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Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

14.01.20

The perfect combination of rustic charm and elegant relaxation, Storrs Hall has an unbeatable location nestled on the shores of Lake Windermere. Tania Jacobs samples some waterfront R&R

Enveloped in sweeping lawns and parkland with frontline views of Victorian steamers gliding across the lake, Storrs Hall has stories to tell. Built in 1790, in its heyday, it welcomed the likes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter for glamorous social occasions (the former recited his famous Daffodils in the drawing room). Today, it stands resplendent on the shores of Lake Windermere, with original architecture and large lattice-framed windows peering out like huge eyes. Interiors are relaxed and fitting for a country house, with sumptuous sofas, real fires and cosy nooks filled with model boats and busts of famous creatives.

A delightful blend of old and new, the hotel's immediate surroundings are as splendid as the scenery from its windows, with 17 acres of landscaped grounds.

The 31 bedrooms in the main house have been eclectically furnished in a traditional yet contemporary style, with bold colours and soft furnishings lending an air of exuberant comfort. The four junior suites and one Traditional Suite are the best for views, with large windows overlooking the lake and taking in the surrounding countryside.

Self-catered accommodation is also available in nine lodges: dog-friendly cabins with one or two bedrooms, each with its own kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and dining area. Lodge guests also have lake views, as well as access to the hotel's private jetty and slipway.

The hotel's boathouse can also be booked and is ideal for private stays. Away from the main hotel, and with the option of privately cooked meals, it comes with its own steam room, fire pit and a hot tub.

The restaurant, under award-winning Head Chef Ross Marshall, offers delicious, artistically-presented food in a grand dining room. The focus is on using fresh local ingredients - fish comes from the north Lancashire port of Fleetwood and lamb from the Cumbrian fells. The quality of such ingredients calls for simplicity and letting the natural flavours speak for themselves, with beef, chicken and venison featuring strongly on the menu. Large windows enable guests to enjoy the spectacular Lake District vistas as they dine.

For those considering celebrating a special occasion, Duchess Afternoon Tea is a Storr Hall speciality. Named after the Duchess of Bedford, who is credited with being the creator of Afternoon Tea in the 1800s, it’s truly an indulgent treat, even more so with a chilled glass of Prosecco. Guests can enjoy freshly prepared; sandwiches, savouries, fruit and plain scones (served with Cornish clotted cream) and a wonderful selection of homemade cakes.

For a delightful alfresco alternative, staff will happily put together a picnic hamper to take out to the sloping lawns or into the peaceful woods. Guests can also take a stroll down to The Temple: a National-Trust owned folly that juts out into Windermere on the end of a stone jetty. It’s a view that’s hard to beat, whatever the season. www.storrshall.com

LAKE WINDERMERE – THE KNOWLEDGE

With its mountain peaks, lakes and pretty villages, the Lake District is truly picture-perfect. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England at 10.5 miles long and was frequented by Beatrix Potter, who spent much of her time in the area writing her now famous children’s books. With plenty of stunning walks and charming pubs to enjoy, highlights include Wray Castle, Fell Foot Park and the seat of the Lakeland Horticultural Society - Holehird Gardens. www.visitcumbria.com

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