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The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa
Wordsworth Hotel has, throughout its long history, been well known for its warmth and hospitality. And it’s this truly special atmosphere that continues to capture the hearts of guests today. A country house hotel with a home from home ambience, 38 individually designed bedrooms and suites, award-winning dining and a luxurious organic spa – the perfect ingredients for an indulgent stay in the majestic Lake District.Read More
THE WORDSWORTH HOTEL & SPA WAS FEATURED IN ISSUE 51 OF THE DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE
Here is the review from Angie & Richard Aspinall:
Situated between Kendal to the north and Ambleside to the south, the village of Grasmere nestles below Helm Crag, a rocky hill known locally as ‘The Lion and the Lamb’, just north of the lake which gives the village its name.
One of the smaller lakes in the Lake District, Grasmere is fed by the river Rothay, which flows through the village, enters the lake, before continuing downstream to Rydal Water (another small lake) and into Windermere. In the village are independent shops, galleries and cafes, most of which welcomed dogs. We very much enjoyed browsing in the Heaton Cooper Studio, a series of three galleries exhibiting the work of the Heaton Cooper family of artists.
The Wordsworth Hotel is located in the heart of Grasmere village. It has two acres of grounds with views over the neighbouring mountains and vales.
Our room, 1, was situated on the ground floor. The first thing I noticed as I entered the room was the array of goodies for Tilly and Henry: brand new beds, two feeding bowls, treats and a tug/throw toy each. The second thing I noticed was the chandelier. (I’d admired the spectacular chandeliers in the public areas of the hotel on our way to our room – and here we were with our very own!) And, the dogs were not the only ones to get a welcome pack of goodies. For us, there were handmade chocolates and some famous Grasmere Gingerbread. Our room had a door to the outside patio area, which meant there would be no late-night dashes through the hotel if one of the dogs needed to go out.
DINING OPTIONS On our first evening, we dined in the Signature Restaurant, and we enjoyed relaxed pre-dinner drinks in one of the elegant lounges, the hotel’s Signature Restaurant has been awarded a one AA rosette for culinary excellence, so understandably, this was not a dining experience where Tilly and Henry would be joining us. In the restaurant, the candle light created a cosy, welcoming atmosphere and we were served warm, freshly baked bread as our wine was poured and we awaited our first course. I had one of the Robert Parker Collection dishes to start: ‘Seared Scallops and Squid served with Granny Smiths, Fennel and Squid Elements’, with a glass of the recommended Chablis, which was the perfect accompaniment. Richard had the pigeon breast with blackberry jus, rosti crisp and creamed parsnip. For his main course, Richard enjoyed pheasant in pancetta, while I chose trout with crab arancini, bok choi, oyster mushrooms, purple sprouting broccoli and samphire. The arancini was exquisite, topped only by the sticky toffee pudding I had for dessert. On the second night, we dined in the Wordsworth’s dog-friendly Dove Bistro, where we relaxed with a drink from the bar before ordering a burger (for Richard) and fresh tagliatelle with wilted spinach, black olives, sun-blushed tomatoes, pesto and parmesan. Ours were the only four-legged friends in the bistro. They were immediately welcomed with a bowl of water and dog biscuits from the bar. And, while we are on the subject of dining, I must mention the tremendous breakfasts at The Wordsworth Hotel. The full Cumbrian breakfast is superb, as were the pancakes and pastries. There was so much choice.
Grasmere is famously associated with the poet William Wordsworth, for it was here that he lived for 14 years, in Dove Cottage, Allan Bank, The Old Rectory and Rydall Mount.
Today, Dove Cottage belongs to the Wordsworth Trust. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cottage which is still filled with the Wordsworth family’s personal possessions. Pet dogs are not allowed in the cottage or museum. Wordsworth’s other former home, Allan Bank, is now owned by the National Trust. Dogs (on leads) are welcome in the house as well as in the grounds.
Rydal Mount, which is also open to the public, continues to be owned by the Wordsworth family. Dogs (on leads) are welcome in the grounds.
Visitors to Grasmere today will see that the former school where Wordsworth taught is now home to the famous Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop. Victorian cook Sarah Nelson invented Grasmere Gingerbread in 1854. Her recipe is a unique cross between a biscuit and cake. It is both spicy and sweet and not dissimilar to Yorkshire and Lancashire parkin.
From the village, it is a short walk to the lake. In the centre of the lake there is a little island where William and Dorothy used to picnic. There is a walk around the lake, but part of it is on the main A591 road. There are a number of other walks from the village, including the ascent of Helm Crag. The village is also on the route of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk.
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