HO­TEL OF THE WEEK GILPIN LODGE WIN­DER­MERE

The Jewish Chronicle - - Games - ANDREW MORRIS

YOU know when a flock of sheep walk past the break­fast room of a lux­ury ho­tel that you’re staying some­where unique. And when it comes to the Gilpin Lodge in Win­der­mere, unique is an un­der­state­ment.

The ho­tel con­sists of the main ho­tel— the Lodge, and a smaller suite-based site — the Lake­house, a mile away and it was awarded last year’s Best Small Ho­tel Award.

The Gilpin is the quin­tes­sence of a fam­ily-run op­er­a­tion. We were wel­comed with a pot of tea and home­made bis­cuits by daugh­terin-law Zoe; stayed on the first night in the Lake­house, de­signed by son Ben and greeted at din­ner back at the Lodge by Zoe’s hus­band and older son of the clan, Bar­ney.

Mum and dad, John and Christine, who were away when we vis­ited make up the rest of the im­pres­sively hos­pitable Cun­liffe brood – the fam­ily who proudly run this most cor­dial of bu­colic re­treats. Other ho­tels may have an ar­chi­tec­tural or culi­nary USP – for the Gilpin it’s most def­i­nitely the Cun­liffes and their equally wel­com­ing and smi­ley “noth­ing’s too much trou­ble” staff.

The Gilpin might not yet have the five stars it so de­serves, but af­ter be­ing ex­plained the so­cioe­co­nomic his­tory of the par­tic­u­lar wine re­gion your fish course bot­tle comes from by Lithua­nian som­me­lier Ziggy Grin­berg, you do won­der why. The Gilpin ex­udes an af­fa­ble, un­ob­tru­sive lux­ury some­times miss­ing in larger fives­tar es­tab­lish­ments.

Thanks to the high speed Vir­gin train link to the Lake District – two and a half hours from Lon­don grime to ver­dant sub­lime, the area is in­creas­ingly a refuge for burnt-out ur­ban types.

A masseuse is avail­able to come to your room and if you’re look­ing to hike all that ten­sion out, the rolling hills of the Lakes await (um­brel­las thank­fully pro­vided by your gra­cious hosts). RATES: Dou­bles from at £290 per night in­clud­ing din­ner and break­fast TEL: 015394 88818

The Gilpin: af­fa­ble lux­ury

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