What to do in Windermere

UK Breaks

The Lake District – Katie Thomson journeys to the North West for fantastic food in an unparalleled setting at the newly refurbished Low Wood Bay Hotel & Resort

Heading up to the Lake District is always a profound treat. At different junctions of my life it has influenced and enthralled me – from reciting the poems
of Wordsworth at school, studying the great artwork of the Romantic landscape painters at university and hiking alongside the glorious lakes in adulthood. Ever- changing but eternally beautiful, a retreat to these brooding hills and ethereal pools is just what you need to reset the body clock and recharge the batteries.

So it was that we journeyed towards Windermere, to the Low Wood Bay Hotel & Resort, nestled between Ambleside and Troutbeck Bridge. The resort has seen some recent seismic shifts, with a newly refurbished luxury spa and health centre and a fabulous new restaurant, Blue Smoke on the Bay, which has been attracting tourists and locals alike – I was keen to find out just what made it such a fabulous weekend bolthole.

After the long drive up, the thought of a great meal was certainly fortifying, so after checking into our seriously sumptuous suite, we headed down to see what this new restaurant was serving up.

Low Wood The restaurant boasts a beachy laid- back luxe vibe, with a 3 metre long double woodfired grill at the centre. This is the centrepiece of the menu too, with the majority of dishes cooked over the flames and embers of the grill, infusing that characteristic flavour into the meat, fish and vegetables. After an aperitif, we dived into a plate of venison carpaccio served with a black pudding scotch egg and the favourite hot smoked salmon with mango salsa and chargrilled fennel. For mains it had to be two irresistible pieces of beef – one short rib in a coffee rub, and a ‘bricklayer’ – a tenderised piece of rumpsteak marinaded in spices, flame grilled and served with guacamole and sour cream – a carnivore’s dream!

All that hearty savouriness left a sweet tooth in need of satiating. Thankfully Head Chef Tyrone Blake trained as a pastrychef, something clearly reflected in the  delectable offerings. I opted for a chocolate and Captain Morgan’s spiced rum mousse with caramelised bananas, whilst my partner chose the apple and sultana strudel with smoked almond ice cream. Contentedly full and relaxed, there was time and room for a little digestif before heading upstairs for a deep slumber.

Having arrived in the dark, the real thrill of the lake views had eluded us. On opening the curtains, we were greeted by the expanse of blue, shrouded in early morning mist and punctuated by a picturesque jetty stretching into the water. There can be few hotels in the Lakes with such perfect, uninterrupted views, and this is something guests can enjoy throughout the resort – with the recent refurbishments including huge pieces of glazing so panoramas can be enjoyed without obstruction.

Deciding to make the most of this beautiful vista, we took a wonderful afternoon tea, with homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches, overlooking the sparkling waters of Windermere. There is something so magically restorative of being close to the water and this hotel, with its luxurious feel and attentive staff, make the experience one that’s truly memorable and one that lives long in the memory.

Katie Thomson was hosted by Low Wood Bay Hotel & Spa, a member of the English Lakes collection. Starting from £158 per room per night (based on 2 adults). Best Flexible Bed and Breakfast. Find out more by visiting the website

There are plenty of other places to visit in the UK. We have magazines in other areas that can help you plan your visits. If you’re heading somewhere different on your travels, click on the link to see the corresponding websites.