Review: Ees Wyke Country House in the Lake District offers an idyllic nature getaway

A LUXURY country house in a peaceful, idyllic Lake District village is the dream getaway from the hustle and bustle of reality – and if Beatrix Potter enjoyed her stay here, chances are you will too.

Richard Lee has been welcoming guests to the Ees Wyke Country House Hotel in Near Sawrey for over 20 years, but the guest house which overlooks Esthwaite Water and its hills has a rich history beyond that.

The whitewashed Georgian house was originally built as a Lake District retreat for a Lancashire mill owner in 1742.

The name is taken from the Norse meaning “east zone” in relation to the water of Esthwaite. An entrance to the nearby lake is known as Ees Wyke Bay. Wykes often refer to a strip of land while a Thwaite is a clearing in a wooded area.

Richard acts as chef (an exceptional chef), maintenance manager, gardener, host and fascinating storyteller for all guests who walk through the front door.

Welcome visit

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by either Richard (often found in his chef’s whites) or one of his friendly staff who tour the nine-bedroom house which has traditionally furnished bedrooms – floral fabric sofas, dado paneling, open fires and lots of windows to really embrace the Lakeland views.

Each room has been decorated and named after a soft and delicate color.

The bedroom is outfitted with comfy beds, lovely wallpapers, antiques to retain its period features, a complimentary decanter filled with sherry sits on the bedside table for those in need of a nightcap and even slippers and a dressing gown that can be worn to access the bathroom.

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There is also a kettle in the room to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or even hot chocolate if you are visiting during the winter months.

delicious food

After the tour it was time for the three course dinner prepared by Richard.

The dining room is typically English with its white linen tablecloths and delicate porcelain.

The menu changes daily, so a guest is unlikely to receive the same dish twice.

To start, there were delicious buttery wild mushrooms mixed with parsley, tarragon and cream.

Then main courses were pan fried local lamb hazelnuts served with mint wine jus and just a hint of garlic.

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And finally, the dessert was a summer pudding with double whipped cream flavored with Cointreau, very refreshing and seasonal.

Richard explains that he takes pride in sourcing the best local produce and ingredients for his guests.

To end the evening, it is highly recommended to have a drink while watching the sun go down over a breathtaking view of Langdale Pikes on the veranda or in the living room.

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Breakfast the next morning included locally made sausages and cured bacon from their butcher with homemade bread.

There is also a very generous buffet with cereals, freshly squeezed juices, compotes, porridge and many freshly baked pastries.

Ees Wyke received his 15th AA Rosette for Dining Experience and maintained an entry in the Good Hotel Guide for 18 years.

retirement for writing

Beatrix Potter, beloved children’s author, has stayed at Ees Wyke on several occasions when the family has rented the house as a holiday home.

Anyone visiting can understand why Beatrix enjoyed this country house as it is simply an oasis of relaxation.

She later bought nearby Hill Top Farm (which is a five-minute walk from the hotel but advance booking is strongly advised), the setting for six of her books, the first of which was ‘The Tales of Peter Rabbit“.

If you are not a fan of literature there are also many walks to do such as Windermere for those who like to stroll or a 10 minute drive away is Hawkshead where there are many local shops, cafes, restaurants and a chocolate factory.

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It’s clear from start to finish that Richard and his staff will do everything to make your stay at Ees Wyke as enjoyable as possible. It’s welcoming, peaceful and the escape into nature that we all need.

For more information and to book your stay at the hotel

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Raymond I. Langston