Ambleside. Rothay Manor Hotel

Named Best Dining Experience in the UK and Ireland at the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2022, a Michelin Plate awarded in 2021, three AA Rosettes for its restaurant and a head chef, Dan McGeorge, who was Champion of Champions on BBC Two’s Great British Menu in 2021. 

No wonder the Good Hotel Guide talks of ‘ambitious cooking’ at Rothay Manor, a ‘class act’ quotes the 2022 edition of the guide. Dan McGeorge also won the Restaurant Chef award at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2022.

In the fine dining restaurant - in the evening - the hotel offers the choice of a three course à la carte menu or an ‘indulgent’ seven course tasting menu. Mains might feature Dexter beef, squid, rabbit, duck or halibut. Vegetarian dishes are excellent, says the Good Hotel Guide

There’s a nod here to Nordic and Japanese cuisine, at the same time as using the ‘very best’ of Cumbrian produce. As for the wine list, that features small and boutique producers from around the world. Light lunch is offered during the week, Sunday lunch is a big draw for diners.

If you want something more informal, head for the Brathay Room, with its wood-burning stove, to enjoy ‘classic bistro-style’ seasonal meals, with main courses such as braised lamb shoulder, skate wing, belly of pork or Dexter sirloin of beef.

The Brathay Room was mentioned in The Times newspaper in late 2021 under the headline ‘You don’t have to shiver in a pub garden - some of the top restaurants in Britain are now dog-friendly.’ 

Rothay Manor was one of a number places mentioned because owners can be accompanied by their dogs when they eat here, although notice is politely requested. It was fitting that Dan McGeorge’s winning dessert on the Great British Menu was called ‘Give a Dog a Bone’.

Afternoon tea has always been something of a highlight at the hotel so if you want to ‘savour a delicious selection of finger sandwiches, home-made scones with clotted cream and home-made jam, and a delectable assortment of mini cakes and desserts’, you know where to come. 

Rothay Manor Hotel, Rothay Bridge, Ambleside LA22 0EH: 015394 33605, The hotel is a few minutes walk from the centre of Ambleside. 

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