Yorkshire Dales, United Kingdom

The Malabar

Rates per night from$145.86

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP116.67), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Born in a barn

Setting

National Park perch

The Malabar was once home to cows and other cattle; following a clever makeover, the only thing that’s bovine here are the udderly delicious breakfasts. Former shippons and byres – that’s cattle sheds to the uninitiated – have been reimagined as boutique bedrooms, spiced up with furnishings and artworks that nod to the owners’ stints in Mumbai and the Far East.

 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A tin of the Malabar’s artisan, loose-leaf tea

Facilities

Photos The Malabar facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Six, including three suites.

Check–Out

10.30am. Check-in is from 3pm to 9pm (Monday to Saturday only); early arrivals will be directed towards local amusements. A prompt arrival is best if you'd like afternoon tea.

Rates

Double rooms from $145.86 (£117), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include a delicious cooked breakfast, plus afternoon tea for two (served from 3.30pm to 5pm on the day of arrival).

Also

Clever Graham has a bread-making and patisserie course under his belt – his skills are apparent in the Malabar’s home-made afternoon tea, served as a welcome treat between 3.30pm and 5pm. Pick from an array of loose-leaf teas (12 in total, including the Malabar’s house blend), plus sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes.

At the hotel

Eight acres of grazing land; trampoline; pretty terrace; communal dining room; cosy lounge; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV; Roberts radio; Bath House lotions and potions.

Our favourite rooms

Earlston is a top-floor suite that surveys the River Lune to the west. Pops of soft pink, blue and orange enliven the suite’s stone walls and oak beams; there’s also a big Excelsior bath tub below the eaves of the roof. The suite takes its name from the tea-estate bungalow in Kerala where Graham grew up.

Packing tips

Bring clothes you can stride across Dales in, a thirst for a good cuppa, and a story or two to tell around the communal breakfast table.

Also

Each floor has a well-stocked tea-and-coffee station: a nod to owner Graham’s tea connections (his father and grandfather were tea-planters in Kerala). Graham and Fiona lived in Mumbai before Yorkshire – hence the far-flung flourishes.

Pet‐friendly

A maximum of two dogs can stay in the Ladbroke Suite for a flat fee of £20 each. See more pet-friendly hotels in Yorkshire Dales.

Children

Little Smiths of all sizes are welcome (though the Malabar reckons it’s best for nippers aged six and above). Each suite has a sofa bed; extra beds can be added to rooms. On-loan kit includes: cots, cribs, baby bed-linen, bottle-sterilisers, high chairs.

Food and Drink

Photos The Malabar food and drink

Top Table

Pull up chairs at a cosy table for two in the dining room, request breakfast in bed, or enjoy it out on the terrace, weather-permitting.

Dress Code

Whatever you feel comfortable sipping tea and eating cake in. Factor in the Great Outdoors: bring waterproofs and wind-cheaters outside of summer (and perhaps even then; this is England, after all).

Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant, but there’s also no chance you’ll go hungry, thanks to Graham’s hearty breakfasts. Begin the day with wild-boar bacon and venison and hedgerow-jelly sausages; there’s a veggie version featuring a creative take on ‘black pudding’, if you’re less meatily inclined. (You can also try lassi, home-made granola and other extras.) Light suppers rustled up on request for £35 a couple (excluding drinks); homemade soup, Graham’s bread, salads and locally sourced charcuterie from Stonehouse Smokery can be rolled out around 7.30pm Monday to Thursday, followed by a little something sweet. Book before arrival if you’d like to partake in the Friday feasts – three-course set menu dinners – past favourites have included braised lamb, crushed new potatoes and rhubarb and stem ginger creme brulee. One Thursday a month, the Malabar hosts an Indian supper club for two dozen guests; each home-style dinner includes a seasonal four-course set menu (£35 a person). There’s a selection of wines and craft beers to choose from too. 

 

Hotel bar

The honesty bar in the lounge is stocked with wine, whisky and a pleasing lineup of craft beer, some of which is local. 

Last orders

Breakfast almost anytime you'd like (within reason). Afternoon tea for two is served as an arrival treat – enjoy it in the lounge or dining room, from 3pm, on the day of your arrival. Light dinners can be arranged around 7.30pm from Monday to Thursday.

Room service

Staying in a suite? Let the owners know if you’d rather have breakfast in bed. Forget alarm clocks: here, days begin with a gentle knock on your door at an appointed time (you decide when) and a tray of just-brewed tea left outside your room.

