Filling up our tank on a day driving around the Lake District, the service attendant asks where we are staying. “Haweswater Hotel”, we tell him and he looks surprised. “That’s a great spot”, he says “it’s where us locals hang out on our days off”. Skymie and I exchange a smirk.
Originally, I questioned whether staying by a reservoir in a district of lakes was the wrong move, but the website made it look so damn peaceful and pretty that I couldn’t resist. Once checked in, we discovered it was also in a quiet little hikers paradise, with the start of some spectacular walks just down the road (you can read about our first short wander here).
In an English summer the sun stays up until late in the evening, so our first dinner was by the bright windows of the dining room. The interiors were modern country with deep grey blue walls, mounted with a deer head or two. This wasn’t exactly to Skymie’s tastes as he’s vegetarian (I was also for a very long time, of course until not long before I met him, as is sometimes the irony of the universe, but my novelty meat eating is limited and still only sometimes preferred). There was one vegetarian main on the menu, a delicious roast vegetable and goats cheese frittata , but our question was around dining two nights in a row (which we planned, we were already falling for this peaceful district refuge) – which we were assured is not a problem. Like any good chefs, they would whip us up a couple of options for the following night. Ace. Desert was a berry effing cheesecake with squiggles of sauce across the plate! Divine!
We retired to the warmly lit drawing room to relax, read and share some wine.
The following morning at breakfast, little red squirrels were having a munch on some seed outside the dining room windows. We also saw a tiny little vole, about the size of an egg, inch out of the hedge to nibble up the leftovers. I’d never seen one before, but had just read about them in The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks. After coffee and an English breakfast (of course) we set off for a day of exploring lakes, Keswick village, a stone circle and more.
On our return to the hotel, we moved from the modest rear view room to the Lake View King room (we originally were going to stay just the one night, but then found a good deal on a second through a booking website, so hello weekend), which was all lofty wooden beams, stylish leather chairs, and a window seat (who doesn’t love a good window seat!?) that peered over an expanse of garden. And did I mention the subway-tiled bathroom with big ‘ol bath?! After dinner (chicken ceasar, crispy garlic bread and veggie chilli for the boy followed by sticky date for him and a scoop of mint chip ice-cream for moi) and a brief chillax in a relaxing seat by the fire, I had a soak in the bath and then watched the live Glastonbury Festival broadcast from bed.
Needless to say we were not so peachy keen on leaving the following day.