Family-run and fabulous. In 1987, John and Christine Cunliffe bought John’s grandmother’s former home and created a five-bedroom hotel. In 2001, their son Barney and his wife Zoe joined them. Nowadays, the 1901 house, seamlessly expanded by their other architect son, Ben, has 14 bedrooms, six wildly popular hot tub Garden Suites, and five luxurious Spa Lodges with private en suite spas. A mile away at Gilpin Lake House, six rooms enjoy a private lake, boat house, pool, hot tubs, saunas and spa. As for the food, you’ll be bowled over by the Michelin-starred, locally sourced creations – modern British with a twist of Asia – of Hrishikesh Desai in his restaurant Hrishi and the tapas-style pan-Asian fusion dishes in laid back Gilpin Spice. Gilpin is warm and welcoming, but also very glamorous – a mix of Arts and Crafts charm and glossy, contemporary design – with the sense of a journey as guests wander through. Doubles from £225.
Name to Know: Sarah Redmayne and Richard Marriott have both been at the Gilpin for over 27 years. They are who you should speak to if you would like to know anything about the hotel.
See: The incredibly beautiful Lake District, with glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains, historic literary associations, market towns, traditional inns, and galleries of local art.
Eat: Dine in either the Michelin-starred main restaurant, ‘Hrishi’, where Hrishikesh combines great Lake District produce and classic methods to deliver unbelievable textures and flavours with just a twist of Asia, or in ‘Gilpin Spice’ an informal restaurant transcending international boundaries, with an open kitchen focusing on sharing dishes from the spice trail spanning the Indian sub-continent to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and China.
Buy: A Spa Lodge for the night, the perfect romantic spa hideaway. Five luxurious lodges have huge beds, gorgeous bathrooms, each with a fabulously private en-suite spa (treatment area, steam room, rainmaker shower, oval stone bath, and outdoor sauna and hydrotherapy hot tub in your own walled garden).
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