A LUXURY country house hotel set amid beautiful countryside is set to welcome back guests after a major refurbishment.
Boutique 12-bedroom hotel Farlam Hall, near Brampton, in Cumbria, welcomes back guests from July 31.
The family-run hotel, with two AA Rosettes, known for its personal service and excellent food in tranquil surroundings, is ideally situated for guests to explore the English Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall, and Scotland.
Before and during lockdown the hotel’s owners have made a significant investment to ensure a high standard of relaxation and comfort for all their guests.
To achieve the desired quality appearance and elegant atmosphere they brought in Cumbria-based furnishings and design experts Ghyll House Upholstery and Design to carry out key elements of the refurbishment.
Bb Hall, who runs the hotel with husband Peter, is full of praise for the way the team at Ghyll House have ensured the hotel is ready to welcome back guests.
Farlam Hall general manager Bb said: “The owners wanted to put back all the aspects which make Farlam Hall such a wonderful country house hotel and such a lovely place to relax.
“We wanted some furniture reupholstering because sometimes you can’t find the same quality with new furniture.
“We were looking at what furnishings we needed and what colours and designs we wanted and we came across Ghyll House Upholstery and Design.”
Based at Mealsgate near Cockermouth, Ghyll House is well-known for its high quality workmanship.
The Ghyll House team, led by general manager Joe McAlpine, serve a range of hotel, leisure, and other businesses across the north of England and Scotland.
Bb said: “They have done a fabulous job. They have done sofas, dining chairs, the curtains and are also supplying the new beds.. We are delighted with what they have achieved.
“Joe McAlpine, Donna Daly and all the team at Ghyll House have been so helpful.They have gone above and beyond. Nothing has been too much trouble for them.”
Joe said: “It’s great to work with such a prestigious country house hotel as Farlam Hall.
“Bb and the team have been brilliant to work with. The owners and Bb had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve and it’s been very satisfying to help bring that to life.
“We are delighted that Farlam Hall is so pleased with the end result. It’s certainly going to be an amazing venue for guests to enjoy when it reopens.”
Ghyll House’s involvement with Farlam Hall’s refurbishment is the latest chapter in the hotel’s enchanting back story.
The 19th century hotel with three on-site cottages all set within six-acres of tranquil grounds is the ideal getaway, while still being ideally positioned for surrounding sights and easily accessible by road, rail and air.
When American couple Joseph Walter and Kathy Mares stayed at Farlam Hall almost 30 years ago they fell head over heels in love with it.
So much so that they vowed if they were ever in a position to buy it as their own one day that they would,
That day came in April last year when the couple, who live in Seattle, purchased the hotel from the Quinion family who had owned the hotel for the previous 44 years.
Joseph and Kathy hired Peter and Bb, who had spent the previous 28 years managing the 26-bedroom Wadenhoe House hotel in Northamptonshire, to run Farlam Hall.
Ahead of lockdown Joseph and Kathy were working with the Halls to refresh the rooms and return them to their period splendour with all the additional comforts guests would expect from a boutique hotel in 2020.
Bb said: “Joseph and Kathy wanted the hotel to be put back to how it would have been.
“Kathy and I like the same things and the same look and I have really enjoyed working with her to make the changes.”
Bb stressed that working with Ghyll House Upholstery and Design was in line with the hotel’s policy of trying to support as many quality local businesses as possible. “We try to buy local wherever it is feasible,” she said.
Cumbrian Kitchens has worked with Farlam Hall on many aspects of the refurbishment including the new Lounge Bar. The hotel has a brand new kitchen where executive chef Stephen Pott and head chef Matt Jefferson will ensure guests enjoy a fine dining experience. Many of the hotel’s ingredients will come from the vegetable garden in the hotel’s stunning new walled garden and a herb garden at the rear of the terrace.
Bb said: “We know the farmer who supplies our beef. We use locally produced butter. Our pastry chef Mel Dixon does amazing afternoon teas and we bake all our own bread.”
It’s also important to Bb and Peter that guests who come to Farlam Hall in 2020 experience the same level of get-away-from-it-all luxury that they would always have expected – with or without the lockdown. The Halls have worked hard to put a full range of safety measures in place, all done in a sensitive way so as not to impinge on guests’ enjoyment of this idyllic retreat.
“We have done our full risk assessment and have been awarded the AA Covid Confident Accreditation to ensure we are complying with all the regulations while still allowing our guests to enjoy the full Farlam Hall experience,” said Bb.
“We are lucky in that we have a front entrance, a side entrance and a back entrance so we can have the appropriate flow of people through the hotel.
“We have extended the grounds outside so that our guests can enjoy outdoor dining. In our dining room we have positioned our tables so they are socially distanced but so that we still retain the atmosphere of a fine dining hotel.
“We are very aware that our guests come here to relax and enjoy the surroundings, the sites nearby, and our excellent food and drink, and we have put everything in place, as well as the refurbishment, to ensure they can safely enjoy the full experience.”
Farlam Hall has been a member of Relais & Chateaux marketing consortium for 34 years and has appeared consistently in the Good Food Guide for 41 years.
For more information about Farlam Hall go to: www.farlamhall.co.uk;