Written by Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan
Tweed clad hosts who do it all are the first physical contact one has with the Brimstone if arriving by train. These hosts are real live Dobbies (except with their own socks) lighting your fire, delivering you breakfast in bed, making dinner reservations and letting you in on all the best hidden gems of walking trails.
They’ll introduce you to the wonders of this cutting edge hotel which would be at home on the slopes of St Moritz with its log burning fires and exposed stone walls, although I guess you’d have to lose the tweed then.
There is not a bad room in the house. Spacious and oozing with high tech gadgets, the ski chalet idea is extended throughout with the stone and wood finishes, opulently comfy armchairs, balconies and beckoning bathtubs.
You’ll not want to leave your bath, or your bed and the tweed-clad hosts know this so are happy to bring you a hearty breakfast straight to your room (probably not to your bath).
Yet the UNESCO world heritage site of the Lake District will tempt you outdoors. And there is nothing better than returning to this cosy woodland oasis with scones and tea waiting for you in the lounge or the reading room.
The reading room is a veritable magic pudding with fruit and sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream appearing throughout the day along with a cheeseboard. And there are brown paper bags with picnics to take on walks out on the lakes. If you want even more comfort food, the estate offers a country pub called Wainwrights Inn perfect for Sunday lunch.
And there’s more! Brimstone has “Stove”, which is a bar, a casual dining area and a wine room for supper in case you didn’t eat enough during the day.
Decadence does not stop at the food. Next on the menu is the state of the art Spa, described as one of the best in England.
Here you can find a half-indoor, half-outdoor bubble pool, herbal steam room, herbal sauna, Finnish sauna, thermal experience shower, mineral steam bath, Himalayan salt steam room, Laconium, ice fountain, and relaxation rooms.
The products they use are Elemis or Brimstone’s own Pure Alchemy range, designed for deep relaxation. Of course, there is a Spa Deli because this is the land of elevenses and hungry hobbits need their hot and cold beverages, cakes and snacks, all complimentary.
However, if you feel, after all that food, it is time to perhaps do a bit of exercise, you will have the whole of the Lake District at your disposal. Guests can borrow footwear and jackets for hiking, and the hosts will give you a selection of maps and even pick you up from some lonely roadside where there are no scones, and bring you back home.
There are so many towns and villages to explore including Ambleside and Lake Windermere, both a stone’s throw away. You could cycle or even partake in a touch of stand up paddle boarding on the lake if the weather permits, but if not there’s always the pub or the reading room. Or you could float around in the heated rooftop pool surrounded by the call of the owls and the moon at night.
This divine hotel is not one you will want to leave but alas it is time to say goodbye to the tweedies, I’m contemplating kidnapping one to bring back to Australia, I must check if their passports are in date.
Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan stayed as a guest of the Brimstone.