Please wait, the site is loading...

Travel

Staycation: Hipping Hall, Lancashire

by Tamsin Burnett-Hall
Staycation: Hipping Hall, Lancashire
Hipping Hall

In search of countryside walks and gourmet food, Tamsin Burnett-Hall heads for a renowned restaurant-with-rooms on the eastern edge of Cumbria

Where is it?

Hipping Hall is situated on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District – an area rich in both history and wild, natural beauty. As our tyres crunch up the gravel drive, we are surrounded by wafting wildflowers and willowy trees, a tranquil setting for the 17th century stone building of the hall, with sheep grazing on the fells behind.

hh-bEDROOM

What’s the accommodation like? 

Entering via the Orangery, with the ancient well visible through a glass floor, you can see how the original building has been added to over the centuries – with the most recent changes being to turn it into a wonderful restaurant with 15 rooms.

 

As well as rooms in the main hall, the former stable block has been transformed into a set of luxurious rooms that open onto a terrace, overlooking a lush garden and pond, fed by the beck which cuts through the grounds. The decor combines elements of the surrounding high fells, rivers, streams, woods and meadows, blending original stonework with natural paint pigments and linens, plus hugely luxurious touches; as soon as I see the enormous free-standing bath I realise that I have to make time to indulge in a pre-dinner soak with bubbles.

Melt-in-the-mouth beef short rib
Melt-in-the-mouth beef short rib

What did you eat and drink?

The key reason to make a pilgrimage to Hipping Hall is for the food. The kitchen team, led for seven years by former MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Oli Martin, with Peter Howarth (previously head chef at Bolton Abbey’s Devonshire Arms, The Samling and Gidleigh Park) taking over the reins from late October 2021, creates a nightly 12-course set tasting menu from the best of locally sourced and foraged ingredients – pickling, fermenting and preserving them for use out of season.

 

The meal starts with a clear savoury tea, which proves to be an intensely infused liquor of tomatoes, cucumber and mint. Bemused as to what ‘spent grain’ bread is, we learn that it is made using leftover beer-making grains from nearby Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery; this hot crusty mini loaf with whipped cultured butter scores top marks.

 

Fish and seafood courses follow: a cucumber cup filled with smoked eel; a tiny tartlet of lobster, dill and salty sea purslane; local trout with preserved tomatoes and a tangy sea buckthorn sauce; and a sweet and smoky dish of chargrilled turbot with brown butter, leeks and soured barley hollandaise. There is just one meat course, but oh, what a delight: seared fillet and melt-in-the-mouth short rib of beef with blackened cabbage, wild garlic oil and ramson buds that were pickled back in the spring.

 

We pause before a refreshing ‘pre-dessert’ of gooseberry sorbet set on a bed of cucumber ice, then straight on to a miniature meringue with strawberries, sweet curd cheese and homemade elderflower cordial. A divine meal of sparklingly fresh flavours that manages not to leave you feeling uncomfortably over-full.

Strawberry and elderflower meringue
Strawberry and elderflower meringue

What is there to do?

If you want to work up an appetite in readiness for the evening’s meal, head to the nearby Ingleton Falls Trail. This circular 4.5 mile (7km) walk takes you along two rivers via increasingly impressive waterfalls (there are lots of steps and you’ll need a sturdy pair of shoes or walking boots, so be prepared).

 

Railway enthusiasts will enjoy taking a trip on the picturesque Settle-Carlisle route (Settle is just over 20 minutes away by car), via regular train or on a special steam service.

 

If shopping (and buying or tasting more local food) is your preferred thing, Hipping Hall is close to the picturesque market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, which has a reputation for high quality independent shops, as well as a great selection of cafés and restaurants.

Ingleton Falls Trail. Image: Getty
Ingleton Falls Trail. Image: Getty

What do I need to pack?

Nothing in particular (unless you want to bring walking boots), but the overall vibe here is comfortably smart-casual rather than very dressed-up.

Lasting memory

Doing my morning yoga practice (midlife necessity!) with the French doors open onto the beautiful gardens, overlooking the pond and hearing the wind in the trees and birdsong – such a serene way to start the day (prior to an indulgent breakfast…)

Image: Jenny Heyworth
Image: Jenny Heyworth

Sainsbury's magazine insider tip

Breakfast is as much of a treat as dinner – we recommend picking the sourdough eggy bread with umami-rich wild mushrooms and a perfectly poached egg on top; simply glorious.

 

The courtyard rooms all have direct outside access, and the hotel staff ‘welcome dogs with open paws’ – and even have homemade treats to spoil your canine companion!

How to book

Dinner, bed and breakfast from £329 per night (b&b from £199) hippinghall.com

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years