Nestled amidst the majestic scenery of the Lake District, Gilpin Lakehouse offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking a super luxurious long weekend – I say long weekend because I just don’t feel that a one-night stay is enough to discover all there is to offer at this breathtaking haven hidden away in a tranquil corner of the Lake District.
Also – I might add, that when I say hidden away, I mean quite literally, be prepared for one-car-wide roads winding through the rugged countryside, with the odd rogue sheep on the loose!
I was really excited to visit Gilpin, a hotel that has been on my bucket list for a long time and after a couple of hours’ drive through the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales and onwards to Cumbria, I arrived to meet a friend for a girly two-night stay with all the trimmings.
As I mentioned, we were staying at The Lakehouse, an extension of the luxury and opulence offered at Gilpin, but around a mile away and set within 100 acres of private grounds in a discreet woodland location on the banks of a small lake and surrounded by magical gardens with curiosities around every corner – a napping gnome, a quick fox, and a basking tortoise to name but a few.
I immediately loved this place, it’s stunning, and style is obviously a very serious matter, however, there is always a huge sense of fun entwined within the plush finishes and attention to detail. In fact, I think I would go so far as to say I have fallen down the rabbit hole and wound up in Wonderland.
This enchanting retreat combines world-class hospitality with stunning natural surroundings, providing guests with a truly immersive and rejuvenating escape from everyday life and I’ve got to say – I absolutely embraced it!
The Lakehouse comprises just six bedrooms giving an immediate air of exclusivity – a theme that was to be continued throughout our stay, and each room, if ours was anything to go by (Maud), is exquisite. Roomy and light with plenty of space to luxuriate, sumptuous soft furnishings adorn a comfy sofa and lavishly large bed, and the decadent bathroom offers fluffy robes, a pristine stack of white towels and luxurious bath and body products. The pièce de résistance? The Juliet balcony with panoramic views of the lake. The Lakehouse blends seamlessly with its picturesque surroundings, creating a sense of tranquillity that permeates throughout the property.
Dining offerings are just as impressive as the location and facilities if that’s possible, and actually, it entirely is. There are two restaurants to choose from and both are a short journey to Gilpin Hotel but fear not, you can forget the designated driver and enjoy the charms of the incredibly dapper Derek who is at your disposal with the hotel’s luxury car service, of course, this hotel has a chauffeur, what was I thinking?
It’s these details that make this place so magical, not to mention the herd of deer we saw whipping across a field during the journey. At the risk of sounding slightly cringe – how utterly charming!
Gilpin Spice is led by Head Chef Tom Westerland, a bustling hive of activity with an electric atmosphere and an open kitchen serving inspired pan-Asian dishes. We spent our first evening here and it was incredible. We dined on Edamame Puri, Crispy Battered Prawns with Five Spice Batter and Chalk Stream Tartare followed by Banana Leaf Wrapped Sea Bream with Crispy Ginger and Braised Beef in a mild Vietnamese Curry. I mustn’t forget the delectable cocktails on offer too.
I loved this fusion of lots of locally sourced ingredients combined with exotic flavours and spice, it was really cleverly done and everything tasted sublime. I would wholeheartedly recommend you visit this lively restaurant to try its inspiring cuisine and make sure you ask your server for one of his special martinis – or maybe not if you want to remember the rest of the evening. Thankfully my next stop was bed ahead of a relaxing day doing basically nothing….
For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation during their staycation, the hotel boasts a range of wellness facilities. Indulge in a soothing spa treatment or take advantage of their state-of-the-art gym facilities before unwinding in their luxurious outdoor hot tubs or indoor swimming pool.
“Designed with couples or friends in mind, the Jetty Spa Trail is a bespoke Spa Journey designed to gently stimulate and revive the senses; take time to enjoy the experience together. Your sensory experience begins with a wander through the woodland to the stunning Jetty Spa and a bespoke aromatherapy massage (or treatment of your choice), followed by a deliciously private cream tea in the boat house or gazebo by the lake. Stroll back along the woodland path to the pool for a private swim, a relaxing sauna with an iced fruit frappé and a reviving salt scrub shower. And to top it off? Champagne in the hot tub of course! The trail will guide you as you privately discover sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations which will lead you to your ultimate goal – a deep relaxation that will stay with you for a long time.” ( https://thegilpin.co.uk/your-room/gilpin-lake-house/)
The opportunity to unwind in such a peaceful environment is truly unparalleled. Beyond its natural beauty, what sets The Lakehouse apart is its commitment to providing personalized service and exclusivity. Each experience is tailored to the individual, my relaxing facial was just what the doctor ordered and my companion was so relaxed from her full body massage I had to wake her up! After enjoying treatments in the most relaxing spa you’ve ever seen – again, with panoramic views of the lake, we were guided to the heated pool to enjoy a relaxing – and private – hour of swimming. The hotel reserves the whole pool for you during your spa trail experience, more magical details! This is followed by a salt scrub shower and then, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, a dip in the jacuzzi, which obviously – looks over the lake, with a glass of Champagne. Do you see the theme I’m building here?
We finished our day of relaxation by dining at the jewel in the crown of Gilpin, SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel, which is led by Head Chef Ollie Bridgwater and boasts a coveted Michelin Star. Ollie had previously spent a decade at Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin Starred Fat Duck. I can see why he and his team are such an incredible asset to the Gilpin. This is a culinary adventure, technical know-how, flamboyant artistry and a genius understanding of flavours make for an epic dining experience. I would confidently say this is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in. I can’t say fairer than that. You can find the various menu options online but I would highly recommend the tasting menu, well, in for a penny, in for a pound!
I would say that The Lakehouse is one of the very best hotels I have ever stayed at. The combination of total tranquillity, ultimate luxury, attention to detail and seamless service make for the most magical experience in the most picturesque surroundings. The staff know what you want before you do and that right there, is the key to excellence in hospitality – if you ask me.
If you can treat yourself to this experience, then you absolutely should, it will be unforgettable. Tell them I sent you.
Words By Joanne Brook-Smith
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House,
Crook Road, Windermere,
The English Lake District
+44 (0)15394 88818