Annwell Inn & Restaurant

Now  The Taphouse Bar and Restaurant

Annwell Lane
LE65 2TA
Tel: 01530 413604

Contact: Mr P A Lathbury

Restaurant within a local pub located in the village of Smisby between Woodville (Swadlincote) and Ashby de la Zouch


Monday to Wednesday nights – Lite Bite menu

Thursday nights – curry night

Friday and Saturday nights – a la carte

Sunday lunch – 3 course meal £7.95


Review of Meal at Annwell Inn Smisby  17/9/2006

First let me say that you can’t fault it for value for money.  I’m a bit odd and I often like 2 starters instead of a main meal.

So our meal order consisted of a prawn platter on the menu with brown bread and butter garlic mushrooms with cream brandy garlic and coriander sauce and garlic toast and cod and chips along with 2 175ml glasses of red wine and a diet coke all for less than £19.

Now this is where I get frustrated.  No you can’t beat it for value for money I have to admit but the Annwell Inn Smisby is so close to being a really good restaurant yet the small things that I feel are important are missing.

The size of the prawn platter was huge about 3 or 4 times the amount in other restaurants/pubs and it was served with a decent amount of lettuce and 2 slices of cucumber.  It would have been far better to have served less prawns and dressed the salad up a little – it doesn’t take much a wedge of lemon a little tomato a sliver of carrot or onion or pepper etc..

Quantity isn’t everything.  It’s not that you could fault the quality of the food just that I would prefer to see those few extra touches even if it cost more.  Another real grouse of mine is when you see something on the menu and they serve something different without mentioning it.  The prawn platter should have been served with brown bread and butter but it came with white maybe no big deal but not all of us like to eat white bread.

The mushrooms were plentiful and very rich although the garlic was raw and the brandy harsh and the garlic toast which I was really looking forward too turned out to be toasted bread rolls unbuttered no garlic.  The pepper mill being empty and falling apart in my hands didn’t help much either.

The cod and chips came with 2 good pieces of fish with peas carrots and broccoli and frankly couldn’t be faulted.  I think the batter is the chefs own made with beer.

The service was friendly but certainly not ‘up-market’ with little gems  offered to the next table like “we ain’t gorr any of them no more” and with our bill “ignore the pencil bits rubbed out -they’re not yours”.  They were very pleasant and helpful though so no complaints there.

Would we go back again.  Yes we certainly would mainly because the Annwell offers excellent value for money.  What makes me sad is that it should do much better than 4 tables at peak time on a Saturday night.  It has the makings of a fine high standard restaurant but just doesn’t quite get there.



Smisby Manor Annwell Lane Smisby Ashby-de-la-zouch Leicestershire

Smisby Manor Annwell Lane

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Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel 

Khaled Ben Walid St , Luxor

The Steigenberger Nile Palace hotel is without doubt one of Luxor’s best 5 star hotels with a high standard accommodation and first-class hospitality. With panoramic views over the Nile to the West Bank where the valley of Kings and Queens are found.  Situated in centre of Luxor it is the perfect base from which to explore this amazing city, most of the tourist sites being within walking distance.

SteigenbergerNile Palace Hotel

On arriving at Luxor Airport we were collected by the ‘limo’ as previously arranged with the hotel (please note that the transportation whilst extremely comfortable it is not, as advertised, a limousine as we know it back home) however at the very reasonable price of 12 euros in total each way for both of us it was excellent value and certainly beats hanging around waiting for minibuses to fill up.  Once at the hotel we were immediately shown to our room which was comfortable, spacious, well decorated and had a delightful (if somewhat tiny) balcony overlooking the courtyard.  Apart from the usual mini-bar, satellite television, hair dryer, air conditioning and ample complimentary toiletries, the hotel provides in each room internet access (terms arranged with reception) and a safety deposit box (free of charge).

Our first morning we enjoyed a lavish buffet breakfast, with a wide selection of local and international specialities on offer, served in the relaxed surroundings of the air conditioned Nubian Restaurant, however, on subsequent days we took and early breakfast outside on the terrace to soak up the warmth of the sun (just avoiding quickly rising temperatures) to take in the splendid views overlooking the Nile. The staff were pleasant and attentive both indoors and on the terrace, and happily topped up my coffee for the sixth or seventh time always with a smile.

