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The Lancrigg
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Reviewed November 19, 2012

I travelled to the Lake District in the late summer (2012) and stayed 4 days at Lancrigg - which I chose because I am vegan. Here are my main points separated into the positives and negatives. I hope it proves useful.

=Positives=

Great location
They offered to pick me up from the end of the long road by car
Great menu & choice
Very tasty food
Great bed & large room
Nice period decor
Lovely walk past flowers, ponds. (N.B. One steepish incline - not suitable with suitcase or heels/sandals)
Main house was lovely
There were teabags in the room - good selection
Products in bathroom were natural, essential oils - lovely!
When cold, the heating was on to the perfect temp.
Very generous breakfast portions - great before hiking!
2 waiters/waitresses were particularly nice/friendly

= Negatives=

I'd booked half board, so breakfast and dinner were included in the price. However, I had to ask how dinner option worked (ie which parts of the meal were included, what I could select etc) as no one explained it to me.

I was chided for not calling to be picked up! When I arrived I decided to walk up the long road myself as it was a lovely day and I didn't request to be picked up in the first place. But when I arrived, the receptionist was rather moody with me and told me "I'll have to call the manager now." (Because I'd arrived of my own accord). I'm sorry but that is not my concern!

There was not much info around in reception i.e. what the meal times were (should be stated clearly on a sign and on the website, shouldn't have to ask for this info), no local area info, no maps or walking maps available.

Had to ask for e-mail confirmation of booking which is quite unprofessional - this should be automatic.

I requested info by e-mail in advance on massages as it was mentioned on their website that they were available but I received no reply and saw no information about it at reception either.

The waitress at breakfast didn't know what vegan was! She then offered me semi-skimmed milk! But lovely demeanour. Another waitress on the last day gave me breakfast with cow's milk even though I ordered vegan. Apparently it was her first day of working there though. Just be careful and double check everything.

I didn't like the fact you had to book a time slot for dinner - not practical if you're a hiker! Didn't know when I'd reach a suitable point in the mountains to have lunch or what time I'd return to the hotel after hiking.

The window in my bedroom was broken when I arrived - it couldn't be closed properly so there was a 2 inch gap which meant it got rather chilly at times. I was told it would be fixed but it never was during the 4 days I was there.

I informed reception that my shower wasn't draining properly. I was worried that should I take a longer shower, ie wash my hair, that it could over run. I was told that it would be fine, but they would send someone over in 2 days to check it out. As a result, the bathroom did actually flood and soaked my clothes on floor. As there was no phone in my room or downstairs to call reception, intermittent mobile network and no answer when I knocked on the manager's door, I had to put on my shoes and outdoor clothing to walk 10 mins to the main house to inform them that the floor was flooded. After a 5 mile trek all I wanted was a hot shower, to relax not stress and worry and run around. I was trapped in shower for 5 minutes because I couldn't even open the shower door due to the water level! It took a long time to drain enough for me to get out of the shower. When I came back from reception, I waited 20 mins but no one came so I went to dinner. I saw the manager who said he hadn't had a chance to take a look. After dinner I planned on going to bed and didn't want to be disturbed but I didn't know if he'd be coming after dinner or what! Bad communication. The floor needed to be mopped up as I couldn't reach the basin and the floor needed to be cleaned as the water was soapy and dirty/slippy. I didn't receive a single apology or anything! As it turns out, it was fixed during dinner though I had to ask for information as no one kept me informed and I didn't fancy walking back again upon discovering nothing had been done. I finally got an apology as I turned to leave. It should've been the first thing out of the receptionist's or manager's mouth!

I came back to my room twice to find the door unlocked - I suspect it was after someone came to fix the shower and look at the window. It's superfluous for me to point out that no hotel staff should be leaving their guests' doors unlocked.

