By Shanie Dover
Being the largest natural lake in England, Lake Windermere doesn’t really need an introduction. The calming ribbon lake, surrounded by the valleys and hills of the Lake District, offers visitors a truly cultural getaway.
On one of the sprawling banks of the Lake, The Beech Inn Hotel & Spa offers its guests the opportunity to stay in beautiful accommodation with the added pleasure of panoramic views over the Lake and surrounding countryside.
I was fortunate enough to recently stay at the hotel for a relaxing weekend break, testing their impeccable service and delicious food.
On arrival at the hotel you will be welcomed by beautiful gardens descending down from the back of the hotel all the way to the edge of the lake itself.
The view which greets you is one to rival any painting. Small sailing boats with little white sails offer the only relief from the green background of unspoilt trees and the sea blue water.
On entering the hotel, you will be welcomed by dark wood traditional country décor and friendly staff who are happy to help where they can.
We were shown to our room which was a spacious double bedroom with a huge bay window, the room had a decent-size bed with modern bathroom giving us the perfect space to get ready in and relax.
The hotel is separated from any immediate distractions and only really accessible by car, offering you the perfect destination to unplug and take advantage of their beautiful grounds, along with the newly opened contemporary Spa.
I decided to take full advantage and headed down to the spa shortly after arriving.
I must have spent three hours between swimming in the pristine pool, the spacious sauna and steam room, and the unbelievable outdoor hot tub.
The hot tub was my favourite feature of the spa, I could sit there all day in the relaxing warm water overlooking the gardens and Lake.
I felt so relaxed when I left the spa I didn’t have a care in the world, which in my eyes shows you just how good the facilities are.
As the evening approached I headed down to the Burlington’s Restaurant, the award-winning restaurant serves delicious locally-sourced produce in a unique dining experience.
Normally you may have to wait hungry and impatiently as your table is being set, unable to catch a glimpse at a menu. Well that is not the case here.
As soon as we approached the restaurant we were shown to a seat on the couches in front and offered delicious appetisers along with drinks and the menu.
After what seemed only a few minutes our order was taken and we were shown to our table. The food arrived like clockwork there was no waiting or rushing for that matter and I can honestly say the service I personally received in the formally presented restaurant was outstanding.
The waiters and waitresses were simply charming and the food was some of the best I have ever tasted. I would highly recommend eating here whether it be for a celebration or just a treat, I know I will be returning.
After a comfortable night’s sleep, I enjoyed a mouth-watering breakfast and was sorry that my stay at the hotel was over.
Not wanting to waste the day – and as the hotel is situated so perfectly – I decided to get some sightseeing in.
There is a large array of things to do in the Lake District from animal parks to the quaint towns and villages – you really are spoilt for choice.
If you have children, you could maybe rediscover Peter Rabbit and hear how Beatrix Potter lived in Windermere followed by a boat trip on the Lake.
Alternatively, if you like venturing off the beaten track you could tackle one of the many hills or walks surrounding the area.
I wanted to see something a little different and so stopped off at the Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre.
The breathtaking Buddhist temple is an unbelievable sight, inviting all visitors to have a wander around the old Priory grounds, maybe take a walk through the woods along the beach and grab some lunch in the café.
Everyone at the temple is delightful and they have a number of free services including short guided meditations.
There is also a small shop selling books and other items if you want to find out more about Kadampa Buddhism.
On the journey home all I could think of was how I really did have the most relaxing weekend, and that I had a renewed sense of energy.
If you want any further information about the hotel, or to book your weekend retreat, please visit www.beechhillhotel.co.uk