Perfect for: Breathtaking views
Beautiful sunsets, woodlands, and wildlife are all part of the beautifully packaged parcel of Arnside, a little seaside town on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria. Close to Windermere and the pretty market towns of Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale to go exploring, Arnside is a former fishing port, an area of outstanding natural beauty and a wonderful place to be; and Number 43 is the perfect place to stay. This six-bedroom luxury bed and breakfast in Cumbria is right on Arnside’s promenade, and boasts sweeping views overlooking the Kent Estuary where it meets Morecambe Bay. Its soothingly styled rooms are the epitome of understated luxury and are full of thoughtful touches – like homemade flapjacks, sherry and biscuits – and the Full Cumbrian breakfast made by Lesley in the morning is first class…
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“Hello” beams Lesley, owner of Number 43, who has come to meet us from Arnside train station. The rain’s been falling hard, but it hasn’t dampened Lesley’s spirits and her effervescence is very refreshing.
Walking along the promenade, Lesley points out her favourite shops and cafes – all independent and thriving, and then we arrive at a grand house with a neatly tiered garden which would impress the most green-fingered Titchmarchian. “Welcome to Number 43!” she cheers.
“Wow – that’s some chandelier!” exclaims Monsieur 2, clocking the silver and crystal focal point of the immaculate hallway. A similarly ornate silver-framed mirror hangs on the wall; which, we agree, is très chic.
After pointing out the plush guest lounge and adjacent breakfast room, Lesley escorts us up the colourful stripy-carpeted stairs to our first-floor room. My eye’s caught by the beautiful glass room-number sign, “all made”, explains Lesley “by a local artist”.
Our room’s stunning. It is a vast sea-facing double with sweeping panoramic views of the Morecambe Bay Estuary, a warm decor of calming biscuits and cream, with quirky little touches like a marble noughts and crosses board, flapjacks and more.
Leaving our key, and her number in case we need her, Lesley bids us ‘au revoir’.
“Sherry dear?” I ask, gesturing to the little decanter atop the generously stocked mini-bar. “Why not!” comes the answer. We recline by the window in the smart Louis XVI-style chairs, sipping our amontillado and enjoying the stunning view.
Weaving in and out of the delightful shops on the promenade, we spot the Big Chip Cafe – the sign outside claims it serves ‘Probably the best fish and chips in the world’ so we pop inside for a portion. And oh boy, are they good!
Back at Number 43 Monsieur 2 makes us a pot of Teapigs tea (noting happily that there’s fresh milk in the fridge) and we nibble on the delicious complimentary flapjack Lesley has left out for us – another thoughtful addition – flicking through the stack of glossy magazines provided. Before we know it, an hour has passed; Number 43, it appears, is really beginning to feel like a home from home.
Before heading out for dinner we decide to take advantage of the honesty bar in the lounge. “G&T darling?” I ask Monsieur 2. “Yes please. But go easy on the T!” He always says this. It’s an open display of affection for his liver.
Arnside is just a few miles from culinary hot-spot Cartmel, but we’ve decided to stay local and simply cross the road to The Albion pub. The menu is good, honest pub-grub using local produce.
Monsieur 2 starts with a mound of crispy whitebait, while I slurp hearty tomato, black pudding and smoky bacon soup. My main course is a plump plaice fillet topped with sweet potted shrimps from Morecambe Bay, naturellement, and Monsieur 2 tucks into a steak, mushroom and Thwaites ale pie. We both struggle to finish – portions here are huge and we’ve no room for dessert. Perhaps we shouldn’t have had those flapjacks earlier… or those chips, for that matter.
Strolling along the promenade in an attempt to walk-off some of our dinner, Monsieur 2 starts getting romantic. The well-lit prom and seductive sound of the sea adds to the mood. Arnside is a beautiful place to be.
“Come on my love,” he coos, “let’s go see if the bed’s as lovely as everything else at Number 43.”
Cuddling up under the silky soft Egyptian cotton covers of the ample bed, we put the TV on and watch a corny old film until we doze off – it’s the perfect end to a very relaxed evening.
Waking to the sound of music gently playing from the Bose radio-alarm, we head to the bright, spotless bathroom for a shower. A picture window running the full width of one wall means we can appreciate the view of the bay even while washing! Full-size REN products are the icing on the cake.
“Good morning gentlemen!” a cheery waitress greets us as we enter the dining room. There’s a selection of cereals, fruit and colourful compote set out, and shortly hot doorsteps of toast. Bucks fizz is offered with Sunday breakfast as standard, but we decline, and settle, instead on fresh coffee and juice.
Browsing the Sunday papers, I polish off some perfect porridge with cream, while Monsieur 2 enjoys home-made granola. Then he has thick Scotch pancakes with local bacon and maple syrup and I’m spoiled by eggs Benedict with fluffy Hollandaise, which I can tell straight away is home-made – expertly, too! Everything in fact is just delicious, definitely one of the best breakfast we’ve had anywhere.
“I suppose we should be making a move,” I say back in our room as Monsieur 2 clips the Mulberry shut, “our train leaves soon.” “Yes,” he sighs, “I suppose we should.” I can see he’s reluctant to leave, and I can’t say I blame him.
With its wonderful location, luxurious amenities, thoughtful attention-to-detail and splendid food, drink and service, Number 43 has been a joy to stay at, and as we hand the key back to Lesley, it’s with the hope that it won’t be too long before we’re seeing her again.
Don’t forget to mention les Deux Messieurs if you book a stay here!
We travelled from Windemere to Lancaster by First TransPennine Express (operates intercity rail services across the north of England and into Scotland. Fares can be purchased with no booking fee at tpexpress.co.uk), and from Lancaster to Arnside by Northern Rail. We travelled back to London from Lancaster by Virgin.
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Number 43 is a gay friendly hotel in lake district and a Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Cumbria
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