Lancrigg Vegetarian Country House Hotel is set in an idyllic position overlooking picturesque Easedale, is steeped in history and boasts the unrivalled Green Valley Vegetarian Restaurant. I hopped on the train from Manchester for a mini-break in The Lake District and headed to The Lancrigg Vegetarian Country House Hotel for a hearty meal after a day of adventure in the beautiful Lake District.
Regular readers will remember my weekend break in The Lake District last Autumn, when I spent time in Windermere visiting Hill Top Farm, the former home of Beatrix Potter and the gravestone of poet William Wordsworth. If you’re memory is excellent you may even remember our family Christmas in The Lakes and our visit to The Beatrix Potter experience. As I’ve mentioned before I remember jaunts to The Lakes as a child and always jump at the chance to visit whenever possible. Autumn is always wonderful time to visit The Lakes as the leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp but not too cold and long days can be spent exploring the countryside, enjoying the fresh air followed by welcome evenings in front of the roaring fire, enjoying fresh food, locally brewed ales and homemade cakes.
The History: The oldest part of Lancrigg as it is today dates back to the 1600’s when it was a farmhouse. In 1840 William Wordsworth, acting as the agent for his friend Elizabeth Fletcher of Edinburgh, paid the then farmer £1030 for the house and surrounding land. Wordsworth was instrumental in the renovation, carefully retaining many of the original features, including the traditional round chimneys for which he made a particular personal crusade. Lancrigg soon became a favourite place to William and his sister Dorothy, who wrote in her journal: “We had only been in Grasmere four days when we discovered the terraced walk at Lancrigg, which long remained our favourite haunt”.
The Hotel: Today the hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a rural escape. The decor is charming with many of the original features still intact, the rooms are spacious, warm and welcoming, in true Lakeland style the corridors are narrow with bookcases, plants and antiques nestled in the nooks and crannies. The hotel is dog friendly, so if you want to bring your pooch, they are more than welcome to stay the night and rest in front of the fire. Positioned on the Coast to Coast route, the Lancrigg Hotel is the perfect spot to break up a challenging journey for any weary traveller.
The front lawn has the most incredible panoramic views over the rolling Easedale valley, which can’t be done justice in photographs. There’s a croquette lawn out front with chairs and tables for spectators. The Lancrigg is surrounded by 30 acres of gardens with a woodland walk perfect for guests and their dogs to explore. Whether on foot, car or local transport, the Lanrigg Country House is only half a mile away from the Lakeland village of Grasmere and a short walk from the water where you can hire a boat and set sail for the horizon.Green Valley Vegetarian Restaurant: The Lancrigg Hotel has been serving 100% vegetarian food since it opened over 28 years ago. If the views from the window weren’t enough to take your breath away, then the food certainly will! We escaped the cold autumn weather in the guests lounge, the fire was roaring, we reclined on the big comfy couches and revelled in the selection of delicious dishes on the menu.
The ingredients used for each dish are locally produced, including the cheeses, milk, eggs, flours, vegetables and fruit. The Lancrigg believes in ‘real food’, ie unrefined food containing no artificial additives, colouring, preservatives etc. and caters for most dietary requirements/ allergies including, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and sugar free. Although i’m not vegetarian, I do opt to eat fresh, healthy, local produce whenever possible, so needless to say I was in my element! with such a fabulous menu, it was pretty tough to decide what to order.
After much excitement and debate, I opted for the Roast Butternut Squash soup topped with sweet potato crisps and tofu, followed by the Goats Cheese Tarte and for desert I went for the seasonal berry Crumble. I was not disappointed with my choice. The portions were plenty and the quality and taste was magnificent. It was clear to taste that the chefs at the Green Valley Vegetarian Restaurant pride themselves in their choice of ingredients, the menu was imaginative and very reasonably priced with main courses priced at around £13. The staff were on hand to cater to our every whim. Even if you don’t want to stay the night, the restaurant is well worth a visit if your passing through or visiting the area. Real food served in an elegant, idyllic setting.
‘a perfect example of a gracious country house in precisely the right place’ -William Heaton Cooper