Breakfast overlooking Windermere
Fire places, spa, hot tubs and the outstanding Burlington Restaurant means there’s much to tempt the guest at the Beech Hill Hotel in Cumbia
Review by Catherine Ferguson
The view from the Beech Hill Hotel is positively perfect. Perched on the Eastern bank of Lake Windermere, the panoramic vista across the lake to the Western Fells is absolutely stunning. What a wonderful place to eat breakfast.
With roots tracing back to the 1900s, when the stone walls of the original hotel first graced the banks of Windermere, there’s a warm welcome with huge, imposing fire places and a hot tub with a view right on the doorstep.
The jewel in Beech Hill Hotel’s crown is undoubtedly Burlington’s Restaurant. Head Chef, Lukasz Zebryk, prides himself on his menus, which change daily and are packed with locally farmed, caught and grown ingredients from across Cumbria and neighbouring Lancashire. Though the décor and dress code were perhaps a little outdated, in truth, the latter didn’t seem to be adhered to and the emphasis firmly focused on great food and relaxation.
We bowled up after a chilly, wet and wild day walking in the Lakes and were utterly ravenous. After canapés and aperitifs in the bar overlooking the Lake, I was hard pushed to choose between Wood Pigeon Breast with sautéed Savoy cabbage, lentil fumet and Parma ham crisp or Grilled Mackerel Fillet with chorizo lyonnaise, tomato relish and balsamic reduction. The Mackerel won the toss and was so tasty and beautifully presented in earthenware-fired bowls. The carnivore in me just couldn’t resist the fell-bred fillet steak. It was worth every penny of the supplement, perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth.
There’s a lovely little spa with a lake view, naturally. With two treatment rooms, a Himalayan sauna, aromatic steam room and 40ft indoor pool, it’s perfect for a bit of post-hike pampering, but in the morning, it doesn’t open until 9, so if you’re after a pre-breakfast swim, you might need to grab your wetsuit and head for the Lake.
After something of a tempest the day before, we woke up to beautiful blue skies and a dusting of snow on the Fells – the Lake District at its very best. Desperate to soak up the fresh, chilly, Cumbrian air, we donned our bobble hats and beat the rush, breaking the ice on our way down the jetties at the end of the hotel garden. Calm as a millpond and breathtakingly blue, it’s a view that’s already etched on my memory, filed away for a day when I’m treading the soggy, grey, city pavements.
For working up an appetite, the options for walking routes are endless. Cartmel Fell and Gummer’s How are great for rolling countryside, gentle inclines and incredible views. Spring is the perfect time to explore with a veritable menagerie of lambs and calves and vast banks of daffodils that found me channeling my inner Wordsworth. For those with less of a penchant for hiking, Windermere and Ambleside are a short drive up the road, with some great independent shops, galleries and even the occasional cocktail bar.
Off peak Bed and Breakfast with a Lake View starts at £109 for two, with a three-course meal at Burlington’s for £34.95 per person.
Enquires: Beech Hill Hotel, Newby Bridge Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3LR / 08445 025787 / https://beechhillhotel.co.uk/