On the second leg of our recent ‘Lakes Road Trip’, we stayed at Ees Wyke, an elegant Georgian house in Near Sawrey, a small village on the other side of Lake Windemere.
Once the holiday home of Beatrix Potter it is set on high ground overlooking and adjacent to Esthwaite Water. Now an elegant and personally managed guest house, they offer luxury accommodation and outstanding award-winning food!
In fact, they have won awards for their breakfasts and for many years have held the AA rosette for dinner, we knew a memorable stay here was guaranteed.
Inside, the dining room and lounge together with most bedrooms have stunning views across the Lake to the fells of Coniston Old Man, the Langdale Pikes and the extensive woodland of Grizedale Forest. This is a beautiful tranquil place with many walks and strolls from the house.
The author, Beatrix Potter, stayed at Ees Wyke on several occasions when the family rented the house as a holiday home. The house was then known as Lakesfield. Later she purchased nearby Hill Top Farm, the setting for six of her books of which the first was “The Tales of Peter Rabbit”.
These days at Ees Wyke, you can sit out on the veranda and admire the views across the lake and fells with a cup of tea or, indeed, something stronger. What better way to unwind after a day of hiking!
The elegant dining room with crisp white linen is quintessentially English, it is details such as these that make Ees Wyke so special.
Add to this the panoramic views over Esthwaite Water to Coniston Old Man and the Langdale Pikes, we honestly did not want to leave this unique hotel.
But we have not yet touched on the food.
Head chef and owner Richard Lee, travelled extensively, often in France, and says he “watched, tasted, listened and learned how to cook”. Learn to cook he most certainly did! In fact, this is drastically underselling Richard’s culinary skills, he is in fact a gifted chef and creates a daily changing three course dinner menu utilising wherever possible, the very best of local produce from top local suppliers.
The evening we stayed and dined we had Seared Scallops with salad and balsamic dressing – simple, uncomplicated with no smoke and mirrors, the scallops were allowed to be the star of the dish and were delicious!
We also enjoyed a started of Char-grilled Asparagus wrapped in pancetta with balsamic dressing. Again, supremely simple, light with the flavour of top-quality ingredients allowed to shine.
We both chose the same main course of Noisettes of Local Lamb pan fried and served with a wine jus with mint and just a hint of garlic. The flavour of each ingredient was subtle, the beautiful fresh, tender spring lamb the worthy star on the plate.
Desserts of Sticky Toffee Sponge and hot butterscotch sauce and a Pear Poached in Muscat with honey and cinnamon were just delightful. We tasted each other’s and could not decide on a favourite, all desserts should be so perfect!
Finally, we shared a selection of regional cheeses. At this stage Richard appeared and went around every table to make sure each diner had enjoyed their food, engaging in conversation as if with old friends. More chefs should do this, it is very endearing.
Following the most wonderful nights sleep, we further enjoyed Richard’s cooking by way of a cooked to order Lakeland Breakfast, which was the perfect way to start another day of hiking around this magical area.
An exploration of Ingleton Waterfall Trail was on the cards. If you want to experience magic, visit The Lake District. If you want to experience a magical stay in The Lake District, we recommend Ees Wyke Country House!