It’s not just the “beautiful” lake-view that makes this 19th-century hunting lodge a destination of real note – most reporters praise “classic” cuisine that’s “beautifully executed” too, although it can also seem a touch “overpriced” nowadays.
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Built as a rich man's folly – it was the Earl of Lonsdale's hunting lodge in the 1880s – Holbeck Ghyll is a gorgeous country house hotel with a stupendous view over Lake Windermere. Across the glassily calm lake stand the Langdales Pikes and, beyond them, the snow-capped peaks of the Cumbrian mountains to the north-west. Inside, it's like a dream of posh, Country Living-mag rusticity, from the blazing log fire and the Parker Knoll chairs in the lobby to the woven Bergerac furniture and the biographies of Tory politicians in the sitting-room. They bring you a dry martini and a leather-clad menu as you sit in the window seat thinking a) this is ridiculously old-fashioned, and b) this is sooooo blissful.