Sometimes I just need to escape the city for fresh air, rolling hills, and expansive skies. The Lake District is one of my favourite places to go to slow down and dose up on nature. After hearing about Linthwaite House Hotel and their year-long, £10 million refurbishment, the Mr. and I had to visit! Nestled in Bowness, it seemed like the perfect place to base ourselves for a few days of wintery wanderings in the fells. It’s also close to Windermere, Grasmere, and Ambleside – adorable towns worth a visit.
The Gardens at Linthwaite House Hotel
When we first arrived, we skipped going straight inside as we were drawn to the terrace at the back of the hotel by the view of clouds hanging low over Lake Windermere. The hotel is surrounded by a dozen acres of garden adorned with lots of wonderful (and let’s be honest, some slightly weird) sculptures. There is one that looks just like the pyramid head character from the Silent Hill movie. Totally gave me the heebies! When we could drag ourselves away from the mesmerising view of the lake, we made our way inside.
Interiors at Linthwaite House Hotel
The interiors, which were reimagined by Beverley Boswell, have elevated Linthwaite House Hotel from saggy, tired country house that looked like it should have smelled like a wet dog, to a chic cocoon of sumptuous fabrics, log fires, and beautiful furniture. The conservatory that overlooks the lake is the ideal spot to while away a few hours. A hot chocolate and a good book is all you need. We loved the way the hotel was decorated so much it even inspired us to go out and buy a whole load of soft furnishings and decor to jazz up our living room once we returned home! I wish I was kidding! 😂We have quite minimal, uncluttered style so how she managed to make patterns match, and a room full of fabulous objects blend in a way that’s still restful on the eye was fascinating to us.
Art at Linthwaite House Hotel
The extensive art collection seen in the garden continues inside the hotel. I was told that it’s the Indian owner, Analjit Singh’s private collection but he had run out of room for it at his other properties! Nice problems to have. There was something interesting around every corner to ponder during quiet moments… Walking anywhere took me a while as I kept getting lured in by curiosities. Analjit has other stunning hotels in South Africa under the Leeu Collection umbrella. With cheetah sculptures here, and a few bronze antelope there, you can definitely feel the South African connection flowing through.
My favourite piece of art was a deconstructed typewriter laid out piece by piece into a clear frame. I am still smitten with it. I was so in love that I forgot to take a photo! But I did take a photo of a similar piece – a deconstructed Singer sewing machine.
The stone topped bar with high, velvet stools, and a cheeky Scotsman serving up delicious potions was where you could find me each evening. This space was a lesson in how to design a beautiful bar. And if that sexy mirrored wall isn’t enough to make you want to sit there all evening knocking back tasty tipples, they also have retro perfume bottles containing special essences that you can spritz onto your cocktails to add extra flavour.
Our Room – Lake View Suite
We stayed in two rooms at Linthwaite House Hotel. One was a Lake View Suite that had only been open for a couple of weeks! My favourite features in this little home from home were the roaring log fire in the living room, huge vaulted ceiling in the bedroom and expansive glass doors in both the living room and bedroom so you could let the outside in. And of course the view down to the lake.
This was the ideal spot to curl up with a glass of wine at the end of the day. We listened to Spotify on the soundbar that comes in the room, and toasted marshmallows on the open fire.
The suites are secluded and set in a little group a few minutes walk away from the main building. A covered golf cart will come and pick you up if you don’t fancy the walk…or if you just fancy a joy ride! It’s particularly fun on icy mornings!
Our Room – Deluxe Room
We also stayed in a Deluxe Room upstairs in the main building with panoramic views over Lake Windermere and a stunning bathroom.
It was incredible to wake up in the morning to views of the lake blanketed in clouds beneath pink skies. I sat transfixed by the ever changing colours, big cup of Earl Grey in hand.
After a long day out walking in the fells and exploring Lake District villages, it’s so peaceful to return to this sweetly scented oasis. There are diffusers in the rooms so they always smell lovely, and the bathroom is stocked with Molton Brown goodies. I emptied no less than five little bottles of bath soak into that giant oval bathtub before sinking in and watching Casino Royale on the TV embedded in the wall. I didn’t get out until my mountain of bubbles had disappeared and I had turned into a prune!
And that LITTLE CHAIR!!! I want one…
Breakfast at Linthwaite House Hotel
I am not a morning person and need a pretty damn good reason to get out of bed on staycation… Well, the breakfast here is next level and I would set an obscenely early alarm if it meant I could enjoy it again. Beautifully presented and perfectly cooked. And yes, I’m that heathen that likes their eggs well done – so to me those eggs *are* perfectly cooked 😂There was a selection of fresh juices, a daily smoothie, yogurt, pastries, fruit, and an a la carte menu for hot food. Basically so much food that you need another nap after breakfast. It’s served in the sumptuous surroundings of the Stella restaurant – pictured above was my favourite table tucked into a big bay window.
I really wanted to try something different each day but the cheesy steak and eggs was SO GOOD (and clearly really healthy). I couldn’t resist having it each morning. The make your own yogurt pot station was one of the other highlights for me… There’s something about being presented with lots of little bowls of food that really appeals to my inner piglet ♡
The hotel is so thoughtfully put together. For example, there’s a boot room near the entrance to remove your muddy shoes if you’ve been out for a long walk. And if you’ve forgotten your boots, they have colourful ones you can borrow. The service is generally very good – everyone is friendly and genuinely wants to help, there are a couple of cheeky souls with a wonderfully dry sense of humour, and if you ask nothing is too much trouble. However, perhaps because the hotel is new there were a few teething issues. Communication between staff, running out of things, and mixing up restaurant bookings to name a few… It was irritating but after mentioning it, I feel that they’re keen to iron out any kinks quickly.
I always thought that the Lake District was a great place to go in spring, summer and autumn. However, it has a much cosier vibe in the winter and you can find blazing fires and warming drinks aplenty. We were lucky with the weather and had crisp, clear days and only a couple of hours of drizzle. Although with all the lovely spaces to relax at Linthwaite House Hotel you couldn’t go far wrong even if the weather was awful throughout your stay! If you’re looking for the best place to stay in the Lake District, we may have found it.
- The hotel uses ‘zip and link’ beds which are common in hotels but we found these to be rather uncomfortable. Essentially they are twin beds that can be put together to form a king bed. If you’re sensitive to the gap down the middle of the bed ask for a duvet to be put underneath your bottom sheet so that you don’t feel it. They did this for us and it was perfect.
- It’s not on the menu but the barman makes the best Dark and Stormy cocktail. If it’s winter the mulled wine is also delicious – best enjoyed in front of the fire.
- I really recommend driving up to make the most of the surrounding countryside. The hotel can organise taxis if you don’t want to drive though. You’re close to Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness – all lovely towns to explore.
Visit Linthwaite House Hotel’s website here.