Location

Photos The Malabar location
Address
The Malabar
Garths Marthwaite
Sedbergh
LA10 5ED
United Kingdom

Do not set a course for southern India: the Malabar occupies a picturesque pocket of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Lake District’s southern tip is just 10 minutes away (you’ve basically reached hiking heaven).

Planes

Manchester Airport (www.manchesterairport.co.uk) is 84 miles away, a 90-minute drive. Leeds Bradford Airport is closer – 67 miles from the hotel – but the drive takes just under two hours (www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk).

Trains

Oxenholme Lake District station offers services connecting to London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Preston; it’s eight miles from the Malabar (a 15-minute drive). Hop in a taxi from the station for around £25.

Automobiles

Wheels are a handy accessory, given the immensely beautiful countryside; the hotel has parking for guests. Kendal is a 20-minute drive away; the Malabar is three miles from junction 37 on the M6, just two miles from Sedbergh.

Worth getting out of bed for

Take a book to the lounge or your legs on an adventure: start by roaming around the National Park, Howgill Fells or the Lake District (a 10-minute drive away). Fiona and Graham will happily suggest half- or full-day itineraries, with walks, cream-tea pit-stops and pub lunches thrown in. If you grew up with Peter Rabbit and Mr McGregor, visit The World of Beatrix Potter at Crag Brow. Sedbergh holds an artisan farmers’ market on the fourth Saturday of every month; there’s also a weekly Wednesday market at Joss Lane car park. If you want to stock up on mementos from your stay, pick up loose-leaf tea from Farrer’s in Kendal (responsible for the Malabar’s blends), treat yourselves to Bath House lotions and potions from the shop outside Sedbergh, or ask Graham and Fiona about procuring some of the Masham-made Rosebud Preserves, used at breakfast.

Local restaurants

If you’ve got a taste for local beef and pork thanks to the Malabar’s breakfasts, keep going at The Dalesman inn, which sources its cattle from from Birks Farm in Sedbergh. Try ‘Dalesman Angus’, a breed with a distinctive marbling, tenderness and flavour. (There are options for vegetarians, too.) Head to gastropub The Black Swan for almond-topped sea bream, slow-cooked duck with fennel and rhubarb and ginger cheesecake. Fancy summat fancy? Dress up for L’Enclume, a riverside restaurant with rooms – and two Michelin stars. Sensibly, Simon Rogan and head chef Tom Barnes put the focus on local produce, showcasing the highlights of Cartmel countryside, plus vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers from their own 12-acre farm. Dishes are full of whizzbang flavour: previous crowd-pleasers include oyster pebbles, beetroot and horseradish snow, and shorthorn with charcoal oil, mustard, apple and celeriac.

Local cafés

Pick up bread and cakes from Three Hares – owner Nina is a master baker. 

Reviews

Photos The Malabar reviews
Olivia Triggs

Anonymous review

By Olivia Triggs, Creative counsel

Just inhaling the scent of sheep in the moist air told us we weren’t in London any more. We were, in fact, at Oxenholme Lake District railway station, where we’re greeted by our taxi driver Ian, who has been booked – rather thoughtfully – for us by one of our hosts, Fiona.

Fiona, along with Graham, runs the Malabar: a boutique B&B at Garths Farm, just outside Sedbergh. And sure enough, the pair are waiting for us, along with Pluto and Monty, their two rescued gun dogs from Cyprus.

Our room, the Earlston, is named after the tea-estate bungalow in Kerala where Graham grew up. It’s beautiful, large and spacious – the type of room you’d expect in a grand hotel.  It’s scented with an array of fresh flowers, its bed is huge, its views spectacular.

We decide to set off on a walk in the drizzle, following the river to get our bearings. Arriving back just as the dark is setting in, we’re treated to a choice of teas (Graham’s specialty) and home-baked cakes.

Fire on, we officially switch off. Our evening meal of a low-key soup and cheese proves to be massively under-sold, rather its a joyous spread of homemade soup, a charcuterie board, cheeses, fennel salad with lemon and parmesan, chutneys, relishes and freshly baked bread with salty butter. All washed down with a few glasses of red, which you can help yourself to at the honesty bar. All that’s left to do is to take a long wallow in the bath. Bliss.

After a very comfortable night’s sleep, we awake to our tea tray (for tea appreciators, which we are, this was a highlight. You can request a time to have a tea tray brought to your room, with a gentle knock on your door to let you know it’s arrived. It’s been very much missed since returning home) followed by an enormous breakfast.

We get particularly into breakfast during our stay. Basically, you’re left a clipboard each evening on which you can mark up what you’d like for breakfast (and on your tea tray) the next morning. It’s a very satisfying debate to have: one egg or two? Shall I add the homemade beans tomorrow? Apricot and pistachio topping on my porridge, or sour cherries?

