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Westmorland Hotel (Cumbria)

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Westmorland Hotel, Orton,
Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3SB
Tel: 015396 24351

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      05.02.2002 21:14
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      After a few hours of driving all Service Stations look the same, don’t they? Heading Northwards on the M6, you’d be forgiven for passing Tebay by, unless you particularly needed a toilet break or yet another packet of crisps. However, here all is not what it seems . . . . Drive past the duckpond and the service station, towards the garage forecourt. The signs for the Hotel are clearly marked, and you will see it straight ahead of you as you drive round to the left. Mind the cattle grid! From outside, the Hotel blends perfectly with the surrounding countryside. Built of local stone and reclaimed timber, it is at once homely and modern. From the front is it instantly welcoming, especially if you turn up in the middle of December on a freezing cold night as we usually do! The car parking, whilst not extensive, is quite adequate, and there is space for coaches to set down parties of people. On entering the Hotel, you are met by smiling, friendly staff, and a warm, welcoming reception area. You will probably be able to smell the open log fire. The reception itself is situated between the lounge/bar area and the restaurant, and is sparklingly clean and tidy. Checking in is quickly taken care of, and directions given to your room. The hotel has a variety of rooms, over 50 in fact, all with views of the surrounding rolling countryside. We have stayed there a few times, and had a different room each time – all lovely. They are decorated simply rather than sumptuously, but are very comfortable. The standard bedrooms are equipped with a trouser press, hair dryer, tea tray and satellite television, while the slightly more expensive Executive rooms are as Standard but with a high level of decor, heated bathroom floor and mirror, enhanced tea tray and complimentary newspaper. Us Moomins stay in standard rooms, and find them perfectly adequate! As well as a giant bed, there is a little table and chairs, matching soft furn ishings and ample storage space. The bathrooms are very well decorated, and again sparklingly clean, with masses of white fluffy towels and the requisite soap and shower gel miniatures. A number of rooms are designated non-smoking, family, or pet friendly. There are local tourist guides in all the rooms, as well as a stand at the reception with leaflets and brochures. Services available include the usual alarm calls, newspapers, safety deposit box, as well as shoe shine and even a florist, should you so desire. The Hotel operates 24-hour room service, which includes sandwiches, pastries, drinks and cream teas all at reasonable prices. You can even order a packed lunch for the next day, for 5.95. I must say that we normally arrive too late to even consider eating, preferring to go straight to bed, but the list of food available certainly looks appetising, and one day we’ll try to get there in time for a snack or two . . . The Lounge/Bar area, on the ground floor, is spacious and comfy, with a real log fire and plenty of seating. Again I’m afraid we always arrive too late to indulge in any serious drinking, but the little bar looks well-stocked, and the whole area has a relaxed, pleasant feel to it. Meals are served in the award-winning Bretherdale Restaurant, where executive chef Lee Braithwaite and his dedicated team prepare and present wonderful food. The stone walls and wooden beams perfectly complement the panoramic views seen from the huge picture windows. Ingredients are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible, and although I can’t vouch for the evening meals (although the menu looks very tempting), I am certainly in a position to extol the virtues of the breakfasts! Now, of course you can have a continental breakfast if you wish, and if will be just a good value for money, and I’m sure will taste just as good as the other options. But, I’m here to tell you about the full Cu brian breakfast available here, which is one of the reasons we choose to stop over at Westmorland on our journeys northwards rather than driving on through the night: The friendly staff show you to your table, and invite you to help yourself to the goodies on the buffet – fruit juice, cereals, yoghurt, fruit, bread rolls, pastries, real honey, ham, cheeses, croissants and muffins – whatever you like. You then order your ‘main’ breakfast from the menu – Kippers, Porridge, Scrambled Egg and Smoked Salmon on Toast, or the traditional Westmorland Grill. Just as you finish your last bite of croissant, freshly brewed tea and/or coffee arrive, swiftly followed by a plate of complete and utter YUM! The Westmorland Grill (for of course that what we choose!) consists of Bacon, Sausage, Egg, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Hash Browns and of course as much toast as you can eat. It is fabulous, and well worth the price . . . . the sausages particularly are bursting with flavour and the presentation is perfect. As I said, the staff are friendly and happy, in fact last time we stayed we had booked by telephone a few weeks before, and they rang us to later to say that there would be a Christmas party on the night we were staying so the restaurant was booked up. Although this didn't affect us, as we weren't planning on having an evening meal anyway, it was the attention to detail that impressed me. * * * Licenced for Weddings – able to cater for up to 120 guests - the Hotel also boasts conference facilities with 5 meeting rooms available. Each meeting room is unique with natural lighting and fantastic views. The Martindale and Conservatory are fully air-conditioned; Longdale and Ennerdale have en-suite bathrooms; Haweswater and Patterdale are ideal for small group discussions or interviews. Packages and prices available can be found on the Hotel’s website. Actually, I had a quick look and found out you c an hire the entire Hotel for your exclusive use at the bargain price of £5900. Wow! Nestling between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and just north of the Lune Gorge, the Westmorland Hotel provides easy access to the surrounding countryside. There are opportunities for riding and fishing close by, and the Hotel would be a fantastic base for a walking holiday. Local shopping includes the picturesque market towns of Appleby, Penrith and Kendal, with Keswick and Windermere just a short drive away. There are indoor attractions nearby, such as the World of Beatrix Potter, the Aquarium of the Lakes and Artcrystal , as well as outdoor activities - Ullswater Cruises, and Dove Cottage - home of William Wordsworth. So, if you need a stopover on the way to Scotland, or fancy a break in the countryside, or even want to take a load of businesspeople on a conference, the Westmorland Hotel would be an inspired choice. It comes highly recommended. * * * PRICES – B&B Single Occupancy ~ £50-75 Double/Twin (43 rooms) ~ £60-85 Family Room (6 rooms) ~ £60-85 Suite (4 suites) ~ £75-85 Special price short breaks often available – check on the website for information * Restrictions * Limited facilities for the disabled No pets in public rooms. Access from the Westmorland Services (Tebay West) between J38 and J39 on the M6. www.westmorland.com www.bestlovedhotels.com 'A blended holiness of earth and sky Something that makes this individual Spot, This small abiding-place of many men, A termination, and a last retreat, A centre, come from wheresoe'er you will.' William Wordsworth

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