You could say of Mike Bevans that he liked the view so much that he bought the best place to see it from. It is our good luck that he and his wife have also created in this Edwardian country house a very professionally-run hotel with a unique style. The reception rooms are filled with palms, wicker furniture and old curios as well as antiques. Painted decoys, well-travelled cabin trunks and oriental vases help to evoke days of leisure and service in the far reaches of the Empire.
Service here manages to be crisp and amiable at the same time: you are made to feel that you are on holiday and not on parade. Whether you eat in the richly coloured dining room or the Mirror Room, the food has come from Chris O'Callaghan's kitchen - well-thought-out menus, beautifully presented. Bad luck, though, if you're under seven: it's an early tea for you, without the option.
Of the bedrooms, the best look directly towards Windermere, some are in a modern annexe, and there is quite a variation in size. They all have style though, with thoughtful use of fabrics and furnishings, and bathrooms that are attractive rather than utilitarian. Beyond the terraces outside are 14 acres of lawn, shrubs, woods and a small lake.