July 20, 2022
Rothay Manor Boutique Hotel & Restaurant
A beautiful hotel and restaurant tucked away in the heart of The Lakes. Ambleside to be precise is a popular destination brimming with shops, restaurants and pubs and is one of the best bases for exploring the Lake District. There are a lot of outdoor adventure activities available around Ambleside so you’re spoilt for a choice! But if you want to start off your trip to Bowness, Waterhead Pier is just a ten-minute walk from the hotel. The ferry goes to Bowness, Lakeside Pier and it’s just a perfect commute to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way. Once there you can hire a boat or bike or wander through Bowness village.
Earlier we had arrived at the beautiful white-painted colonial-style property that is Rothay Manor Boutique Hotel & Restaurant. The hotel is dog-friendly too and you’re encouraged and welcome to bring them. We were welcomed by the friendly receptionist and taken up to the room where we’d be staying the night. The new Pavilion Suites have replaced the bungalows that used to house the Loughrigg and Wansfell suites. There are now eight luxury guest suites with each ground floor having a private garden.
We were allocated the Easedale Junior Suite which is one of the larger suites, a beautifully furnished and spacious room with two comfy seats, a flat-screen TV, and large sliding doors overlooking the charming gardens. All the bedrooms at Rothay Manor are individually designed with sumptuous furnishings and luxury amenities. The stylish bathroom featured twin sinks, a large monsoon shower and a free-standing bath with luxurious Bramley toiletries. We’d already fallen in love with our room and wanted to relax and enjoy the peace but pushed ourselves to get up and go explore the rest of the hotel.
Rothay Manor has a beautiful tranquil restaurant where we would be eating later. Head Chef, Dan McGeorge, who was the winner of the Acorn Award in 2020 and champion of his banquet dessert on the 2021 series of BBC2’s Great British Menu has created a fine dining experience, inspired by the local landscape and with a hint of Japanese and Scandinavian-style using local ingredients, Dan is passionate to deliver high-quality food, 3 AA rosettes says it all. We met Dan after our dining experience and we could tell how passionate and hardworking he is. He definitely deserves to be recognised for his culinary skills.
For those looking for something less formal Rothay Manor also has a casual dining experience where classic bistro-style meals can be enjoyed, The Brathay Room, it welcomes guests to dine with their dogs, they are most welcome here. The Brathay Room also boasts a 3 AA red rosette menu, so dining here is also a superb culinary experience. However, if you fancy indulging in afternoon tea instead that would be wonderful after a day on the Fells.
We began our evening in the bar lounge/drawing room with nibbles while having a look at the most beautiful cocktail menu. The cocktails didn’t just look good but tasted good. Artistically presented my Amaretto-based cocktail definitely hit the spot. The mixologist certainly knows a thing or two about preparation and presentation. I’ll be coming back for more, it was delicious.
We moved on to the restaurant and once seated were served canapés followed by a selection of bread with two different kinds of butter. It’s a Cumbrian thing, butter is everything!
We chose the Tasting Menu with wine to complement each course. This began with an Amuse Bouche chosen by the Chef to prepare us for our meal. A bite-sized hors d-oeuvre based on tofu was beautifully prepared and packed with flavour, served as a way of welcoming guests with something special. This was definitely special and made us excited to see what was coming next.
Beautifully presented dishes started arriving and we wondered how each plate could get better than the last. Each plate was elegant, had beautiful flavours, and was just delicious. Let’s dig in!
Below are the dishes we had on our chosen menu:
Scallop – Dashi, Gooseberry, Nasturtium (Japan)
Monkfish – Ox Dashi, Lardo, Sea Kale, and Elderflower (France)
Beetroot – Goat Curd, Cherry Kosho, Wasabi, Jalapeno (Spain)
Strawberry (tofu, chamomile and matcha and chocolate (with malted milk and Jerusalem artichoke).
I wouldn’t have imagined that chocolate paired with Jerusalem artichoke would be so fantastic but it was and presented beautifully.
We thought dessert would be our last plate but when an exquisite cheese trolley came along, we couldn’t refuse. We just had to find room to try at least a couple of the beautiful local cheeses. With our server taking time to explain each cheese we selected a few to try and this proved a lovely end to our meal.
We couldn’t fault anything with this dining experience. Each dish didn’t just look pretty but had outstanding flavours, this was dining on another level. We can’t compliment the chef and his team enough for an outstanding dining experience. The food, high quality of hospitality and amazing staff who looked after us from start to finish. Just fabulous!
A: Rothay Bridge, Ambleside LA22 0EH
T: 015394 33605
W: Rothay Manor
Written by India Morse for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International