=Summary=
The hotel, restaurant and location are lovely but the running of the hotel less so. Really not sure if I'd book this again, even though it does offer a vegan menu.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank AnonymousLondoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sequoya, Owner at The Lancrigg, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Dear Anonymous Londoner
Lots of nice comments thanks, but we are disheartened by the somewhat misleading descriptions in the less positive ones. We do our best to put things right if they are pointed out to us which we did for you and we apologised at the time. The shower- you helpfully let us know that it wasn’t draining well on the second day of your stay. We said we would get it fixed as soon as we could which we did discretely whilst you were having dinner but too late to prevent a disastrous flood. Having told us that the water was not draining away properly you went back to wash and apparently dye your hair black in there before it was fixed and carried on until the room was deep in black water flooding not only the bathroom but the room below. As the room also has a bath and a sink we did not for a moment think you would go straight ahead and take a shower to this extent so soon after telling us it wasn’t draining normally. Had we known that you wanted to do this we could have offered another shower room for you until we got it fixed later that day.As it was, alerted by the water pouring through the ceiling, we dealt with this very discretely and, so as not to cause distress, did not even mention the mess or repairs we would have to make to the ceiling and furnishings below.I made the mistake of leaving the bedroom door unlocked for which I apologise.
There were no actual broken windows in your room – this is misleading and your choice of words could well put people off. The windows in the bay all fasten properly –the gap to which you refer (which was also much smaller than you say) is in the small jalousie Venetian style glass ventilation panel. This has three small pieces of swivelling overlapping glass behind the end curtain. Due to repainting it was too stiff to be made fully airtight- we did not think you would have appreciated paint stripper being used during your stay. The weather was good, the jalousie window is behind the curtain and should not have caused any unpleasant draughts but it does allow the room a little fresh air. It certainly would not pose any type of security problem as the opening was so tiny. Had you expressed that it was of such annoyance we would have worked out an alternatives with you – as it was we thought you were just helpfully pointing it out and that we would deal with it when the room was unoccupied.
If a guest arrives by bus I like to try to meet them, assuming it is practical, since it is a half mile walk from the bus stop to our entrance. I had arranged with you that I would do this and subsequently I did go to meet the bus as was noted in our diary and it did not bother me at all to find you had walked up on such a fine day – one takes such things in one’s stride. Yes, the receptionist called my mobile so that I could return, but it really wasn’t a problem to any of us and I am sorry that you thought otherwise. I see on the one hand you give us a good point that we offered to meet you and on the other that you did not in fact want this and I am sorry for any confusion. That the receptionist said she’d have to ring me was merely a fact and in no way a slight on yourself and we apologise that you felt uncomfortable about this.
I apologise again that being vegan you were offered dairy milk. The member of staff was new here and was not fully up to spec on understanding about vegans and realising or remembering that you were vegan. As the vegan dishes are clearly marked mistakes are rare and we have designed the menu with highly visibly marked items so that possible errors would be reduced. We have various measures in place to prevent the possibility of a vegan accidentally ingesting any dairy products. We believe few places offer a better selection of vegan meals or understanding of vegans.
Like many restaurants we do ask people to book times for dinner where possible to help ensure good service at dinner and also so they are guaranteed a table at a time to suit them – but if people are late because of a walk or suchlike we always do our best to get a table as soon as we can for them. We book times and tables for the convenience of our guests, to whom we always endeavour to offer the best service and all round enjoyable experience. We strive to give satisfaction in every aspect of a guests stay and I am sorry to hear when we are perceived to do less than this.
With best wishes
Robert Whittington and staff

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Reviewed November 19, 2012

With a free weekend we decided to take up the invitation of an overnight stay in Grasmere. It was a cold and wet Saturday, but a warm welcome from the staff at Lancrigg. We booked the Dickens room which for the Sunday morning overlooks the fells. Warm real fire in the lounge for a pre dinner drink, followed by a superb meal. Vegetarian food at its best, followed by a comfortable bed. The house has lots of character, in a relaxed way and will suit visitors who like a stay with individual taste.

Room Tip: Request a room overlooking the front of the house if possible
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sequoya, Owner at The Lancrigg, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Dear Graham H
Great to have you back for another stay and thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review. You have summed up exactly what Lancrigg is all about - providing a warm welcome, good food and a relaxing stay in a characterful Lakeland country house and in a wondeful setting.
We are all glad to hear that you enjoyed it all and thanks again
Rob Whittington and the team

