Our stay at Beech Hill Hotel, Windermere

On the last day of our stay-cation in the UK, we stayed at Beech Hill Hotel & SPA.  

Location:

Beech Hill Hotel & SPA is located in on the shores of Lake Windermere – England’s largest natural lake with river cruises and walking routes being within easy reach. It is just a short drive from the popular resort of Ambleside.

Rooms:

Beech Hill Hotel & SPA has 55 rooms ranging from simple ‘classic’ to exclusive Ruskin Suite. During our stay, we were accommodated in a classic room, one of the best value rooms offered at the hotel. It was spacious and offered a view of the lake as well as the fells beyond. It had classy decor and provided the homely comforts you require whilst being away from home – flat screen TV, complimentary WiFi access, telephone, hairdryer in addition to selection of tea and coffee, a work desk and a couple of chairs to relax on.

Our en-suite bathroom had a slightly outdated decor with both shower and bath. Towels and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries were provided.

Facilities:

Holidaymakers choosing Beech Hill Hotel & SPA can relax in the  ‘Griffin Bar and Lounge’ that also serves afternoon tea and light snacks. It has a homely feeling with features such as log fires and a large terrace overlooking the lake. Breakfasts & dinners are served in Burlington’s – AA Rosette Restaurant. An extensive Continental breakfast is available and for an extra £9.95 you can upgrade it to full English.

In addition, if you wish to relax and unwind Beech Hill Hotel has its own SPA centre consisting of an indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna, a steam room and outdoor spa pool. You can access it for a supplement of £15 per person for a duration of your stay. There are a range of Caudalie treatments available if you wish to spoil yourself with a facial or a massage.

Restaurant:

Breakfasts & dinners are served in Burlington’s – AA Rosette Restaurant. An extensive Continental breakfast is available and for an extra £9.95 you can upgrade it to full English.

When it comes to dinners – you can select two-five courses dinner:

  • The Two course menu is priced at £29.95
  • The Three course menu is priced at £39.95
  • The Five course menu is priced at £44.95.

Restaurant’s Head Chef – Lukasz Zebryk prides himself on working with local suppliers so he can fulfill his ambition to provide his dinners with the best experience of our local flavours of North Yorkshire, Cumbria and surrounding areas.

We decided to have a 3-course dinner. To start with, I had some ham terrine with quail egg, apple & toast.

My husband had some mackerel accompanied by beetroot & shallots dressing. Both dishes were presented nicely and flavorful.
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Next, I had a fillet steak served with hand cut chips, tomato, onion & mushroom.

My husband had some lamb rump with mint mash, kale & carrot. Both dishes were palatable.

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Finally, for my dessert (surprise, surprise!) I had some sticky toffee puddling with banana, vanilla ice cream & butterscotch. A question to all my regular readers: can you see a pattern here? Hahaha! I know, I know – i think I had sticky toffee pudding as a dessert everywhere we stopped in the Lake District! I really liked the caramelised banana addition to this classic pudding – it was delicious.

My husband had a cheeseboard served with some apple, celery, grapes, chutney, crackers & Port. It was appetizing.

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Overall experience:

Beech Hill Hotel & SPA is a nice hotel placed a magnificent location, offering a good food and good service. If you are planning a trip to the Lakes then it’s worth considering.

Website:

For more information and to book visit their website.

Address:

The Beech Hill Hotel & Spa
Newby Bridge Road,
Windermere,
Cumbria.
LA23 3LR

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Lovely dinner at Ees Wyke Country House, Sawrey

What do you consider a perfect meal? For me it’s who I am having the meal with, mouth-watering food, good-service and pleasant decor / surroundings. Ees Wyke’s restaurant ticked all this boxes.

Location:

Ees Wyke restaurant is located in a classic English dinning room of an elegant Georgian house Ees Wyke Country House in Cumbria, near the small village of Sawrey and less than 3 miles from the town of Hawkshead. It is set on high ground overlooking and adjacent to Esthwaite Water and providing spectacular views to the Langdale Pikes and Grizedale Forest. It offers a perfect base not only for a delicious food but also for exploring the wonders of the Lake District. Additional bonus is that Ees Wyke’s dining room provides breathtaking views over Esthwaite Water to Coniston Old Man to the Langdale Pikes. Simply stunning!

The menu:

The menu is created daily by Ees Wyke’s current owner – Richard Lee who purchased it over 15 years ago and he is also in-house Head Chef. The choices on the menu are limited in order to ensure quality so you can rest assured that whatever you select will be tasty and satisfying. All dishes use only the very best of local produce from top local suppliers and Richard prides himself in the relationships he built with them over the years. If you like to have some wine with your meal then Ees Wyke’s wine list offers a wide range of wines from the “New World” to French classics. They are all reasonably priced and sourced based on their ratings.

