Sometimes it’s nice to stay somewhere wee bit different. Not just another hotel but a former working mill situated in the World Heritage Village of New Lanark. It has been beautifully restored from an 18th century working mill to a stylish 38 bedroom hotel. To say we were looking forward to our stay at New Lanark Mill Hotel was an understatement.
If you have never been to the visitor centre, hotel or walked along the river Clyde you may not be expecting to find the hotel nestled on the banks of the river or at the bottom of the steep glen. The drive down is truly spectacular, every time you visit it will be different. The native woodland surrounding the UNESCO site are perfect homes for wildlife too.
Upon our arrival to the hotel it was snowing. Not just a couple of flakes, it was a good few inches deep but the road down was clear (thankfully). We were greeted by the friendly receptionist who booked us in, told us the opening times of the spa area, the bar and the restaurant – all the essential things. She also mentioned that all guests get 15% off the entrance fee to the Visitor Centre too, should we wish to visit during our stay. It’s hard not to notice the piano tucked in amongst the comfy arm chairs and sofas. It’s not very often that receptions look so inviting.
With just thirty eight rooms it is obvious that the hotel prides itself more on quality rather than quantity. The room we stayed in was spacious, beautifully presented and as we were to later find out, the bed was really comfy. Our room had recently been refurbished and had excellent views of the river outside. The ensuite bathroom was a good size and I’m pleased to report, big towels! If you’ve read any of my other accommodation review posts, you’ll know that I have a thing about bath towels.
Taking no time at all to settle in we were off to the bar for lunch and coffee. The lunch menu has such a great selection it took us both some time to decide what we would like. Eventually we ordered a sandwich each. Freshly cut bread, with plenty of filling and came with a decent portion of garden salad and vegetable crisps – for £4.95 we thought that was really good value.
We still had time to go for a walk before we were booked in at the Beauty Rooms for a massage each so we decided to make the most of the the snow and scenery. The falls of Clyde are magnificent and we had only previously seen them in July, so the snow just magnified their beauty. The walk isn’t very long and the last little bit is steep, but well worth the effort.
Walking along the boardwalk beside the river we spotted a heron. Because of the abundance of wildlife in the area the Scottish Wildlife Trust are also on site too. It’s a known site for peregrines to nest. Bats, kingfishers, dippers and otters can all be found in this area too.
The upper part of the falls, from the viewpoint looked beautiful. The last time I’d seen them was in July and there was not much water. But now the roar was loud and clear and we could feel the power, even from a safe distance.
Back at the hotel, changed and thawed out, we found ourselves in the bar for a couple of pre-dinner drinks and got talking to other guests. A lady who had visited previously and wanted to have a spa break with her daughter and grand daughter, they were staying for two nights and having a really wonderful time. You know you’re in a good place if guests return time after time.
Dinner at Mill One
On the second floor of the hotel, Mill One restaurant seats diners for some rather special food. The menu is extensive and we did struggle to choose what we would like eat but in a good way. You know when you think you’ve chosen what you want and then something else catches your eye. Exactly that! But nothing could prepare us for the quality and artistry of the food we were presented with.
Ox Tongue & Cheek – Puy Lentil Casserole, Carrot Remoulade, Whisky Jus, Steamed Kale
Crispy Duck Salad – Confit Leg of Gressingham Duck, Oriental Vegetable Slaw, Soya & Sesame Glaze
Trio of Pork – Shoulder Bon Bon, Belly Pork Press, Loin Wellington, Candied Apple Puree, Smokey Black Pudding Mash, Crisp Pancetta, Creamed Spinach & Carrot
Pan Seared fillet of Plaice: Cullen Skink Ravioli, Samphire, Parma Ham, Watercress Oil
Mill One Cheese Selection – Arran Oaties, Savoury Biscuits Red Onion Marmalade, Red & Green Grapes, Crisp Celery
New Lanark Ice Cream – two scoops of my favourite jaffa cake and one scoop of heather honey, forest fruits, poppy seed basket
Even as I write this I am drooling. It is easy to see how they have won a “Taste our Best” award.
After a fabulous nights sleep we were up early-ish for breakfast and after such a huge meal the night before we opted for a light meal to start the day. Again all very lovely and with the added bonus of a fresh smoothie to drink too. Nice touch.
Booking out was easy, we settled our bill and wished a safe journey etc from the same receptionist who had booked us in nearly 24hours earlier. Before we left we did visit the Mill Shop, where hotel guests get 15% off any purchase during their stay. There are some fabulous gifts and we found a tweed/leather belt which now has a new home!
Would we stay here again? Yes. Would I recommend staying here? Yes. Would I recommend eating here even if you don’t stay? Hell yes!
There are plenty of reasons to book up a stay at the New Lanark Mill Hotel (if you need them): Valentines Day, my “big” birthday, Mothering Sunday or a “just because” stay. Only 50 minutes from Glasgow and just over an hour to Edinburgh it is perfectly situated for a shopping/spa weekend or a relaxing mid-week break.
**Please note that we were invited to stay at New Lanark Mill Hotel for the purpose of this review. All views and drooling over food are down to me**
For those of you new to my blog Dude is my other half, partner is crime and fellow lover of Scotland