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“A Star Is Reborn” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel

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Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Howtown Rd, | Lake Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Penrith CA10 2LZ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pooley Bridge
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A Star Is Reborn”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

Sharrow Bay was the first ever ‘Country House Hotel’ that became a symbol for old-fashioned luxury where guests came from across the world to lie in its lap. The 17-room hotel is now owned by Andrew Davis, formerly head of Von Essen Hotels. He has £2.5m to return the hotel to its grandiose days and he has brought in manager Oliver Smith to help him do it. Pat and I couldn’t resist the chance to stay there. Our suite was a Premiere Deluxe overlooking the lake and deluxe it certainly was. The view across the lake was fabulous – even from the bathroom! The TV had every station and the best program finder I have ever seen.
Mr Smith told us: “It’s been a great team effort to make the hotel look as fantastic as it does now. Embracing our past is important but now we have to create our own chapter in the history of Sharrow Bay. The key for us is providing an experience that begins during the first minutes of arrival: the location, the food and wines, the splendid rooms and the attentive staff. Our occupancy is about 90% leisure so we want to grow the corporate side of the business. Our conference room is ideal for company presentations.”
Chef Colin Akrigg joined Sharrow Bay in 1968 as a 13-year-old kitchen porter. He became head chef in 1997 and earned the hotel a coveted Michelin Star 14 years running but which was lost in 2012. The hotel has launched a special lunch menu ‘Sharrow Through The Ages’ featuring dishes from as far back as the 1960s. The three-course meal is available at 1983 prices of just £20.50 per person. (We returned a month later to try it!)
Sharrow Bay is renowned for its cuisine which has always been innovative without losing sight of quality and tradition. The opulence and creativity of the two dinner menus beggar belief – especially the taster menu: nine courses of sheer pleasure and excitement. Despite the claims and counter-claims the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe was created at Sharrow Bay in the 1970s. The secret recipe is the stuff of culinary legend. Every staff member has signed an agreement not disclose the secret recipe held in the hotel's vaults. The sweet, sticky sponge served daily in the restaurant is 'still the finest anywhere in the world'.
Mr Smith: “We will soon have doubled the size of the restaurant – another 30 covers. There are six more suites planned all with lake views. Sharrow Bay is legendary and has drawn celebrities from across the world. It’s incredibly iconic so we need to return the character and the standards that existed previously. So many recent visitors have been here before. Now they are returning (sometimes after 40 years) to see what it’s like often remarking that it is the best they have ever seen it. They are pleased that it’s not a city boutique hotel – that it’s warm and comfortable with stylish furnishings and attractive antiques – warm and friendly with service that is not too intrusive. We are reborn and soon we will regain our star.”

Room Tip: The lake views are fabulous
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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59 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cumbria
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Just love Sharrow. It really is a one off - unique! Great service and beautiful food. We also loved our room, the delightful Pinkie. A special place to celebrate a special occasion or just as a treat .

Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

30 of us visited the hotel for a 3 course festive lunch for business purposes. Truly amazing setting by the lake. All the reception rooms were classic in style with a modern edge. Food was divine! Would not hesitate to recommend. I want to go back now and stay over.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornton Cleveleys, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Our most recent visit to Sharrow was a delight - the whole place has a renewed spark of excellence! The refurbishments and improvements have brought the place back to life.
We have been visiting maybe three or four times a year for over thirty years, and have seen many ups and downs in both the quality of the restaurant and the staff.
Sharrow Bay has always been a place to come and relax and forget the world over the hills, with excellent, friendly, quiet and efficient service.
It was a pleasant delight to discover that the superb service and efficiency in the restaurant has dramatically improved over the past year - our most recent experience was almost up with the standards of Brian Sack and Francis Coulson.
The food has always been excellent - fantastic in its quality and preparation - it has remained the constant draw to return to Sharrow even through the wayward years.
The Luncheon menu was superb - £65 whilst expensive - is on a par with other fine dining restaurants in the Lakes.
We, as a family, wholeheartedly congratulate the entire team, and are already looking forward to starting 2015 with yet another visit.

Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Amazing setting and beautiful, over the top, chintzy decor, but a little 'tired'.
Outrageously expensive - we were charged £30 for the honour of sharing our room with our dog (we brought our own dog bed). The room temperature was awful. Felt like a sauna when we arrived, so off with all the radiators and open the windows. Then frozen by 4am (we closed the windows before we went to bed!), so on again with rads only to be woken be sweltering heat at 7am.
The food was nice, but not as wonderful as we were led to believe. I had Scollops (beautifully cooked) with under cooked leeks with no hint of truffles and no pancetta. The Venison was perfect, but there was no Chilli in my Chocolate and Chilli Tart (but it was a perfectly nice Chocolate Tart.)
The staff were friendly enough but I just had the feeling that I wasn't quite good enough - everyone else seemed to be quaffing champagne whilst we were struggling with the £30 house wine! Best not be thirsty - we had to wait 15mins for a drink!...........and they don't serve pints!
Would I go back? Probably not - even if I won The Lottery!

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Sharrow Bay is definitely worth a visit but I think it is past its prime. Service good if not a bit confused at times - we kept getting jugs instead of pots of hot water. Finally announced that they had run out of pots. It is dated but charming. There are lots of nice pieces and particularly like the photos of the former owners and John and Norma Major. The food was good I thought but not great and again I think it might have been overtaken by others.

All in all I thought it was very expensive but glad I went - not sure I will be back.

Room Tip: Aphrodite is a good room. Very cosy
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This slightly shabby-chic hotel is located on the edge of Ullswater with stunning views across the water, lovely gardens etc. It has a somewhat rambling layout and decor is a little on the fussy side for my tastes, but the food is delicious as is the wine. Staff are friendly but not always efficient, particularly when there are lots of guests - for example, we had to ask several times for more water on the table, the menu and food arrival was slow. We did not stay so can't comment on the rooms but I would suggest this would be nice for a weekend break, or even just a special occasion meal - it wasn't cheap!

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel

Address: Howtown Rd, | Lake Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Penrith CA10 2LZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Penrith > Pooley Bridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pooley Bridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sharrow Bay is unique; the epitome of English country living in an unrivalled location surrounded by snow-topped mountains and fells, right on the shores of Lake Ullswater, widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in the country. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sharrow Bay Country Hotel
Sharrow Bay Country Penrith
Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel Pooley Bridge, England

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