Experience a Kaleidoscope of Fells & Food in Keswick

Keswick, where most people who have ever visited the Lake District will have been to at least once, where there are wall to wall mountains and lakes.

Keswick is a relatively short journey up the A591 from Ambleside and Grasmere yet it seems a million miles away. Ambleside and Grasmere are simply stunning, quaint and picturesque and far smaller in terms of population. Keswick on the other hand is far more dramatic, the geology far more rugged and extreme, typical of the Northern Lake District. This ruggedness combined with the terrain naturally makes this a highly popular destination for walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and anyone who loves outdoor pursuits. Even travelling to Keswick is a joy. From the west and the A66 suddenly becomes a lakeside road with Bassenthwaite running beside it to travelling from the south and the making your way up one of the top 10 most scenic roads in the UK, the A591.

But why is it that Keswick not only drawers adventure seekers but also people who simply want to take it easy? Well that’s because Keswick is simply stunning at the time. Yes there are the rugged, mountainous areas but there are also uber idyllic spots such as Cat Bells and the Castle Rigg Stone Circle. Both these places of interest should be visited by all regardless of age or thrill seeking necessity.

As is the quality of the Landscape so too is the quality of the Keswick businesses. Luxury accommodation including hotel, B&B’s, self catering and campsites can be found in an abundance. Couple this with the chance to enjoy some of the famous Lakeland produce in the many restaurants in Keswick, it is no wonder this area of the Lake District is busy 365 days a year. Keswick does also have a super Booths store where anyone that has frequented one will have no choice but to purchase some of the high quality and often local foods on offer there.

For a choice of hotels, B&B’s and self catering in and around the Keswick area, visit https://www.allofthelakedistrict.co.uk

Windermere Hotel’s Valentine’s News Flash!

Valentine’s isn’t far away and it just so happens to have fallen ideally on a Thursday so the opportunity to celebrate on the day, the weekend before, the weekend after or all 3! The ideal, the treat your loved one to a romantic weekend away in the Lake District, voted the most romantic place in the UK.
Of course, the room and the hotel surroundings have to be luxurious, a bit special etc for such a weekend. Even more so being February when the weather isn’t exactly tropical. That is why the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere would like to reiterate their full, Valentine’s weekend credentials.

valentines windermere hotel

Firstly this hotel has the luxury factor hugely. Secondly, a delightful bar and restaurant is just downstairs. Weather bad, no need to spoil a nice dress and heels when you can just wander down and enjoy pre dinner drinks and canapes before devouring the free oysters and Champagne included within the special Valentine’s Menu. It also appears to be the place to be for popping the big question, “Will you marry me?”. What a place to ask this most special of questions and it is always lovely to see so many couple coming back to celebrate anniversary’s and honeymoons at Applegarth Villa, the place it all started.

So whether you’ve already booked to stay this Valentine’s at The Applegarth and haven’t thought about dinner or are looking for somewhere to stay with everything under one roof, then call the team at The Applegarth Villa Hotel in Windermere. Also look out for their special Valentine’s Package that can be added onto any room and includes dinner, rose petals, Champagne and chocolates to name just a few extra special things.

Summertime adventures courtesy of the Brimstone Hotel

Brimstone Hotel located within the private Langdale Estate started off pushing boundaries from the moment the plans were drawn up and has continued to do in the two years since its opening.

The hotel is ultra cosy in the winter thanks to in room wood burners but a haven of cool in the summer. The large, private balconies with every suite let light and air into the room whilst the in room climate controls keep the room at the perfect temperature come rain or shine.

brimstone hotel lake districtBut it is now summer and finally warm and it is time to start thinking of summertime adventures in the Lake District. Yes, a must is a fell walk to take in the Lake District in its best vantage point, up high, but leisurely downtime is the key to a perfect summer break.

Brimstone Hotel can organise for guests to be delivered by the hotels Land Rover Defender to a secluded hideaway complete with ultimate, homemade picnic (including fizz!) for the ultimate in summertime Lake District loveliness. This is just one of the many extras the hosts at brimstone can organise for the guests staying.

Still available throughout the summer is the book 30 days in advance of more and receive 20% off the room rate. The Brimstone Lake District Boutique Hotel hosts can be contacted on 015394 38062 and availability checked through the website at brimstonehotel.co.uk.

Print the town red this May Bank Holiday in Cumbria

The annual Printfest event will be taking place during early May Bank Holiday in the South Cumbria town of Ulverston.

