Stay Here: Hipping Hall, Kirkby, LonsdaleBy Alicia Grimshaw
We all need a break; a break from London, a break from social media and break from the 9-5 rat race. Hipping Hall in Kirkby, Lonsdale is just the place to recoup and refresh. It’s a fair old punt to Hipping Hall from the capital, but it’s totally worth it. Its position is enviable, and you can either explore the delights of the Lake District with its stunning scenery or venture into the Yorkshire Dales. And the Settle to Carlisle railway is only a stone’s throw away.
If you’re looking for a little mini break in the coming months, we can’t recommend Hipping Hall enough. Here’s what you need to know:
Hipping Hall: The Accommodation
Down a gravel drive, off the main drag is where you’ll find Hipping Hall. A cottage-esque hotel set in the rolling valley of the Yorkshire Dales.
The accommodation at Hipping Hall is a picture of quaint English living – with pastel colours, open fireplaces and the cutest, chicest decor, the bedrooms really help create a sense of calm at the hotel. There’s a range of accommodation – from rooms in the main building to private suites in the newly opened Old Stables. Relax in front of roaring fires in the study, take drinks on the patio, or enjoy a meander around the secluded walled garden – oh, it’s all so lovely.
If you bag a room in the main building – expect warming colours of plum, olive green and cream. Each room is unique in their decoration and feel – some have skylights, free-standing baths, but all come with the most cloud-like, comfortable mattresses, the finest linen and luxury mini toiletries. It’s totally quiet, too – there’s no running down the corridors, and you can only access Wi-Fi in their lounge. If you really want to switch off, you can. At Hipping Hall it’s all about one thing: calm.
If you so fancy, you can book into one of the newly opened suites in the Old Stables which have been designed by Harrison Pitt architects, with the interior designer James Mackie working on the project to focus on the interior scheme. This has been a huge renovation project for the hotel, which has seen a former stable block transform into a range of five rooms which include stylish bedrooms, spacious bathrooms and terraces overlooking the gardens.
The new suites in the Old Stables are incredible, and boast a stunning entertaining and living space, benefitting from a wood-burning stove, and a secluded courtyard perfect for al fresco dining when the weather is warm. And a dining room for up to 12 guests, where the chefs can prepare private meals within the privacy and comfort of The Old Stables.
Hipping Hall: The Food
This isn’t food like you’ve ever tasted before – because everything at Hipping Hall is locally sourced from the rugged borders of Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. Hipping Hall really comes into its own with their food offering. Unlike many other hotels, food here is the main focal point. The attention to detail is second to none – and the flavours and different textures are simply unmissable.
Oli Martin is at the helm of the 3 AA Rosette restaurant within the hotel. Every night, there’s three menus available: a nine course tasting, a six course tasting and a three course table d’hôte menu. All menus pays homage to the farm to fork philosophy that the restaurant is renowned for.
The staff are keen to share their knowledge of the food, and are incredibly helpful if you have any food allergies. If you’re staying for a night – try the six course tasting menu. Each course is presented with flare and precision.
One lesson we learned: do not be put off by the description of food. Three simple words can cause you to screw up your nose in possible distaste. But kudos to the kitchen team who can bring together a limited amount of ingredients to create a symphony of flavours.
The hotel makes its own bread, along with its own butter – and they’re both divine, and hard to resist. On our visit we feasted on dishes such as pigeon with celeriac and blood crumb which was a revelation. The beef served with onion and salsify was cooked to perfection. Light, tender and memorable. The portions are sizeable enough for you to enjoy the food with its subtle flavours, but also leave room for delights to come. A palate cleanser of liquorice root, fennel and cream cheese was an absolute eye-opener. An inventive, quirky dish that had us questioning the versatility of fennel. The dessert was probably the most unique apple inspired pudding we’ve ever tried. Beautifully presented and comprising of so many different elements.
The hotel prides itself on its wine cellar and this is certainly the place for the wine connoisseur. Much research and love has gone into the choice of wines, many of them sourced locally and, whilst this is reflected in the price, there are those who are prepared to be a little more adventurous from their usual “go-to” vino.
But the standard of food runs far beyond dinner service, as the breakfast is absolutely incredible. Taken in the stunning restaurant, the breakfast is an occasion in itself – you can choose from the best eggs, scrambled, poached or boiled, along with either beautiful soft local smoked salmon or bacon, along with a selection of homemade granola, fresh fruit, the best brioche we’ve ever tasted and sensational jams. There’s also great fresh juice and delicious coffee, all to be eaten in this stunning high-vaulted restaurant.
Hipping Hall: The Verdict
Hipping Hall is a property like we’ve never visited before – it has a unique sense of calm about the place. Literally, time seems to stand still here. Hipping Hall gives you the place and clarity you need to return to London fresh; and with the sensational breakfasts, fresh cocktails, beautiful walks and incredible food, it’s somewhere you’ll want to visit time and time again.
Photo Credit: Steve Barber Photography
Prices from £169 per night. Visit the website for prices and room details here. Hipping Hall, Cowan Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2JJ.