Prior to the dinner, guests can have a drink, in one of two spacial lounges, on the veranda or in a garden. When the dinner is served, you will be escorted to your table by a friendly waitress – Angela.

As we were staying in Ees Wyke, we booked our dinner for 7:30p.m. When we entered the dinning room, there was already some other guests seated who were also eager to discover Richard’s cooking based on the typical English dishes with a French influence. They were loyal dinners who returned to Ees Wyke on their travels to Lake District after discovering the restaurant a couple of years ago. As soon as we sat down, our waitress welcomed us and we received some complimentary freshly baked bread and butter.

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For our starter, we both decided to have some pork and apricot terrine with pistachio nuts served with roasted vegetable chutney on toast. What an impressive combination! It was urban, elegant and had that pleasurable chunkiness of pistachios added.
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Next, it was time for our mains. As I love seafood, I decided to have a fillet of salmon with mint and cucumber wrapped in puff pastry bedded on some lobster sauce and served with a side of seasonal vegetables – carrots & broccoli.

My husband had noisettes of local lamb pan fried and served with a wine, mint and garlic gravy. Both dishes were excellent and we cleared our plates in no time.

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Lastly, it was time for my favorite course of any meal – dessert. I decided to have my best-loved sticky-toffee pudding which was served with hot butterscotch sauce. It was delectable and I would happily have eaten another one if that was an option.
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My husband had a cheese board which included 4 regional cheeses:

  • Crook (a soft blue veined cheese),
  • Crofton (unpressed cows and goats milk cheese from Carlisle),
  • Eden Chieftain (A creamy, close textured mature cheddar style cheese),
  • Eden valley Brie by the Appleby Creamery using local milk.

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They were presented beautifully with some crackers, celery and grapes. It’s always great trying local produce and this just convinced us that the British cheese is amongst the best in the world!

Overall experience: 

We both loved our dinner at Ees Wyke Country House and Richard somehow managed to combine home cooking with top French professional standards and influence. All dishes were well thought of and included the best local ingredients to bring up the most aromatic flavors of each course on offer. I would happily dine here anytime especially when I consider how affordable the dinner was – at £37.99 for 3-course dinner, it’s a bargain! You should definitely visit. I promise – you will not regret it.

Website:

For more information and to book visit their website.

Address:

Near Sawrey
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0JZ
England

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Our stay at Ees Wyke Country House, Sawrey

As our stay-cation in the magnificent Lake District continued, we carried on discovering glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and some lovely hiking places in Cumbria. After a long day hiking around White Moss Walks and Stock Ghyll Force fall, we came across a hidden gem when we stopped for a night in a lovely Ees Wyke Country House.

Location:

Ees Wyke Country House is perfectly located in Cumbria, near a small village of Sawrey and less than 3 miles from the town of Hawkshead. It is set on high ground overlooking and adjacent to Esthwaite Water and providing spectacular views to the Langdale Pikes and Grizedale Forest. You will be pleased to discover that Ees Wyke Country House was once the holiday home of Beatrix Potter – an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist. It offers a perfect base for exploring the wonders of the Lake District with Hill Top being only a 4-minute walk away. It is also just a 30-min walk from the head of Lake Windermere, England’s largest natural lake. If you are an adventure seeker then you can walk on the tree tops at Go Ape Grizedale which is a short drive away.
Alternatively, if like me, long walks are more appealing then I would suggest taking a lovely walk along the Windermere shoreline and Rawlinson Nab recommended by Richard Lee – Ees Wyke Country House’s owner and on-site chef. He used to take it with his late wife – Margaret and I would suggest you to experience it when you stay here.

Facilities:

According to the Ees Wyke Country House’s website: ‘Ees Wyke was built as a Lake District retreat for a Lancashire mill owner in 1742′. It has remained a private home until it was converted into a guest house with some famous visitors such as above mentioned Beatrix Potter, visiting on several occasions. Ees Wyke’s current owner purchased this elegant Georgian house over 15 years ago and as he has a wealth of experience in hotel management since he took it over Ees Wyke has won multiple awards which are proudly displayed in the lounge and dining areas.

Guests can have a drink, read a book or relax in one of two spacious lounges, on the veranda or in a garden. Breakfast and dinner are served in the dinning room.

