Set within 14 acres of spectacular scenery, you’ll find Linthwaite House, a 30-room boutique hotel that’s one of the most luxurious hotels in the Lake District. Here guests are offered jaw-dropping views year-round – whatever the weather.
Linthwaite House is the latest addition to the portfolio of Leeu Collection, a collection of exquisite hotels around the world, that were the vision of founder and entrepreneur Analjit Singh. We were lucky enough to have recently visited Leeu Estates in Franschoek, South Africa, so we couldn’t wait to stay at Linthwaite House, knowing that we were going to be in for a treat if the properties we visited in South Africa were anything to go by.
The first thing you notice upon arrival at Linthwaite House is the picturesque setting with its cracking mountain views. The hotel is surrounded by nature at every corner, giving guests the impression that they are the only people lucky enough to enjoy this remarkably beautiful area.
The grounds are gorgeous, so it’s worth taking a stroll around the property to see the boating lake with its cute, country chic summer house or to simply watch the local sheep grazing in the adjacent field.
The tranquil boating lake and the summer house
Within the hotel, there are several communal areas for guests to enjoy including two lounges (each with a fire) and a beautiful, glass conservatory that overlooks the lake. On a warm sunny day, there’s no better place than the outdoor terrace with its views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
The décor boasts vintage touches throughout with weathered leather trunks stacked atop one another and a variety of bric-a-brac adorning the walls.
Quirky touches and vintage decor
The manager informed us that the hotel is going to be refurbished soon (from June - October 2017), so it will be interesting to see what new changes will be revealed when the hotel is reopened in all its glory. There is talk of guest rooms on stilts with private hot tubs on the boating lake, which would have us rushing back in no time!
Our Room – Room 7
We stayed in a junior suite, which consisted of a separate lounge area with a sofa and TV and a large bed. The décor was neutral throughout with pops of purple (via throw pillows and curtains), to add a sense of luxury. Best of all, there were large picture windows, which provided fabulous views of the croquet lawn.
We loved that there were lots of lovely little touches throughout including complimentary Kendal Mint Cakes (a renowned local treat), Molton Brown toiletries and a Nespresso coffee machine that George Clooney would approve of. Sadly, he wasn’t there to join us for a coffee!
There is an on-site restaurant and a private dining room, for those wanting to host private functions.
Breakfast at Linthwaite House
Breakfast is served in the dining room where guests dine at tables covered with white linen table clothes covered with a gingham table cloth, lending a Provencal feel to breakfast proceedings. To start, guests can choose from a selection of cereals, fruits, yogurts and pastries.
Lovely background music plays as guests pour their tea and tuck into their breakfast. Breakfast offerings at Linthwaite House are on the traditional side and include options such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, grilled kipper rarebit glazed poached cod, a full English breakfast, French toast, or homemade pancakes with blueberry compote.
Our breakfast at Linthwaite House Hotel
Salmon and scrambled eggs, a home-made rosti with caramelised onions, grilled mushroom and a soft fried egg and assorted buffet options
Dinner at Linthwaite House
Before dinner, guests have the option of enjoying a drink and nibbles in either of the lounges or in the stylish bar with its black and silver colour palette, which had a bit of a 1920s-vibe going on.
After enjoying a glass of wine (my husband) and a non-alcoholic Mojito (me), we headed to the dining room for dinner in the restaurant. Dim lighting and crisp white linen table cloths added a sense of formality to dinner and it was nice to feel like we were going out on a proper date!
For our starter, we enjoyed a cup of mushroom soup and I had the goats cheese mousse, dusted with gingerbread crumbs and served with heritage vegetables, while my husband had the teriyaki salmon. For our mains, my husband had the lamb and I had the pork, which was very interesting as it was served in a variety of ways to keep things interesting. All the dishes were inventive and beautifully presented, so we couldn’t fault a thing.
Throughout our stay, everyone we met was very laidback and quick with a smile and they were more than happy to provide recommendations for things to see and do in the local area.
Exploring further afield
No trip to the area is complete without a boat tour on Lake Windermere. The local tour provider, Windermere Lake Cruises, offers three tours for visitors to choose from (Red, Yellow or Blue routes), which can take you to either Lakeside or The Islands or a combination of the two (from £11 per person).
The tours get very busy, especially during the summer months, so ensure that you arrive in plenty of time before the scheduled departure to ensure a place at the front of the queue. If sharing a boat with strangers isn’t your idea of a nice way to spend an afternoon, you can hire a row boat or a mini speed boat (£25-£50 per hour) to explore the lake at your leisure.
Virgin Trains operates services from London Euston to Windermere. The hotel is only a 10-minute taxi ride away. It’s recommended that you pre-book your taxi in advance to avoid waiting.
Prices from £246 to £322 per person per night – for dinner, bed and breakfast in a junior suite.
Rates vary according to view, size of room and time of year.
To book your stay visit:
Linthwaite House Hotel
I’m always looking for an excuse to head to the Lake District – one of my favourite areas in England- so I simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to go back to the Lakes to visit the magnificent Forest Side Hotel, a Gothic treasure located in the heart of the Lakes.
After we manged to prise ourselves away from our room - no easy feat given how grand it was, we headed downstairs to the lounge area to enjoy a tipple prepared by their talented bartender, Bruno, who whipped up a variety of cocktails for us to enjoy.
We loved the beautiful bar with its opulent wallpaper and cozy armchairs, which are perfect for sinking into as you enjoy one of bartender Bruno’s expertly prepared cocktails. He even has a selection of cocktail bearing his name, which shows what an integral part he plays in the creation of the cocktails.
Our favourite cocktails were The Forager, a sweet tipple comprised of pineapple weed-infused vodka, homemade ginger beer and lime; the Heritage Cocktail, a spicy and potent cocktail, which featured ginger liquour, Fernet Branca, orgeat, celery bitters and lime; and the Rhubarb Spring Sour, a tangy and refreshing cocktail with fresh rhubarb, pisco, chamomile and lemon.
The Dining Room
The bright and airy dining room, with its fabulous views of the hotel’s garden, is the heart of the hotel, with many guests coming to stay just to enjoy the fabulous cuisine and the natural surroundings. The scrubbed oak tables, olive green leather chairs and votive holders, which feature fresh moss, give a nod to its forest namesake.
Chef Kevin Tickle heads up the helm here, focusing his efforts on extracting flavour from the Cumbrian Landscape, which results in unique taste combinations and a truly memorable dining experience. We've eaten in several Michelin Star restaurants over the years, and the quality of the food here is on par with some of the best restaurants we've dined in.
The Forest Side has three dinner menus for guests to choose from: the 3 course a la carte menu (£50 per person), a 6-course menu (£60 per person) and a 10-course menu (£75 per person).
Breakfast at The Forest Side
Before you check out (not that you'll ever want to leave), ensure that you indulge in breakfast, which is superb. The quality of the breakfast offering was second to none and everything was extremely fresh and beautifully prepared. We tried the Eggs Benedict and the scrambled eggs with salmon and the porridge with fresh fruits, all of which were scrumptious.
For a memorable weekend break with top-notch cuisine, bags of charm and an idyllic location, The Forest Side really is in a league of its own.
Prices starting from £349 per night (including breakfast).
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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