A hotel in the beautiful Lake District has been named the best in England at the ‘Oscars’ of the UK hospitality industry.
The AA Hospitality Awards 2023 crowned The Forest Side hotel as the AA Hotel of the Year for the entire country.
The former mansion has been converted into a hotel, which sits on the edge of the village of Grasmere i Ambleside and is home to a Michelin-star restaurant.
Less than two hours from Manchester, The Forest Side was praised by inspectors for its charming interiors, relaxed atmosphere and its excellent food offering, including the produce grown in its own walled garden.
The hotel is built out of Lakeland stone and it’s believed to date back to 1853.
These days, it’s home to 20 beautiful bedroom, each one decorated in a heritage English style, with delicately patterned wallpapers and fabrics.
The Forest Side has incredible views of the surrounding countryside and lake.
AA inspectors said: “Located on the edge of Grasmere village, this former mansion house has been lovingly converted into a charming and relaxing hotel.
“Dinner is a must – the kitchen the team working closely with local suppliers and also growing much of their own produce in the walled garden, or by foraging the local area.
“The bedrooms have stunning views of the hills and countryside beyond.”
On winning England’s Hotel of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards, Alasdair Elwick of Forest Side in the Lake District said: “I’m not going to lie – we’re absolutely buzzing to win the AA Hotel of the Year for England, it’s an absolutely mega-achievement for us all at The Forest Side.
“We work so hard doing our thing, in our way and how we want to do it, our guests love it, and our honest and genuine approach clearly has been recognised. We’re going to have one awesome party!”
Grasmere itself is famed for its rugged fells, with some of the country’s most incredible walks based in the hills that surround the village and The Forest Side.
It’s also famed for its gingerbread, with a dedicated gingerbread shop in the village.
This is the landscape that inspired poet William Wordsworth, with plenty of attractions dotted around the area, including the Wordsworth daffodil garden.
The Forest Side has several packages for people wanting to stay and dine, including a two-night Autumn Getaway deal from £799, which includes dinner and bed and breakfast.
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.