Our second visit on behalf of the Dorset Cereals B&B Awards took us to a very special vegetarian B&B in the Lake District….
Dorset Cereal’s ‘Breakfast Like No Other’ Shortlist – Yewfield
We think October is the very best time of year to visit the Lake District. Driving along the magnificent Lake Windermere, you can’t fail to be impressed by the gold explosions from the Autumnal leaves. We’re staying just outside Ambleside, a cute village with great restaurants, independent cinema and shops, but more of that later.
Perched on top of a hill, as we approach Yewfield Vegetarian B&B, we are totally in awe of the gothic beauty of the large building. We arrive late afternoon and sensing our urgency to get out and explore the beautiful surroundings, the helpful receptionist gives us a quick tour of our home for the night. Passing plenty of cute nooks to snuggle up in, we are encouraged to borrow books from their extensive library.
Our superior room features super high ceilings, a pair of the comfiest armchairs we’ve ever sat in and a dreamy balcony looking out onto the organic gardens below. The bathroom is huge, clean and modern (with Neal’s Yard toiletries) but this was softened with Indian decorative touches throughout, including a huge brass chandelier made up of elephants!
Layering up, we make our way down the front steps and embark on a pleasant 1-1.5 hour walk to the nearby lake. Passing wildflower meadows, wild mushrooms, happy sheep, climbing over stiles and kicking up leaves, we couldn’t have been happier. The views of the national park are simply stunning, and all just a short stroll from the B&B. As the golden hour turned into night time we curled up on the huge sofas in front of the roaring fire and warmed up with a cup of tea.
Although Yewfield doesn’t offer dinner in house, they do own not one but TWO vegetarian restaurants in Ambleside. Zeffirellis is the more relaxed of the two, serving pizza & pasta as well as boasting a multi-screen cinema & jazz evenings! Just down the road you’ll find the more refined Fellinis where we enjoyed impeccable service and inventive veggie cuisine. We dined on citrus spiked halloumi and mozzarella stuffed tomatoes, cauliflower steaks and fluffy sweet potato fries. The stand out dish for us though was without doubt the chocolate avocado mouse with caramelised pistachio. Veggies and meat-eaters alike will be impressed.
Whether it was the fresh country air from the long walk, or the super comfy bed, we slept soundly all night.
So, what makes Yewfield a vegetarian B&B? Breakfast! Served from 8-9.30am we delved into the fresh fruit, home-roasted hazelnuts, granola and muesli. We particularly loved the local honey & tahini on offer and drizzled it over just about everything. Homemade berry smoothie made a nice addition to the orange & apple juice you’d expect to see & strong coffee is brought to the table. Once you’ve had your fill from the buffet, your cooked breakfast awaits. Choose how you want your local eggs (scrambled, poached, fried or boiled) which are then served with home grown oven baked tomatoes, fried mushrooms, homemade cinnamon tinged baked beans, a juicy vegan sausage and toasted seeded homemade bread.
If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, this really will feel like a little haven and even if you’re not, having vegetables as the star of the show, really showcases just how special the gardens are that surround you.
Before leaving we couldn’t resist popping back to Windermere and making the short walk up the hill to Orrest Head, famously featured in Alfred Wainwright’s The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. He describes it as “our first ascent in Lakeland, our first sight of mountains in tumultuous array across glittering waters, our awakening to beauty” and also as “a fitting finale, too, to a life made happy by fellwandering”.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.