The previous day’s gentle drizzle has now given way to non-stop torrential rain, which goes on for three days. There is serious flooding in the area, but it doesn’t hinder our enthusiasm for getting out and about. I make the mistake of thinking my hiking boots are fine for a few days in the Dales. They aren’t, but thankfully proper boots are on offer to borrow. I borrow.

We decide to walk from Sedbergh to Dent, over rolling Yorkshire dales (and wet fields), past stone walls and mossy clumps. We pass plenty of Herdwick and Swaledale sheep – I can now officially tell the difference: Swaledales have the black faces, you know.

It’s only 4.30pm when get back to Sedbergh but already feels like evening. We take our place at the Dalesman Country Inn, peel off our still damp layers and put them by the fire to dry. Then we settle into wine drinking, a game of scrabble and an early supper before heading back to the Malabar.

Hot baths, robes and a night of TV follows, all to the tune of my favourite natural music: rain on Velux.

The following day, we take a longer route into Sedbergh along the raging river. We treat ourselves to a late lunch, walnut cake and coffee in the Three Hares (thoroughly recommended) before ambling back in fading sunlight.

Of course, on our last day we awake to sunshine and blue sky. We’re thankful to be booked on the late afternoon train so we could make the most of it. Fiona drops us off at the foot of Howgill Fell, and, armed with nothing more than a flask of coffee, we head onwards and upwards. The morning frost turns into snow by the time we reach the top, and it was breathtaking.

Back at base we say our goodbyes and head back to the station, our pockets full of fresh fudge – a parting gift from Graham and Fiona. After all our adventures, it’s a sad moment saying goodbye to the two of them – they’ve looked after us so well in our Yorkshire cocoon. Not even the rain could dampen our enthusiasm for the Malabar.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Malabar’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location. It was a perfect base to explore both the beautiful Yorkshire dales and also the Lake District. The room was huge and lovely. Great breakfast and very helpful hosts.

Don’t expect

Wild nightlife – although the local town was a two-minute drive away and had several good restaurants and pubs.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jun 2019

We loved

We loved the hotel and it was perfect for what we needed. We had a tranquil one night break, with a short drive to the waterfalls and town to eat out. Our hosts were lovely – we were greeted as we were clambering out of the car and waved goodbye to as we left. Immaculate hotel and countryside retreat. I would stay again!

Don’t expect

To be able to walk to a nearby pub for food.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Jun 2019

We loved

Graham and Fiona provide a very personal service from this beautiful location.The barn conversion is stunning and the quirky decor is relaxing. We had a lovely afternoon tea on arrival, a great light supper and a nice breakfast. Super retreat and base for seeing this delightful part of the country.

Don’t expect

Wild nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 13 May 2019

We loved

The surroundings and the lovely scenic walking paths. The Malabar was very nice, quiet and comfortable.

Don’t expect

A restaurant in-house. It was fine, as we just drove to Sedbergh for dinner.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Apr 2019

We loved

The building - the photos don't do it justice! We loved the rooms, the beautiful bathrooms, the lovely lounge, the gorgeous dogs, the friendly hosts - full of recommendations for good walks and places to eat. We were grateful for the hosts cooking us a lovely vegan breakfast.

Don’t expect

To be able to walk quickly to the pub in the evening - worth a car/taxi or you could walk in during the day. But it is the lovely quiet setting of the bb which really sets the tone.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Apr 2019

We loved

We absolutely love The Malabar. A lovely welcome, beautiful complimentary afternoon tea on arrival, stunning setting, intricate and elegant decor, wonderful rooms, amazing hospitality, super breakfast. It's absolutely perfect.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Feb 2019

We loved

The attention to detail and personal service.

Don’t expect

To be ignored or rushed.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Dec 2018

We loved

Such a lovely couple, Graham was great from the minute he greeted us to the minute we left. Excellent food on offer too – the afternoon tea was excellent and breakfast also very tasty, and a great selection of choices too! Local pubs nearby were great for the evening meal. The Millmount room was exceptional, such a beautiful room and great bath! The B&B has great facilities throughout, it's more like a boutique hotel!

Rating

Stayed on 24 Nov 2018

We loved

We loved the room, the breakfast, the tea, the hosts, the walks and the pubs – a fantastic weekend.

