Before Christmas we traveled from Suffolk up to the Lake District for a staycation at the Laura Ashley Hotel, The Belsfield in Bowness-on-Windermere.
After a seven-hour journey to the Lake District, what anyone needs is a deliciously deep bed to dive into and relax. We found it, and so much more, at the Laura Ashley Hotel, The Belsfield, in Bowness-on-Windermere.
We were lucky enough to be staying in one of the Lake View Suites. The rooms have a separate lounge area with plush sofas and armchairs, a flat screen television, a well-stocked tea caddy and coffee machine. The décor is quintessentially Laura Ashley, with floral drapes, luxurious fabrics, calming colour schemes and a blend of heavy wooden furniture and art deco style decorations. The bedroom itself featured a ginormous bed, piled high with cushions. I could have stayed in there all weekend and been completely content.
Even though it was late when we arrived, we were able to order room service and feasted on salmon sandwiches, salad and vegetable crisps before jumping into that huge bed for a much-needed rest.
The next morning we awoke to stunning views across Lake Windermere out of our windows. The Belsfield Hotel is perfectly situated on a hill overlooking the lake. You’d be hard pressed to find a better view for your first coffee in the morning. Autumnal colours filled the trees, mist rose above the hills and boats gently sailed across the water.
We went down to the main dining room for breakfast, even though we were very tempted by breakfast in bed. The dining room of the hotel also enjoys views across the lake which we enjoyed as we had a leisurely breakfast.
Exploring the Lake District
For our first trip to the Lake District we wanted to explore the area, so we headed out to a local castle before returning to walk around Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere. The countryside is beautiful no matter what time of year, just remember to pack your waterproofs so you’re still able to go out and about! I enjoyed pottering around the local independent stores and my partner enjoyed our regular stops at local pubs.
That evening we returned to the hotel to dine in the restaurant. The hotel has two dining areas; the two AA rosette restaurant, which offers a five-course menu, and The Brasserie, which has a relaxed three-course menu.
The elegant dining room has been decorated in a sophisticated, classic style with crisp white linen on the tables and oil paintings on the walls. The hotel was built in 1845 and is well-kept example of Victorian Italianate architecture. Laura Ashley has been sympathetic to the buildings history by blending traditional and modern décor schemes to create a luxurious, yet comfortable, feel to the hotel.
The meal began with an amuse bouche of parsnip croquettes with blackberry and kale. The dish was melt in the mouth delicious. For my starter I opted for scallops with pork belly and Waldorf slaw. The saltiness of the pork added a depth of flavour to the dish and the Waldorf slaw gave a lighter, fresher taste.
Next there was a refreshing apple sorbet to cleanse the palate before the main course. For main I chose cod, chorizo, sweetcorn and new potatoes; there was a good-sized serving of cod, and again the saltiness of the chorizo worked well with the fish. My partner had a lamb dish that he said was perfectly cooked and had a fantastic combo of flavours.
And lastly, my favourite part of any meal, dessert. I couldn’t resist a classic combo of chocolate and cherry. The rich chocolate mousse when combined with the cherry created an indulgent end to a decadent evening of dining.
Thoroughly full, we retired to the stylish bar next-door for cocktails. The hotel, which is popular for weddings, has many breakout rooms for drinks, including a cosy library with gorgeous views, a drawing room and a separate space for wedding breakfasts.
The whole hotel has been thoughtfully designed in a sophisticated, elegant way. From the choice of leather sofas in the bar, to the floral wallpaper that adorns the hallways leading to the bedrooms, everything is iconic Laura Ashley, without being in your face.
The next morning we reluctantly left the comfortable bed to check out. We felt thoroughly spoilt after a wonderful weekend and were already looking forward to returning to the Lake District in the not too distant future.
Disclaimer: This blog post was not sponsored and I was not paid to write this. The Laura Ashley Hotel, The Belsfield, invited me to the hotel to review a stay in return for an article.