ESCAPE LONDON – Ramble into Ravenstone Lodge, peace, tranquility and relaxation in the heart of the Lake District
Situated by Bassenthwaite Lake, amongst the picturesque scenery and rolling fells of the Lake District, sits the 3-star, Country House hotel, Ravenstone Lodge. Their website suggested a small, family run business, beautiful views, fabulous food and good value for money, so I was really looking to finding out if this was really the case. Plus, the location looked perfect for spending a weekend exploring the Lake District fells.
Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest lakes in the Northern part of the Lake District and lies not far from Keswick. It is approximately 260 miles from London, so a long journey, but well worth the trip. Once leaving the busy M6, a pleasant, scenic drive takes you along the A591, through Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick, before finally arriving at Ravenstone Lodge.
Ravenstone Lodge lies nestled at the foot of Skiddaw, the 4th largest peak in England, and a majestic site. I arrived in the pouring rain, slightly travel worn and tired after a long week at work. From the outside, the hotel looked quaint and cosy, and was certainly surrounded by beautiful scenery. I was immediately welcomed on arrival by the owner and given a personal tour of the hotel. Downstairs there was a cosy bar, dining room and a fabulous conservatory, with beautiful views across the fells towards the lake. The conservatory was already full of people relaxing, taking in the scenery and chatting about their day of trekking and I looked forward to joining them once I was settled in. There was also a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen and if the special’s board was anything to go by, the food looked great.
My room was situated upstairs and was absolutely fantastic. I was greeted by a sumptuous looking bed, in a spacious room, with all the necessary conveniences and a breath-taking view across the fells, despite the rain! On entering the bathroom, I was faced with every girl’s dream: a huge walk in shower and a glorious bath, all done out in stone, along with fluffy white towels and local products to use. So now a dilemma; do I jump in the bath, or head down to the breath-taking views of the conservatory. Since it was late, I decided to head downstairs for a well-earned glass of wine.
I was greeted by a sumptuous looking bed, in a spacious room, with all the necessary conveniences and a breath-taking view across the fells.
The conservatory is a fantastic place to relax and unwind. You can stare out the window at the views, whilst having a pot of tea or a glass of wine, or talk to fellow guests about their day. There is also plenty of information about the local area to keep you entertained, including maps to borrow when you head out for the day. On arriving in the conservatory, I was presented with an extensive wine list and the menu to peruse at my leisure – all I had to do was relax, unwind, enjoy the views and decide, with difficulty, what to eat! All of the food smelt and looked really tempting!
I decided to eat in the Stable bar and bistro that night, as it seemed slightly more relaxed than the main dining room. It was warm and cosy, with a lovely atmosphere and cleverly decorated using the original stalls and mangers. The food was described as being made from local produce and there was an extensive choice, either from the menu or the specials board. I sat down, awaiting my meal with eager anticipation, as the smells coming from the kitchen were mouth-watering. I was not to be disappointed! The food was well-cooked, tasty and I can see why the hotel had been awarded an AA rosette! The service was also excellent, delivered quickly and efficiently by staff pleased to show off their local fare.
The food was well-cooked, tasty and I can see why the hotel had been awarded an AA rosette!
It was with an extremely full stomach that I headed up the stairs to my bedroom. I was already very relaxed, but still decided on a long bath before climbing into that fabulous bed for a spot of late night TV. There is complimentary Wi-Fi at the hotel, which is a necessary bonus, as internet in the Lake District is decidedly hit-and-miss. I was pleased that the hotel had made the effort to make it accessible throughout, as many travellers can’t cope without this commodity, and I am certainly one of them!
I awoke to the sounds of the country after the best night’s sleep I had had in a long while. I was ready to explore the surrounding area, but first I needed to try out that shower and head downstairs for a typical Cumbrian breakfast to set me up for the day. I was once again greeted by pleasant staff, who were keen to know how I had slept and what my plans were for the day. They were very knowledgeable about the area and gave me some good tips about where to visit.
Breakfast started with fresh juice and coffee and all you can eat fruit and cereals. I was planning on a day of hiking, so decided to opt for a cooked Cumbrian breakfast made with local produce. It was absolutely delicious, and not too filling, and provided the perfect fuel for my day to come.
Ravenstone Lodge is definitely the full package and lives up to it’s website’s claims. It is set in beautiful surroundings and is the perfect base to explore the Northern part of the Lake District. Whether you are planning on fell walking or simply exploring Keswick, I would absolutely recommend Ravenstone Lodge. The staff are pleasant and welcoming, the rooms exquisite, the food locally sourced and cooked to a high standard and all for a good price. What more can you want, than to relax in that peaceful environment, whilst enjoying local produce and warmth. I would 100% recommend this as a lovely place to stay!
Ravenstone Lodge, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4QG
Telephone: 017687 76629
Heart London 5 * Rating:
Value for money 5
Penny, Heart London Magazine