The location, the beautiful and iconic Coronation Hall, the perfect setting for some of the best printmakers in the UK to exhibit and sell their work. From traditional prints to abstract and modern, hand-made prints are seeing a real resurgence in popularity in recent years. At Printfest you’ll find Cumbria and the Lake District printmakers and artists using the region as inspiration through to even the most random of objects, all beautiful pieces.

Bringing together printmakers from all over the UK exhibiting prints on a wide variety of subjects, this is a great event to look around, the gain experience from and to purchase original artwork you can’t purchase anywhere else. With the chance to talk to the artists, it’s a very unique and engaging experience for anyone looking to attend.

printfest ulverston cumbria

For those who haven’t visited Ulverston before then it is a real gem. Just a short drive from Lake Windermere and at the heart of the Furness Peninsula, visitors will be bowled over by the architecture, so different from the South Lakes. With lovely independent shops, a Booths supermarket, lots of places to eat and drink, many visitors to Printfest are hooked and return to Ulverston again.

Onto where to stay during Printfest weekend. Just eight miles from Coronation Hall is Newby Bridge. For many visitors, Newby Bridge will be travelled through to the event. What Newby Bridge offers is easy access to and from the motorway and Ulverston and being located at the southern end of Lake Windermere. The Newby Bridge Hotel is a great choice. With views of Lake Windermere, fabulous food and excellently priced rooms, it’s the ideal Printfest weekend hotel.

Book direct and guests will receive a £10 voucher to spend in the hotel as well as the best rates available. Visit https://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk/

Fabulous Father’s Day Treat at Hunday Manor Hotel

hunday manor hotelAs June approaches, it’s time to think about that very special gentleman in your life, your Dad. Father’s Day will be here before you know it, what do you buy the man who has everything?!

Hunday Manor Country House Hotel has just the answer, treating him to a delicious meal whilst all spending time together. The hotel is an ideal destination for anyone living in West Cumbria including Cockermouth, Workington and Whitehaven and easy to access.

The special Father’s Day menu has been created by the chefs at Hunday and is full of local and seasonal dishes to mark this very special day. Choose to dine as a Sunday lunch at 12pm or 1pm or spend the day out walking and enjoy the Father’s Day menu in the evening between 6pm and 8pm.

After a delicious soup to begin, dishes include to start, smoked trout arancini and chicken liver parfait, for mains roast rump of Lakeland beef and Herdwick leg of lamb and for desert, sticky ginger sponge and white chocolate mille feuille. Visit http://www.hundaymanorhotel.co.uk/functions-events/fathers-day for the full menu.

Failing on June 18th this year so just 3 days from the longest day, let’s hope for some lovely sunny weather as the setting of Hunday Manor is something to behold. If dining at lunch enjoy a walk around the grounds after and look out over the West Cumbrian Coast to the Isle of Man, the Solway Firth and Scotland. If you’re booking dinner then the sunset should be jaw dropping. Telephone the Hunday Manor Hotel on 01900 61798 to book or visit http://www.hundaymanorhotel.co.uk

Motoring May in Cumbria with the International Motor Show

cumbria international motor show***Sunday 14th of May 2017: 11.00am – 5.00pm***

Now in its 6th consecutive year, the Cumbria International Motor Show (organised by Elite Sports And Performance Car Club) is the counties premier Supercar Show. In a county where motoring is extremely popular with residents and those wishing to enjoy the breath taking roads the Lake District and Cumbria offers, it’s no surprise this show is a highly anticipated one.

As a most definitely luxury event in the motor show calendar, it appeals to collectors, buyers, dealers, owners and enthusiasts who prefer a more intimate and engaging motoring experience yet the support and exhibitors grows each year.

At the show find the very best in automotive and luxury brands as well as some of the most rare, valuable, super and finest cars, all of which will be displayed on the Westmorland Show Ground at Crooklands, just off Junction 36 of the M6 (postcode LA7 7NH).

Along with the super fast, supercars there will be fun for the whole family too including a Music Marquee, kids zone, entertainment zone, local food and drink and a talk on Donald Campbell’s Bluebird k7 by DR Keith Mitchell. As with many car shows, visitors can vote for “Best Car “of the Show, another reason to stare and admire all the fantastic vehicles. More Information on my website http://www.espcarclub.co.uk/cumbria-international-motor-show/ including advance tickets. Prices on the day – £3.50 Children under 16 – £8.50 Adult.

Kendal makes the ideal location to stay for anyone travelling to the show. The Riverside Hotel in the centre of Kendal has private, off road parking too and just a 10 minute drive to the show ground. Kendal is a vibrant town with lots of places to eat and drink to make a proper weekend out of it.

Lakeland Motor Museum Voted Number 1 in Cumbria

lakeland motor museumThe Lakeland Motor Museum has topped the Tripadvisor list of museums in Cumbria thanks to its visitors leaving reviews on the travel site, in fact over 1000 of them!

