Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 5

We stayed one night here before our holiday and left the car while we were away. We had stayed here a year before and been given a room with a bath, despite requesting an accessible one then found out later that they do have rooms with wet-room style bathrooms so we requested one of those. On reaching the room we realised it was one with a bath so we headed back to reception where they were most perplexed as their system said the room did not have a bath. We assured them it did so were allocated another room which did indeed have a wet-room, with seat, grab bars etc although the room still had a very low swivel armchair which looked difficult for anyone to use, never mind someone with restricted mobility!

We had eaten here before and were again joined by my brother who lives nearby, so sampled quite a few menu dishes between us but chose from the higher end of the menu as some of the more pubby items had disappointed last time. The food was great if pricey but the service was desperately slow even though the place was not that busy. Breakfast was fine with plenty of choice. Rubbish croissants but good sausages and bacon but apparently tinned mushrooms.

We ended up staying the night at the end of our holiday – the plan had been to retrieve the car then head off to a country pub which I had carefully checked out for accessibility and was looking forward to, but the car was making horrendous noises so it was a case of booking in at the Hilton again (we specified the room-number. Bet they don’t get that very often!) and calling the AA. This time we ate at Mr Todiwalah’s Kitchen and oh, boy, was that a good decision! Gorgeous food, excellent staff, good atmosphere and prompt service – the AA fortunately only rang back after we’d finished eating! Car was sorted before check-out time the next day. Their computer system was having problems which had meant not being able to open the min-bar the previous day and meant they couldn’t give us a receipt, but this was made up for by them e-mailing it to us at least three times!

The whole hotel is very accessible, as long as you get the right room and I like the way the staff took it in their stride that I was using a scooter. An airport must get all sorts of people all the time, and it should be the norm  anyway that people don’t make a difference, but it is still novel enough to be pleasant when it happens!



The Brocket Arms, Hertfordshire

We stayed one night at The Brocket Arms last year after flying into Heathrow from Spain before heading back up north the next day. The pub took some finding in the lanes round about but once there, we were pleased we’d chosen it as it was peaceful and relaxing. The exterior of the pub and the accommodation (in converted outbuildings across from the pub) are charming and the room had been refurbished to be charming too – it still had some old-fashioned fittings but generally was very nicely decorated and furnished; shame someone hadn’t cleaned the loo properly but otherwise fine. I think it would be wheelchair accessible but I can’t quite remember so it would be worth checking. You could park right outside on the gravel carpark. The distance from room to pub is about ten yards.
The pub is ‘olde-worlde’ with wooden beams, a mixture of furniture etc. We ate there in the evening: pub fayre, but done well (there were specials available but we didn’t realise until afterwards so I don’t know what we missed!). Breakfast was mixed – good coffee and cooked element, toast OK, juice poor and plastic jam – very odd as they sell jars of fabulous local jam which would have been a vast improvement! At least we were able to bring some away with us to enjoy at home! The staff were very helpful and pleasant and on the whole I would recommend this place although as of course everyone has different accessibility needs, so worth checking in advance.