I was looking for a break that was a little different for my wife and myself in the North West of England. Searching through TripAdvisor I found Swinside Lodge. As other reviewers have stated they could not believe that this hotel was only rated as 2 star. I read all of the reviews and booked on line following a quick conversation with Mike who was extremely helpful.
The hotel is a few miles out of Keswick and well in the country, situated in splendid isolation at the foot of Cat Bells. It is a beautiful and peaceful place with the only sounds that you can hear are those of the sheep and birds, bliss.
On arrival we were greeted by Kath, who dealt with much of the front of house during our stay, who made us feel at home. Mike provided us with directions for our pre-dinner evening stroll down to the lake, both he and Kath were local experts providing guests with detailed information on local walking routes.
Our room was Beech which was excellent, spotlessly clean with lovely bed coverings and a view to die for. We overlooked the front of the house and in the garden is a tree with various bird feeders which obviously worked because we spent a great deal of time watching chaffinches, pheasants, woodpeckers and red squirrels. Absolutely delightful, this makes it well worth making sure you get a room at the front of the house, we would certainly book the Beech again.
Given the title of 'fine dining' we were rather apprehensive about our dress for the evening meal and would we feel uncomfortable. We had no need to have worried. Both pre and post dinner drinks with the other guests turned out to be a joy. The food was to die for. There are sample menus on the Swinside web site and the taste even better than they sound. The menus are all set with the only choice being either hot or cold pudding, this may put some off, but please don't let it. Other guests agreed with us that they would not have chosen some of the dishes from a 'choice' menu, but all agreed that it had been a real treat and opened up our taste buds. The breakfast was also a fabulous event, as we both had the full Cumbrian on both days of our stay we can only say that this choice was superb.
Although this hotel may appear to be rather expensive, when you work out the cost of the fine dining experience it is not too badly priced. A bit more than we would have normally paid for a weekend away, but the extra in this case was well worth it.
We fully intend to revisit Swinside Lodge Hotel and can unreservedly recommend it to anyone else looking for a weekend away that is just that bit special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Small luxury hotel in the heart of the English Lake District personally owned and run by Mike and Kath Bilton. A warm welcome awaits - hospitality and food are our passions, and the hotel has recently been voted in the top three Fine Dining Restaurants in Cumbria with an AA 2 Rosette Restaurant supplemented by a 75 bin wine list. Local wildlife including red squirrels can be seen in abundance in the gardens, and spectacular walks and drives start from the hotel's door. Seven bedrooms all with beautiful mountain views. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Swinside Hotel Newlands
- Swinside Hotel Keswick