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FYR at The North Lakes Hotel & Spa
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FYR
Ullswater Road,
Penrith,
CA11 8QT
01768 868111

As we approach this hotel a banner announces its status a Winner of Best Big Hotel 2018. The location in unpromising - near an industrial estate in Penrith and the hotel has a grey boring concrete exterior but boy does a recent cool three million refurb show. 

Enter reception and you are at once transported into a world of relaxation, comfort and luxury, in large part due to triumphant interior design. Mr Bite and I loved it. 

Throughout the hotel the Lake District is celebrated and the Cumbrian countryside brought inside. Watercolours in rooms are much more than mere adornment and in the large barn like reception area illustrations of Scafell Pike and various peaks nod to Wainwright. 

Traditional stonework, gigantic wooden beams, fire and stylish textiles are elemental and an army of smart chino-wearing staff make our stay oh so smooth. 

Our mission was to check out the restaurant FYR (pronounced ‘fire’). 

A tattooed, young female chef tends a large open fire come grill that takes centre stage in the restaurant. She is turning and slicing steaks, poking the embers and throwing another log on here and there. Like a dragon protecting her lair. 

Mr Bite has the FYR signature steak, which has been aged for at least 28 days and cooked medium rare. The grill menu also features salmon, prawn and monkfish kebabs which tempt me but I plump for a half of Lobster Thermidor with goose fat chips. The girl chef tells me that shellfish comes from M&J Seafoods and I happen to know that M&J source from Shetland. 

Starters had been delicate, aromatic slices of ruby fleshed venison carpaccio for me with fruity yellow and purple heritage beets. Mr Bite had enjoyed scallops with a pea puree, bacon and brioche crumb.

The quality of the food made us greedy and I decided to have both panna cotta with burnt apple sauce and an Espresso Martini for pudding. The cooked cream dessert was accomplished and refined and the martini perfectly made and generous. 

We would most definitely recommend the food and accommodation (note there is also a spa) at this hotel. It is good as a base for Cumbria, for business and is suitable for families. 

If you don’t have an opportunity to stay I would suggest you make a pit stop for the food.  We would certainly do this in the future. FYR is smokin'. (S. Wilson)

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