Top foodie-spa hotels in the North of England

The Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse hot tub with wine.
Gilpin Hotel & Lakehouse spa space.

A Spa needs a certain formula to allow for the ultimate indulgence and relaxation – a tranquil atmosphere, trusted treatments and good rooms with a touch of luxury. Even better is the bonus of tasty food to round off the experience.

IT’S grim up North, or that’s what we would like you to believe. The North of England is full of drama: Take the dramatic landscapes of the Lake District and North York Moors, the vast uncrowded beaches of Northumberland, the historic cities of York and Durham, the creative foodie hotspot that is now Manchester, music genius from Liverpool and over 25 Michelin-starred restaurants.

A top spa hotel means different things to different people; some might want a quiet rural retreat with comfort food, others might prefer a rooftop sauna, cocktails around the pool and a hard-core gym. While others might be tempted by Michelin-starred dining and the very latest high-performance facials. The North has it covered.

Here is a selection of foodie-spas to indulge in:

Yorkshire

Luxury Spa – Grantley Hall

Feel extra special at this luxurious Relais & Châteaux spa located in 30-acres of Parkland. The Palladian-style 17th Century hotel has 47 elegant bedrooms a marble-clad 60ft pool and an indulgent spa, with treatments ranging from holistic rituals and oxygen therapy to Swedish massage and reiki. It also has a thermal suite and indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, plus a spa garden with ice baths and an outdoor sauna.

Overall, there are five dining options – from traditional dishes to pan-Asian cuisine – to choose from:

Grantley Hall is home to chef patron Yorkshire-born Sean Rankin’s Michelin-starred restaurant.

Grantley Hall was awarded its first Michelin star in January 2020 and four AA rosettes in September 2023.

Rankin’s cuisine is creative but unpretentious. Ingredients are locally sourced with herbs and vegetables from the Grantley kitchen garden.

The Taste of Home menu includes delights of crab, kohlrabi, celery, burnt lettuce and apple; bread n butter, dripping and beef tea, Lobster, lovage, pea tart and Yorkshire Lamb, mint, nasturtium, morel and yogurt.

Picture of vegetable coming out of a dish
Picture courtesy of Grantley Hall.

Bar & Restaurant EightyEight offers a fusion of Yorkshire produce and Far Eastern flavours under the direction of head chef Samira Effa. Design-led décor is set against the stunning backdrop of ornamental Japanese Gardens.

Fletchers Restaurant sits within the Queen Anne wing of the Hall and is the perfect place to enjoy sophisticated, casual, all day dining set in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu serves British and European cuisine, made from the finest locally sourced seasonal produce, and designed by head chef Craig Atchinson. Children over eight years are welcome to dine with their parents.

Afternoon Tea: There are three to choose from; Signature afternoon tea, Champagne afternoon tea or a non-alcoholic Champagne afternoon tea.

The Orchard: Grantley Hall and Veuve Clicquot will take you on a ‘Road to the Sun’ campaign, taking you on a journey to experience the ‘ideal’ of a life under the sun.’ Guests can enjoy leisurely lunches or delightful dinners, all paired with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label whilst overlooking the manicured grounds of Grantley Hall.

Grantley Hall
Ripon
North Yorkshire
HG4 3ET

01765 620070

Manchester

City Spa – The Midland Hotel

A former railway hotel that opened in 1903. Highlights in this grand terracotta building are its fine dining restaurant, dedicated afternoon tearoom and luxurious spa.

From the Grade II-listed ornate red brick and terracotta exterior to the pillared reception area and a chic circular lobby bar. The marble-lined corridors were built to be wide enough to allow two ladies in gowns to walk side-by-side.

Along with the indulgent spa – a combination of sleep chambers, steam rooms, Rena spa treatments – this city centre sanctuary is also home to Mancunian-born Adam Reid’s French restaurant, one of the most loved restaurants in Manchester.

A ‘warm Northern welcome’ offers modern-British tasting menus in the four AA Rosette restaurant. A Sample menu includes Cumbrian shorthorn loin, there tipsy cake with whipped cream and cold tea and Scallops from Scotland and turnips from Cheshire. Or you may fancy a little fish pie with more eggs than fish?

Picture of outside The Midlands Hotel in Manchester with flags
Picture courtesy of The Midland Hotel.

There’s also the hotel’s popular tearoom for afternoon tea; a bar menu, cocktails and Champagne at the stylish central lobby bar and modern British classics in the Mount Street Dining Room & Bar, railway themed with mahogany panelled walls, where breakfast is served.

The Midland Hotel
16 Peter Street,
Manchester
M60 2DS

0161 236 3333

Lake District

Indulgent Spa: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

A truly indulgent experience awaits at the modern, white-washed country hotel surrounded by 21 acres of land.

With three restaurants to choose from including the Michelin-star SOURCE. Executive chef, Ollie Bridgwater (Ex The Fat Duck, three Michelin-starred restaurant), is unashamedly single-minded in his pursuit of precision.

He has elevated the menu at SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel near Bowness on Windermere, to a standard that would leave many chefs satisfied. Yet for the ex The Fat Duck chef, when it comes to food, perfection is a concept that should always be strived for.

Luxuries include cedarwood private hot tubs and saunas. Guests can choose between the main Edwardian hotel or the more tranquil woodland-wrapped six-bedroomed Lake House, complete with its own restaurant and with its own staff.

Picture of Gilpin spa hotel suite
Gilpin Hotel Spa Suite

The Lake House also offers its own small spa with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake, plus hot tubs, an indoor pool, freshwater swimming, rowing, and woodland walks.

