Built in the 1800’s, Cark Manor retains a sense of historic opulence. Be greeted by its classical architecture as soon as your car meanders up the driveway. Step out onto the crunch of the gravel and marvel at its beauty. Welcome to your Lake District hideaway.
In the southern end of the English Lakes, Cark Manor is an exquisite exercise in carefully curated taste. Among six acres of English parkland and classically elegant decor, you’ll gradually ease yourself into the effortlessly beautiful good life until going home to normality seems like a ridiculous notion.
Ah, but is there a high-spec cinema room? Naturally. Retire there for the evening after a civilised meal for 20 amid the dining room’s sash windows and candelabras. Pass the port, please. Prepare your repast in the Smallbones kitchen with Miele appliances and Aga, or in the fully equipped commercial kitchen.
You’ve got six acres of private formal gardens to explore, but you can be as informal as you want. Raid Higginson’s Butchers for beef steaks, baked ham or barbecue chicken and get the fully serviced gas barbie going. Pile out onto the two patio tables, fill your plates and breathe the clear Lakeland air.
Set the dishwasher to do its stuff and pop some pods in the Nespresso while the kids roam the parklands and bash a ball into the football nets or clout a cricket ball around. Cark Manor’s gardens are as good for a convivial gin and a pre-prandial potter as they are for kids’ cartwheels and kickabouts.
Will you be comfortable here? You bet. Your house manager will personally see to it. That sense of splendour and old-fashioned service runs throughout this well-heeled English manor house with its wealth of beautifully appointed playthings.
The fun starts in the bar, a nod to the finest private members’ clubs, with its leather furniture, panelled wood and roaring fire. Pick a bar stool and pass the night in spirited conversation. Prefer the grape? Who needs a wine merchant when you have a 1000-bottle wine cellar?
The sumptuous spaces begin in the hallway with its pack-dog artwork, gong for summoning the masters of the house to dinner, and firewood crackling in the grate. Beyond that, you can choose from two large lounge areas, ideal for gregarious groups ready to scroll through Sky or dance themselves dizzy.
Escape the madding crowd in the snug with reading matter from the bookcase. Put your palate to the test in the wine-tasting room. Or find a family film in the high-spec movie room. Not to your taste? Pick from 15 large-screen TVs around the house plus superfast wifi. Cark Manor didn’t get where it is today doing things by halves.
Cooking and dining at Cark Manor is an exercise in taste, splendour and elegance. The dining table seats 20 in front of the deep sash windows. With the oak flooring, the fire burning in the hearth, the opulent décor and the pristine white linen, the homely, sophisticated chink of glasses seems extra special.
Keep them topped up with a classic bottle or two from the 1000-strong wine cellar. Cook in one of two kitchens, one a full-blown commercial affair; the other a slice of Smallbones luxury complete with Miele appliances, two steam ovens, microwave, oven, full-size Aga, and Sub-Zero wine fridge and freezer.
Is there an ice-maker? Of course there is, along with a gas range, grill and dishwasher. Want to do the facilities real justice? Ask the housemaster about our in-house catering. Put your feet up for a one-off celebration, a barbie or hog roast in the garden, or even a fully catered break.
Eat out at The Priory Hotel or The Cavendish, a low-beamed, 450-year-old coaching inn promising Lune Valley lamb shank, chicken Caesar burger and seared stone bass. Or push the boat out for Michelin-starred dining just five minutes away at Rogan and Co or L’Enclume, complete with farm tours.
Cark Manor comes fully renovated and refreshed and the ten bedrooms are no exception. Classical elegance mixes with a huge pop of wow. Rich tactile velvets co-exist happily with bold metallic accents. Wallpapers from Zoffany and Mulberry and paint from The Little Greene Paint Company complete the exclusive feel.
Beverly Hills and The Peninsula are superkings with bath and shower, while St Regis is a superking with shower. Colony Hotel is a double room with shower and The Betsy is a superking with shower.
Naples, La Residencia and Claridges offer superking beds with bath and shower, while Sandy Lane provides a superking with shower. Bedroom ten gives you a superking bed with bath and shower. And if you need disabled access, you’ve got ground-floor accommodation specifically designed for ultimate inclusivity.
These are modern yet traditional bedrooms with wall TVs, contemporary bathrooms, freestanding baths and marble tiles. In the silence of the South Lakes, you could sleep standing up, but we suspect you’d prefer the crisp linen and pocket-sprung luxury of Cark’s sleigh beds and four-posters.