We have visited the beautiful Lake District a number of times. In fact, it is one of our favourite places to head when we want to get away from it all, even in winter. However, we had never visited the village of Grasmere, much to many people’s surprise, until recently. We had the pleasure of spending the evening at the 4 Star Wordsworth Hotel & Spa which has 38 bedrooms and suites and is part of the Robert Parker collection of luxury hotels and country houses. Located in the heart of the village, it is fantastically positioned to explore everything Grasmere and the local area has to offer…..but more about that later.
One of Grasmere’s most famous residents and the hotel’s namesake was the world-famous poet William Wordsworth. He lived in the village for 14 years and fondly referred to it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. If you have a morbid fascination or simply want to pay your respects, you can visit Wordsworth’s grave which is located in the graveyard of St Oswald’s Church, just two minutes walk from the Wordsworth Hotel & Spa.
Check-in and first impressions
Our first impression of the hotel, as we passed by it and pulled into the long drive to the car park was – wow. The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa is a large and impressive building located on the main road, making it extremely easy to find. We love a traditional, old-school hotel, you know the ones I mean – where you can feel the history in the halls and wish the walls could talk. That’s the initial impression we got from The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa. We were not wrong, with a long list of famous faces having holidayed here over the years, we felt very privileged to be invited to experience it for ourselves.
As we drove along the long driveway to the car park it was easy to see why the hotel is a popular wedding venue – the grounds are stunning, even on a winter’s day they looked lovely. In fact, we imagine there are a lot of happy couples out there with canvas’ of their special day with The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa as the backdrop hanging above their mantelpieces.
Eager to find out more about the property and explore we headed through the hotel from the car park at the rear to the reception at the front. As we arrived extremely early (11.30am) our room was not ready and really didn’t expect it would be. Therefore, we took the opportunity to fill in all the necessary paperwork before taking the weight off our feet for five minutes in front of the roaring fire. We don’t know about you but roaring fires tend to make us feel very much at home (and more often than not quite sleepy after a while) and that’s how we felt at The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa.
Even though Grasmere is beautiful and there are lots of things to do in the area we could not resist hitting the hotel’s holistic spa. Mr ESLT and I eagerly headed to the changing rooms (if you plan on using the spa don’t forget your £1 for the locker) and out the other side to the pool area. We were lucky enough to have it to ourselves for the majority of the time we were in there. We jumped in the hot tub and physically felt ourselves unwind as we chatting and gazed at the beautiful grounds and mountains beyond the spa’s windows – how very relaxing!
And then Mr ESLT lost his virginity….his massage virginity. Can you believe that when we have travelled through Asia and Indonesia or have stayed at other luxury hotels closer to home he has never had one? Therefore, our stay at The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa was very much the time to have his first one. After a thorough introduction and consultation, the wonderful Lauren (our therapist) gave us both a fantastic (and apparently, very much needed) back massages. For 30 blissful minutes, we were each worked on and left the spa feeling wonderful. Also, Mr ESLT realised how great massages are and why I have them on a regular basis.
Our room (number 12), a Village View Bedroom on the first floor was stunning. From the second we were shown through the door we felt at home. With, as the name suggests, amazing views over the village of Grasmere. Feeling uber relaxed from our massages we flopped on to the massive comfortable bed and admired our surroundings. From the dressing table to a seating area and not forgetting the sideboard which was home to tea and coffee making facilities and the quirky stag bedside table lamps, everything about the room screamed luxury. With thick sumptuous carpets and beautiful wallpaper our room was absolutely perfect, we could not have asked for more. Our room also had a huge en-suite bathroom complete with wonderful complimentary toiletries and big fluffy bathrobes. It had everything we needed for our one night stay, in fact, we could have happily (and easily) stayed longer.
Pre-dinner drinks In The Bar
Following a quick doze, we eagerly got ready, excited to have a pre-dinner drink in the bar. The bar, located at the front of the building is dimly lit to create a lovely intimate atmosphere, so much so it conjured up images of bygone eras – again if only the walls could talk? We sipped our freshly made drinks as we perused the evening’s dinner menu for the on-site AA Rosette The Signature Restaurant. It was then we realised how hungry and how excited we were to try some of the delicious sounding dishes on offer. Our order was taken and we were left to finish our drinks and enjoy our canapes before being shown through to The Signature Resturant.
Evening meal at The Signature Restaurant
The Signature Restaurants serves up award-winning fine dining. Therefore, there is a smart/formal dress code in force, so if you plan to eat in The Signature Resturant don’t forget to pack something appropriate to wear. Now often fine dining can be underwhelming – the quality, the taste, even the portion size! Many times have Mr ESLT and I left a restaurant still hungry. Not here. The meal we indulged in at The Signature Resturant was fantastic. From the canapes served to us in the bar right through to the final fork full of dessert – it was all testament to its award-winning status. Here’s what we opted for:
Vicky – White crab with smoked sweetcorn pannacotta, crackling crumble, balsamic caviar, micro herbs, shallot rings.
Mr ESLT – Seared scallops & squid with Granny Smiths, fennel & squid elements (This is a Robert Parker Collection signature dish).
Vicky – Cod Loin served with beetroot ravioli and crispy Kale (a ‘Special of The Day’).
Mr ESLT – Cartmel Valley pheasant in pancetta with Anna potatoes, cultivated hen of the woods mushrooms, charred leeks, Madeira cream sauce.
Both – Chocolate burnt citrus pave with milk puree & espresso olive oil.
Everything was divine and can you believe four courses (canapes, starter, main and dessert) is just £40per person? We have certainly paid more for less before. We were thoroughly impressed with The Signature Resturant and all of its staff. They were extremely attentive and professional yet still friendly and warm. It felt like nothing was too much trouble. In fact, we were told ‘you’re on holiday, please just relax and let us look after you’, so that’s exactly what we did. Also, the fact that our wine glasses were never empty gets a massive thumbs up from us.
If The Signature Resturant is out of your budget, The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa is also home to The Dove Bistro. It offers a more laid-back setting and is open for lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to visit The Dove Bistro. However, the menu sounds great with a large choice of hearty dishes to chose from.
We had high hopes for breakfast after such a scrumptious meal the previous evening and it did not disappoint. As we had to hit the road early we were first down to breakfast at 8.00am. This meant we had first dibs on not only the best table but also the warm pastries too. With everything you could want on the buffet table – cereals, fruit, different breads etc it was difficult to reign ourselves in, however, we did as a cooked breakfast is also offered at The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa. Therefore, we limited ourselves to only one croissant each. Then we ordered a vegetarian breakfast for Vicky and a hearty Cumbrian breakfast for Mr ESLT accompanied by a big pot of tea for two. Both breakfasts were divine and the perfect way to start the day.
Things To Do In The Area
Grasmere is a beautiful village and as mentioned before The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa is located in a prime position. Even though we didn’t have long to explore the local area we found lots of beautiful buildings and stunning scenery. The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop which sells ‘the best gingerbread in the world’ is right next door to The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa and worth a visit. However, be warned – it is delicious and one piece is simply not enough! And as mentioned earlier, don’t forget to visit St Oswald’s Church and see Wordsworth’s grave for yourself.
We had a lovely stay at The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa. From the second we arrived until the moment we left we were made to feel extremely welcome. The hotel offers a great mix of luxury, charm and old-world character that really has to be experienced first hand. Grasmere is also a great village and one that we can now happily say we have visited.
- Thank you to The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa for inviting us to stay for the evening – we had a fantastic time. As always opinions are our own.
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