The Spa Lodges are chic, standalone glass-and-wood affairs with private spa facilities including saunas, steam rooms and sunken hot tubs. Picture in-room circular stone baths, double showers, high-tech automated massage chairs and bedrooms suspended over a pond.

Where to eat?

There is the Michelin-star SOURCE, to choose from or the two AA Rosette Gilpin Spice, plus an in-house butchery and a small vertical farm.

SOURCE offers a creative up-market tasting menu with detailed and delicate courses such as Aged Herdwick Hoggat, wild garlic, sheep’s yoghurt, stuffed morel or smoked eel, dashi, cucumber ketchup.

SOURCE restaurant Scallop
Source Restaurant – Gilpin Hotel & Lakehouse.

The laid-back two AA Rosette Gilpin Spice serves pan-Asian dishes inspired by countries along the spice trail – spanning the Philippines, the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and China – from its spectacular open kitchen.

Where better to spend a luxury relaxing afternoon enjoying the perfect ‘Posh Scran’ Afternoon Tea than at Gilpin Lake House?

The cosy atmosphere of the dining room creates a relaxing spot where one can sit and indulge in the best that the Lake District has to offer.

The Gilpin has launched a new spa & dine experience to non-guests:

Spa & Spice Experience

Enjoy a relaxing 50-minute ESPA or Pure Lakes couple’s spa treatment before hopping into the hot tub with a glass of Champagne to soak up the spectacular views of the surrounding fells. Then tuck into a flavourful lunch at Gilpin Spice. Price £155pp (based on two people). Try the Goan king prawns or slow cooked ox cheeks or delight in the senses with an explosion of Pani Puri to enliven the tastebuds.

Picture of Pani Puri with flowers on top.
Gilpin Spice @ Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse – Pani Puri.

Spa & SOURCE Experience

This includes a relaxing afternoon with a fabulous 50-minute ESPA or Pure Lakes couple’s spa treatment, exclusive hot tub use, with glass of fizz and early evening three-course dinner at SOURCE, plus amuse bouche, freshly baked bread, and a pre-dessert. Price £195pp (based on two people); available Sundays – Fridays.

Serene Spa Experience

Relax and reset with the Gilpin Serene Spa Experience. Energise with a salt and oil scrub before an enlivening detoxifying and softening mud rasul experience. Soak up the scenery with exclusive use of the outdoor cedarwood hot tubs, glass of Champagne in hand, before enjoying a relaxing 50-minute couple’s treatment. From here, tuck into a freshly prepared delicious bento box lunch to be enjoyed in the Relaxation Room. Price £185pp (based on two people).

Ultimate Spa Experience

Indulge with a proper Lake District pamper. Invigorate with a salt and oil scrub before a skin-soothing mud rasul experience. Sip Champagne from the hot tub on the spa terrace before enjoying not one, but two 50-minute couple’s spa treatments. Next is a nourishing freshly prepared bento box lunch to be enjoyed in the Relaxation Room. Price £280pp (based on two people).

Thermal Spa & Spice Experience

Unwind with the Thermal Spa & Spice Experience. Begin with an invigorating salt and oil scrub to revitalise the body, before applying mineral muds with the rasul experience to detox and soften. Sit back and relax with a glass of Champagne in the exclusive-use outdoor cedarwood hot tubs, before replenishing with a delicious lunch at Gilpin Spice. Price £95pp (based on two people).

Crook Rd
Windermere
LA23 3NE

015394 88818

Lake District & Nationwide

Daniel Thwaites: North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith

  • Cumbria Tourism Awards Large Hotel winner 2024

The North Lakes Hotel & Spa in Penrith has just scooped the large hotel award at the Cumbrian Tourist Awards, held last week.

The hotel is part of of the Daniel Thwaite’s Spa Group. 

The group has launched its summer spa day package, available at any of the group’s six  spa locations throughout the UK. Starting from £115.

The ‘Taste of Summer’ Spa Day experience offers guests an affordable yet rejuvenating spa day experience, complete with a luxury spa gift worth £40, for guests to take home.

The package includes three-hours of pure relaxation, acess to the pool and tranquil thermal experiences. Treat yourself to a Caudalie facial treatment, a 50-minute facial massage using products that are tailored to each individual skin type or concerns. The treatment finishes with a shoulder, neck and a  scalp massage.

Picture of North Lakes hotel pool

A delicious two-course lunch is included in the hotel’s restaurant, offering a selection of classic foods, or healthy spa friendly options.

For those visiting North Lakes Hotel & Spa, guests will be treated to not one, but two treatments in place of the 50-minute Caudalie facial. A 25-minute Caudalie Express D Vine Facial and a 25-minute Wave Touch massage bed experience, a self-guided treatment that promises to ease the tension of aches and pains all over the body.

The North Lakes spa also has an AA Rosette restaurant, FYR grill, that uses locally sourced produce cooked on an open grill. Watch the dancing flames grill your burger in its open kitchen area.

Picture of FYR restaurant fire pit on fire.
FYI restaurant @ North Lakes Hotel.

The package is available at Cottons Hotel & Spa, Cheshire – from £115; North Lakes Hotel and Spa, Lake District – from £115; Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, Leeds – from £115; Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, Northamptonshire – from £115; and further south: Aztec Hotel & Spa Bristol – from £115 and Solent Hotel & Spa, Hampshire – from £115.

(Valid throughout July and August (£10 supplement Sat-Sun).

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