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Having only first visited the Lake District for the first time two years ago; it was most definitely a moment of 'How have I never been here before?'. Returning to such a gorgeous setting, I wondered, would I ever be as enthralled by it as the first time? The answer is yes! I was encapsulated all over again, and this is mainly down to the Laura Ashley The Belsfield hotel.
Surrounded by six-acres of landscaped gardens, its elevated position overlooking Bowness-on-Windermere means the views are unparalleled; whether it's a gloriously sunny day or overcast with storms, the majestic enchantment of Lake Windermere, complemented by the ever-stylish and impressive hotel, means you'll easily lose your heart in the Lake District.
On arrival, the reception area, boasting a full-fronted glass apex, showcases the setting immediately and sets the tone of what to expect from your stay. The staff attentive, welcoming and professional, truly reflect the standard of the hotel upholding its luxurious status making this a special location for weddings, or mini-moon getaways.
History buffs such as myself will adore this Grade II listed building, a superb example of Victorian Italianate architecture and one of grandest buildings on the Lake. In particular the vintage lift and décor leave you reminiscent of a bygone era where the wealthy would stay and dine in all of their finery, I couldn't help but get lost in the historic photographs lining the corridors.Under new ownership, the hotel was transformed in 2014 into a Laura Ashley Designer Hotel. Each of the 62 bedrooms, restaurants and reception rooms now showcase elegant décor, stylish furnishings and exquisite fabrics from the Laura Ashley Home Collection.
Our palatial lake-view suite a must with such scenery benefitted from three separate living areas, it was more than we could have asked for, exquisitely styled exuding elegance. In-room comforts include a roll-top bath, robes and slippers, heated bathroom floor, toiletries, a separate lounge area, and a super kingsize bed we were definitely immersed in luxury and this would make for the ultimate mini-moon location post-vows there's also a Bridal Suite for newlyweds!
We were lucky enough to experience all that Laura Ashley The Belsfield has to offer, from pre-dinner cocktails in the intimate, stylish lounge bar to a post-dinner nightcap in the sophisticated Library; a delicious three-course meal in The Brasserie, relaxed dining with British fare on offer, as well as an unrivalled fine dining experience in the 2 AA Rosette-awarded Belsfield Restaurant. The latter is a splendid room even to the most discerning of hotel guests and makes for a picture-perfect setting for the wedding breakfast, with the lake creating an idyllic big-day backdrop. With such culinary delights on offer, couples looking to tie the knot here can rest assured their big-day catering will be an impressive talking point for guests.
Romance in abundance, it's the perfect place to say 'I do' or escape post-vows for some much-needed quality time together. Take a nightime stroll along Bowness Bay, we loved its quiet contrast to the hustle and bustle of visiting tourists during the day, it's atmospherically lit by street lamps that reflect of the placid lake we also had a date night at a cute little retro cinema in town! What's more, the fells and the mountains, and of course the lakes, are on your doorstep it's a place you'll never want to leave!
Laura Ashley The Belsfield, Kendal Road, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3EL, 015 3944 2448 | www.lauraashleyhotels.com