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Hotel of the Week – Forest Side

Hotel of the Week – Forest Side

Forest Side is a glamorous address in the heart of the Lake District that puts food – and foraging – firmly at its centre. It is an imposing and handsome slate-built mansion, built for a wealthy industrialist in 1853, close to the popular village of Grasmere. The house has been beautifully ransformed, with a mix of eco, heritage and designer looks (authentic Lincrusta walls in the stairwell; shimmering crushed velvet sofas; silver and bird of paradise wallpapers; floorboards reused to make the dining tables).

Kevin Tickle is a true Cumbrian and has never worked outside the county, he was previously at L’Enclume for Simon Rogan. He is a passionate forager; he foraged as a child and now he forages with his own young child strapped on his back. He spent the year before Forest Side opened curing, preserving, pickling, distilling, lacto-fermenting, gathering, shooting, drying, freezing and tapping birch trees for their sap. His dishes, brimming with ingredients such as scurvy grass, curds, whey and pickled allium flowers, are clean, modern and precise, served on beautiful rough-hewn local pottery. The restaurant won a Michelin star in October 2016.

If first impressions of the carefully presented interior are that it’s a tad too slick and urban for its rugged Lakeland setting, then the warm northern personalities of key staff soon counteracts them. And the house has been beautifully transformed, with a mix of eco, heritage and designer looks (authentic Lincrusta walls in the stairwell; shimmering crushed velvet sofas; silver and bird of paradise wallpapers; floorboards reused to make the dining tables).

Dig a little and you find that the Cumbrian setting is never far from sight. The Herdwick sheep that graze outside can be thanked for all the carpets, the insulation, even the wool used in the divine custom-made Harrison Spinks beds. The waiters’ smart hacking jackets are made to measure from Pendle tweed.

Forest Side is an imposing and handsome slate-built mansion, built for a wealthy industrialist in 1853, close to the popular village of Grasmere.

 

 

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