A hotel in Grasmere, Lake District is undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment to be turned into a luxury boutique, as the new owner bids to make it one of the best in the country.
The Forest Side has recently been acquired by Andrew Wildsmith, who also runs The Ryebeck in Bowness and Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale, and wants to transform the hotel’s 21 bedrooms into stylish accommodation with a restaurant headed up by South Cumbrian chef, Kevin Tickle.
Wildsmith said the hotel was the perfect hotel to complete his portfolio. Speaking to The Westmorland Gazette, he said: “I’ve been looking for a hotel in the heart of the Lakes for several years and this is just fantastic – it’s got so much potential.
“We are stripping it right back and completely renovating, although we will keep the original features to ensure the old character of the building is retained.
“It will be ‘luxury Cumbrian’ – downstairs there will be a cosy bar and elegant lounge and all of the 21 bedrooms will be grand. It’s a really exciting project.”
The hotel will also be home to a kitchen garden, which will see Tickle, who has previously worked at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, giving it a new lease of life to become a real focal point.
Tickle added: “I can also continue my foraging for ingredients because there are 45 acres of land behind the hotel for me to work with. It’s brilliant.”