Askham Hall

Penrith, Cumbria

With a topiary garden, 17th-century pele tower and French drawing room, Askham Hall sounds grand and formal; not a bit of it. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

With topiary garden, 17th-century pele tower and French drawing room, Askham Hall sounds grand and formal; not a bit of it. The ancestral home of the Lowthers, run by Charles as a Michelin-starred restaurant-with-rooms, is relaxed and unpretentious with dogs and children mingling among family heirlooms. Comfortably cluttered with books and modern art, one drawing room has doors to a classic English country house garden. This is a ‘lovely building’ in a ‘wonderful setting’. Main house bedrooms – some with leaded windows and fireplace – mix antiques with modern pieces, those in the courtyard have a rustic style. Bathrooms may have marble washbasins and roll-top bath. Most are spacious but one couple found their standard room ‘undersized’ for the price with ‘limited hanging space’. Chef Richard Swale is ‘a real wizard’ creating dishes with produce from the kitchen garden and family estate: beef fillet with cèpes, crab with lovage and blackcurrant, and salt-baked celeriac with truffle. Book dinner ahead, warns one reader. Overall, it’s a ‘wonderful experience’, with an honesty bar, ‘affable’ host and ‘great breakfasts’.

Hotel details

Address

Askham
Penrith
Cumbria
CA10 2PF
England

Telephone

01931 712350

Bedrooms

19. 2 suitable for disabled.

Open

all year excl. Christmas, 2 Jan–mid-Feb, Sun/Mon.

Facilities

2 drawing rooms, snug, 2 dining rooms (vegetarian menu), in-room TV (Freeview), civil wedding licence, 12-acre grounds, outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, function facilities, EV charging, main restaurant wheelchair accessible, adapted toilet.

Background music

in reception rooms in evening.

Children

all ages welcomed, free cots, extra bed £35, no under-10s in restaurant in evening.

Dogs

allowed (£15 per night), not in restaurant.

Credit cards

Amex, MC, Visa.

Prices

B&B doubles from £180, singles from £168. Tasting menu £95.