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“A mini break to remember!”
Review of The Samling Hotel

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The Samling Hotel
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 December 2013 via mobile

I decided to surprise my girlfriend for her Birthday and take her to the Lake District I wanted to make it extra special as I intended to propose! I did a fair amount of research and decided to book two nights away in the Samling. We were greeted by George who was very attentive and I felt that he would go out of his way to make our stay as memorable as it could be! We had tea for two with beautiful buttery shortbread whilst we waited for our room to be finished as we arrived a touch early.

George showed us to our room the Tyan! Attention to detail was impeccable the fire burning away in the corner with the single red rose I ordered on the pillow! My girlfriend was blown away ..just the reaction I wanted! I had booked the hot tub for 5pm and it is a must when u stay here, stunning view over lake Windermere whilst u relax in there!

Now on to the main event, dinner was Booked at 730 we were greeted with champagne and canapés whilst we decided upon the menu, we chose the alicate. The food was sublime and you could see that George thoroughly enjoyed telling us all about the different components! Some of the dishes looked like they had come from Heston! And really added to the drama and overall experience of the evening! Truly fantastic! Another really nice touch at the samling is the choice to have your breakfast served in your room which we did on both mornings. Staff quickly set up and served breakfast before leaving you and your loved one to enjoy the breakfast over the stunning views over the lake. Very Romantic.

Overall we had the most incredible Time at the Samling and myself and my now Fiancé! will most definitely be visiting again, a big thank you to all the staff for making our visit so special!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Mattandlau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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420 - 426 of 712 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013

This is a truly amazing place. During our fist visit we felt it was such a special place we booked to have our wedding there several months later! The day was perfect and months on, the select few people invite still talk about it with great fondness and how marvelous it all was. Obviously the location takes some beating, but along with that, it is the whole feel of the place - extremely tasteful but not over the top. The beautiful food and wines we have been fortunate to had there have been more like an experience, and nothing is too much trouble. George with his unassuming nature educate us on local cheese and wine knowledge. Jonny never failed to impress with his colourful cocktails and attention to details. We have and will be returning for many years to come.

Room Tip: Rooms at the front of the house and the cottages all have stunning views of the lake. Our favorite...
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank CHodge-10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Having stayed the night earlier this week, I don't think I have recovered. The main attraction is the food, and deservedly so.
We had the tasting menu and it was sublime. Each mouthful was a new sensation ,each course completely different , but somehow complementary overall. The amount of work that must have gone into the preparation ! Truly a labour of love from a very talented kitchen team. Two of the courses were served in theatrical fashion, but not just for effect - there was a culinary purpose and it also got people around the room chatting to each other. There are 2 dining rooms, both very small (intimate) and neutral in furnishing. Nothing to detract from the food.
Finishing dinner 3 hours after we started we were full but not stuffed and the thought of breakfast seemed a bit of a stretch. Strangely when it arrived at our room next morning it was perfect, and eating at our leisure overlooking the lake was a treat indeed.
The room we had (Tyan) was gorgeous - stylish , huge, comfortable, massive bathroom with shower and huge bath. Great toiletries and little touches like a Nespresso machine. If I had to nit pick - 2 points , first we prefer a twin ( the place is romantic, but we are old, with bad backs) and the room has more than enough space for a bed that can be divided according to preference. Second - what a strange selection of Magazines provided !
Finally one of the best features - the service - friendly, informal, attentive, in obtrusive, correct - just perfect !
Definitely worth saving up to go back.

Room Tip: They are all on the website.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank grayfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Lovely boutique hotel in a superb position with great views of Lake Windermere.

Food was amazing and well deserving of the Michelin star rating with some drama between and within courses, try chef is really imaginative.

Overall excellent service throughout with lovely staff.

