Short break - The Lakeside Hotel & Spa, Newby Bridge
PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 October 2018
The Lakeside Hotel ticks every box for those seeking a relaxing escape
Summer in the Lake District – can anything match this for beauty? Well, it’s pretty awesome in autumn too, and winter. And as for spring... Let’s face it, if you can find yourself a great hotel with an unbeatable view of one of Lakeland’s stunning stretches of water, you’re on to a winner at any time of year.
Throw in old-fashioned comfort, excellent service, good food and a spa and you’ve got yourself a little slice of luxury, with a view to lift the soul.
We discovered such a place in late summer this year, on a cheeky child-free weekend away. Usually when we head north, we pack our walking boots and other outdoorsy accoutrements, but this time we determined to do nothing but nothing, pleasing ourselves and with no deadlines (or snack times) to worry about.
The Lakeside Hotel lives up to its name, with the hotel’s rear spanning a fabulous stretch of Lake Windermere, with absolutely nothing to interrupt the view of water, trees and rolling hills. We watched the sky and water change colour with every breath and not one moment was the same as the next, as the leaves rustle and the water ripples. Even the passing pleasure boat, setting off from a nearby jetty, added to, rather than detracted from, the view. It’s possible to sit and gaze at the lake all the jolly day if you wish, from the elegant conservatory or tables set along an expansive terrace above a tiny beach and the hotel’s private jetty. Warm blankets ease away the evening’s chill, as does a glass of rather good port.
It’s not all about the view though. The Lakeside Hotel has invested in a multi-layer approach to guest comfort, from super bedrooms and bathrooms to marvellous cuisine and their very own spa.
Our room was elegant and comfortable, with nothing missing to make it an easy stay. Mike grabbed a pint from the ancient pub downstairs (a proper old pub, with a proper old ambience, lovely!) and I made myself a cuppa and we took at seat at the tiny table in our own tiny garden and listened to the silence. Bliss.
Who can resist a spa, when it’s right on your doorstep? Not me. Not ever. After winding down from the drive to the hotel, I headed for the Spa. I took a the long way round - a leisurely and very happy stroll through the fabulous, award-winning, gardens where I admired the chef’s own kitchen garden before entering the Spa, for my pre-booked treatment. Mike had opted for extra lazy-time, so he donned his swim shorts and made for the pool, which is where I found him, reclining in the Jacuzzi, in a state of deep relaxation one hour later.
The Spa at Lakeside Hotel is an Aveda Spa, focussing on the use of all-natural products and stress-relieving treatments designed to soothe and relax. My treatment was just exactly what I needed. It indeed lived up to its title – Purely A Treat. One hour of utter bliss, with a deeply relaxing massage and a facial too. A smile of a memory now of course, but oh, the bliss!
So, food. Food is a pretty vital part of any getaway experience, whether you’re heading to a city or rural retreat, and it’s clear that the owners of this hotel totally get that. They’ve developed two quite different restaurants: a vibrant, informal modern style bistro, the John Ruskin Brasserie, serving beautifully styled, contemporary dishes; and the Lakeview Grill Restaurant, a proper old-fashioned (in style, not content) fine-dining set-up with the most fabulous views of the lake.
The menu is a real treat and we dived in with glee. A Lancashire cheese soufflé was just the job, creamy and luscious but light enough to maintain starter status (which let’s face it, they aren’t always!) It was so good in fact I persuaded Head Chef Richard Booth to give me his recipe, after assurances that even I could manage it! When in the Lakes, Herdwick lamb is the only option, I would argue, though Mike of course opted for a steak, perfectly cooked on a charcoal barbeque. Both were excellent. One thing we did agree on – the sheer fabulousness of Pan Fried Cauliflower. Yes, I am about to rave about a side-dish. Just amazing, firm and intensely flavoured florets of cauliflower pan-fried and dressed with maple syrup and plump raisins. I have that recipe too…
As the sun finally dropped over the horizon we took our digestifs outside and wrapped ourselves in blankets, sitting in utter peace and breathing the still, night air. I couldn’t have felt more relaxed.
Newby Bridge | 01539 530 001