The breakfast at Ees Wyke Country House has received an AA award and is simply spectacular. It is sourced from local ingredients i.e. sausages and dry cured bacon are from the local butcher or you can try a Loch Fyne kipper or poached Finnan haddock. You can also try some continental breakfast including a selection of cereals, freshly squeezed juices, compotes, porridge and freshly baked croissants. Guests can also book for a freshly prepared 3-course dinner with a daily changing menu. The choices were limited in order to ensure quality and the dishes we selected were mouth-watering and we cleared our plates in no time.

Rooms: 

Ees Wyke Country House is a small boutique hotel with only 9 rooms. We stayed in the ‘blue’ room situated on the 1st floor providing breathtaking views of Esthwaite Waters and the fells beyond.

It had a traditional and classy decor with a mix of antique and contemporary furniture. It provided us with all the homely comforts you require whilst being away from home – satellite TV, selection of tea and coffee, work desk, and a comfortable king-sized bed. Complimentary sherry was an adorable thought and we appreciated it after a full day walk.

Our en-suite bathroom had a classic decor. Penhaligon toiletries, and soft fluffy towels were provided.

Overall experience: 

I could continue and write 1000s of words about how Ees Wyke Country House is worth your custom, about how it’s owner Richard somehow manages to combine home cooking with top French professional standards of cooking, about how the breakfast is hands down the best I’ve had in the North West and how Angela (the front of house) entertained us with the stories and advise on the best local walks and attraction. I could write all this, but none of it matters, the Ees Wyke Country House is simply excellent and the view from its rooms is world class – simply breathtaking. This soul-soothing scenery is definitely something I would love to wake up to everyday…

Lastly, if you are planning a trip to the Lake District then you should definitely book a room in this classic country house. You will not regret it. Both me and my husband loved it here and being looked after by Richard and Angela seemed like we were staying in some relatives house. I would love to return here soon and have already mentioned to my husband that we should travel here for my birthday in May.

Website:

For more information and to book visit their website.

Address:

Near Sawrey
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0JZ
England

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Our stay at Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside

As our stay-cation in the UK continued we traveled to the magnificent Lake District. I love hiking and discovering new places so I was super excited to visit this popular vacation destination, known for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations. Whilst in a popular market town of Ambleside, we stayed at the luxury Rothay Manor Hotel & Fine dining. 

Location:

Rothay Manor Hotel & Fine Dining is perfectly located in Cumbria, in the picturesque village of Ambleside which marks the head of Lake Windermere, England’s largest natural lake which is only 450 yards away. It is just a short few minutes walk from the town center which has now become a major tourist resort with shops, restaurants and a cinema. In addition, it offers a perfect base for exploring the wonders of the Lake District. I was pleased to discover that the hotel put some proposed itineraries of local walks which you can easily access by scanning a QR code whilst in reception. We took a couple of the recommended walks and they offered breath-taking views. If walking is not your thing then you can hire mountain bikes or Segways or have some fun at GoApe adventure.

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Rooms:

Rothay Manor Hotel & Fine Dining is a Grade II Listed house built in 1825 with landscaped garden and period features. Guests can relax in a spacious lounge which is also perfect for a drink or two after a day discovering the Lakes.

All rooms are named after local falls – we stayed in a superior room situated on the 1st floor which was named after famous local waterfall – Tom Gill. Our room was spacious and had it’s own balcony overlooking the gardens to the fells beyond. It had a stylish and classy decor. Our room provided the homely comforts you require whilst being away from home – satellite TV, in-room safe, mini-fridge, selection of fairtrade tea and coffee, work desk, a couple of armchairs to rest on and a comfortable bed.

Our en-suite bathroom had a modern decor with both shower and bath. Some large, fluffy towels and bathrobes as well as the luxurious Noble Isle toiletries were provided.

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Restaurant:

Rothay Manor Hotel has a fine dining restaurant which was awarded 3 AA rosettes. It offers modern British cuisine. Its Head Chef – Daniel McGeorge creates memorable dining experiences using only the best fresh, seasonal ingredients. His passion for great food is reflected with 2 tasting menus plus a la carte menu available daily. All of the menus can be adapted to accommodate your dietary requirements.

We decided to have a 5-course tasting menu. To start with, we had some Scottish Langoustine with carrot, yuzu, timut pepper, shiso. The dish had creative flavors and was delectable. Secondly, we had some Norfolk quail breast, leg, onion, girolle and pine. It was juicy and succulent.

Next, we had some monkfish with sweetcorn, red pepper, sea kale, XO and coriander. I love seafood and the dish was simply luscious. For our final course, we had some Cumbrian Dexter beef sirloin, tongue, bone marrow, aubergine, sea beet and nasturtium. The dish was flavorful and my husband’s favorite dish from our dining experience at the Rothay Manor’s restaurant.

