Staycation travel: Bopping along to tribute bands with fans at Cheshire’s Alvaston Hall Hotel

Can you have way too significantly of a excellent thing? If you had asked the balding, greying, younger-at-coronary heart punters at the tribute bands pageant at Alvaston Hall Hotel last month, they would have offered you a resounding ‘No!’ In point, they would possibly have set it to new music and begun a conga.

As we inch absent from lockdown, and social gathering animals crawl out of their burrows, attention has obviously concentrated on nightclubs heaving with sweaty teens. But make no blunder, the teenagers’ moms and dads and grandparents want a slice of the action, way too.

This establishment, in the coronary heart of the Cheshire countryside, is just one of a clutch of Warner Leisure Hotels dotted about the state. They present adult-only breaks specific at the more mature era and have made an spectacular sideline in tunes-themed weekends.

It is a variety of magic: Alvaston Hall Hotel, which has developed a sideline in tunes-themed weekends

Sometimes the artists undertaking are perfectly-acknowledged names, these as classical singer Katherine Jenkins, but mostly they are meticulously crafted tribute functions by really hard-functioning industry experts who know their stuff.

Dolly Parton in Cheshire, Cliff Richard on the Isle of Wight, Rod Stewart in Herefordshire.

Of course, it is not the true Dolly, Cliff or Rod. But which would you somewhat? Excellent tunes sung by competent impersonators? Or garbage music sung by teenage wannabes? I rest my circumstance.

At Alvaston, the tributes flew thick and rapidly. To Stevie Speculate. To George Michael. To Queen. To Elton John. To Abba. To Tina Turner. And a really excellent time was had by all.

We are not out of the Covid woods still, so there ended up lots of masks in proof. But there was also a feeling of normality returning.

‘A cruise ship on land,’ is how the DJ Alun Webb described the enjoyment on present, and he got it in one particular. Men and women are at times relatively sniffy about the entertainment on offer you on cruises, but they should not be. The best cruise firms present progressively sophisticated offers.

Tribute band Pure Queen strutting their stuff for Warner Leisure guests. Other acts include tributes to Tina Turner and Elton John

Tribute band Pure Queen strutting their things for Warner Leisure guests. Other acts contain tributes to Tina Turner and Elton John

Alvaston Hall surely exuded quiet sophistication. There was a little lounge for pre-evening meal cabaret and late-night crooning and bopping, and a major principal phase moreover dance ground, the place the most important exhibit of the evening took area in front of 400-furthermore diners still digesting their foods.

The purist would possibly say: ‘But you simply cannot view Tina Turner strut her things in a skimpy skirt when you are taking in a coconut cheesecake’ — but the purist would be lacking the level.

It was the overlap involving the excellent wining and eating and the comprehensive-on music that built the weekend so memorable. There was a hint of decadence in the air, people today seeking to make the most of issues.

For the performers, it was a likelihood to get back again into the swing of points just after a lean time period simply because of Covid.

Max Davidson was impressed by 'the excellent wining and dining' at Alvaston Hall. Pictured is the hotel's Cheshire Barn pub and restaurant

Max Davidson was impressed by ‘the great wining and dining’ at Alvaston Hall. Pictured is the hotel’s Cheshire Barn pub and restaurant 

Wayne Denton, masterly as Neil Diamond, had the viewers consuming out of his hand with his self-deprecating patter.

‘I also do John Denver, but with a distinctive wig, naturally. I was one of the finalists in a Tv expertise present in 1986. 7 of us are even now operating. One particular is a fireman, one is an electrician.’

For the visitors, some taking their to start with holiday in 18 months, it was a chance to chill out, recharge their batteries, meet up with aged mates and be transported back to the seems of their youth.

Don’t permit some cynic explain to you that nostalgia is not what it employed be. It is following situations of countrywide disaster, when people have quickly lost their bearings, that nostalgia is most desired.

Joyce, from Ormskirk, Lancashire, is an Alvaston frequent. ‘Warner have got these weekends just suitable. Good music in comforting environment.’

Mark from Liverpool agreed. ‘Tribute bands stir so lots of happy memories. You are by no means far too previous to take pleasure in songs. I utilised to occur below with my parents when they were being very well into their 80s.’

Guests can relax by the hotel pool by day, before enjoying Alvaston's music evenings by night

Friends can rest by the lodge pool by working day, right before enjoying Alvaston’s new music evenings by night time

Tony and Judy, whom we met at a wine-tasting, experienced a distinct enthusiasm for American new music and had travelled thoroughly in the U.S. They are in the autumn of their a long time now, but their enthusiasm for tunes was undimmed.

For my spouse and me, whose preferences range from The Beatles to nation & western and Irish folks singers, it was a probability to give comprehensive rein to our internal social gathering animals just after long months starved of stay songs. No person joined the singalongs with additional gusto.

We have been blessed with fantastic climate, which only extra to the perception of enchantment.

By working day, we explored the highways and byways of Cheshire: craft fairs, canalside cafes, quite outdated towns, thrillingly environmentally friendly fields.

Other visitors calm by the hotel pool or took part in the leisure activities that are portion of the Warner offer, from archery to quizzes to shuffleboard. The bars, normally, did a roaring trade.

But arrive the cocktail hour, and via to midnight, we were all incredibly hot to trot, as quickly as our outdated legs could have us.

Is there just about anything to defeat septuagenarian partners taking to the dance ground with their joy in lifestyle apparent in every stage?

Alvaston Hall, pictured, is nestled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside

Alvaston Corridor, pictured, is nestled in the coronary heart of the Cheshire countryside

Vacation FACTS  

3 evenings 50 %-board at Warner Leisure Accommodations, which has 14 adult-only qualities throughout the British isles, get started from £319pp, together with stay music and functions. For additional audio breaks, stop by isles. 

Some wore wise informal, others ended up dressed to the nines, in seamed stockings redolent of Globe War II, or shirts so loud they threatened to drown the songs. 

But we would not have swapped the encounter for a beach front in Greece or a brasserie in Paris.

It was as if, alongside one another, we had grasped a easy real truth: that from time to time the cheesiest, most common, most endlessly repeated songs are the most effective music of all.

On the push property, two several hours right after leaving Cheshire, my spouse was even now buzzing Dancing Queen and I was nonetheless yodelling, ‘Then I observed her deal with, now I’m a BE-LIEVER!’ like a Monkee on steroids.

And I am a believer, my perception fortified by this exhilaratingly unbuttoned weekend. 

A believer, not just in tunes — but in the ability of music to span the generations, cheat time and make the coronary heart dance. 

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