Don’t expect

Restaurants within a short distance. But it's easy to eat in Sedburgh then walk back through the country lanes (40 mins) even late in the evening.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Nov 2018

We loved

We loved everything about the Malabar; Graham and Fiona were so welcoming as soon as we arrived. We felt completely pampered and at home all weekend. Graham was always around in the morning to ask what we were up to that day and to help tweak our itinerary or lend a map for walking. We had supper at the Malabar on the Sunday evening; this was our favourite night of our holiday, we definitely recommend it.

Don’t expect

Lively nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Aug 2018

We loved

Everything. From the idyllic setting to the delicious food to the luxurious rooms and especially from the warm welcome and attentiveness of Fiona and Graham. Good local pubs and cafes in Sedbergh. Excellent information pack provided in the room.

Don’t expect

Lively night life.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jun 2018

We loved

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Malabar, and felt really relaxed even though we only stayed one night. Our room was Millmount, and had a fantastic bathroom with roll-top bath, and a chaise longue for relaxing with a book looking out on the Yorkshire Dales. The decor throughout the property is stunning, with references to India notable throughout. Our train arrived at Oxenholme, and the owner arranged for a local taxi company to collect us which cost £20. We then had a lovely walk along the river before returning for a delicious afternoon tea. Breakfast in the morning was also first class – you order the evening before, and the porridge with a choice of luxurious toppings was particularly delicious. The cooked breakfast which followed certainly set us up for the day, and included homemade baked beans, and locally produced meat and eggs. We would certainly stay at The Malabar again, and recommend to family and friends. We had dinner at the Three Hares in the village of Sedbergh about 2 miles from The Malabar. The food was outstanding, but we felt service was a bit rushed.

Don’t expect

A lively night out, but this location is perfect for a relaxing getaway.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jun 2018

We loved

Sitting on the terrace eating breakfast. Relaxing in our beautiful room. The views all around us and Fiona and Grahams hospitality and attention to detail. Platos restaurant at Kirkby Lonsdale.

Don’t expect

To be disappointed everything was perfect as far as we were concerned.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Apr 2018

We loved

Easy access to The Howgills: you can walk from the Malabar straight into the hills. We were met on arrival and had a fabulous afternoon tea. Amazing teas, loved the mint tea. The room was lovely, huge bathroom and great touches from India. We stayed in and had a delicious charcuterie board for supper (very reasonably priced) with a bottle – just perfect. We were off on a big walk the next morning and the breakfast lasted us all day. They even made up our flasks for us with their delicious tea. Great location as it's just off the M6, but then feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. We will definately be back, just need to sort out the childcare!

Don’t expect

Communal table for afternoon tea, and another table by fire. So you might talk to other guests! This is no way distracts from the experience, just trying to find something to put in this box. Enjoy.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Mar 2018

We loved

The Malabar is an amazing find in the Yorkshire Dales which feels more like home than a hotel. The hosts, Graham and Fiona, were so welcoming and helpful throughout the trip, offering us tea and cakes on arrival and a delicious breakfast each morning, providing recommendations for things to do and even making dinner reservations for us. The setting is absolutely beautiful with rolling hills and great walking routes at your doorstep and the hotel itself is very tastefully decorated. We've already recommended the the Malabar to several friends and would happily go back. Dinner at the Three Hares restaurant was particularly good. The Dalesman pub is cosy with good food but be sure to make a reservation!

Don’t expect

Don't expect any stress – you'll quickly relax in the serene atmosphere

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jan 2018

We loved

We loved everything about this place! The setting is beautiful and remote, the rooms are very comfortable, the whole place is very tastefully and beautifully decorated and the teas are delicious, as are the breakfasts. Graham and Fiona couldn't be more gracious hosts – we got a little lost on a particularly long walk along snowy hills one day and Fiona was kind enough to come and pick us up in her car before nightfall! When we got back, Graham made us tea and cucumber sandwiches, which we gratefully ate by the cosy fire. The whole experience was more like staying with friends than in a hotel. We couldn't recommend the Malabar more highly. We had dinner at the Three Hares in Sedbergh the first night, which was excellent. The Dalesman pub is also great – generous portions of hearty pub food which are perfect after a long day of walking.

Don’t expect

Anything to disturb your sleep – we slept extremely soundly both nights.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Nov 2017

We loved

The owners Fiona and Graham are very welcoming and helpful, the room was huge with a great bath and views, th breakfast was delicious and the countryside beautiful. 

Don’t expect

Nightlife!

Rating

Stayed on 4 Nov 2017

We loved

The decor, the peace and quiet, the tea tasting in the afternoon when we arrived and the owners.

Don’t expect

A lively night scene! The Malabar really does feel like it's in the middle of nowhere – in a good way! The most noise you are likely to get is from the sheep in the fields.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Oct 2017

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