cottage pie and didn't get it, but still made it for two of us, that's how nice they were.

Best story from that dinner: the dessert choices they emailed us included "spotted dick." I can safely say that not one American on our Roll Call had heard of this, and you can imagine the conversation about it that ensued on the Roll Call. :)

Bottom line: we totally loved the Duke of Wellington.

(PS: I opted for the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. :p )[/quote]
Thanks Turtles06. A pre cruise get together sounds like a nice idea and it's nice to know The Duke of Wellington was so accommodating. I had Cottage Pie at the Black Friar in London and loved it. I think I would have to try the Spotted Dick :) Maybe I'll suggest a get together on our roll call.

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Here is what Spotted Dick is. Spotted dick is a British pudding, made with suet and dried fruit and often served with custard. It is made from a flat sheet of suet pastry sprinkled with dried fruit, which is then rolled up into a circular pudding.

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Was at the Duke of Wellington last month and the food was fabulous. Had appetizers, dinner, and something sweet. All was delicious. We met up with some local folks and they also said the Duke of Wellington has the best food around and I pay attention to what the locals say.

I did not get fish and chips, but they had very generous portions when I saw the food delivered to our neighboring table.

Also stayed at the Premier Inn West Quay. It's not fancy, but a good value, you can walk to dinner, just a few pounds to get to the terminal, and has a convenient breakfast. I'd stay there again.

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[quote name='Poochiekat']Was at the Duke of Wellington last month and the food was fabulous. Had appetizers, dinner, and something sweet. All was delicious. We met up with some local folks and they also said the Duke of Wellington has the best food around and I pay attention to what the locals say.

I did not get fish and chips, but they had very generous portions when I saw the food delivered to our neighboring table.

Also stayed at the Premier Inn West Quay. It's not fancy, but a good value, you can walk to dinner, just a few pounds to get to the terminal, and has a convenient breakfast. I'd stay there again.[/QUOTE]

The Premier Inn West Quay is clean and comfortable and fairly basic. It is in a great location for food and shopping. I believe we are going to stay there again next year.

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