There are few things more enjoyable than a good walk in the spectacular Lake District
It can be invigorating and inspiring and leave you with a warm glow anticipating the welcoming drink or meal ahead.
So it was that we set off rambling in the fells above Windermere before checking in at the luxurious Storrs Hall at Bowness.
Having researched decent walks around Bowness we headed for Gummer’s How, at the southern end of Windermere near Fell Foot Park.
The walk is fairly short (unless you set off from the main road) but very steep. It gets the ticker going all right, and the 360-degree views from the top are breath-taking.
On the way down we began to ponder our stay at Storrs Hall.
You may not know the hotel by name, but you would certainly have seen it.
It is a grand former mansion house on the outskirts of Bowness, on the road to Newby Bridge.
We had driven past it countless times and thought “Wow,that looks grand”. Now it was time to find out just how grand it is.
Approaching down the sweeping drive, you can see Storrs Hall is just steeped in history and classed as a Grade II listed Georgian Mansion house.
The four-star venue is set right on the shoreline of Lake Windermere and enjoys breathtaking views.
The hall was built in 1790s by Sir John Legard, and retains many elements of the original architecture.
The poets William Wordsworth and Robert Southey were among the early guests of this tranquil getaway. and Wordsworth is said to have recited his poem ‘Daffodils’ in the drawing room of Storrs Hall.
Inside, the architecture, paintings and sulptures are stunning. Each of Storrs Hall’s 30 guest rooms combine individual and contemporary design with historic splendour.
All the hotel’s rooms feature lush fabrics, ultra comfortable beds and stylish, contemporary bathrooms.
And if you are looking for something exclusive and unique, there is the luxury Boathouse. This spectacular retreat has its own outdoor hot tub, steam room, private terrace and fire-pit.
Of course, none of this comes cheap and our lake view suite could set you back more than £400 for a one-night stay with bed, breakfast and evening meal.
The suite itself was spacious, with a huge bed, glorious views over the gardens and lake, and a huge bathroom with a built-in TV over the bath and a massive walk-in power shower, that my partner said was the best she had ever used.
Considering it was a Tuesday night in the autumn, there were a fair number of rooms occupied and people eating in the restaurant.
We looked forward to the evening meal – which would separately cost around cost £55 per person for three courses. Again – not cheap.
But after sampling the superb food at this hotel you may well feel it was was worth every penny.
For starter I chose the excellent Pressing – ham hock and chicken, with spring vegetables and truffle mayonaisse. The superb artisan bread came in very useful.
My partner was meanwhile eulogising about her risotto - served with wild mushrom chives and parmesan. She ran out of superlatives.
For mains, I chose the pork – a mixture of fillet, belly and cheek, black pudding, apple, and sage . Again it was excellent, My partner was loving her turbot dish almost as much as her starter.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was quiet and calm, and the service professional and courteous.
The wine list was extensive and the waiters seemed to have a great knowledge of both the food and the wine.
After a palate cleanser of ginger flavoured jelly – with a Grasmere Gingerbread topping – we moved onto the desserts.
My partner chose the blackcurrant soufflée with vanilla ice cream and again was stunned. It was, she said, an explosion of flavour.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the raspberry tart and sorbet with a white chocolate mousse, which packed big flavours.
It had gone dark by the time we ate, but in summer you would be able to dine at Storrs Hall with a lake view watching the sun go down.
After a good night’s sleep in our lovely warm room, we got up expectantly for the breakfast.
A continental breakfast, juices, tea coffee and so on can be followed by a Full English to fill you up for the day’s walking if you like.
Of course, we took advantage of this offer. It would have been rude not to.
Everything about Storrs Hall is classy and laid back.
For many people, this would be the ideal place to unwind in peace, with the finest food and the finest decor.
And right on the banks of Lake Windermere.
LA 23 3LG
Tel: 01539 4 4711
Prices from £115 per night based on 2 adults sharing a classic double room with bed and breakfast