With 58 museums listed on Tripadvisor throughout the Lake District and county of Cumbria, there are some big hitters and some extremely popular museums ranging from arts, history, historic houses and industry. The Lakeland Motor Museum offers something very different to anywhere else in Cumbria with .

The museum will delight any age of family member from children to grandparents, those into cycles, motorbikes and cars and even water vessels thanks to the latest exhibition dedicated to Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell. Housed in its own building, the exhibition encompasses full size replicas of a 1935 Blue Bird car, 1939 Blue Bird Boat K4 and 1967 jet hydroplane Bluebird K7.

New exhibits are added all the time, the latest of which are an exciting Singer Vogue, THE car to be seen in in the 60s, and a 1980’s icon, a gold Ford Cortina. To sum it up, enjoy and admire cycles, motorbikes and cars (and even dodgems!) from 1885 until present day.

The museum itself is a light, bright and airy purpose built building beside the river at Backbarrow near the southern end of Lake Windermere. Open every day except Christmas Day, the museum makes an ideal destination whatever the weather and whatever time of year. Choose to travel by Windermere Lake Cruises from either Waterhead (Ambleside) or Bowness, cycle, bus or travel by car, a large car park makes it easily accessible. For more details visit https://www.lakelandmotormuseum.co.uk/

Where to stay in the area? Just a few minutes walk away is the Newby Bridge Hotel. Super family friendly and just a short walk from the Lakeside Pier for the ferry and just off the A590 for ease of travelling by car. Great value especially when booking direct. Visit https://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk for more details and to book.

Spa-tacular special offers at Surrey hotel

brooklands hotel surrey special offers

Everyone loves a special offer but there’s no need to compromise on a spot of luxury at the same time with the month of September being the ideal month to capture both.

With so many having hectic lifestyles, September is the perfect time to relax and unwind in preparation for the final quarter of the year. Think relaxation – think spas, the ultimate way to put any worries and stresses behind you. After a super summer, it’s now time for a spa-tastic September.

BSPA at Brooklands Hotel in Surrey is brimming full of September special offers. The state of the art spa and fitness facility housed in the Brooklands Hotel on the historic racing circuit is leading the way in spas in the Surrey and Weybridge areas. Coupled with all the services and amenities of the hotel, the spa offers one off treatments through to full packages.

During September enjoy 10% off the “Spa Life” spa day. Full of deep relaxation treatments, massages, facials as well as a light lunch with soft drink and a glass of fizz, treat someone special or book and take a friend.
Another highlight offer, the BSPA Signature Treatment is truly “Divine”. Using the Divine range by Caudalie the package includes a body scrub and full body massage before moving onto a bespoke facial treatment. This full body rejunvenation is just £120 saving £43 on the individual treatments. Also look out for the free BSPA app, late availability deals and the new loyalty card.

The Brooklands Hotel in Surrey special offers extend to accommodation and the 1907 Restaurant & Bar so make a super special offer weekend or overnight stay of it.

New Lake District restaurant – #theplacetobe for Afternoon Tea Week

stove restaurant langdale

The annual and official UK Afternoon Tea Week will be taking place in 2016 from August 8th to Sunday 14th.  No one needs an excuse to enjoy this quintessentially English custom of tea, cakes and sandwiches of course but during Afternoon Tea Week it would be an absolute crime not to partake once, twice if not three times during the week!

Afternoon tea has made a renaissance of epic proportions in the last five years beyond what even the hardened catering (or cake devouring) professional could have anticipated. Its renaissance has opened it up to everyone and is definitely not just the afternoon event of choice for the older generation.

From full on afternoon tea made up of delicious and indulgent sandwiches (no crusts allowed), homemade cakes, hot beverages or perhaps a little sparkle in the form of Prosecco or Champagne to simply a lovely slice of cake and coffee, enjoy a very civilised but most importantly tasty treat.

The Langdale Hotel & Spa have a fabulous new restaurant Stove that should be at least one of the afternoon tea destinations to celebrate at. Stove has a statement double height area to sit in, perfect in the day time, overlooking the beck and waterwheel. If it’s dry then the variety of outdoor seating is fantastic for an alfresco afternoon tea.

