Category Archives: Food stuff

Bespoke Hotels Presents: Take 3

So you’ve set the date, carefully selected and invited your guests, based on what type of evening – informal, networking, bibulous, artistic, literary, political, matchmaking, or just the simple pleasure of entertaining friends – you have in mind. You’ve run a mental check to ensure that there are no interpersonal reasons such as rocky relationships or naked animosity to prevent this group of people from enjoying each other’s company. Your guests have accepted your invitation, so you know how many you’ll be catering for.

Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook

You’ve checked the dining table for wear and tear and decided that it will pass muster. You’ve run a stocktake on cutlery and crockery and made a mental note to make sure you and your partner get the chipped plates and the non-matching fork. You’ve thought about booking a babysitter, then decided it really isn’t worth the hassle and that good old-fashioned bribery should be enough to preserve a modicum of good behaviour for one evening at least.

Now for the biggest decision of all: the food you’ll be serving. That’s where Bespoke Take 3 comes in…

Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook

Within the pages of Bespoke’s debut cookery book you’ll find not just inspirational ideas for three courses from some of the most exciting professional chefs in the country, but you’ll also benefit from their thoughts on aspects of their trade and how these translate to the home kitchen, as well as recommendations for drink pairings.

Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook Bespoke Hotels – Take 3 Cookbook

So unless you live in a 70s sitcom and are entertaining the boss, nothing can now stand in the way of one of the most enjoyable of all social institutions: an evening illuminated by a flow of wit and reason lubricated by judicious applications of the grape, and for you the never-failing satisfaction and joy offered by serving your guests delicious, appealing, imaginative and memorable food.

Click here to take a sneaky peak inside, and to order your copy today!

Spotlight on the Lake District Hotels

Popular for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations, The Lake District is one of the UK’s scenic trump cards. From Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, to Wastwater, its deepest lake, as well as beautiful market towns, spectacular walking routes and water sports in between, it’s a peaceful holiday destination and a treasure trove of discovery, exploration and inspiration. Particularly if you know the best Lake District hotels to stay in while you’re there.

For walkers

Lake District Hotels Ennerdale COuntry House Hotel

It’s a tall order to find a more beautiful part of the world for walking than the Lake District. Combining countryside and coastline, Ennerdale Country House Hotel is beautifully located in five acres of gardens close to the seaside town of St. Bees, making it an ideal base from which to tackle the Coast to Coast Walk which takes you from the town itself to the awe-inspiring Robin Hood’s Bay. Chances are you’re not going to cover the complete 190 miles, at least not on foot, but you can head out as far as you fancy and then potter back for tea at the Grade II listed building, which has been painstakingly restored with its original fireplaces and ceilings on display. And even if you don’t fancy being quite so energetic as to head out to the coastal paths, you will be pleased to know that this Lake District hotel’s own gardens provide equally stimulating vistas with significantly less effort, thanks to the tranquil landscaped gardens surrounding a picturesque Italian fountain.

For water sports

Lake District Hotels Lodore Falls Lodge

Alternatively, at Lodore Falls Lodge it’s almost impossible to beat the dramatic beauty of the Lodore Falls themselves within the hotel grounds. The water cascades over huge boulders from a distance of some 30-metres, set contrastingly against a backdrop of unmoving mountains and placid lakes. The 200-year old hotel sits within 40 acres of grounds, and while walking is still an unmitigated pleasure here, so too is kayaking from the Lodore jetty on Derwentwater, or simply sitting in the outdoor hot tub and admiring the unrivalled views.

Lake District Hotels for foodies

What would an utterly British holiday be without a good afternoon tea? Unbearable, we say. And fortunately The George Hotel in Penrith stands out as an elegant experience known for its fine dining as well as its excellent lunches and afternoon teas. It’s something of a social hub with events peppered throughout the year, and while it’s supremely elegant with wood paneling, antique furniture and open fires, it’s also extremely friendly. Children and well-behaved dogs are all welcome, and its location makes it a splendid spot from which to explore the town as well.

For special occasions

Lake DIstrict Hotels Storrs Hall

A Grade II listed Georgian Mansion, Storrs Hall sits on the edge of the famous Lake Windermere and as a result has unparalleled views of the water. It combines everything as far as a holiday in one of the Lake District hotels goes, with incredible scenery, proximity to the water, beautiful walks, excellent food served in a restaurant that boasts three AA Rosettes, and that’s not to mention the hotel’s own grandeur and elegance at the centre of it all. In addition to 31 bedrooms the estate is home to nine log cabins to stay in and beautiful landscaped lawns to stroll throughout. So if you’re going to have an introduction to the Lake District, and take in all that makes this region so unique, it’s the perfect place to start!

But whatever your tastes a visit to this beautiful part of England and a stay in one of the Lake District hotels is a must this Summer. To check availability and book your choice just follow this link >>>

Afternoon Tea — As English as Roses

There’s nothing that evokes old-world England quite like afternoon tea. In the 19th century, and well into the 20th, it united the aristocracy and working classes as the country came to a halt at four o’clock for sandwiches, scones, cakes — and, of course, tea made the old fashioned way. As the old popular song put it, “everything stops for tea”.

