Esthwaite Water, to the west of Windermere, has been kept safely in private hands, so has escaped the development that has ravaged some of the other Lakes. Ees Wyke, near Hawkshead, a gem of a white-painted Georgian mansion, is perched above park-like meadows that roll gently down to the reed banks on the shore, punctuated here and there by sheep and mature trees. As well as unmarred views, Richard and Margaret Lee have happily discovered the secret of making people feel instantly at home.
This is a well-kept house, with everything just so, even down to a plentiful supply of games and books for those inclement days. In the dining room are beautiful large windows to show off the view (these are new since Beatrix Potter stayed here for her holidays), Windsor chairs and crisp white tablecloths. The dinners (Richard's department) run to five generous and unhurried courses and the price/quality ratio of the wine list is definitely tipped in your favour. The bedrooms are attractive and generously proportioned, most with small but well-equipped bathrooms, and comfortable enough to allow you to build up the strength you need to tackle the truly heroic breakfast.