Our morning relax around swimming pool was a delight, no rush to push out towels early in the morning to save a sun bed, with plenty of beds at all times of the day and the pool staff providing freshly laundered towels we were in seventh heaven.

Returning to the hotel late afternoon most days after an action packed day, we were grateful to visit the hotel’s health and fitness centre for a relaxing massage.  Friendly and experienced staff pampered and revived us ready for the evening.

Hotel Nile Palace - Health Centre Staff

Ashraf, Mahmoud and Nazera

With a patisserie, Italian and Lebanese restaurants surrounding the courtyard, the hotel offers an hour or two of nightly entertainment (although a little repetitive during the two week holiday it was by far the best on offer from any of the major hotels in Luxor)   After our evening meal we were privileged to be able to  listen to the music and enjoy elevated views of the shows from the comfort our balcony overlooking the courtyard.  As the entertainment finished no later than 10.30 each evening there was never any excessive noise and we were never disturbed, so we regarded the courtyard view a big plus.  We did however checkout the Nile view rooms and have to say if you plan on spending a fair amount of time on your balcony then it’s well worth the extra money for the breathtaking views.  Having said that don’t worry if you’re on a budget there are many excellent areas in the hotel and grounds were you can enjoy equally impressive views.

The Nile Palace customer service staff closely monitored the performance of the hotel with frequent telephone calls to check that everything was satisfactory and to see whether they could be of assistance.  On reporting one morning that we had a problem with paint fumes from a room being refurbished further along the corridor, we were found an alternative room and our belongings moved all within the space of an hour.

As our flight home was late in the evening so towards the end of our holiday we contacted reception to see whether it was possible to have a late checked out.  We arranged to keep our room on until late afternoon for the cost of less than £20, which was fantastic enabling us to enjoy our holiday right up to the last minute.

Overall we found the hotel staff efficient and friendly, with the reception staff ringing the evening before our departure to confirm our flight details so that the transport could be arranged for our return journey to the airport.

As regular visitors to Luxor, this has to be the best hotel visited to date, they seem to have just the right balance offering a quality hotel with service that puts the guests at their easy.  I can see why many of the guests we spoke with said they looked forward to returning to this hotel.

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Holiday Review – Villas Canarias Xanadu.

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Reviews of Villas Canarias Xanadu

2 Reviews about Villas Canarias Xanadu


Submitted By: Mrs K J Dunn

Overall Rating: 3/10

Comments: Villas Canarias (Xanadu) shortly to be re-named Villas Cuccarachas was a very “different” family holiday for us in February this year.

On arrival we were fairly pleased with the accommodation which was clean and bright and does cater for most of your needs. However we soon found that the lockable safe had been broken into so we had no where to store our valuables. We must have struck lucky with our sun terrace as ours was in the sun for most of the day and we were on the ground floor.

Then as we had booked a one bedroom apartment for my 7 month old son, 7 year old daughter and my husband and I, thinking that we could share a sofa bed in the living area leaving the bedroom for my daughter and the cot for my son. No chance! The very badly described sofa bed was simply a wooden sofa that did not fold out or do anything useful with cushions in short supply. We did manage to make a bed with the cushions some how, but then the visitors came!

Cockroaches everywhere and it got so bad that after the first night we had to push the 2 single beds together in the bedroom and sleep in there with our daughter. Cosy eh?

The staff were not helpful or sympathetic at all but grudgingly supplied us with a kettle and extra bedding on request. And I am not entirely sure that the pool would conform to health and safety standards but it does look nice.

Costa Adeje itself is a lovely area with lots to see and do and we found ourselves spending as much time out and about as possible that would keep us away from the apartment. There is a very steep walk to the apartment from the beach but we welcomed this as a way of burning off all the extra calories from the lovely restaurants, and would not complain about this at all.

I would definitely not recommend Villas Canarias to anyone visiting Costa Adeje but I am told that there are many other lovely hotels in the area, oh well you live and learn.



Opinion submitted in Aug 2005 by : Sheila Semple

Resort Rating: Poor

My/Our Holiday Opinion: 

Otherwise known as Xanadu apartments. Supposed to be refusbished. Disgusting…staff extremely unfriendly…cochroaches…sheets not clean…apartments not clean. Just about the worst place to go for a holiday. Supposed to be family friendly……you really dont want to go there full of drunken yobs. My worst holiday ever.

At the top of “Cardiac Hill” cant say more than that….glad to be back home.


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