Room Tip: Depends if you want to be in the main house or in one of the lovely suites in the other buildings, a...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

The Samling is the best restaurant in the area without a doubt. Living locally and having eaten at all the top restaurants in the area on more than one occasion, The Samling is in a different league completely. We were celebrating my husband's birthday and as he has very high standards, I did arrive a little anxious as to whether it would live up to our expectations......it exceeded them! From the moment we arrived we were very well looked after. Andrew guided us through our dinner with charm and professionalism. He clearly takes pride and a great deal of pleasure from his role and is a great ambassador to the hotel. Our dinner was totally amazing; an innovative and exciting menu, a quality missing from so many other neighbouring restaurants claiming to have the same calibre! Thank you to everyone at The Samling for a very special evening, where the service was faultless and the food phenomenal. We can not wait for another excuse to return.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wrigley41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We pre booked the six course tasting menu on an internet offer, fifty pounds instead of sixty five if you went at lunch time: they said they were very busy at night but wanted to encourage lunch time trade. I told them this when we arrived but we were still given the option of a la carte and a 4 course at £25. The food is served in a formal and theatrical way: infusions, dry ice etc. Waiter bringing food out for another person to serve to the table etc. Amuse bouche was a pointless compressed water melon, first course a marinated salmon with grapefruit and skin crisp cooked in licorice. Somewhat underwhelmed by this point we were glad to see the chef up his game with the following course, a beautiful little ham hock fritter in angel hair pastry (yes pastry, not pasta.) Served with (allegedly) confit egg yolk and goats curd. I have no idea why the yolk was described as confit: more of the confit later. Fish course was pure theatre: a percolator type thingy was produced with lemongrass, cinnamon and other Asian fusion type spices in the top bowl and a fish broth in the bottom. A flame was lit under the broth and it percolated up into the top bowl to infuse the spices. When done the flame was extinguished and the broth returned to the bottom bowl. The halibut with squid pearl and samphire (the pearl being a sort of master stock cube with a tiny tentacle in it that was released when dissolved) was served from the kitchen and the broth poured over it. Seared squid decorated the top of the halibut and flavour matched it perfectly.Sensational, the best course. Meat course was grouse breast (rare, excellent) with a super piece of foie gras and allegedly confit leg, grouse leg that is. It was a little thigh and in my opinion had nothing to do with confit: I expect confit style to produce a crisp skin with melting flesh inside. This was just a little bit of leg, tasty enough for sure but confit? I don't get it. The cauliflower and cauliflower puree were first rate. I thought the dish was crying out for a little bit of potato of some kind.
We then had a "pre dessert which was as delicious as it was hilarious. A mojito sorbet with a little ice cream ball encased in mint chocolate was served in a mini glass watering can whose spout spurted out "steam": dry ice used so creatively. Dessert itself (Green Tea Panna Cotta with Lemon Tart Ice Cream, Shortbread and Autumn Bliss Raspberries) was OK, the panna cotta was nice enough and the ice cream good, but as a whole it didn't really excite me.
There is an extensive wine list: the first page is a selection of reasonably priced bottles and we had Pinot Grigio at £22 and a Merlot for £18. Perfectly all right and very favourably priced for such a classy establishment.
The dining room was quite small and apart from our table of four there were two other couples so despite the professional, relaxed and friendly service the atmosphere lacked a bit of buzz. Not the Samling's fault of course but I'm sure the food would have tasted even better in a full restaurant with a bit of noise.
Predictably when the bill came we had been charged the £65. I pointed this out and it was changed promptly and politely, shame they didn't pick up on it when we arrived and told them we had pre-booked the offer.
So, with a Michelin star and a £50 a head tab for lunch, do I expect perfection. Yes, of course. Most of the food came pretty close, at its best it was simply astounding. They do what they do very well, I can't quite work out why I wasn't more excited. If I were to return, and I'd be happy to do so, it would be for a la carte in the evening.

By the way: best thing I ate all week in the area was the pork pie from Huddlestones Butchers in Windermere. That you must try: £1.60.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank NewcastleHenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We booked for a 1 nights stay and paid for the 'dove nest' room. It was fab, lots of space to unpack and a good complement of water, fruit, crisps etc. the bathroom was clean, spacious and beautifully simple, it reminded us of a Spanish baths we visited once.
The service was nothing but impeccable, and the same goes for the food. The food was delicious and substantial and had just the right amount of theatre. Well deserving of the accolades the hotel has won recently. The scenery is a real treat. The breakfast was also good.
All the staff were very knowledgable, personable and pleasant.
We will be returning next spring for more!

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank Yeowart383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Samling Hotel

Address: Ambleside Road, Windermere LA23 1LR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Windermere
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Windermere
#6 Romantic Hotel in Windermere
Price Range: £304 - £559 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Samling Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
3 Aa Red Star Hotel 3 Aa Rosettes1 Michelin Star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Samling Hotel Windermere, Lake District
Samling Hotel

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