A Weekend In The Lakes
Last year I made a little pact with myself that I would spend more time exploring the UK. I'm the first person to be searching Skyscanner for cheap flights whenever I have a free weekend, but with so many beautiful places right on my doorstep that I'm still yet to visit, I'm trying to make a real effort to stay local and embrace the staycation. Because truth be told, you don't have to go abroad to experience adventure or relaxation, and that's something that Sam and I confirmed on our most recent trip to the Lake District. Of course, our experience was definitely helped by the fact that we were staying at the beautiful Another Place, The Lake, a hotel focussed on those two very things.
Taking in the breathtaking views of Ullswater on our journey to the hotel, we knew we were in for a treat, but when we realised that Another Place, The Lake was set right on the shores of Ullswater, the second largest lake in England, surrounded by 18 acres of national parkland, we could hardly believe our luck. This was a hotel perfectly placed for getting out and enjoying the surrounding area, and with stand up paddle boarding and hikes in the fells on our itinerary, we knew we were in for a treat.
But I think the main thing that sets Another Place, The Lake apart is that this isn't your classic quaint B&B in the Lake District. Sam and I have stayed in so many little B&Bs in the countryside that are well located for exploring the surrounding area, but offer little more than a place to rest your head. Another Place, The Lake is different - you still benefit from it's incredible location, but you also get to relax in rooms that are tastefully and thoughtfully decorated, swim with views of the lake in Swim Club and eat food that wouldn't look out of place in a city centre restaurant.
At this hotel, you get to enjoy the benefits of being out in the countryside, without giving up any of those home comforts you might be accustomed to. So let's have a look at some of the highlights in a bit more detail, shall we?
I wouldn't usually call out the arrival when reviewing a hotel, but I felt like I had to include it because our welcome to Another Place, The Lake was probably the warmest reception I've ever received! As soon as we stepped foot in the hotel we were made to feel like family - from the swift check in to the offer to help us plan the key elements of the weekend.
It was clear to see that the staff employed here love their jobs - they were crouched down on the floor chatting to kids, appearing at your table just when you were ready for that next glass of wine, or greeting you like an old friend when you came down for breakfast. At hotels I've stayed at before I've always been satisfied with a perfunctory and polite "hello, how are you today?" on arrival, but the warm and welcoming customer service at Another Place, The Lake made us feel so much more at home.
There are 40 rooms at Another Place, The Lake, split between the original Georgian building and the new more modern wing. We were placed in the newer part of the hotel, with a room above The Swim Club and an incredible view of Ullswater. Our room had everything we could have needed, including a humongous cloud bed, a rainfall shower and a pair of armchairs that quickly became my favourite place to enjoy my morning cup of tea.
Aside from the functional, there were also plenty of little touches that made the room feel that bit more homely, including a well stocked tea caddy (with fresh milk in the fridge, always a bonus!), beautiful toiletries and a jar of teacakes that proved to be the perfect refreshment after a long walk. There was also a smart TV and a DAB radio, meaning that we could lay in bed after dinner and catch up with all of our favourite programmes.
From having a nosey online before we came, I knew that Another Place, The Lake was a beautiful hotel. What I didn't expect was how delicious the food we would be eating all weekend was going to be! There are two dining spaces for guests to enjoy, each with a very different vibe and menu, meaning that whether you're in the mood for a 3 course meal or just something lighter to enjoy with a glass of wine, you won't be disappointed.
First up is the Rampsbeck Restaurant, where both breakfast and dinner are served. Let's start with breakfast, which is a buffet of options for you to help yourself to. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the choice at this breakfast buffet was the best I've ever seen. From waffles to bagels to everything needed to create a full English, there really is everything you could hope for. There were even plenty of options for anyone who is dairy or gluten free, something which is often forgotten outside of big cities!
When the evening rolls around, the Rampsbeck becomes a fancier affair, with an a la carte menu teeming with seasonal and local produce. We enjoyed a feast of burrata, tikka paneer, roast pork and chocolate ganache, all washed down with a gorgeous bottle of Californian red wine. Every course was absolutely delicious and the service was just as lovely as we experienced throughout the rest of the hotel.
The Living Space is a more relaxed environment, with a large, airy bar leading on to a terrace that was just perfect in the sunshine. Serving great coffee and cocktails alongside a casual lunch and dinner menu, this was our favourite place to relax with a glass of wine. There's still plenty of choice food wise, but the focus is more on enjoying the company you're with and taking in the views.
If you're the type of person who likes to fill your weekends away with plenty of activities, Another Place, The Lake is perfect for you. The hotel takes full advantage of it's location, offering a whole host of lessons on the lake, from kayaking to stand up paddle boarding. Sam and I took part in a paddle boarding lesson on the first morning of our stay and we both absolutely loved it - we learned so much from our instructor, Adrian, but we also found that being out on the water really was the best way to soak up our surroundings.
Then there's Swim Club - an area of the hotel that is dedicated to relaxing. You can swim in the 20 metre pool, sweat it out in the sauna or soak in the outdoor hot tub, all while taking in the beautiful lakeside views. And if you want to take your relaxation even further, you can book yourself in for a treatment - I enjoyed a full body massage that was so good I practically floated up the stairs back to our hotel room afterwards.
And if you have kids, there's plenty to do as a family too - from playing table tennis on the lush lawns, to making the most of the hotel's dedicated Kids' Zones, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
The surrounding area
Of course, the other brilliant thing about staying at Another Place, The Lake is that you're perfectly located to get outside and enjoy the surrounding area. I spent a lot of time as a child enjoying the spoils of the South Lakes, but this was my first time staying in the north of the region, and boy was I impressed.
We headed out for a hike up nearby Hallin Fell and even paid a visit to the beautiful waterfalls at Aira Force Valley, which is a 10 minute drive away from the hotel. The walks surrounding the hotel are gentle and accessible, but that doesn't mean you don't get to experience some beautiful views - Sam and I sat for an hour just taking in the beautiful countryside around us and feeling lucky to take a break from our fast paced lives.
Our weekend in the Lakes was just what we needed. We got to relax, enjoy the great outdoors, eat amazing food, and most importantly, enjoy each other's company. We both came home feeling refreshed and restored thanks to everything on offer at Another Place, The Lake, and we're already planning a trip back to our new favourite hotel in autumn. If you want to experience the great outdoors without having to sacrifice your home comforts, Another Place, The Lake is for you!
* Our stay at Another Place, The Lake was complimentary in exchange for an honest review, but as always, all views in this post are my own. I genuinely LOVED this hotel and would (and will!) quite happily part with my hard earned cash for the experience.