Lancaster-based Harrison Pitt Architects has been appointed to work on the multi-million pound restoration of a historic Cumbrian hotel.
The practice will oversee the £2.5m project to give the part Grade II listed Forest Side Hotel, Grasmere, a new lease of life following its acquisition by local entrepreneur Andrew Wildsmith.
The hotel’s 23 guest rooms will be reconfigured and refurbished to create 18 larger en-suite bedrooms and three luxury duplex suites. The dining room will also be extended to open onto a new garden terrace.
Andrew Walters, architect at Harrison Pitt Architects, said: “We are thrilled to be returning this impressive building to its former glory. The scheme will improve the appearance of insensitive additions that have been made over the years while restoring generously proportioned rooms based on the original building layout.
“While it means the Forest Side Hotel will have fewer rooms overall, the scale and standard of accommodation will be much higher so visitors will have the chance to experience luxuriously appointed rooms.”
Andrew Wildsmith, who recently took over Forest Side Hotel, also runs hotels The Ryebeck in Bowness and Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale.
He said: “Harrison Pitt’s expertise will help update the hotel to offer the comforts of contemporary accommodation while maintaining the building’s historic charm.”
The firm’s designs will tastefully restore and conserve the building’s original features, including its fireplaces, panelling and decorative plasterwork.
The plans will also help transform the hotel’s restaurant into a first-class eatery by providing a visual link between the kitchen and dining area, while a new greenhouse will enable the Forest Side Hotel to source its own produce from its kitchen garden, which is also being restored.
Andrew added: “We have brought on board some of the region’s top culinary talent including award-winning chef Kevin Tickle, so we were also keen to update the look of the restaurant to reflect these high standards.”
A fruit orchard will also be created as part of external landscaping and maintenance works to surrounding woodland. The hotel’s Grade II listed hunting lodge, which was built in 1853, does not form part of the planned works.
Harrison Pitt Architects has worked on a number of recent refurbishment and new-build projects in the leisure and hospitality sector, including Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale and The Borough in Lancaster.