Located between the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales, Hipping Hall is a 3AA rosette restaurant with rooms that’s perfectly positioned for those seeking rural pleasures and stunning natural scenery. Hipping Hall opened 11 years ago, and since then has drawn visitors from both near and far, who come for a restful stay coupled with sensational cuisine served in a 15th‑century banqueting hall with a minstrels’ gallery.
The grounds are gorgeous – we loved the romantic rear garden with its handful of bistro tables where you can relax and take in the perfectly manicured lawns and the flowering wisteria.
Our Suite – The Tatham Suite - 'Beam me up Scotty'....
During our visit, we stayed in the Tatham Suite, an oasis of calm named in honour of Edward Tatham, the man who built Hipping Hall. This charming attic suite is the perfect place to hole up in for the weekend, curled up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea. While lounging in your bed, you can admire the ancient oak roof beams, which have been lovingly preserved with striking effect.
The Suite has a small sitting room with a sofa and a bistro table, a decent sized bedroom with two closets (one for each guest if you’re sharing) and best of all, a huge bathroom, which boasts a seriously ‘Instagrammable’ oversized egg tub built for two (with large wooden ceiling beams serving as the perfect picture frame), a modern rain shower and complimentary Temple Spa toiletries. The attention to detail throughout the suite was superb and you could tell that no expense had been spared with the modern fixtures and fittings.
Five new rooms have been added to the property in what used to be the stables. Guests can also hire the private dining room (with chef service), which is ideal for family gatherings or small events.
One of the highlights at Hipping Hall is its 3AA Rosette restaurant with its striking 15th century dining room, which features a striking beamed ceiling, original wood flooring and a slate hearth, which create a cozy and elegant ambiance. We loved the little touches that made our meal feel like a truly special experience – from the crisp white table cloths to the impeccable service to the comfortable dining chairs, which were perfect for settling in for a long meal –essential if you go for the seven-course tasting menu!
Head Chef Oli Martin leads the helm at the restaurant, preparing an assortment of inventive dishes he describes as ‘modern English dishes with classical roots that have been brought up to date.’ A self-confessed ‘food addict’, he has been cooking for 12 years, having worked in both France and the UK, but it’s here in the UK that he’s happiest, now that he’s returned home to his roots.
Having worked at Hipping Hall for the past two and a half years, he has definitely found his stride and loves coming up with new dishes. He uses local seasonal dishes as/when possible (such as sourcing the fish from Morecombe and the organic vegetables from a grower down the road), but he isn’t a slave to using local ingredients if he can source better ingredients further afield. At the end of the day, it’s all about delivery the best possible quality for his guests. To keep things interesting, the dinner menu changes daily, but every night they offer a seven course tasting menu or a five course table d’hôte menu. Both menus burst with local and seasonal flavour and all dietary requirements are catered for.
The tasting menu
The seven-course tasting menu is a real gastronomic experience – with 80% of the guests opting for it. Given its popularity, we thought it rude not to indulge, so we got stuck in enjoying all seven courses with wines to match. Let’s just say, you really need to pace yourself, both with the food and the wine – or you’ll be feeling a bit sorry for yourself at the end (in a good way, of course)!
Some of the highlights on the tasting menu included the mushroom jerky with crème fraiche (which was paper thin and crispy with a smoky flavour) and the venison tartare with sourdough crisps, which was beautifully presented and had a nice flavour without tasting too ‘gamey’. We also loved the trout sashimi, which were served on toothpicks stuck in a cucumber, which was quite fun! Other firm favourites included the hake (which was flaky and perfectly cooked) and the pork belly with kimchi, yogurt, kale and soured cabbage.
Throughout the menu the friendly sommelier talked us through each of the wines that were expertly paired with each course. We particularly enjoyed the Limney Davenport wine from Kent (2014), which had great minerality and was light and fruity with citrus flavours. In fact, we even sought it out when we returned to London! Guests who want to enjoy a cheeky nightcap before they retire to bed can relax at all hours in the lounge near the bar.
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