Lavish Arts and Crafts house overlooking Windermere that retains its historic grandeur, but plays with some purely modern touches on the inside
The Lake District does luxury hotels (such as The Samling) rather well, but self-catering accommodation with a more design bent is a bit thinner on the ground (with the exception of the brilliant Love Shack). Gossel Ridding is a stylish combination of Arts and Crafts architecture and an interior that is very contemporary, but without losing all those characterful historical details. I was completely sold on this place when I saw a picture of the Heliotrope Bedroom, a peaceful cloud-like space with white silk-panelled walls, a huge bed filled with squishy white bedlinen, and an ice-cool contemporary chandelier up above – a brilliant design lesson in how you can decorate in only one colour (or non-colour in this case) and still make it work.
The Victorians shaped British tourism as it is today, and they were mad for all that rain-lashed Lakeland scenery: the rich ones moved in on the western shores of Windermere to build grand houses of their own, with Gossel Ridding going up during the last throes of the Arts and Crafts movement, in 1908. TV producer Charlie Pattison owns it now (it was his great-grandfather who built the place) and the stylish interiors are by his wife Teddie. She’s done a pretty amazing job at linking old with new, and there are some startling historical features – such as the copper fireplaces, and warm timber beams and carved panelling – that sit very well with the oversized contemporary light shades and B&B Italia sofas. Outside there are terraces, mature gardens, woodland, and, not forgetting the very reason the house was built, eye-wateringly good views across Windermere.
Sleeping up to 14, Gossel Ridding is for those once-in-a-generation, extra-special larger gatherings – you can get married here, and there’s a concierge service that can organise everything from in-house catering to hot-air ballooning.
Nearby: Windermere (the town), has shops and restaurants; Windermere (the lake) has boats and kayaks for hire; check out some other Arts & Crafts houses, including Blackwell, which has excellently preserved original interiors and some interesting temporary exhibitions, and Brantwood on Conison Water, formerly Ruskin’s house; plus there’s walking, cycling, horse-riding and probably a dozen other ways to explore the scenery…
Photos via Gossel Ridding website