Daily there are a choice of cakes and pastries as well as a large selection of Farrer’s Tea, special blend coffees, homemade lemonades and a new range of artisan herbal teas. Stove can perfectly add a glass of fizz to proceedings too. For more information on the full menu and setting of Stove @ Langdale, visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/stove.html

Grazia competition to win luxury spa break at Brimstone Hotel Lake District

spa hotel lake district

But be quick, you’ve got long. August the 31st is the closing date for the competition in conjunction with the Grazia magazine, the leading fashion, beauty and celebrity weekly publication. To mark the 25th Birthday of IMEDEEN the skin supplement brand, entrants will have the chance to win a luxury 2 night spa weekend for 2 at the boutique Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate in the Lake District.

The two night break consists of luxury from arrival where the lucky winners will be greeted by their personal host and shown to their base for the weekend, one of the luxury Brimstone suites. If it’s warm relax on the private balcony terrace or if it’s cool, light the wood burning stove. Breakfast is included from the chefs at the super stylish new restaurant on the Langdale Estate, Stove. Choose to sit in the light and airy restaurant or have breakfast delivered to the suite, the balconies make great breakfast rooms.

Simply answer the question on the competition page here and fill in contact details. A lucky winner will be selected at random after the closing date of August 31st 2016 and the prize is based on 2 people sharing the room.

Brimstone is leading the way in luxury hotel accommodation in the Lake District National Park and throughout the north of England. The combination of the stunning Lake District setting, the quirkiness of the fixtures and fittings and operation of the hotel, it’s commitment to the environment and the wealth of facilities guests can use and enjoy on the Langdale Estate makes Brimstone one of a kind.

Delicious hotels with restaurants in the Lake District


damson dene bowness restaurantJournalists up and down the country are now clambering to stay and dine in the many hotels with restaurants in the UK. Just a few years ago this would have been likened to drawing the short straw. But as The Guardian wrote “Hotel restaurants are back in vogue, thanks to innovative menus from a new generation of talented chefs.” And this is so true.

For too long, even some 4 star hotels who you would expect to serve a high standard of food, have been falling well short. Everyone knows the scenario, deal too good to pass up for dinner, bed and breakfast, first night meal awful and well below par, the prospect of eating there again, fearsome and what about breakfast!

Despite the rise in the quality of British food and the restaurants that serve it up and down the country, food served in hotel restaurants was lagging well behind both in terms of quality and food trends.
The Lake District and Cumbria has some of the best food producers, best suppliers and best hotels in the North West if not the whole of England and hotel restaurant cuisine has always been of a good standard but this standard is continuing to rise. Hotel restaurants in the region are attracting big name chefs and who would blame them with the amount of people that come to visit 365 days a year and the truly stunning produce available on their doorstep.

Hotels in the Lake District are noticing guests are more interested in food and their restaurants are doing better than they ever have done. Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness on Windermere have most definitely noticed a boost in the number of guests staying on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis recently. With a daily changing menu using locally sourced food including seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs from the owners Victorian kitchen garden at Yewbarrow House not far away in Grange over Sands, the quality of the produce is a step above many other restaurants in the area.

Book a delicious dinner, bed and breakfast stay at Damson Dene by visiting http://www.damsondene.co.uk/

Enjoy an extra night at Grange over Sands luxury B&B

bay villa luxury grange b&b

Grange over Sands is a 365 day a year destination. With one of the highest national averages in temperature and climate in the north west of England, experience above average temperatures in the winter months and the breeze, beaches and views in the summer. Easy to access by train or by car, Grange over Sands is just a stones throw away from the Lake District fells but also so much of Cumbria’s coastline.

Bay Villa is the newest B&B in Grange over Sands having opened its doors in April 2014 but despite being a relatively business in the regions tourism sector, the pedigree of both the building and the people behind it have experience in abundance. The building, constructed in 18 and designed by one of Cumbria’s most famous architects. Located on Main Street amongst similar period buildings, quiet yet within a short walk of Grange’s town centre and with spectacular views over Morecambe Bay, it is the place for those wanting a complete getaway from it all. All this, yet within easy reach of so many of the Lake District villages and sights.

During certain off peak months, guests booking a midweek break Sunday to Thursday can enjoy three night’s or more accommodation and breakfast and receive a free night to add onto it. The emphasis at this B&B is relaxation and “The Slow Life”, read more about this on their website. Suffice to say, you choose what you want to do, when you want to do it without any hustle, bustle or hassle. The generosity of the accommodation is key to the success so far of this business. Just 3 rooms, well really suites, where there is more than enough room for a table and chairs where breakfast is delivered to at a time that suits the guests.

With Cartmel on the doorstep, the Lake District National Park within touching distance, Morecambe Bay and all its; gloriousness, there’s no wonder why Grange over Sands is somewhere people keep coming back to. This well kept town has life and activities if required yet complete peace and tranquillity if not.

Bay Villa luxury B&B in Grange over Sands rooms start at £110 per room per night with breakfast based on two sharing.

