This was the first Xmas we had ever been away so approached it with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. However we had been in regular contact with the hotel staff (Ray) via Facebook and Twitter and from the first moment we arrived and met Attilla we knew it was going to be fine.
Our room was number 7 and was always warm and had a spacious bathroom with 2 sinks. Yes you could see the working farm across the way and a fire escape but it also had a fantastic view of Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks. Yes the bath did take a long time to fill but gives you more time to look at Haystacks! Bath itself was a reasonable size.
On our first evening we came down and Steven the Hotel Manager introduced himself and we were offered the choice of a meal in the bar or dining room and decided for the bar. The bar is a walkers bar and serves a number of local real ales. There is an extensive menu and several specials on the board. I had the Lamb Hotpot which was great and Linda had the fish pie which she said was the best she had ever had. At the end we went into the residents bar with our drinks which was warmed by a fantastic real fire and was a very cosy place. Other reviews have described it as a library and yes there is a section with a large bookcase! It was however a very welcoming room and if you wanted to chat to other residents that was fine or equally if you wanted to read. WiFi is available in the lounge and around reception and the speeds were fine. I was asked if I needed any help with settings and they offered to reboot if it had been slow.
Xmas morning we woke to a fantastic view of Haystacks and a lovely day. A large black bin bag had been provided for our wrapping paper which was a nice touch. At breakfast we were shown our table and explained it would be our table for our stay which we liked. A breakfast menu is available and you order everything from your chair. There is no buffet table. Again we liked that. We had the full breakfast on two of the days which was fantastic but on Boxing Day had a ham, tomato, cucumber, cheese and chutney platter which was just right after a large meal the night before.
Xmas Day we had a nice walk round the Lake and came down about 6 for a drink in the lounge and to choose our four course meal. We were then shown to our tables just before 7pm. All residents were expected to eat around this time which I think was fine for Xmas Day. (On Boxing Day evening you could pick your own time). We had been able to select our wines earlier so were waiting for us.
I had the duck parfait which was very light and Linda had scallops, prawns and noodles which had an Asian influence and we both enjoyed our starters. Nice sorbet in between and then Xmas Dinner! Our turkey and all the trimmings was really good. I think it was a Cocklakes Farm turkey from near Penrith. The highlight was actually the sprouts! Little button ones served al dente and lovely flavour. As the writer is not keen on sprouts this is quite a recommendation. Our two young waitresses and Steven looked after us very well. Rum crime brulee and a nice port followed. Another nice touch was that the chef and other kitchen staff were brought out at the end for a well deserved round of applause. We had coffee in the lounge and the hotel has a very wide range of malts which was availed of.
Boxing Day followed a similar pattern. Good breakfast, bracing walk, being looked after in either the bar or lounge. For our evening meal I had sea bass carpaccio as a starter, Linda had a mushroom, cheese mille feuille and for mains we had a gorgeous pan fried halibut. In between a black currant cassis sorbet. Dessert was roasted peaches for me and Linda had a sticky gingerbread with white chocolate.
Overall we had a fantastic time at the Bridge. I have read some of the earlier reviews and to be frank I think the Hotel is right to have a smart/casual dress code for the dining room. If you don't want to comply then simply go in the bar area. It has also been mentioned that the hotel is cold. Certainly not the case in our room or the lounge. I did feel a bit chilly in the dining room at breakfast on Xmas Day but this was because our table was next to a window with a view of the stream below. I put a sweater on the next morning and was fine.
Overall we had a fantastic time and would definitely return. Everyone we met - Steven, Ray, Attila, Stefan, the two cleaning ladies (who told us which were the best rooms and No I am not going to reveal that!), the two young waitresses and kitchen staff could not have been more attentive and friendly.
- Also Known As:
- Bridge Hotel Buttermere
- Bridge Hotel Buttermere, Lake District
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set between two lakes and surrounded by Fells in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Bridge Hotel is situated on a site which has been occupied for over a 1000 years. Licensed as a Coaching Inn in1735 it has evolved into a luxury traditional Lakeland hotel offering a warm welcome, comfort and attentive service. Innovative chefs provide excellent, freshly prepared, locally sourced, quality food both in the dining room and bars. ... more less
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