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For Bon Vivants...

The Samling, Windermere

Overlooking Lake Windermere, this stunning hotel and restaurant is so much more than just a look-out point. Dine on dishes created from the kitchen gardens, rest your head in luxury modern rooms with walk-in showers and use the whole place as a base for breath-taking walks and cycles in the area.  

Black Swan Hotel, Ravenstonedale

Louise Dinnes and her team have run this charming hotel for the past twelve years. Snuggled into the beautiful conservation village of Ravenstonedale in the Eden Valley, they have a list of accolades that's as long as the lazy lunches you'll enjoy by the fire in their first-rate restaurant. 


Blue Smoke on the Bay, Windermere

A three-metre-long double woodfired grill takes centre stage at this new and very exciting Low Wood offering. Aged steaks cooked to singed perfection on sustainable British beech embers are the order of the day. And with its very own Rum Room and front row views of Lake Windermere there's alot to love.

Herdwicks Cafe and Bistro, Coniston

This family-run coffee house, bistro and pizzeria also boasts four boutique guest rooms, ensuring that it's the perfect spot to fuel up and bed down at the end of a long day touring the Lakeland fells. Don't miss the bird-watching opportunities at the nearby Hodbarrow Lagoon and RSPB Nature.      

Number Nine, Kirkby Lonsdale

The people of Kirkby have a lot to be excited about with the arrival of this exciting new dining spot that celebrates the joys of "picky food". A stellar team offer up globally-focussed small plates that are always packed with flavour and team an international style with local ingredients.  

Virginia House, Ulverston

Could there be any more exciting prospect than a gin parlour with rooms?! Ulverston's Virginia House offers up imaginative and ever-changing tasting menus that avail of the region's first-rate produce and foraging opportunities. That gin parlour is open daily and room rates start at £59, so this could currently be one of the Lakes' best-kept secrets.  

Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere

This truly special country house hotel overlooking Lake Windermere eschews stuffiness in favour of a laid back atmosphere teamed with impeccable attention to detail. The 18-acre estate boasts country gardens and ancient woodland; and head chef Jake Jones has created a genuine destination restaurant. 

The Ryebeck, Bowness on Windermere

This Bowness-on-Windermere Edwardian institution offers contemporary country style in unbeatable surroundings. Set in five acres of grounds, the country house hotel offers the opportunity for genuine tranquility teamed with value for money that make it a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.   

Slack House Farm, Brampton

Sitting between Hadrian's Wall and the Kielder Forest, this picturesque dairy farm is also home to an irresistible cafe and farm shop. Here mother and daughter team Joy and Bryony use farm produce teamed with local ingredients to cook up stove-top homemade meals and baked goods that you won't want to leave without.

Three Hares, Sedbergh

Nina and James are a husband and wife who each bring their own unique set of skills and sensibilities to this cafe, bistro and bakery. Nina's time spent training in a Dusseldorf bakers sees bread made using ancient starters and traditional methods. Local boy James ensures that he knows how to make the most of local produce in his ambitious dishes.      

For Your Reading Pleasure...

Fiorucci celebrates the hypercolour maximalism of the legendary Milanese fashion house in this joyous coffee table book.   

Oak Nordic Journal is an homage to the Nordic way of life all bound up in a beautiful bi-annual bookazine. 

You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] is a bleak yet page-turning study of the last days of Raoul Moat's life. Louis Theroux and Jon Ronson are both fans. 

For Time Travellers: Rome...

Santo Palato represents the future of Roman cuisine by respecting its past. Young head chef Sarah Cicolini offers modern takes on ancient classics in this vibrant spot that's the talk of the town.    

The Corner Townhouse is a well-designed and unique hotel oasis that borders the local neighbourhood of Testaccio. Stay here to experience authentic Roman life.

Trattoria Da Cesare is the classic Roman trattoria of your dreams. Book well in advance and prepare to travel out from the centre to feast on their legendary fritti and perfectly-executed pasta. If you have only one carbonara all trip make it at Cesare's.   

Roscioli is a a deli packed from floor to ceiling with the very best in Italian produce. Book a seat at the bar and feast on a bountiful selection of their meats, cheeses and perfectly-curated natual wines list.