Glorious gluten free options at Windermere hotel

A gluten free diet is an extremely common and is increasing by the day. Many people choose to omit gluten from their diets for reasons such a lethargic feeling after consuming it or slight bloating where as a huge number of the population are forced to for much more server symptoms and reasons. An allergy to gluten (or gluten sensitivity) effects many people differently and can create symptoms such as skin rashes and hives, headaches, a stuffy head and runny nose like hay fever and most commonly, problems with the gut such as indigestion and stomach cramps. Then onto Coeliac disease, a lifelong disease of an intolerance to gluten that can luckily be kept at bay omitting gluten from the diet.

In the case of being a Coeliac, it is extremely important not to consume any food item that has even touched a gluten product. Finding places to eat naturally becomes a problem as the UK is a nation of bread, pastry and pasta lovers. Restaurant menus are often laden with heavy, gluten rich dishes but replacing that with fresher, lighter foods without loosing out on the satisfaction or taste, is a good thing even for those who can eat gluten products.

windermere hotel restaurant

That is why it is refreshing to see hotels such as the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere offering a high number of gluten free dishes on their dinner menu. These dishes do not scream out gluten free and are delicious for each and every guest, they have just been well thought out and devised. To get your gluten free taste buds going there’s pan fried scallops with butternut squash puree, micro herbs, pancetta crisps and citrus oil, lots of mains including pork fillet with a chorizo & sundried tomato puree and a ruby port reduction and the ultimate for any pudding lover, sticky toffee pudding. Chef’s own gluten free recipe is served with butterscotch sauce & vanilla ice cream. Gluten free bread, crackers and lager are also available to accompany dishes such as soup and the Cumbrian cheese slate.

With 1 in 100 people having Coeliac disease and many more people with gluten sensitivity, it’s about time there were more restaurant menus such as this one and if you aren’t gluten intolerant and don’t spot the “G” next to the menu item, I bet you’d ever know.

To view the full menu visit, http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk/villa-restaurant/dinner-menu

Langdale is #theplacetobe for adventure in the Lake District

langdale hotel lake district
Adventure comes in many forms and is perceived as being very different from one person to the next. Everyone has different interest, limits, capabilities and challenges but for anyone wanting to be adventurous in the UK, the Langdale Valley can serve every level.

The Langdale Valley has tarns and waters, fells both gradual for leisurely walking through to crag filled some of the best rock climbing routes in the National Park and a quintessentially Lake District village, Elterwater. Langdale is just a short distance from Ambleside, Grasmere and Coniston yet is the gateway to the Western Lake District over the famous, or some may say, infamous Wrynose and Hardnott passes. Couple this with a high concentration of woodland areas and the peaceful location means off road activities such as mountain biking and even 4×4 adventures are popular and achievable pursuits in the valley.

But walking is really where the best of this area can be enjoyed and the ability to view 360 degree landscapes of the Lake District to look down on the busy village of Ambleside or across to the west for views of the Irish Sea and England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

So where to stay, well we ‘d say no other than the Langdale 4 Star Lake District Hotel. The staff there know the area like the back of their hand giving helpful tips and advice on routes and most definitely on how to enjoy the are car free. Saying that, there’s the choice to hire a Renault Twizy if relaxing is too much of a pull. Head back to the full, onsite leisure facilities and fine at the new Stove Restaurant for the complete package. Rooms start from just £120 including breakfast so a great deal. Visit https://www.langdale.co.uk for more details.

500 5 star reviews on Tripadvisor for Cuckoo Brow Lake District inn

cuckoo brow lake district b&b

With a total number of reviews standing at just over 700, the Cuckoo Brow Inn reaching 500 maximum 5 star reviews is an even bigger achievement. As a percentage it means over 70% Cuckoo Brow’s reviews are the full 5 stars.

Having a quick glance at the reviews, what stands out the most are the amount of people heading their review “consistently brilliant”, “another amazing stay” etc showing just how many guest return some of them into stays of double figures. The food, choice of real ales, standard of accommodation and friendly and relaxed atmosphere also appear frequently.

The inn is open every day serving hotel and cold food, most locally sourced including daily changing specials, real ales, soft drinks, artisan tea and coffee as well as 14 bedrooms including family and dog friendly rooms for overnight stays. Popular with walkers, sightseers, families and dog owners where everyone is welcome. This year there’s even more reasons to visit and stay with the 150 anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter with events, talks and activities being held just 5 minutes away at Hill Top as well as nearby Bowness on Windermere.

Rooms including full breakfast can be found from just £77 when booking direct by telephone on 015394 43425 or via http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk