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Why You Need to Visit This Family-Run Hotel in Grasmere

The Yan
February 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

If it’s easy to talk about both the quantity of outstanding accommodation to be found in the Lakes, it’s also important to comment on the originality of some of the hotels, and one such gem which has been fashioned by a real labour of love is The Yan

The Yan (or as I learned in its translation, The One) is a real a family affair which is very much an ongoing work in progress, not that you would know it when staying there. So many surely have a dream of retiring and doing something different, but I’m not sure many would have managed the complete renaissance of this previously somewhat humble dwelling. It’s been achieved by a tasty cocktail of passion, vision and belief, and the result is definitely one to savour. Owners David and Sally are currently building their ‘retirement’ home across the yard whilst daughter Jess stays front-of-house and son-in-law Will is chef.

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You can read the story in a special book which you will find in each bedroom, but basically they had a dream, and boy-oh-boy have they delivered it. A relatively modest building has been recrafted to offer uniquely vibrant accommodation with a totally contemporary feel. All seven ensuite bedrooms are in the luxury division and can sleep two, three or four guests each, canine companions are also warmly welcomed in two rooms. Best described as a restaurant with rooms, The Yan has a wonderful homely feel, set in old farm buildings on a still working farm, a short distance from Grasmere and midway between Windermere and Keswick.

The word on the grapevine was that the food here is special – great news – but even better, the restaurant was far from showy or grand but stylishly understated in a warm and rustic way. The bistro-style Grasmere Restaurant has an open kitchen and bar and its menu has a distinctly laid-back feel, inspired by the seasons and with much taken straight from the farm. It serves food all day and as we settled down for dinner we selected some drinks and turned to the menu, which is a mix of traditional Cumbrian classics and thoroughly modern-sounding dishes.

'The bistro-style Grasmere Restaurant has an
open kitchen and bar and its menu has a distinctly
laid-back feel, inspired by the seasons and with
much taken straight from the farm'

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After some deliberation we settled on the shrimp slider and the ham hock and chive terrine to start and both were packed with little extras, allowing the carefully curated flavours to shine through. We then had another decision: whether to go for one of the sharing plates (for two) or go it alone. We went our separate ways selecting the house speciality, the much lauded shepherd’s pie and the delicious sounding fish curry, our bit on the side was a portion of seasonal vegetables. The braised Herdwick lamb combined beautifully with the house cheesy mashed potato and the curry was also declared a triumph. There’s a considered wine list and several local beers and spirits on offer too. The service in the busy bistro was slick but friendly, and the log burner flickered away merrily in the corner, adding to the homely feel.

Pausing before a pud we finally settled on two classics: sticky toffee pudding and the Yan-Brosia pudding, both once again were delightful. The talk for the following day was of the mountains (well, they might be hills to some but they were definitely mountains to me) and with that in mind we turned in and enjoyed a peaceful night in our cosy room.

If like me, you enjoy a bit of a feast before your travails in the fells, then may I suggest The Yan’s home-cooked breakfast. Regretfully, we were only staying one night which was a pity as there’s a huge amount you can do in close proximity to The Yan. Grasmere is a 20-minute walk away and the farm is surrounded by several good walks, with fells rising to the front and behind the hotel nestled on the hillside.

Broadrayne Farm, Grasmere LA22 9RU
015394 35055

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