Absolutely visits the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Words Hannah Hopkins
Lake District lovers have long flocked to the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, a stylish home away from home with a well-deserved reputation for being beautifully run. The hotel is a characterful Georgian house, built in 1901 and owned by three generations of the Cunliffe family. We love the glamorous country pile decor. With a range of rooms to suit all tastes, from the ‘classic’ with double beds, sofas and views over the moors to the garden suites, opulently decorated with Eastern accents and housed in an annexe off the main hotel, it’s very hard to fault. But it’s their new luxury spa suites, set on the edge of the main hotel property, that are made for those who truly want to switch off over a romantic weekend.
Each of the cedar-clad spa lodges has a king size bed, gorgeous bathrooms and a fabulously private en-suite spa each, along with mood lighting, fires, electric blinds and a state-of-the-art music system. Floor-to-ceiling windows have stellar views over the fells and the hydrotherapy hot tub, surrounded by a walled garden, also provides a perfect vantage point to enjoy the beautiful Lake District – glass of bubbles optional. Alongside this you also have a steam room, outdoor sauna and waterfall shower all to yourself. Those who want that little bit extra can upgrade to the Spa Lodge Experience, including spa treatments and mini gift hampers filled with Gilpin’s Organic Jetty Spa products to use in your own private spa. But you can also book in for a massage or facial to take place in romantic privacy.
Guests gather at the hotel for evening meals that begin with an aperitif in the lounge — the atmosphere is upbeat, the canapés moreish. The hotel has two standout restaurants, so you can eat your way through the menu in a different setting each night. The Michelin-starred Hrishi has imaginative dishes that combine Lake District produce with a twist of Asia. Though the food is fine dining, there is zero pretentiousness. Don’t miss the chilli glazed poached lobster with claw fritters, avocado mousse and mango chutney. For an even more laid back evening try Gilpin Spice where sharing plates follow the spice trail from India to Japan. Breakfast is a dream come true, with starters of fruit and porridge and mains of full English and eggs Benedict on offer, as well as toast with jam and honey, fresh pastries, fresh juices and more, all served direct to your table and best enjoyed with the morning papers.
Out and About
The Gilpin might seem like a lost world, set in delightful landscaped gardens – but civilisation is on the doorstep. Bowness is a six-minute drive and Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top house is ten minutes by car. The Lake District has multiple routes for walkers and hikers, and you’re perfectly placed for a ramble alongside Lake Windermere. In the postcard perfect village of Cartmel you’ll find Simon Rogan’s two Michelin star, five AA Rosette restaurant L’Enclume – make sure you book in advance.
Spa Lodges available from £595 per night based on two adults sharing on a half board basis. A two night minimum stay is required at weekends.
Gilpin Hotel & Lakehouse, Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NE