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Reviewed 15 May 2012

We booked the Samling with a little trepidation. We had seen some concerning reviews, but I had wanted to stay since it was first opened by Roger McKechnie. iI was just lovely, attentive service, warm, comfortable, a real home from home, but with all those luxuries you don't have (well I don't have) at home. The real fire in May, the home made shortbread, tea, views of Windermere, the really fantastic wine list and food. We would definitely go back and soon.

Thank julieandclive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

We stayed for 2 nights in the Bothy suite last weekend. My Husband & I had a really lovely, relaxing break here. All the staff we encountered were welcoming, friendly & very attentive from the phone call to make the reservation to the moment we left. We ate in the restaurant on both evenings. The first evening we tried the menu Gourmand with the wine pairing and it was a culinary feast with wines to match - Kirsty did a great job in explaining each of the dishes to us (as did Thomas on the second evening). I enjoyed it so much that, although it would have been the same menu, I was very tempted to have it again on the second evening (although Johnny had said he could always get Chef to tweak some dishes if we wanted to do that). In the end I was swayed by the Salted Cod Korma and Sea Trout on the normal menu - both fabulous dishes. It's was lovely to enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the lounge area with appetisers, followed by canapes whilst perusing the dinner menu. George was incredibly knowledgeable about the wines and is always on hand if you would like help choosing a wine for you meal. The customer service is excellent and Johnny is incredibly accommodating when it comes to his guest's requests. The Bothy had a terrace with lovely views down to Windermere. The hotel is now independantly owned and they are planning a few changes which I think will enhance a stay even further. This will be a special occasion place for us & we won't be strangers now we've discovered The Samling!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank DnSCreely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

Stayed here for five nights and loved it. The restaurant was absolutely delightful: very thoughtfully prepared dishes and a memorable selection of English cheeses (which were surprisingly good!). The service was good and the rooms were spacious. Definitely recommend this place if you find yourselves in the Lake District for a few days.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank WillLondon3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2012

Our son bought us this break and we used it for our 21st Wedding Anniversary. Turning off the road and to the long steep drive I knew instantly the hotel was in need of some repair. The grounds could be fab, but are untidy, the grass was cut in odd places and weeds grew in places, the drive was in need of relaying, it looked sad and a bit shabby. We had booked a suite for our special occasion, when we walked in to the room, the walls needed painting, the furniture was stained and the shower was full of black perril and not cleaned to a high standard. We asked to see another room and were shown another two in the main hotel. We chose another room, which was decorated to a better standard in the main hotel and had a lovely view. (although the sink did not empty of water for hours) We were then brought 2 glasses of champagne (complimentary) not a bottle for our anniversary. The food was amazing and I think they will regain a michelin star, however you can not charge the prices they are asking for the standard of accommodation they offer and the standard of the grounds just on the basis that the food is good. I think the new owners need to get in and sort out the refurb quickly as the staff and the food are excellent, the hotel, rooms, decor and grounds are in desperate need of upgrading. We had a nice time, but our special anniversary was not made special even though the staff new we were celebrating........... We have stayed in better hotels in the Lakes for less,

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank preciouspoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

Our second visit to The Samling came hot on heels of a stay at one of it's close neighbours that enjoys a similarly exalted reputation. If you know the area, you know the one and if you don't, I'll probably mention it soon. The recent history of this place has been a little more uncertain however, with the travails of the Von Essen Group resulting in it returning to private hands, losing their highly decorated chef and prized Michelin Star shortly thereafter. All I can say is that the change, from our perspective, has been for the better.

We had a lovely stay on Good Friday - our Junior Suite was extremely comfortable (secured at a flat rate as part of a 'any room/one price Spring promotion) and the food was absolutely fantastic. We 'upgraded' to the tasting menu (only £10 a head more) and took the accompanying wines (6 of them) with the key courses at £40 per head too. That may seem quite expensive but they were great quality wines, generously poured and matched the food perfectly - even when we requested changes to a couple of courses, they changed the wines to accomodate. Holbeck Ghyll (I said I'd mention it) can learn from The Samling on both counts but that was another review that you can read if you want to....

The food was almost faultless - the only issue we had was with an over-engineered (and frankly bizarre) desert that included various iterations of Rhubarb served with the smoked crumbs of Grasmere Gingerbread no less. It just didn't work but, in it's own way, served to levitate the standard of everything else all the more. Simply put, this was one of the best meals we have ever eaten. Period. The breakfast served the following morning (that they encourage you to take in the privacy of your room) was also a triumph, and preceded by personal delivery of the hot drink of your choice. The latter a nice touch in these days of in-room tea and coffee making facilities - no faffing about, tell them what time you want it (nicer than the average alarm call) and it's brought to you.

I do agree with some earlier comments about things being a little 'frayed around the edges' and I'm sure the new owners will get round to this. I do think they are focussing on the right things however - the standards of food and overall service - and would heartily recommend a visit. Preferably before they get their 'Star' back (they are trying really hard and, on this evidence, it's only a matter of time) and prices march inexorably higher as a result. Bon Appetite!

Room Tip: The website presents the rooms very well. What you see is what you get. We've stayed in the main house (Pym) and outside (The Bothy) and both nice - if you want a bit more privacy you might prefer the seclusion of being outside.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dr_John
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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