Lake District hotelier Robert Whittington knew I was a kosher customer from the moment I booked - he knew from my Hendon postcode.

"It's Jewish guests who keep me in business," he said as we checked into the vegetarian hotel, just half a mile from Grasmere, and overlooking the Valley of Easedale.

It's not really suprising he has such a large kosher clientele - he was the only 100 per cent vegetarian hotel to be found via a Google search.

And after only a few hours at the hotel, set in 30 acres of gardens, it was clear it was more than just the food that made it so popular.

There are just 14 pretty, traditional-style guest rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, including suites with whirlpool baths. All have TV and coffee/tea corner.

Thanks to its size, there is a homely charm to Lancrigg, and until you enter its Green Valley Vegetarian Restaurant for dinner, you really could be in a private home, it is so tranquil. All the food, including the bread, is home-made and all meals are made with fresh, mainly local ingredients with vegans and those with food allergies catered for. Best of all, there are kosher vintages on the wine list. Handily for those who wish to eat at unconventional times, the restaurant is open all day which meant a bowl of hot aubergine-and-carrot soup was available when we returned from a long walk. And for kosher-observant visitors who don't want to search for an appropriate spot for a pit-stop, they offer packed lunches. Non-residents can dine but booking is required.

RATES: from £59 with breakfast and dinner,
TEL: 015394 35317

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