Enjoying the Lake District the sophisticated way - in a boutique waterside hotel

The Waterhead at Ambleside
The Waterhead at Ambleside

Writer Andrew Wakefield soaks up some elegance and charm during a winter stay at a boutique four-star hotel overlooking the jewel of the Lake District – Windermere.

It’s a real pea-souper at Windermere as we trundle slowly alongside the lake through the cool night air to our waterfront hotel. Outside our destination – the four star boutique hotel The Waterhead at Ambleside – a street light illuminates some lapping waves providing a tantalising preview of the morning view from our room located metres from the waters edge.

The outside of the hotel viewed from Windermere

The outside of the hotel viewed from Windermere

It’s stylish and refined inside with a contemporary edge. Exactly what we expecting – having previously stayed at other venues in the same chain – English Lakes Hotels.

Service at dinner is attentive and super efficient as I sample the smoked salmon with sloe and mulberry gin infused beetroot purée, lemon and dill gel to start and falafel and halloumi burger with homemade slaw, lettuce and tomato in a brioche bun, served with tomato relish for main.

It’s unfussy and elegant fare with a dollop of sophistication and we retreat to sample some of the complimentary The Lakes gin provided in our room.

Pulling back the curtains early morning the lake in all its splendour with rolling fells behind is revealed and we’re happy to simply sit and ogle the natural wonder outside our bay window.

One of the rooms at the Waterhead

One of the rooms at the Waterhead

As we depart to explore, the Gin & Tonic Afternoon Tea catches my eye as an excuse for a return visit.

Windermere, Bowness and Ambleside are all nearby and we manage to explore all three towns by mid-afternoon before settling back into our room, keen to enjoy some more lakeside views before dusk out of the chill winter air.

The Waterhead was the Lake District’s first town house hotel offering a boutique style experience to guests and it cleverly combines traditional Lakeland elegance

and its stunning setting with the comfort of a new luxury four star experience.

You are also right next to the water ferries at this particular hotel – with regular sailings into Bowness even on choppy days. The combination of unbeatable vistas, style and elegance make it a real contender for special occasions and a fancy getaway to impress your partner.

For further information or to check room availability visit englishlakes.co.uk/waterhead/ or phone 0333 2203 181.