The Secret Garden

A dreamy new hotel makes its home in a Victorian mansion on the grounds where poet William Wordsworth once roamed.

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A view of the hotel from the gardens.
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Pack your bags: the idyllic, overgrown landscape of Romantic poet William Wordsworth's hometown of Grasmere, England—which served as inspiration for many of his most famous works—is about to welcome a new hotel. Over the course of the last year, a 163-year-old Victorian mansion known as the Forest Side, has been transformed into a gastronomic guesthouse. Hotelier Andrew Wildsmith, of nearby hotels Hipping Hall and the Ryebeck, has teamed up with chef Kevin Tickle (formerly of two-Michelin-star restaurant L'Enclume) on the project. A notorious forager who grew up in the area—a beautiful national park called The Lake District—Tickle has created a dream kitchen garden, extending into the 46 acres of woodlands on the property. He and his team will use the land—known to be prime mushroom territory—to gather produce for the new 50-seat restaurant's seasonal menu. (Tickle also plans on preserving, pickling, and curing ingredients.) Historically inspired details like traditional brocade and damask wallpaper by Zoffany, heritage wool bedding by Herdwick Spinks, and lace canopies characterize the 21 guestrooms. Each overlooks the scenic Cumbrian grounds, making an enchanting visit for anyone in search of a weekend hideaway—or, perhaps, some inspiration of their own.

Chef Tickle tends to the kitchen garden.

The Forest Side will open February 1 with rooms from $500. For more information visit  

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