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 The more extreme forms of ‘treatment’ have been replaced by a more modest heated pool and a small gym.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 guests The 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

Mon, 17:47

Kids eat free every Sunday from 12 - 2 pm at The Feilden’s Arm Mellor Brook.

Read more
Mon, 17:04

Join The Feilden’s Arms at Mellor Brook for their steak night every Thursday from 5pm.

Read more
Mon, 12:36

Tea for two every Wednesday from 5pm at The Feilden’s Arms Mellor Brook.

Read more
Mon, 11:34

Pie and Pud for just £15 all day every Tuesday.

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

Our prestigious Food and Drink Awards return this October, and we want your nominations to help find out who is the cream of the crop.

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

We have five copies of The Lakes and Cumbria Cook Book for readers.

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Afternoon tea has grown in popularity as a summer pastime, here are a selection of some of the best on offer across the North West.

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

20 Stories in Spinningfields is Manchester’s newest restaurant to see and be seen in. Janet Reeder went along to check out what chef Aiden Byrne is up to now.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants Spinningfields
Monday, May 14, 2018

Baristas around the country can’t get enough of a special milk produced on a family-run dairy farm in Farleton. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Friday, May 11, 2018

A series of projects looks like turning a very good Lakeland hotel into a great one

Read more
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Cartford Inn chef Chris Bury loves scouring Lancashire’s countryside and coast to find the best foraged food. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

After more than 30 years Andrew and Belinda Wilkinson are back behind the bar at the Lunesdale Arms. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Pubs and Bars
Friday, May 4, 2018

The Titanic Hotel’s beautiful restaurant Stanley’s Bar and Grill has unveiled its new spring menu and you can expect seasonal produce and spring flavours to suit all palettes

Read more
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Michelin star chef Hrishikesh Desai has been in search of the best spices and foods in India. Now he is shining a light on these special ingredients as part of a special project. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
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

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search