Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Review: November 2017
Proud members of ‘Small Luxury Hotels’, ‘Pride of Britain Hotels’, achievers of 3 AA Rosettes in 2018, the Holbeck Ghyll, nestled high up hillside, is situated in an enviable location between Bowness on Windermere and Ambleside.
In 1888 the ‘yellow earl’ and first president of the automobile association Lord Lonsdale acquired the property to use as his private hunting lodge. Now, the Holbeck Ghyll offers guests a sensational stay without the stuffiness. A romantic, relaxing retreat to simply kick back, unwind and forget life’s stresses.
The Holbeck Ghyll has been graced with the presence of many celebs such as Rennie Zellweger during her filming of Miss Potter. Also, this was the onset location for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who filmed their series the Trip in 2010.
The inviting oak panelled, arts and crafts styled, entrance sets the scene with stunning stained-glass windows, an inglenook roaring log fire and an even warmer welcome from Katherine and the Holbeck Ghyll team. Katherine a true ambassador for the brand who provided passionate, professional, personalised, attentive and genuine service throughout.
Renovations have been sympathetic to the original historical features retaining both the character and charm emphasising their beauty without an ounce of vulgarity. Unique room offerings span from traditional to contemporary. Suites have been presented with ‘Lake District’ names such as “Miss Potter”, “Lord Lonsdale”, but importantly the theme is subtle and in keeping with the sophisticated surroundings.
The Easdale junior located in the ‘Tarn House Building’ which offers guests a contemporary rural retreat. An impressive and inviting entrance way transports guests to pure bliss. The spacious junior with floor to ceiling windows provides the perfect backdrop offering sensational views overlooking Lake Windermere and The Langdale Fells.
Plush presentations with plumped pillows on the cosy bed, an ample wardrobe to store all your attire which includes a safe and a mini fridge. The decadent dresser desk is perfect to pamper or perhaps feel your creative side, get out the pen and take your inspiration from Miss Potter and the lovely Lakes location to start your own novel story or maybe just document your stay within your journal.
The junior was well equipped with a flat screen television, CD player, hairdryer, iron, a well-appointed tea tray, a selection of magazines and local area guides, even though only required minimally, an ingenious torch is provided to guide your way around the grounds when dark sets in. The lovely local Lyth Valley Damson Gin was sensational and the extra celebration chocolates were delightful.
The modern bathroom included a full enclosed standing shower, deep bath tub, mirrors a plenty, fluffy wrap around bathrobes and slippers and the luxurious Temple Spa toiletries.
Their Spa is small but perfectly formed and the lovely Nadya is at the heart of this intimate relaxation space. Complimentary robes, slippers and teas are provided so after a treatment why not get cosy in the relaxation pod recliners and take in the breath-taking views over Windermere.
Why not take the plunge and go for a dip in the hot tub again with fabulous Windermere views offering a peaceful and tranquil experience in the day or dark.
The 2018 AA Guide awarded Holbeck Ghyll 3 Rosettes. Ambitious and passionate Head Chef Jake Jones, appointed in January 2017, continues to create fine modern British cuisine pushing innovative boundaries to give guests an exciting and unique experience.
The oak room at the Lakes was to be the start of our culinary journey. Our pre-nibbles included oysters and potatoes, but served in the most elegant and charming way and tasted divine.
Bread and butter, simple but perfection, freshly baked, crisp and soft in the middle along with lashings of butter a perfect way to start. The fermented barley “porridge” with ewes curd, squash and burnt celery was rich and flavoursome. The Raw Roe Deer with pine, mushroom and toasted quinoa was a theatrical presentation with a pleasant palatal punch.
Mains included the mouth-watering Mayan gold potatoes, broccoli, smocked butter and purslane and the gorgeous Goosnargh Duck with artichoke glazed cider and preserved blueberry.
Deliciously divine deserts included the marvellous milk chocolate, passion fruit and orange. Also, the fabulous fig, hazelnut and praline.
All the dishes captured the season well – Winter on a plate and in our mouths! Our evening was enhanced by employee Nigel a nice chap with some good conversation, simply a real pleasure to meet him.
After dinner cocktails can be enjoyed in their lovely lounge in front of the cosy roaring fire with some of their more permanent animal residents. A quirky feature, but executed in a classy chic way. CC aka Mr cocktail Chris can shake you up the most excellent Expresso Martini or perhaps you fancy a more local brew so could opt for a Lakes larger.
Breakfast in bed at the Holbeck Ghyll was efficient and punctual. Breakfast with a view, a tranquil time to absorb the breath-taking scenery while reflecting on the evenings endeavours and refuelling. Also, the morning presented a classic case of the Lakes weather climate within less than an hour the weather had gone from murky mist to lovely light filled blue skies with an electric rainbow.
The finest ingredients are used including locally sourced cured bacon, Cumbrian sausage and fresh hen’s eggs from literally up the road! We enjoyed a traditional British breakfast, a Vegetarian Breakfast along with some fresh fruit, toast, tea and coffee. What a way to start the day – perfection!
An elegant, exquisite and exclusive Country House Hotel in an idyllic location steeped in history with unspoilt Lake Windermere views. Outstanding signature service with fabulous foodie offerings which makes for a luxurious Lake District stay that will create memories of a lifetime. A real gem in the heart of the Lakes.
Thank you for reading 😊
Holbeck Ghyll, Holbeck Lane, Windermere, LA23 1LU.