The Lake District has always been a special place for Gaz and I, particularly Lake Windermere where Gaz proposed one sunny day in May 2011, teetering dangerously close to the edge of our own private motorboat as he dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife. Since then we have enjoyed many lovely moments together in the Lakes, as a two, as a three, as a four, five and, eventually, as a six, and for that reason we couldn’t wait to go back for the Easter weekend to spend some much needed family time together.
Thanks to Sally’s cottages we were invited to stay in Windermere at a newly renovated property known as The Bolthole, right in the centre close to all local amenities and attractions. As the first guests to stay at The Bolthole we hadn’t seen so much as a photo of the accommodation and yet knowing that Sally’s cottages has an outstanding reputation we were more than willing to take the chance.
The only downside to the property is that there is no on-site parking which is always a slight drawback but one which we were more than willing to overlook given the location. Just a short walk away is a long stay car park where you can park for 3 days at just £15 or there is free on-street parking a little further out of the centre. Luckily there is also short stay parking right outside The Bolthole, situated above the Sally’s Cottages Windermere office, so you can unpack without lugging your cases any distance.
As we climbed the stairs into the property we were all completely amazed at how big the apartment was as from the outside you would never guess just how enormous it feels when you’re up there!!
As you go into the main living area the space is completely breathtaking with a stunning lounge, diner and kitchen, high ceilings, original features, and a cosy mezzanine to your right.
With huge feature windows the lighting is incredible and on a sunny day the daylight was streaming in to create the most light and airy space. A smaller window in the far right corner allowed us to look out at the street below which was perfect for the children to sit and watch the world go by later that evening.
As impressive as the space itself was, for me, the decor was even more impressive. When it’s come to furnishing The Bolthole you can see they certainly haven’t cut any corners. Everything about the apartment screams luxury, from the plush grey carpets which run throughout, to the matching soft furnishings, the unusual light fittings, and the tiny little details which pull together to create the most stylish apartment we have ever stayed at – a bold statement I know!
I loved that although the apartment is undoubtedly stylish, it still had that homely feel and in the lounge area it was lovely to find games for the children, books to read, and puzzles to enjoy. Those little touches really do make a big difference!
In the dining area there is a huge dining table with seating for six, with the same stunning decor continued throughout. Often we stay at accommodation which claims to be for a family of six and yet find the dining table only seats four, so it’s always a bonus when we can actually dine together without two of us having to eat on our knees. The dining area was such a gorgeous space and one we really made the most of each day.
Leading on to the kitchen, we found it to be fully equipped with all of the necessary fittings as well as a dishwasher, fridge freezer, microwave and several handy electrical appliances. I loved how the attention to detail spilled as far as the dinner sets within the cupboards, continuing with the theme of mustard and grey, both of which I have bought on our return!
One of the real stand out features of The Bolthole is the ceiling, keeping the original features to create something very unique and special. Dating back to 1859 I thought the mix of old and new worked so well and I spent the whole weekend staring up at that ceiling and admiring what an amazing job they had done.
Those special little details run right the way through the apartment with even the main hallway featuring cosy little corners to sit and enjoy, adorable cushions and stylish fabrics, as well as colourful decorative lighting.
Off the main hall way we discovered a shower room and toilet, a twin bedroom, a double bedroom, and an en-suite. Eva was insistent that she wanted to have a bedroom to herself, having to share with Megan at home, so Megan and Harry took the twin and Eva, very excitedly, took the double.
Each of the bedrooms was lovely and spacious with ample storage and beautifully chosen soft furnishings to create a homely feel. I loved how many little seating areas there are within the apartment, something which is really important for us as a larger family so we can each enjoy our own space without getting on top of each other.
The double bedroom which Eva claimed was lovely, with the added bonus of the en suite. Eva instantly fell in love with the floral bedspread and loved having a whole room to herself. That said, on our final night of our stay I did stay in her room for a little sleepover for just the two of us which was really special as we don’t often get the chance to do that.
I hadn’t realised that The Bolthole was on two levels although with a big open staircase it didn’t feel as though we were very far from the children at all, plus it was nice having our own little hideaway from the children even if just for a short time before they came storming up in the mornings and woke us!
At the top of the landing you can access the mezzanine via a door which also gives a great view of the living space. There was also a really gorgeous seating area which Harry instantly declared “A special place to tell secrets!” and again, the colour scheme continued right up the stairs. I swear I spent a huge portion of our stay googling every item in the apartment to hunt down and order for our own home. Not only did I order the dining sets but several of the cushions and bedding sets too!
Upstairs our bedroom was lovely and cosy with a large sky light in the ceiling which let in a huge amount of light although thankfully had a black out blind for those sunny mornings. I loved that the original features continued up into the top floor and, combined with some modern twists, created a bright and welcoming space.
Again the top bedroom had an en-suite and, with three bathrooms in the property, it meant that there was more than enough space for a large family to spread out. I love that the property offers a bath, something which can be a real must when travelling with children and small babies, as it feels that many of the properties we stay in these days only offer showers. It’s also lovely to have a relaxing soak during a break away, something I rarely get the chance to do back home!
Through a door in the upstairs bedroom is a huge attic space, fully carpeted, with a washing machine and dryer, an ironing board and iron, as well as ample space for the children to play or to store any luggage. I thought this was such a good idea and having a washer and dryer it made a huge difference to be able to return home with our clothes freshly laundered and avoid that mammoth washing pile when we unpacked.
We enjoyed every minute of our stay at The Bolthole and where as we usually go out to eat during short breaks away, here we found ourselves getting home, putting on our pyjamas, and enjoying our home comforts with a take-away or a home cooked meal we picked up at one of the shops just a stone throw away. I think that was my favourite part of our stay, just sitting around the dining table tucking into a meal, snuggling up on the couch watching TV together, and waking up each morning with the sun pouring in through the windows. If you asked the children what their favourite part of The Bolthole was they would tell you, without a moments hesitation, that it was the starlit ceiling, just another perfect detail to really make this property stand out from the rest.
For anyone planning a visit to Cumbria, we can’t recommend Sally’s Cottages enough. Not only are their properties exceptionally beautiful and in the perfect locations to explore the Lakes, but the customer service was faultless and each member of staff we came across, during booking and our stay, was lovely and helpful. I felt so sad to be leaving at the end of our stay and yet one thing’s for sure, we will absolutely be back to this same property in the future. Until then, I’ll continue to hunt down every single item for our own home!!
You can check out Sally’s Cottages website here and make sure you stay tuned this coming week to see what we got up to during our stay.
** We were guests of Sally’s cottages and gifted a complimentary stay in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own. **