When the hotel opened it doors earlier this year I was interested to see what Andrew and his team had done to breath life into this neglected building. Forest Side is an imposing slate-built mansion, built for a wealthy industrialist in 1853, on the outskirts of Grasmere. Across the road, Helm Crag looking down majestically on it. In recent years had been left with no improvement and resembled a hammer house of horrors than a lakeland retreat.
The place has been totally transformed. Perfect mix of eco, heritage, upcycling and designer fabrics. All the wallpapers are to die for. The Herdwick sheep which graze outside can be thanked for all the carpets, the insulation, even the wool used in the custom-made beds.
With Kevin Tickle (Ex L’enclume working for Simon Rogan) at the helm I knew the food would be good. So good that he received a Michelin star last week. Completely well deserved.
Taking the 555 bus, so there was no arguments over who was going to pull the short straw over driving. A walk up the long drive to the hotel and you can instantly see the care and attention which has taken place in the restoration. We made ourselves known and into the bar to have a pre lunch drink. Lots of ooohs and aahs as our eyes took it all in. Beautiful sumptuous surrounding. A delicious cocktail as we were handed our bait menu. I like having a taster menu as it saves deliberating over what to have and there’s no food envy over others peoples food.
The pudding just melted in the mouth.
Bellies groaning, we couldn’t fit another morsel in. A truly delicious dining experience. The staff were unstuffy and made it a very relaxing time. Few snaps in the garden before catching the bus back.