6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Lancashire Life Luncheon - The Hydro Hotel, Windermere

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 September 2017

Rump of lamb

Rump of lamb

glynn ward

With stunning views over Windermere, the Hydro Hotel has been lovingly restored by its new owners

LANCASHIRE industrialists, fresh from making a fortune from their mills, looked north when they switched from work to play and that resulted in the creation of several landmark Lake District hotels catering to their every whim.

One of the more interesting establishments from that time is The Hydro in Bowness, built in the Italianate style in the late 1800s at ‘such an elevation to secure dryness and bracing mountain air,’ according to an advert at the time.

It claimed a heating system for its Turkish Baths that was unique to Britain along with an array of treatments that sound like they were administered by large, enthusiastic ladies in starched white coats. ‘Russian, electro-magnetic, vapour, wave, ascending and descending douches, needle sprays and sitz,’ which is something to do with your sit-upon apparently.

Today, Lancastrians continue to head north in large numbers and what was once known as The Windermere Hydropathic Establishment continues to welcome them. The more extreme forms of ‘treatment’ have been replaced by a more modest heated pool and a small gym.

The reception welcomes guestsThe reception welcomes guests

However, the two stand-out features are the views out across Windermere, which are just as breathtaking as when they first opened for business in 1881, and the outstanding public rooms which have been lovingly – and lavishly – restored by the new owners, Squire Hotels.

The group, which also has the Samlesbury Hotel, near Preston, and Etrop Grange, a short hop from Manchester Airport, took over a building that had not been upgraded for two decades and you suspect the restoration has been far from cheap. But, goodness, it has been worth it.

The restaurant and bar, named 1881 for obvious reasons, made a striking venue for our latest Lancashire Life luncheon. These rooms make a real statement and display a lot more than mere restoration and retention of original features – a lot of thought has gone into creating unique wall covering and fabrics which hark back to the building’s origins. It would make a memorable venue for a wedding and there are also conference facilities.

The food also showed a sure-footed knowledge of the culinary arts with gin cured trout to start with followed by roast rump of lamb. An excellent lunch ended with a grand finale of chocolate and orange cheesecake.

General manager Stefan Rae said the refurbishment of the bedrooms continued apce with club doubles and many suites complete. A rolling programme of renovations would continue until 78 were complete. In some cases, two rooms had to be knocked into two.

‘We are very pleased with the end result,’ he said. ‘We are hoping to change the perceptions that hotels in the Lake District are very expensive. We want to offer rooms that are competitively priced and appeal to a wide range of people. We are also looking at all inclusive packages. We want to break the mould with the Hydro.’


More from Food & Drink

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The steaks are high at the Red Pump Inn in Bashall Eaves. Mairead Mahon reports

Read more
Lancashire Restaurants
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Meet the sponsors and suppliers helping to ensure this year’s event will be top class.

Read more
Monday, September 18, 2017

Classic dishes cooked with flair are on the menu at Stanley’s Bar & Grill at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel

Read more
Friday, September 15, 2017

Available from Tuesday 28th November – Thursday 21st December – Served Monday to Friday.

Read more

Ad Feature: Samlesbury Hall

Friday, September 15, 2017

At Samlesbury Hall, they believe the better things in life are those closest to home and with this in mind, insist on only the finest ingredients sourced from their own kitchen gardens and neighbouring Lancashire producers.

Read more
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

With stunning views over Windermere, the Hydro Hotel has been lovingly restored by its new owners

Read more
Lancashire Life Luncheon Bowness
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rebekka O’Grady meets people in Liverpool who are passionate about making their hometown the best it can be.

Read more
Friday, September 8, 2017

Meet the chef bringing new meaning to the term slow food – and that’s just the snails. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Lancashire Restaurants Lancashire Food
Thursday, September 7, 2017

Raw milk may be en vogue these days. But Lytham’s oldest farming family have been producing raw milk for more than a century. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Friday, September 1, 2017

Jay Rayner, the restaurant critic, broadcaster and musician with a pathological hatred of food served on slates, talks to Roger Borrell about Lancashire’s big food conference.

Read more
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Digest this mini-review in 60 seconds

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Friday, August 18, 2017

Striking oil in Standish hasn’t been easy for John and Clare Wignall. But it has given them a golden opportunity, as Emma Mayoh discovered.

Read more
Friday, August 11, 2017

Farms have found many ways to diversify but the Singletons of Brindle have taken to drink, as Anna Izza discovers

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

James Warburton and his team have taken an old mill and turned it into something special. It was the venue for our latest Lancashire Life luncheon.

Read more
Lancashire Life Luncheon Clitheroe
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Lancashire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search