The Inn Collection Group’s prime lakeside site in Ambleside, The Waterhead Inn has now reopened following a multi-million-pound refurbishment by the Newcastle-based pub with rooms operator.
Beginning in October last year, the extensive renovations have created additional bedrooms and a total revamp of the venue’s bar and restaurant facilities, creating a grandiose venue overlooking the northern shores of England’s largest body of fresh water.
The works have created a space that makes the most of the commanding views over the hustle and bustle over Waterhead Bay, with a wealth of indoor and outdoor seating allowing customers to enjoy the vistas regardless of the weather.
Effectively doubling the size of the bar and restaurant, the project has seen rooms on the ground floor give way to an elegant and cosy area with a mix of booth seating and free-standing chairs.
Rich, dark woods and a mix of plush leather and fabric furnishings offer the atmosphere of a traditional country inn, whilst at the same time, bringing a degree of splendour befitting such a prime and historic site.
Designed by Consult North, who also worked with The Inn Collection Group on The Angel Inn at Bowness on Windermere and The Northallerton Inn, the décor within comprises the usual array of curiosities and nods to the heritage of the surrounding areas.
Work has also been carried out on the outdoor terracing areas, which have been extended to offer more opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the scene.
Working with GSSArchitecture on the project, the relaunch of The Waterhead Inn also sees the former Ambleside Lake House back to welcoming guests as it becomes an annexe of the main site as simply Lake House.
Operating to a model successfully employed at The Angel Inn at Bowness, the switch now sees guest services such as check-in and breakfast now hosted within the sumptuous new surroundings of the Inn.
As well as a refurbished bar, a completely refurbished kitchen has seen investment in a state-of-the-art broiler, allowing the site to offer a premium menu with a special focus on its grill section, including on its first menu a signature 1kg salt-aged on-the-bone ribeye steak.
There is also a focus on simple and elegant fish dishes, with Halibut, Sea Bream and Turbot all on offer alongside a host of traditional pub favourites.
Open all day, every day, the site is aiming to delight both visitors and residents of the town in equal measure, with general manager Daryl Hardy delighted to have the site back open.
He said: “We are thrilled to have completed the refurbishment of The Waterhead Inn and to be launching another extraordinary site back into service.
“There has been a phenomenal amount of work put in over the last nine months which people will see from the moment they come through our doors. It is a real credit to everyone who has worked on the project.
“The transformation from what was a very traditional hotel style into a warm and welcoming inn has created something very special and I can’t wait to see and hear people’s reactions when they see it in person.”
Following the return of The Waterhead Inn to trading, The Inn Collection Group now has nine venues open across the national park, with a final refurbishment, The Ullswater Inn (formerly the Glenridding Hotel) due to complete its programme of works later this autumn.