A luxury country house hotel in Cumbria has won a top award – naming it as one of the best in the UK.
The Grasmere Hotel, in Grasemere, has been crowned “country house hotel of the year” in this year’s Good Hotel Guide.
The 2021 guide, which is released today, features 750 hotels, inns, B&Bs, and guesthouses across the UK.
The guide presents 10 César awards each year to a selection of hotels which have “demonstrated consistent excellence in their field”.
Named after César Ritz, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry.
The Grasmere Hotel is a Victorian Country House full of period features. It was built in 1871 and their conservatory restaurant overlooks a secluded garden and the river Rothay. Many of the bedrooms also have stunning views of the Lake District.
Other award winners this year include a restaurant in a converted barn near Stratford-upon-Avon with rooms from just £120, an eco-friendly Welsh hotel that doesn’t stint on design, and a charming 400-year-old farmhouse on Little Sark, reached by horse and cart.
Here are the list of winners:
Country House Hotel of the year: The Grasmere Hotel, Grasmere, Cumbria
Walks from the doorstep, views of Helm Crag, crackling log fires and a riverside location make this Victorian country house hotel in one of Cumbria’s prettiest villages a popular spot. Bedrooms are immaculate and menus are highly commended, with locally-sourced meat and delicious homemade bread. The hearty breakfasts include kippers, smoked haddock and salmon.
Newcomer of the year: Baraset Barn, Alveston, Warwickshire
Located close to Stratford-upon-Avon, this ‘foodie heaven’ in a smart converted barn has much charm, with high-beamed ceilings, flagstone floors and superb menus. Bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of a pretty meadow and guests can borrow the hotel’s bikes and cycle into Stratford-upon-Avon.
Seaside Hotel of the year: The Scarlet, Mawgan Pawth, Cornwall
This eco-friendly Cornish bolthole for adults is perfectly located overlooking the beach and ocean. There is an Ayurvedic-inspired spa and cedar hot tubs on the cliff top outdoor terrace and each bedroom has a private courtyard, or a balcony with sea views. In the restaurant, the freshly prepared dishes include glazed native beef with crispy oyster and lemon tart with strawberry sorbet.
Island Hotel of the year: La Sablonnerie, Little Sark, Channel Islands
Reached by horse-drawn carriage on the car-free island of Little Sark, Elizabeth Perrée’s 400-year-old farmhouse is a charming one-off. Dine on locally caught seafood dishes such as roasted sea scallops with garlic butter and lobster thermidor, explore sandy coves such as Grand Grève and swim in the island’s tidal pools.
Romantic Hotel of the year: Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown, Devon
In a secluded valley beneath Dartmoor’s wild tors, this family-run Jacobean manor house has plenty of character. There are stucco ceilings, antique-filled rooms, ornate fireplaces, and a medieval dovecote in the grounds. Bedrooms are plush and cosy and romantic dinners are served in the wood-panelled dining room.
B&B of the year: Swan House, Hastings, East Sussex
This historic yet hip half-timbered house in Hastings oozes character. The delightful hosts have made it a cosy and welcoming space with a beamed lounge/breakfast room, an inglenook fireplace and a courtyard garden close to an ancient church. Guests sleep well in the comfortable bedrooms with crisp linen, soft towels and whimsical touches.
Inn of the year: The Angel Inn, Hetton, Yorkshire
With spectacular views and an impressive Michelin-starred restaurant, The Angel Inn is a landmark place to stay within the Yorkshire Dales. There are relaxed yet smart interiors and rustic-chic bedrooms, some with roll-top bath. The food is magnificent; locally sourced but globally inspired, with dishes such as Yorkshire salt-aged duck with pumpkin, soy, black bean and miso. There are also vegetarian tasting menus and a children’s menu.
Green Hotel of the year: Coes Faen, Barmouth, Gwynedd, Wales
Biomass heating and roofs insulated with sheep’s wool are just some of the green initiatives at this adults-only luxury lodge on the edge of Snowdonia. The entrance hall boasts a glass staircase built into the hillside and one of the bedroom suites is reached via an ancient tunnel. About 80% of the produce is sourced within a 25-mile radius.
Irish Hotel of the year: Roundwood House, Mountrath, County Laois
Located midway between Dublin and Limerick, this 18th century Irish country house has glorious views from its tall sash windows. With true Irish hospitality, owners Hannah and Paddy Flynn offer friendly service and top-notch seasonal food – sometimes accompanied by a song from chef Paddy.
Scottish Restaurant-with-rooms of the year: The Peat Inn, Cupar, Fife
Delicious cuisine is on the menu at Michelin-starred chef/patron Geoffrey Smeddle’s former coaching inn, also home to eight cosy suites. Menus range from three-course lunches to six-course tasting menus and may include dishes such as salad of Selina Cairns’ soft goats curd and breast of Goosenargh duck.
The Good Hotel Guide 2021: Great Britain & Ireland is out now and available from www.goodhotelguide.com). Discount vouchers worth a total of £150 are included in each copy of the Guide. They enable a 25% saving on one night’s normal B&B price at participating hotels.