A short walk north of Windermere, hidden behind trees and greenery, stands Cedar Manor with its grey brick façade and mullioned windows. It was built in the mid-19thC, designed by the same architect as St Mary’s Church nearby. Originally a country-house retreat, it has retained a welcoming and relaxed feel.
     Owners Caroline and Jonathan Kaye are a friendly, hands-on couple with an eye for detail. There are two comfortable sitting rooms decorated with imaginative wallpaper and harmonious colours. One leads to a wooden carved bar, while the other displays a collection of arts, crafts and jewellery – they’re all made by local artists, and are on sale. Bedrooms and bathrooms are gracefully and individually decorated, with canopied beds and furniture made to fit by local craftsmen. Those with views across the fells reveal it in their name - try Coniston or Langdale, for example. The award-winning detached Coach House Suite features a dining area and a twin spa bath with colour changing lights. In the evening, relax with a drink in the patio by the great cedar tree.
     The food is another attraction: the candlelit, peaceful dining room is perfect to enjoy a modern English meal away from the irritating chimes of phones and daily life. The restaurant has a short menu but two AA rosettes - leave room for dessert. Breakfast, with homemade jams and cooked dishes served at your table, will set you up for a day exploring the area. At only a 15-minute walk to Windermere Lake, there is plenty of walking around Cedar Manor.
     Jonathan, who used to manage the exclusive Raffles nightclub in Chelsea, hosts weekly backgammon nights, as well as the yearly Lake District backgammon championship. There is friendly banter, relaxed organisation and informal mingling – Cedar Manor in a nutshell.