Finally, we had a cheeseboard to share. It had a great selection of some local cheese served with artisan crackers, honey, olives and chutney. It was appetizing.

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Overall experience:

Rothay Manor Hotel & Fine Dining offers a perfect base for anyone travelling to the Lake District. I also discovered that its management team put together special interest short breaks on offer i.e. for art collectors and walking holidays enthusiast so make sure that you check their seasonal offering.

Rothay Manor’s Fine Dining restaurant is a must-have to add to your list if you are in the area and I am sure you will enjoy all dishes on the menu – I certainly did and I will definitely return here again to experience some other dishes.

Lastly, all staff members we came across made us feel welcomed and were professional which is always appreciated when you are away.

Website:

For more information and to book visit their website.

Address:

Rothay Manor Hotel
Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Our stay at The Black Bull Inn, Sedbergh

As some of you know, due to COVID, I decided to take a stay-cation in the UK traveling around the North of England and visiting some stunning places during my journey. Whilst hiking in the Yorkshire Dales with my husband, we stayed for at The Black Bull – a former 17th century coaching inn. Its owners – Nina Matsunaga and James Ratcliffe moved from Manchester to Sedbergh in 2014 and opened the Three Hares – a popular local cafe and deli located across the street which won a host of accolades and appeared in the Good Food Guide. In 2016, they have embarked on another project and decided to transform and develop The Black Bull.

Location:

The Black Bull Coaching Inn is located in Cumbria, in the picturesque village of Sedbergh which is one of the UK’s most famous book towns. It sits within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, at the foot of the splendid Howgill Fells and James refers to Sedbergh as the neck of Britain – Cheshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria. He is right as visitors can easily reach these destinations whilst experiencing this interesting town and its surroundings at the same time.

Service:

James, Nina and Ernest are the family behind The Black Bull and as soon as you enter you get that vibe that you are visiting your relatives or friends which you haven’t seen for a while. Everyone is super friendly and makes you feel relaxed and welcomed.

Rooms:

After transforming The Black Bull, the Couple opened an 18-bedroom hotel with a spacious dining room and bar. All rooms are named after local fells – we stayed in room 11 – Crook. Our room was spacious and its decor was influenced by Japanese design combined with using local designers who provided some accessories such as Herdwick and Rough Fell carpets and blankets, mugs that were hand-made by local artist Rebecca Callis and evocative photography of the surrounding area by Rob Whitrow.

Most importantly our room provided the homely comforts you require whilst being away from home – tea & coffee making facilities, homemade cookies, dressing table and a very comfortable bed to sleep in.

Our en-suite bathroom had a modern decor with see-through glass-walled design however if baring it all in front of your travel companion is too much then you are always able to pull a privacy curtain across. In addition to a nice open shower there was also a bath available to relax in after a whole day of hiking. Soft towels and a selection of toiletries from Sedbergh Soap Company were provided.

Restaurant:

I always like trying the restaurants in the establishments we visit. After reading about Nina’s heritage and the culinary awards she has won, I booked a table for a dinner at The Black Bull.

The menu is based on the best British, European and Asian-inspired dishes. Sourcing local products and establishing long-lasting relationships with the suppliers are important to the Owners and this reflects in the menus which change daily in order to use the best ingredients available at any given time. The wine list is congruent with the menu.

Our dinner was the one of the best meals we’ve had whilst in the Yorkshire Dales. Let me tell you about it and the dishes we had…

To start with I had some lobster gratinee with summer vegetables. My husband had some wood pigeon with blackberry and cobnut. Both dishes were tasty and presented beautifully.

For my main, I decided to have some Hereford beef fillet, brisket accommodated by some hokkaido squash and wild garlic. My husband had wild Lakeland venison wellington with some pickled walnut and spinach. We finished both dishes in no time.

Sticky toffee pudding is always my choice if it’s on the menu so it was not a surprise that I had it this time. My husband decided to have a cheeseboard. We both loved our choices and once again cleared our plates showing how we enjoyed the meal.

Overall experience:

To sum up, The Black Bull offers a perfect base from where you can experience the Yorkshire Dales. This relaxed yet luxurious coaching inn would be a perfect accommodation for anyone seeking to experience the English countryside and tranquility of Sedbergh. Whether you are thinking about a hiking break or a romantic escape with your loved one – I am sure that you’ll enjoying staying here as much as both myself and my husband did. You definitely need to experience their restaurant too as both food and service were faultless. Do remember to book it in advance though as it was fully booked on Wednesday evening when we visited as due to COVID restrictions there are less tables available.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.theblackbullsedbergh.co.uk/

Address:

The Black Bull,
44 Main Street,
Sedbergh,
Cumbria,
LA10 5BL

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline