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Exploring England’s Top Small Hotel for 2023: A Look Inside a 13th-Century Property in the Lake District

TravelExploring England's Top Small Hotel for 2023: A Look Inside a 13th-Century Property in the Lake District

**A 13th-Century Property in Lake District: Askham Hall Hotel**

Exploring England’s Top Small Hotel for 2023: A Look Inside a 13th-Century Property in the Lake District

When it comes to picturesque and enchanting getaways, the Grade I-listed Askham Hall hotel in the Lake District surely takes center stage. Touted as the VisitEngland Small Hotel of the Year 2023, this gem of a property takes fairytales from the realms of make-believe and turns them into a tangible reality. With regal yet inviting interiors, a kitchen garden reminiscent of Middle-earth’s Shire, and a staff that welcomes guests with the warmth befitting of Disney royalty, Askham Hall hotel promises an experience that surpasses mere accommodation.

**Stepping into Fantasy-Fable: The Grandeur of Askham Hall**

A visit to Askham Hall hotel is a journey into a world of history and charm. The moment one crosses the threshold, opulent awards adorn the lobby, paying homage to the 19-bedroom hotel and its acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant, Allium. The property’s grandeur is matched only by its homely atmosphere, weaving a spell that captivates all who enter.

**A Stroll Through History: Unearthing Tales of Askham Hall**

Situated in the idyllic village of Askham, just a brief distance from Ullswater and Penrith, Askham Hall dates back to around 1280. Serving as a peel tower during its early years, the property provided a fortified refuge against invasions by Scots. Evolving through the centuries, it was transformed into an Elizabethan mansion by Thomas Sandford in the 16th century, before being acquired by the Lowther family in 1815.

A remarkable slice of history reveals that the Lowther family resided in the property for over eight decades, breathing life into its halls until the transformation into a boutique hotel in 2012. Even nobility couldn’t resist the allure of this 13th-century marvel, with Prince Philip’s annual stays cementing its legacy.

**Immersed in Heritage: Indulging in the Elegance of Askham Hall**

As guests venture deeper into Askham Hall, the majesty of the three ground-floor guest lounges unfolds, each exuding an air of regal luxury. The extravagant rooms, spacious enough to house a small menagerie, whisper tales of the centuries gone by, inviting visitors to lose themselves in its captivating narrative.

The Train Room, named for its historic association with the Lowther family’s model railway, stands as a testament to the property’s grandeur. Adorned with timber and comforting Burgundy-red hues, the room boasts a resplendent four-poster bed, a wood-burning stove, and a mezzanine offering further repose. While the bathroom features quaint farmhouse tiling, an unexpected fixture in the form of a modest shower unit provokes a whisper of surprise, a testament to the intricacies of historical preservation.

**Engaging the Senses: A Culinary Adventure at Askham Hall**

Beyond the opulent accommodations, Askham Hall promises a culinary journey like no other. The renowned Michelin-starred Allium restaurant sources much of its produce from the kitchen gardens and surrounding fields, infusing each dish with the essence of the verdant landscape. The allure of dining is further heightened by the mesmerizing view through mullioned windows, adding a dash of indulgence to an already exceptional experience.

As a testament to the intricacy of design, the bathroom’s farmhouse tiling, and perhaps surprising shower unit, were momentous, as interior designer Cecile Bell would suggest, “Spend big on the tiles, taps, and shower unit. Those are the things that will spoil the look if they’re cheap.” Perhaps a testament to the intricacies of historical preservation, Askham Hall stands as a beacon of sophistication that transcends time.

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All in all, Askham Hall hotel in the Lake District isn’t just an accommodation – it’s an expedition into history, charm, and the seamless union of luxury and homeliness. As it continues to enchant visitors with its captivating narrative and timeless allure, it solidifies its place as one of England’s premier small hotels, a destination fit for those who seek an experience beyond the ordinary.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-12174041/Englands-best-places-eat-sleep-visit-2023-named-prestigious-annual-awards.html**Fine Dining Experience at Askham Hall: A Culinary Journey**

Askham Hall presents a sophisticated and delightful fine dining experience amidst the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings. The ambiance is one of regal charm, with beautifully adorned drawing rooms, ancient tomes, and remarkable oil paintings exuding a sense of opulence. The culinary journey is helmed by Head Chef Richard Swale, who crafts exquisite dishes using ingredients sourced from the kitchen gardens and neighboring fields, ensuring a farm-to-table experience that is truly exceptional.

**The Enchanting Prelude**

The evening commences in the luxurious drawing rooms, where guests are welcomed with the sumptuously stocked honesty bar and delectable pre-dinner nibbles. These tantalizing offerings, created by the talented head chef, include mackerel tartar with cauliflower puree, dashi jelly, and nori seaweed, as well as Montgomery cheese gougeres with ‘mushroom ketchup’. The gracious ‘Maitre de Maison’, Nico Chieze, adds to the enchantment by introducing an extensive wine list, featuring an impressive array of varietals housed in the cellar – a testament to the establishment’s commitment to providing an unparalleled gastronomic experience.

