An early competitor for the hotel was the zootel, but despite their best efforts with frilly lampshades, the owners couldn't disguise the elephant in the room. Leave the animals at home for today's Groupon: £195 for a one night stay for two with four course meal at Broadoaks Country House Hotel.
A majestic manor house close to Lake Windermere, Broadoaks focusses firmly on home-grown ingredients, from the Lake District stone in its foundations to the locally-sourced meat and cheeses served in its restaurant. The hotel specialises in short romantic breaks, creating a twinklingly amorous atmosphere with fairy-lights outside after nightfall and cosy corners and open fires within. An oasis of landscaped gardens surrounds the building, and a short way away is a five star spa for refreshing dips and luxuriant bubbles.
The heartfelt package begins with an afternoon cream tea soon after arrival, and a resplendent four course meal in the evening. A canapé reception in the music room precedes the meal, which consists of four courses of Cumbrian delicacies such as Cartmel Valley oak-smoked wood pigeon with puy lentil casserole and Troutbeck pancetta; fillet of pork; and warm plum and almond crumble with cognac anglaise and berry ripple ice cream. Feasted pairs can sink into their sumptuous room, which may range from a garden cottage to a honeymoon suite, depending on availablilty, and dream of breakfast in bed on awakening. Access to the nearby spa is also included, and a check-out at 12pm gives plenty of time for duvet-wallowing.