Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere was last night named ‘Best-Kept Secret’ at the 2016 Tatler Restaurant Awards, which took place in The Savoy Hotel, London.
The gastronomic hotel which is part of the Wildsmith Hotels opened in February after an 18 month long, four-million-pound renovation. The award was accepted by Andrew Wildsmith, founder of Wildsmith Hotels and Operations Director, Tom Lewis.
Andrew Wildsmith, owner of the Forest Side, said: ‘’We have undertaken an interesting journey over the last 18 months, creating what we hope is fast becoming another shining beacon of culinary excellence in the North of England. As a team we are incredibly ambitious and we are constantly striving to achieve. Awards like this demonstrate that we are moving in the right direction, but there is still plenty of work to do. The Lake District, Cumbria is amongst the UK’s favourite holiday destinations and we have hopefully provided yet another reason for people to come and explore this wonderful place. Congratulations to the team at the Forest Side.’’
Forest Side has been attracting stellar reviews since opening, having already made it into Tatler’s 2016 Restaurant Guide and receiving a score of 9/10 from hotel critic Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph, who said; “I fell in love. Cumbria can be thanked for Forest Side’s secret weapon and raison d’être Kevin Tickle.
The whole place revolves around this hugely talented young chef who has never worked outside of the county. Cumbria should be leaping for joy at the arrival of this stellar hotel, and so should you.” Earlier this year Forest Side was also awarded the ‘Hotel Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ in Cumbria Life’s Food & Drink Awards.
Kevin Tickle, Forest Side’s Head Chef, said: ‘The food we create at the Forest Side is all about its surroundings and its sense of place. Our plates are a reflection of our passion for this place we are lucky to call home. Awards like this aren’t just a reflection on us, they are in reality a celebration of everyone who works with us – this is a huge pat on the back for Cumbria.’
Forest Side has 20 bedrooms and a 50 cover restaurant with a bar and lounge, and is set in a former 19th-century Victorian hunting lodge minutes from Grasmere in the Lake District. Heading up the kitchen is Kevin Tickle, who was former sous chef and head forager at L’Enclume for eight years. Kevin’s menu changes daily according to what produce is available within the 46 acres of forageable grounds and the restored Victorian-walled kitchen garden, with over 140 raised beds.