Driving through the gates at Storrs Hall, I had a big grin on my face. The grounds looked amazing and the hotel overlooking Windermere was standing tall with its cream facade inviting us in.
Storrs Hall is a 4 star hotel just a few miles from Windermere town centre and on the shoreline of Lake Windermere. Built in the 1790s by Sir John Legard, the Grade II listed Georgian Mansion house still retains many elements of the original architecture. Of course with grounds as stunning as this, it is available to hire for weddings.
We walked into the reception, checked in and were given a tour of the hotel. From the main reception, through to the Drawing Room – featuring the most incredible tree, to the restaurant area where we would be dining a few hours later, and the bar if we wanted to have any drinks in a more casual setting.
All of this was so lovely and festive, as you’d expect mid-December, but it wasn’t overdone and the Christmas songs playing were a nice touch, rather than feeling like you’re in the middle of a shopping centre starting to stress over who wants what gift and if it’s even in stock anymore (note to self: finish Christmas shopping!)
Our room (well, let me explain…)
Now, for full transparency, we were incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to stay in the Boathouse in exchange for this feature. This is Storrs Hall’s finest gem and arguably one of the most luxurious places you could wish to stay in the Lake District. From the moment you unlock the door and walk in, there’s those little touches that make it feel special.
The lights and blinds are all controlled on a panel, which is great if you’re wanting to snuggle up with the cushions and blankets and watch a film or show on Netflix. But, not so good if you’re trying to get the most light in to take some photos – which resulted in me pressing various buttons to navigate which setting I needed. Slightly funny in hindsight, perhaps.
The bathroom? Well, it speaks for itself doesn’t it?!
With a huge bath in the centre of the room, his and hers sinks, a tv so you can truly relax in the tub and not miss any telly, and a big shower which…wait for it… also can be a steam room.
Those heated tiles are a dream for cold December days.
Yep, you’re not going to want to leave…
So you’ve got the huge bed and a living space with a stunning view across the lake. Then hidden in a cupboard you have a fridge, Nespresso machine, tea, coffee and all sorts of glassware. If you’re staying here, it’s probably going to be a special occasion, so you needn’t worry about whether they’ll have the right glasses for your fizz or Malbec – trust me, they’ve got them all!
But, you should. Because aside from all the great features in the Boathouse, there’s a couple outside that you should know about. First up, the hot tub. The hotel doesn’t offer spa facilities so this is the only way you’re going to have a little bit of that pamper (aside from the huge bathroom I’ve just told you all about) and it’s nice to know that it’s private too.
Imagine spending your morning here…
Next, and probably most appropriate in winter is the fire pit. So if you feel like sitting by a flickering fire and enjoying each others company, this is a fun way to do so.
If you’re staying at Storrs Hall, then you should definitely dine in the Lake View restaurant. The menu changes seasonally, but all the flavours we had were delicious – to have an idea of what is available, check out their A La Carte menu.
We enjoyed a drink in the Drawing Room in front of the crackling fire. This room is steeped in history, it’s said to be where Wordsworth recited his famous Daffodils and even Beatrix Potter was known to frequent parties (albeit not at the same time, literary folk I’m sure would put me right if I was to merely suggest so…)
After browsing the menu and making our selections, we headed through the restaurant for dinner. From an amuse-bouche blend of gingerbread and pumpkin, to my raviolo starter, chicken main, pre-dessert grapefruit sorbet (which was delicious) then saving the best for last, an amazing cheese board. Dining in the AA 2 rosette restaurant is a little more pricey than a restaurant along in Bowness or Windermere town centre itself at £60pp. But I would honestly recommend it – and would definitely come back and dine here again. It’s a treat, the flavours are delicious and it’s an experience to dine in a more formal setting.
Breakfast is also delicious. With a buffet of cereals, fruit, pastries and meats to peruse first then you can make a selection from the hot menu. As much as the pancakes did tempt me, I couldn’t really see past the Full English. Yes there were hash browns; always a winner. Staff were very attentive and nothing was too much to ask; you want ketchup – they’ll bring it right over, fancy more toast – no worries it’s on the way, and they’ll certainly keep you topped up with tea or coffee.
Staff throughout our stay were incredibly helpful and friendly. It really does have a family-run boutique feel. You feel welcome, comfortable and that’s something I don’t always find when I’m staying somewhere new.
Would I go back?
The Boathouse is the perfect place to go for a romantic getaway, for a short break to spend some time by the lake and after such a lovely, relaxing stay we were a little sad to leave. There is a higher price tag to stay at The Boathouse, but for the luxury and the setting – I mean you can’t put a price on that sunrise I watched from the hot tub, or the experience we had during dinner.
I’d definitely go back, even the classic rooms, or the suites if you’re pushing the budget a little, look lovely. Each of the 30 rooms in the hotel are individually designed, so they have their own character, as well as all the design features you’d expect.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay between Christmas and New Year, there is some availability left at Storrs Hall. Visit their website for more details. If you do stay, I’d love to know what you think – so do let me know!
This stay was complimentary and dinner was included in exchange for review. Thank you for a lovely break, Storrs Hall.