Don’t miss out on the beauty on our doorstep

STEVE HOWARTH heads up the M6 to The Lakes, and to a fine ho­tel with a ‘good feel­ing’...

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

WE re­ally do take things for granted in this coun­try... like one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful places al­most on our doorstep.

That is cer­tainly true of the Lake Dis­trict. Just an hour or so up the M6 is a re­gion which draws in vis­i­tors quite lit­er­ally from the other side of the world, and yet many of the peo­ple who live here visit rarely.

Tak­ing Her In­doors for an adventure out­doors, we were the guests of Linth­waite Ho­tel, a fab­u­lous retreat perched above Lake Win­der­mere with mag­nif­i­cent views and equally fab­u­lous ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The large Vic­to­rian villa boasts 30 luxury bed­rooms and suites, some with hot tubs and many with stunning views of the huge lake.

It is just a 25-minute stroll from Win­der­mere and we took that leafy lane walk on a sunny April af­ter­noon. It was then that I re­alised just what a tourist at­trac­tion The Lakes and vil­lages like Win­der­mere re­ally are.

As we made our way through the busy, but not too packed, streets, ac­cents from around the globe could be heard. Ger­mans, Amer­i­cans and many Far Eastern vis­i­tors. It re­ally is quite im­pres­sive just what a draw our ‘na­tional trea­sure’ at­trac­tion re­ally is.

And when you sit on a Win­der­mere ho­tel ter­race over­look­ing the lake on a beau­ti­fully sunny af­ter­noon en­joy­ing a cream tea (plus a bot­tle of lo­cal brew Old Man Ale) there are few spots on the planet that are more pleas­ing.

Later that day, as we sat on the ve­randa of Linth­waite, we saw an­other glo­ri­ous scene as the sun set across the lake be­hind the Old Man of Con­is­ton while wait­ing to go through for our evening meal... where fur­ther treats were in store.

Linth­waite’s head chef, Chris O’Cal­laghan, tells guests on his menu: “I have a pas­sion for eclec­tic Bri­tish food, tak­ing the best and finest pro­duce from Eng­land’s di­verse larder and bring­ing it all to­gether with an un­der­stand­ing of flavour, com­bi­na­tions and tech­nique – some more chal­leng­ing than oth­ers.”

He prides him­self on us­ing lo­cal pro­duce, es­pe­cially us­ing meat from Cum­bria and Lan­cashire (even black pud­ding from Bury) and my dish of duck and Her In­doors’ beef-based cre­ation were both beau­ti­fully pre­sented and cooked.

The stylish dining room had that just-right at­mos­phere and an ex­cel­lent choice of wines also helped things to go su­perbly. Lots of brownie points in the bank for yours truly.

The Good Food Guide praises chef Chris for ‘ex­act cooking tech­niques and a de­gree of am­bi­tion, show­ing bal­ance and depth of flavour in dishes, whilst us­ing high qual­ity in­gre­di­ents’.

I can­not dis­agree with any of that.

The house is in a per­fect spot for a Lakes break where there is al­ways some­thing to en­joy, from walks, sail­ing on the lake, off-road driv­ing, or a wealth of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, to at­trac­tions like the su­perb Lake­land Mo­tor Mu­seum, Brock­hole Vis­i­tor Cen­tre, Black­well Arts and Crafts House and The World of Beatrix Pot­ter, to men­tion just a few should the weather prove too in­clement.

Built in 1900 as a pri­vate house it orig­i­nally had five bed­rooms and was set in seven acres.

It was ex­tended in 1910 and then changed hands sev­eral times un­til, in 1969, it be­came a guest house for the first time.

From there, over 20 years, the num­ber of bed­rooms grew and the land ex­panded to even in­clude a tarn (which boasts pri­vate fly fish­ing for guests and even swim­ming for the truly ad­ven­tur­ous).

In 1990 cur­rent own­ers Mike and Jean Be­vans bought and re­fur­bished the then two-star ho­tel and added even more bed­rooms.

Over the years the ho­tel has en­joyed great suc­cess and won many awards – gain­ing four AA Red Stars and three AA Rosettes.

It fea­tures in the Good Ho­tel Guide and has a five rat­ing in the Good Food Guide.

The last ex­ten­sions and re­fur­bish­ment hap­pened in 2008 when five luxury suites were added, plus a new bar and kitchen, to bring us to the Linth­waite of to­day – a lux­u­ri­ous yet wel­com­ing, up-mar­ket yet com­fort­able des­ti­na­tion.

The per­fect spot for a spe­cial break which has that ‘good feel­ing’.

A room at Linth­waite, left, and the won­der­ful food, right. The dining room , above

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●● Linth­waite’s set­ting could not be bet­ter... and the views are not bad, ei­ther

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