Just back from our first stay at The Cottage in the Wood. Hard to praise Kath and Liam enough for what they are creating in this wonderful location on the Whinlatter Pass, just up from Bassenthwaite village in the Northern Lake District. My partner and I had booked 3 nights here and arrived in the morning so that we could set off for a bike ride round Derwentwater and Newlands. Kath warmly welcomed us and said it would be no problem for us to leave the car in the car park while we did our ride. And so, after a fine, if inevitably slightly damp, day out, we returned to sit quietly on the shared balcony, admiring the stunning views to Skiddaw and sampling a glass from the excellent wine list. And here we also encountered what, I believe, helps makes The Cottage in the Wood so special - its attention to detail and the exceptional quality of the staff. Nothing seemed too much trouble - with front of house allowing us to store our bikes securely round the back at the same time as looking after us with some of the best cake I'd ever eaten. All done with real and genuine courtesy and warmth.
We'd booked into 'Larch', one of the smaller rooms, but still more than adequate for our needs. Decor modern, light and airy, spotlessly clean and a wonderfully comfortable bed. After a day on the fells this was bliss. As was the superb shower en-suite.
And so to the food. Hard to overstate the absolute treat in store for food-lovers here. Personally I'm a quality over quantity person and Kath and Liam with their kitchen staff delivered every time. Breakfast is heavenly, with a choice of the 'works' with locally sourced food, all cooked to order. You can choose a 'lighter' option, which we tried on occasion, and it, too, was absolutely delicious - setting us up nicely for an active day on the bikes or out on the fells. If you're lucky you might even be treated to the sight of some mischievous Red squirrels who clearly know which side their own bread is buttered by dropping by...
We dined at 'The Cottage' on one evening and, without question, it was one of the best meals we have eaten in a long time. Perfectly balanced and with ingredients of exceptional quality, complemented with a good wine list that only lacked a lighter glass of sparkling wine (a Prosecco perhaps?) to perhaps initiate proceedings. A minor point in an otherwise faultless, stunning experience - all with a view over Skiddaw as a backdrop. I felt the choice very good as I prefer to rely on the kitchen to provide seasonal offerings rather than a huge, bland, menu. It interested me to note that locals clearly travelled up the lower slopes of Grisedale Pike to sample the latest menu - with taxis dropping and picking diners up throughout the evening.
So, in conclusion, Kath, Liam and their staff deserve my heartfelt congratulations for their warmth, superb customer service and attention to detail. They certainly are bringing something special to this part of the Lake District. We shall certainly return. Thank you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 17th Century former coaching Inn located in the middle of Whinlatter, England's only mountain forest. Stunning views of the Forest Valley and Skiddaw mountain range. The Forest hosts a variety of wildlife including Deer and Red Squirrels. This restaurant with rooms has achieved recognition through the award of EnjoyEngland Silver Excellence in Tourism Award 2011, The Taste of Cumbria and Taste of England's North West 2010, and 2 AA rosette for culinary excellence. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cottage In The Wood Hotel Braithwaite
- The Cottage In The Wood Braithwaite, Keswick, Cumbria