Travel review: Dog-friendly hotel gave a great taste of Lancashire
The post-Christmas slump can be a gloomy time, as the frivolities of the festive period begin to catch up with your wallet and your waistline.
In a bid to beat the January blues, my husband and I loaded our excitable dogs into the car hit the M6 for a trip to Lancaster House Hotel.
One of English Lakes' leading four-star events and leisure hotels, it is perfectly located right next to Lancaster University Management School and only a short drive from Lancaster centre.
The hotel is immediately impressive as soon as you arrive, surrounded by vast fields and a winding road that eventually leads to an expansive car park and the imposing final destination.
Lancaster House is also surrounded by an ornate garden with a fish pond and fountain, adding to the blissful and relaxing atmosphere.
We immediately felt at home as we entered, greeted by plush sofas, a roaring fire, decadent artwork and the hotel's friendly and accommodating staff that armed us with all the information we would need for the weekend.
Our room was located on the ground floor, perfect for taking our dogs outside to relieve themselves without having to navigate winding corridors and steep stairs.
The hotel showcases 99 en-suite rooms, all with modern amenities and comfortable extras to make each stay memorable.
And what a sight our room was. The open-plan, spacious suits came complete with two televisions, a large dressing table, hot drinks and a kettle, and modern furniture to relax and unwind.
The bathroom featured a luxurious free-standing bath and an array of toiletries to enjoy a piping hot, relaxing soak.
The sliding doors within the room allowed us to choose when we let the dogs wander, and also when we could confine them to a room for staff to clean. The room also proved to be large enough to allow ample space for the dogs to get comfortable and enjpoy the relaxing break as much as their human owners.
What's more, it also came with a doggy welcome pack - to the delight of our four-legged friends - with waterproof beds, bowls, dog treats and waste bags.
After settling in and getting snug, we headed to the Foodworks Restaurant for a night of wining and dining.
It was fairly quiet for a Friday night, allowing us to pick any table, soak up the scenery with no distractions, and enjoy conversation without having to crane our necks and shout 'what?!'.
With an extensive wine and port selection, the bright restaurant boasts modern fittings with vintage flare, with Peaky Blinders-esque artwork adorning the walls and tea-cup light shades decorating the room.
The Foodworks Restaurant illustrates head chef, Damien Ng’s, inventive flare while serving flavoursome, traditional British dishes.
The menu utilises local ingredients to introduce guests to the best Lancashire produce, with dishes including everything from homemade soups, braised pig cheek, lamb hotpot, and even a delectable coffee-infused steak.
Each dish we ordered arrived promptly, and tasted divine with each mouth-watering bite being met with a delighted groan from the both of us.
My husband and I were bowled over by the rich and interesting flavours of each dish, paired expertly with different wines at the recommendation of the knowledgeable staff
We enjoyed our meal so much, that instead of exploring the local area, we decided to visit the Foodworks Restaurant once more the following night.
Filled to the brim with food, we grabbed our pooches and headed to the Sandeman Bar for a glass of port and to sink into the opulent armchairs.
The bar was a relaxing space to enjoy conversation and cuddles with our dogs, while also meeting other guests and sampling the extensive bar menu.
The following day we decided to test out the hotel's facilities, of which there are an abundance.
Lancaster House features its very own health club, featuring a heated leisure pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a sauna, steam room, and even a fully-equipped fitness suite with highly trained gym instructors on-hand to assist you during your workout.
Guests can also enjoy free use of lockers, robes, towels and slippers, on top of unlimited use of the facilities on site.
We enjoyed hours relaxing in the warming hot tub, cooling down doing lengths of the tranquil pool at all hours.
What's more, the Elemis spa also offers a range of packages and treatments to help you feel pampered and re-energised.
We opted for the Body Booster Package, including a back and neck massage, body scrub and facial using award-winning luxury skincare products.
From start to finish, we were transported to a state of bliss by the spa attendants that led us through our consultation and treatment.
All our knots and tensions simply melted away through the hour-long package that left us both feeling lighter than air.
The treatments on offer include consultation, skin analysis, product advice with a hand and scalp massage to further alleviate any aches or pains.
Following our treatment we were both treated to an afternoon tea selection, featuring a variety of sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks to further unwind.
From the moment we arrived to the minute we packed our bags and checked out, Lancaster House Hotel provided the perfect getaway to relax after the hectic Christmas period.
It's delicious restaurant, social bar, health facilities and relaxing spa helped to create a luxury break that helped us both unwind with ease - without the additional worry of having to find sitters for our beloved pets.
We're sure to return to this little slice of heaven in the near future.
Lancaster House, Green Lane, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4GJ
Rooms begin from £110 per room per night based on two adults sharing a twin/double room.
Bookings are inclusive of bed and full English breakfast.
Facilities include the Foodwords Restaurant, Sandeman Bar, and Sandpiper Leisure Club.
For bookings, contact 03332 203 107. For general enquiries, contact 01539 433 338
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