Farlam Hall is a charming Cumbrian country house with history, character and luxury all rolled into one! Their rooms, suites and cottages are absolutely immaculate – so much so that you’ll think you’re the only one who’s ever stayed in them, despite the cosy feel they all exude.
Cushions are plumped, the super king size bed is super comfy and furniture is a mix of stylish and contemporary, along with vintage style pieces which have been upcycled for the perfect balance of countryside chic. With a true sense of luxury in every room, we loved the bathroom – from the subtle lighting to enormous standalone bath tub. The Molton Brown bath products, Dyson hairdryer and Espresso machine all contribute to that elevated experience.
With 12 rooms and suites located within the Farlam Hall manor house, we stayed in one of the property’s six cottages – tucked away in the grounds of the hotel’s vibrant greenery and cedar trees. The hotel has its own kitchen garden where lots of the restaurant’s ingredients are grown and we were delighted to see that our charming Stable House featured a private terrace and views out across it. Accessible from our beautiful and spacious lounge, we could see the gastronomic garden getting ready to explode with plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables as we approach the warmer months.
With Hrishikesh Desai having newly taken up the position of Chef Patron at the stunning Cedar Tree Restaurant with its big open windows and beautiful views of the grounds and greenery beyond, his new tasting menu with matching wines is something special. Hrishikesh told us: “Most of the dishes are based on my childhood memories, my time in France and all the different tastes I have acquired during my tours around the world”.
“Inspiration comes from all around and here at Farlam Hall we are spoilt with the natural beauty all around us here in the Cumbrian countryside. Our own kitchen garden is fast developing and offering me the freshest ingredients to work with and I enjoy finding innovative ways to put flavours and textures together to tell a story’.
We enjoyed 7 incredible courses including an Aubergine Cornetto, Scottish Scallop ceviche and Hodgson’s hake with roasted pineapple – full of juicy flavour. Each dish was expertly paired with a selection of wines delivered by the warm and friendly Alex who’s energy was infectious.
The standout dish on the menu for me, was definitely the Aglionby Longhorn Beef Tandoori Wellington and Hrishikesh was happy to tell us where the recipe came from: “It’s a brand-new dish although based on a classic dish I learnt to cook many years back, but I always like to put my own bespoke twist on a dish, hence the idea for the tandoori beef wellington emerged!”
As Farlam Hall is such a special place (and was a favourite of the owners who visited regularly before buying and taking over the hotel), you’ll probably want to visit more than once. Lucky then that there are two menus running at any one time, which are alternated one night to the next. And then of course, those dishes change seasonally too. Hrishikesh explains: “The menu will be rotated and developed so even if there was something I couldn’t include this time, I will in the future. Seasonality and sustainability are key. My menus are based on my ethos of, ‘delightful simplicity with oodles of class”.
For a special occasion, Farlam Hall really is the perfect escape, each room filled with stories, like the tale of the precious 19th Century Grandfather Clock which now occupies a space in the main communal drawing room – found in the stables and restored to its stunning former glory.
We couldn’t really describe Farlam Hall better than its brand new chef patron who sums it up beautifully. “ It really is a hidden gem that we want to share with everyone! It’s a place of solitude and calm, elegance and relaxed refinement. There’s a story at every turn here at Farlam Hall, that’s what I love most about it.”
You can catch Hrishikesh Desai cooking his amazing Tandoori Beef Wellington on James Martin’s Saturday Morning, this Saturday 29th April from 9.25am.