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Reviewed November 2, 2012

We wanted something special for our 25th. We had not stayed in a hotel for over 20 years and had never been away without the children. We’d honeymooned in Grasmere and wanted to go back. Initially we ruled Lancrigg out because of cost. But in the end we succumbed because of its location. The hotel is a little tired, but unique and full of character. It sits in pleasant grounds in a very quiet valley, yet only a few minutes from Grasmere. The hotel enjoys fabulous views to the fells opposite. We really pushed the boat out and went for the John Richardson suite. We made the right choice. We’d planned to go walking in the fells straight from the hotel – and we certainly did a lot of that – there’s a huge choice of walks of all levels of difficulty. But we also expected rain and fancied sitting in the chairs in the corner window watching the scenery change with the weather – and we did a lot of that too. The room was clean. It was full of nooks and crannies, loads of book shelves, plenty of places for dust to accumulate, but we didn’t find any. We stayed in July and wondered how warm the room might be in winter – apart from a small electric heater there was no sign of central heating. The bath is installed the wrong way round. It should be turned the other way then the bather can look at the view. There’s a shower connected to the bath taps, but you can’t stand up because there’s not shower screen to stop the water going on the floor. There was a bit of a musty smell in the room when we arrived, but it disappeared after a day so I suspect the room hadn’t been used for a bit before we arrived. There is a well presented guests lounge which we never had the need to use. We booked evening meals. My wife was a little hesitant, but I fancied the menu because I didn’t know what anything was – I always like something different. It’s the same menu every day – we were there for four nights so got to work through just about everything. The service is quick. The portions looked a bit small, but I can tell you that they were filling. We always finished our meals feeling satisfied and never too full – just as it should be. The meals were presented extremely well. In fact we took photos to show the kids – as did several other guests. The owner should put some photos on the website. The dining room is really nice – gorgeous views over the garden and to the fells beyond. We liked the choice of music and the candles in the evening. Drinks are expensive. The cheapest bottle of wine is £20 so we bought a bottle and made it last a few nights – other guests also did this.
We had been interested in Kitty Cragg – but there are no photos on the website and the few reviews that mention it don’t talk favourably of it. We located it on our final day and thought it looked rather attractive – though we only saw the outside.
The service throughout was excellent. All the staff were attentive. The location is wonderful.
I’m really glad we went there for our 25th – it certainly was a special place for a special occasion. Would we go again? Possibly – but it was very expensive. This was proved by the fact that throughout our visit less than half the rooms were occupied.

Room Tip: We only saw the John Richardson suite so can't comment on other rooms. If we ever went back we'd certainly go for that again.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kevin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sequoya, Owner at The Lancrigg, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Dear Kevin and Ruth
Thank you for taking the time to post your review and we are really pleased to hear that you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay to celebrate your 25th. We had just had the carpet cleaned a couple of days before your stay and is likely the cause of the initial smell you mention for which we apologise. The Kitty Crag rooms are superb and don't be put off by the odd whinge! we have had thousands stay and return and as long as people are fully aware that the rooms are not physically joined to Lancrigg, and a five minute drive or walk along the woodland paths and that there is no TV reception but there is broadband they are generally very happy indeed staying there, Many specifically rebook Kitty Crag. It is also popular for a group of friends or family to take over the whole house and they enjoy leaving their games out by the fire to return to after dinner.
The Richardson Room does have 5 kilowatts of heating and should anyone be cold we would always provide additional heat.
Thank you again for all your lovely comments and I hope that we will have the pleasure of you returning to Lancrigg again in the not too distant future when also we would be pleased to show you around Kitty Crag too.
With Best Wishes
Rob Whittington and the team

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Reviewed October 30, 2012

I'm not a vegetarian but really enjoyed the variety of flavours and interesting combinations of food in the breakfasts as well as the dinners. We stayed 3 nights and planned to eat just once in the hotel, but the food and the friendly service made us want to eat there every night of our stay. We had the Azalea room which has a separate sitting area and comfy enough chairs to relax in for the rest of the evening. There's also a private outdoor space with a couple of chairs and table for room service breakfast with a classic lake district view - but sadly, in late October, it wasn't warm enough to enjoy it. It's not cheap, but when I can afford it again, I'll definitely be returning.

Room Tip: If you want comfort and space and are likely to spend time chilling out in the room, then it's worth paying extra for Azalea - and it was very quiet - didn't see any of the other rooms
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MaryLizR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sequoya, Owner at The Lancrigg, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Dear MaryLiz R
Thankyou for taking the time to write this greta review and we are really pleased to hear that you enjoyed so much about the food, your room and your stay. It is especially rewarding to hear that you enjoyed the food so much that you chose to et with us every night too! I hope that you have suscribed to our newsletter for special offers and so on as then you may find you may be able to snap a deal - but be quick as the Azalea is one of the most popular rooms! the rooms at Kitty Crag are also definitely worth looking at as they are also really quite special and at a reduced price to compensate for guests not being in the main hotel.
All the best
Rob Whittington and staff

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Reviewed October 28, 2012

Everything about my stay was just gorgeous! The room (Nightingale) was small, but perfectly formed. The food was astonishingly good. The grounds are perfect for wandering around kicking up the golden autumn leaves. The staff were perfect; caring, friendly yet unobtrusive. It goes without say that the setting is wonderful and even the weather turned out good!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Karentoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sequoya, Owner at The Lancrigg, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Dear Karentoday
It is great to read your super review of Lancrigg and to to read about your enjoyable stay. Thank you very much for taking the time to post it and we hopw we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Lancrigg in the near future.
Best Wishes
Rob Whittington and staff

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