Lakeside Hotel & Spa
We felt instantly relaxed when we arrived at the Lakeside Hotel & Spa at Newby Bridge on a sunny afternoon this summer, writes Ruth Dyson.
The view from the large terrace across the southern tip of Lake Windermere, framed by the hotel’s lovely gardens on one side and wooded Lakeland fells on the other, was idyllic.
The hotel has 74 bedrooms, many with views of the lake, some with their own terraces and several suites with their own lounges overlooking the water. Our ‘Scented Garden’ room was in the ‘Country House’ wing of the hotel and had its own private patio which meant we could sit and read in the sunshine with the smell of roses all around us.
For those not-so-warm days, there were two armchairs by the patio doors where you can overlook the well-tended flowers and shrubs. The antique furnishings gave the room a real country-house feel, and the large bathroom was immaculate.
To relax even more we spent some time in the hotel’s pool and spa. We swam in the 17-metre pool and used the jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms. Guests can also book facial and body treatments by skilled therapists in the Aveda Spa.
Truly wound down, our first evening began with refreshing cocktails from the extensive bar menu on the lakeside terrace whilst watching yachts, canoeists and ducklings on a calm Lake Windermere.
With a wedding taking place that weekend, and a diverse mix of other guests, the hotel was pleasantly lively during our stay. There’s plenty of room for everyone – as well as the terrace there’s a large conservatory and lots of indoor bar seating.
We ate in the Lakeview Restaurant, although the hotel also has a more informal brasserie. We were served by friendly and attentive staff, and the food was some of the best we have eaten in a while. A starter of cheese soufflé was cooked to perfection and a simple plate of halibut, fresh vegetables and hollandaise was delicious.
After a comfortable night’s sleep and with the sun up over the Lake District hills, we were soon back in the restaurant for breakfast. Freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade muesli was followed by individually prepared dishes such as avocado and smoked bacon on rye bread, and smoked haddock with caramelised sweet onions and cornbread.
Afterwards, we couldn’t resist taking pastries, cake and coffee out onto the sunny terrace before heading off for a day of hiking in the fells. And what better place to come back to after climbing Old Man Coniston than another soothing visit to the pool and spa.
But the privately-owned Lakeside Hotel offers more than just rest and relaxation, with business clients and meetings well catered for. As well as a stand-alone conference centre for up to 80 delegates and a further nine conference rooms, there are individually-styled dining rooms for privacy.
Exclusive use of the hotel is also offered for large-scale conferences, and you can imagine commercial guests enjoying the views and remembering such occasions forever because of the luxury setting.
To cater for little ones, there are eight spacious family rooms, with children welcome in the restaurants with their own menu and, of course, there’s the pool which has an ideal section for toddlers.
On the weekend we visited, everyone from babies in prams to the elderly with mobility issues were expertly cared for by the Lakeside Hotel’s staff – and nothing appeared to be too much trouble to the friendly staff.
We reflected that it’s often the little things and attention to detail that distinguish an ordinary hotel from a very good one. And from the care taken over the choice of marmalade (Seville oranges from Masham, Yorkshire) at breakfast to the head gardener sweeping every bit of gravel from the terrace in the morning, these things were in abundance at the Lakeside.
After a second evening’s dining in the restaurant, our only regret was that we hadn’t had the space to sample the lovely desserts. But hopefully we’ll return to do that another time. We had to tear ourselves away from a sunny Windermere on our final day when we decided that Lakeside was definitely our new favourite hotel.
▪ Lakeside Hotel & Spa, Lake Windermere, Newby Bridge, Cumbria LA12 8AT. Prices start at £179 per night for a double room and breakfast (excluding Saturdays). To book, call 015395 30001, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakesidehotel.co.uk.
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