Today, we might throw a tea-bag into a cup, but most of us don’t have time to stop for a full afternoon tea. We still love it, though, whenever we have the opportunity indulge ourselves at a tea-room or hotel.

Bespoke - Risley Hall Hoetl

 

Afternoon Tea in Hotels

If you’re in London, tea at a hotel like Claridges or the Dorchester is a treat everyone no one should deny themselves, but a hotel doesn’t have to be that famous or expensive for the experience to be special. Properties up and down the country offer this service both to guests and non-guests.

If you’re staying there, a traditional tea can make your break extra special. Or, if you’re in the vicinity of the right hotel, you can pop in and enjoy the elegance just as it should be.

Afternoon Tea 1

Here are just a few of the hotels around the country that offer afternoon tea:

  • Hallmark Carlisle Hotel — In the heart of the historic city of Carlisle, the Hallmark offers a comprehensive tea menu in the bar or brasserie. It’s popular, though, so you’ll need to book.
  • Tigerlily — A chic hotel in the centre of Edinburgh, Tigerlily’s celebrated restaurant offers tea either cosily inside or at its pavement tables on George Street in summer.
  • Hotel Gotham — A listed art-deco building in mid-town Manchester, the Hotel Gotham serves tea at any time between 2.30pm and 6pm.
  • Inn on the Lake — By contrast, the Lake District’s Inn on the Lake offers stunning views over Ullswater while you take your tea in either the Lake View Lounge or the Orangery.
  • The Grosvenor Arms — Situated in the picturesque Dorset town of Shaftesbury, the Grosvenor Arms serves tea in its restaurant.
  • Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth West Cliff — This elegant hotel in the middle of one of Britain’s most popular seaside resorts offers both traditional and themed teas.Afternoon Tea in Your Area

    Of course, these are just a handful of the many hotels around the country serving afternoon tea. Whether you’re on holiday or a day out, or whether you’d like to treat yourself close to home, check out your area for hotels to visit.

Why Nothing Beats a Trip To a Pembrokeshire Country Hotel

According to National Geographic, the Pembrokeshire coastline ranks as the second best in the world… and if anyone knows about these things it’s National Geographic.

A magnet for walkers, nature lovers, foodies and families, this Western part of Wales has become a favourite amongst tourists, and for good reason. Take for example the city of St. David’s – with a population of less than 2,000 it is the smallest city in Britain and one of the prettiest too, with its 12th century cathedral dominating the skyline.

Lamphey Court country hotel
BW Lamphey Court Hotel

On the other hand the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with its abundant flora and fauna is a sensory feast. Impossibly beautiful and breathtakingly dramatic, it’s one of those places that’s typifies all the reasons to travel around the UK in the summer time – surely there’s nowhere more beautiful?

For families, Oakwood theme park with its Megafobia rollercoaster is the place to go (proudly tipped as the best ride in Britain according to Visit Wales), and the Victorian seaside town of Tenby is renowned for the health-giving properties of its sea air.

In amongst the reasons to head to Pembrokeshire while the sun is shining however is Lamphey Court Hotel and Spa, a gracious country hotel. Set in beautiful grounds and within two miles of a collection of beaches and secluded coves near Tenby, the Georgian mansion dates back to 1823 and is nestled into the Pembrokeshire National Park.

view from a country hotel

Accommodation is divided between the original building (complete with confection like white columns and light pouring in through the sash windows) and a collection of courtyard rooms and studios, which all have an equally beautiful but very different vibe, so if you do choose to go then have a proper gander through the pictures to get a better idea of which one’s for you.

Despite the building’s history, the décor is contemporary, and nowhere is that more evident than in the spa and leisure facilities of this country hotel. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, from floodlit tennis courts to the 14-metre pool and herbal sauna, as well as Aromatherapy Associates and Cinq Mondes spa treatments – if you haven’t tried either brand, you’re in for a treat.

Conservatory at the country hotel
Lamphey Court Hotel Conservatory Restaurant

When you visit this hotel you absolutely must potter over to Lamphey Bishop’s Palace. Adjacent to the hotel, the palace is a National Trust site and the former retreat of medieval bishops seeking solace away from the everyday demands of Church and State. These days it’s a ruin, but the scale and proportions give you a hint of the decadence it promised these worldly men accustomed to power and status – something to contemplate over a picnic perhaps.

Tenby’s four beaches are also a must, all boasting a variety of environmental awards and beautiful views, perfect for a walk from this Georgian country hotel. From the cove that is Castle Beach it’s possible to walk out to St. Catharine’s island at low tide (just be careful that it doesn’t cut you off while you’re there), and Harbour Beach is a sheltered little spot at the rear of the bay offering a path back to the town and a walkway around to another sunbathing hotspot – North Beach, which welcomes the crowds in the summer months thanks to its large stretch of golden sand and easy access.

Bedroom at Lamphey Court country hotel
Lamphey Court Hotel Bedroom

Finally, after all that fun the food at Lamphey Court is an experience in its own right. Adhering to the Slow Food Movement, ingredients are locally sourced and the natural production process is interfered with as little as possible – all rather pleasant things to think about when tucking into that Sunday lunch after a bracing swim in the sea.