Howe lovely

CHERYL MULLIN en­joys trains, boats and planes in the Lake District while stay­ing at the re­vamped Lin­deth Howe Ho­tel in Bow­ness

Hull Daily Mail - - GETAWAY -

WE hadn’t even ar­rived at the ho­tel and al­ready we’d ticked off three Lake District sta­ples – RAF jets, rain and stun­ning vis­tas. Hav­ing left the mo­tor­way, our jour­ney to Bow­ness was now tak­ing us down tree-lined lanes, the leafy canopies tinged with reds and golds as au­tumn took hold.

The sun was shin­ing when we ar­rived, wind­ing our way down a coun­try lane and pop­ping out in a clear­ing to find our home for the next few days. The Lin­deth Howe sits on the hill­side above Lake Win­der­mere for all to see, yet it felt as if we’d stum­bled upon a beau­ti­ful lit­tle se­cret. Built in 1879, it once be­longed to one of the Lake District’s most fa­mous daugh­ters, Beatrix Pot­ter.

The cur­rent own­ers are cel­e­brat­ing their 20th an­niver­sary at the ho­tel, and have in­vested more than £1m in cre­at­ing a unique new ‘tea room’ for con­fer­ences and wed­dings, and re­fur­bish­ing the build­ing’s down­stairs lounges and bar area.

We were stay­ing in one of the Lin­deth Howe’s suites, The West­mor­land Suite, which com­mands im­pres­sive views across the ho­tel’s gar­dens, the lake and Cum­brian fells. Lav­ishly ap­pointed, we had our own fridge, lux­ury tea and cof­fee fa­cil­i­ties and a fire to take the edge off the au­tumn evenings.

We booked our­selves in for an evening meal and took a stroll down to­wards the lake, through neatly man­i­cured gar­dens. It’s a good stretch of the legs to the lake­side and on to Bow­ness town cen­tre but the evening weather was pleas­ant and we paused for a cock­tail at an out­side bar to watch the sun go down.

Back at the ho­tel for din­ner, we or­dered drinks in the draw­ing room and en­joyed de­li­cious hors d’oeu­vres while we pe­rused the menu.

This is one of the ar­eas of the ho­tel which has un­der­gone a huge makeover. Crammed full of bright colours and na­ture-in­spired fur­nish­ings, it’s a lovely place to re­lax.

The Lin­deth Howe has a for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tion for its food, thanks to head chef Christo­pher Davies’s menus burst­ing with sea­sonal good­ies.

My hus­band opted to start with seared scal­lops, with sweet­heart cab­bage, pancetta and chive beurre blanc, which he de­scribed as per­fect.

For his main, he chose the roast Cum­brian lamb taster – a lamb cut­let, lamb rump, Cum­brian Hag­gis and smoked cel­ery purée, which was again greeted most favourably.

As a veg­e­tar­ian, my se­lec­tion was a lit­tle smaller but none the less en­tic­ing. I had a rich and flavour­some tomato and basil soup to start, fol­lowed by gar­den pea, mint and Parme­san risotto, which was gor­geously creamy and full of flavour.

For dessert I opted for a de­con­structed cherry and white cho­co­late cheese­cake, while my hus­band set­tled on a clas­sic, sticky tof­fee pud­ding, which was de­li­ciously light and sweet. We en­joyed a fur­ther glass of wine in the lounge be­fore bed.

Next day, af­ter a full cooked break­fast, we headed to Bow­ness to join one of the many lake cruises. We boarded a boat head­ing for Lake­side, which boasts a steam train, an aquar­ium and a mo­tor mu­seum.

The 40-minute cruise cost £22.90 each, but in­cluded en­try to the mo­tor mu­seum and a re­turn jour­ney on the Lake­side and Haver­th­waite Rail­way – ex­cel­lent value. The cross­ing was smooth, with the sun shin­ing down on the busy lake.

De­part­ing the ferry at Lake­side, we were lucky enough to find the bright blue steam en­gine wait­ing on the plat­form to take us to Haver­th­waite. The jour­ney is short but charm­ing, with plumes of smoke pass­ing the win­dow as the coun­try­side rolls by.

At Haver­th­waite there was an en­gine shed where you could get a closer look at the rail­way’s col­lec­tion of steam and diesel lo­co­mo­tives, and a lovely lit­tle tea room, where we paused for a brew be­fore hop­ping back on the train to Lake­side.

From Lake­side we took the free shut­tle­bus to the Lake­land Mo­tor Mu­seum, which boasts a stun­ning col­lec­tion of – as they de­scribe it – vin­tage, vet­eran, clas­sic, com­i­cal, ma­jes­tic, weird and won­der­ful ve­hi­cles from all over the world.

The mu­seum is a ver­i­ta­ble Tardis of ex­hibits, with thou­sands of fas­ci­nat­ing items. There’s also a sep­a­rate ex­hi­bi­tion about Sir Mal­colm Camp­bell and his son Don­ald, who both set speed records in the Lakes. Af­ter­wards we en­joyed a huge cream tea in the mu­seum’s café, over­look­ing the River Leven.

Jump­ing the shut­tle bus back to Lake­side, we boarded the last ship to Bow­ness, shel­ter­ing on a lower deck from the au­tumn chill.

Back in Bow­ness, rather than dash­ing straight back to the ho­tel, we de­cided to stop for din­ner in a tapas bar that had caught our eye.

Bodega was a lovely lit­tle place tucked off the main drag, which has a bar down­stairs and a cosy restau­rant up­stairs. The menu was vast, and we or­dered Span­ish omelette, crunchy tem­pura bat­tered mixed veg­eta­bles, chicken and pep­per skew­ers, and meat­balls, with patatas bravas to share. The ser­vice was quick, the por­tions huge and the food de­li­cious.

Stuffed to the gills, it was lovely to stroll back to the ho­tel and walk off some of our meal.

Or­der­ing wine in the ho­tel bar, we re­tired to the gar­den swing where we un­wound and set the world to rights. The per­fect end­ing to a beau­ti­ful day.

The Lin­deth Howe Ho­tel, Bow­ness-on-win­der­mere

Rooms have a tra­di­tional feel

Lounge ar­eas have been taste­fully re­dec­o­rated

Lake­land Mo­tor Mu­seum

The train to Haver­th­waite

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