**A Gastronomic Symphony: The Tasting Menu**

The culinary sojourn unfolds as guests are ushered into the boutique-style dining room, offering a picturesque view of the exquisitely landscaped garden. The kitchen, a hive of activity, is partially visible through elegant mullion windows, adding an element of theater to the dining experience. The tasting menu features an array of culinary delights, showcasing the culinary prowess of Chef Richard and his team. Highlights include the ravishing roasted Isle of Man scallops with a heavenly smoked cod roe sauce, shorthorn beef tartare with truffled egg yolk, and North Sea cod accompanied by a peppers emulsion and mixed herb and anchovy sauce. The culinary crescendo is reached with the presentation of Whinfell partridge adorned with a tantalizing truffle sauce, evoking an overwhelming symphony of flavors.

**Decadent Conclusions**

The indulgence continues with decadent desserts, such as the quince, fermented honey, and creme fraiche creation, embellished with delicate edible flowers on a honey tuile. The denouement arrives in the form of Richard’s sticky pudding tart, served with fig leaf cream, offering a fitting conclusion to the gastronomic journey. Each course is presented with a dash of panache by the attentive waiting staff, who embody the mission of Askham Hall – leaving every guest with an insatiable desire to return.

**A Symphony of Wine**

The sommelier, a beacon of knowledge and confidence, expertly guides guests through the extensive wine pairing options, ensuring that each dish is accompanied by the perfect complement. The sheer variety of wines, including a rustic 2018 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, a beautifully fruity 2010 Lungarotti Rubesco Vigna Monticchio, and the Maury 1928 Solera from Roussillon, offers an enchanting symphony for the discerning palate. The dining room is abuzz with the joyous chatter of satisfied patrons, a testament to the allure of this esteemed establishment.

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The allure of Askham Hall’s fine dining experience lies not only in the exquisite flavors and luxurious surroundings but also in the seamless orchestration of every element, resulting in an unforgettable culinary journey. It leaves a lasting impression, ensuring that every guest eagerly anticipates the opportunity to savor the delights of this exceptional establishment once more.

Original Source Link: [Daily Mail](https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-9254467/The-Pig-Edge-Country-new-Devon-shoot-thrilling-hotel-farm.html)**Exploring Askham Hall and the Lake District: A Weekend Getaway**

Situated in the serene and picturesque Lake District, Askham Hall presents a delightful escape into a world of historic charm, breathtaking landscapes, and fine dining. A weekend spent at this elegant retreat promises a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

**Indulging in Historic Elegance at Askham Hall**

Askham Hall, with its origins dating back to around 1280, offers a captivating blend of history and luxury. Originally a peel tower designed as a fortified crenellated building to withstand invasions, it has evolved into a splendid destination that exudes an aura of grandeur and refinement. The allure of Askham Hall lies not only in its rich history but also in the impeccable hospitality and remarkable culinary treats it offers.

**Immersing in the Splendor of Askham Village**

Strolling through Askham village, one is greeted with a mesmerizing array of Grade II-listed houses, each exuding its own unique charm. The village emanates a captivating ambiance of timeless beauty, providing a delightful backdrop for leisurely walks and moments of tranquil reflection.

**Exploring the Enchanting Ullswater**

The allure of Ullswater, an eight-mile-long stretch of natural beauty, is simply irresistible. The serene shores of this magnificent lake, enveloped by majestic peaks that pierce the clouds in the distance, offer a captivating setting for relaxation and exploration. The enchanting embrace of Ullswater makes it a perfect retreat for those seeking respite in nature’s embrace.

**Unraveling the Delights of Lowther Castle**

A short distance from Askham Hall, the striking semi-ruins of Lowther Castle beckon visitors to immerse themselves in history and scenic splendor. The castle’s expansive grounds invite leisurely strolls, while the awe-inspiring adventure playground promises endless fun and enchantment for visitors of all ages.

**Savoring Michelin-Star Dining at Allium**

A decadent dining experience awaits at Allium, where the tantalizing tasting menu, accompanied by delightful wine pairings, creates a symphony of flavors that tantalize the senses. The impeccable culinary offerings, complemented by charming ambiance and attentive service, ensure that dining at Allium is an experience to be savored.

**Journeying to the Lake District with Avanti West Coast**

Embarking on a journey to the Lake District, guided by Avanti West Coast, adds an element of convenience and comfort to the travel experience. The scenic train ride unveils the beauty of the countryside, setting the stage for a memorable sojourn in this idyllic region.

In conclusion, a weekend escape to Askham Hall and the Lake District promises an indulgent blend of history, natural beauty, and culinary excellence. It is a retreat that offers the perfect balance of relaxation, exploration, and enchantment, ensuring that every moment is cherished and etched in the memory as a timeless experience.

This article is based on information provided by www.dailymail.co.uk.

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