THE former holiday home for Beatrix Potter has retained its AA award for the 17th time.

Ees Wyke Country House, in Hawkshead, have achieved a 2024 AA Rosette award for Culinary Excellence - a nationwide scheme for assessing the quality of food served by restaurants and hotels - for the 17th year running.

In addition, the traditional country house was also awarded the prestigious 2024 AA Breakfast Award.

Owner Richard Lee said the secret to their success was to 'keep things the way they are'.

He said: "It has worked very well for me for the last 20-odd years. I was absolutely delighted to retain the award because I have won it now for 17 years. 

"It is the recognition that we provide good food to a high standard using local produce when possible of course."

The owner explained the Lake District was a 'lovely' area to work and that it receives visitors from all over the world.

"This year it has been OK. It has not been desperately busy but it has been better than the year before," said Mr Lee.

"We do not have any particular plans for the Summer other than making sure we carry on doing a good job through the season."

The AA inspector's view said: "A warm welcome awaits at this elegant Georgian country house with views over Esthwaite Water and the surrounding countryside. The thoughtfully equipped bedrooms have been decorated and furnished with care.

"There are two charming lounges with an open fire and a splendid dining room where your host, chef patron, serves evening meals. Breakfasts have a fine reputation due to the skillful use of local produce."

Ees Wyke was built as a Lake District retreat for a Lancashire mill owner in 1742.

Author Beatrix Potter stayed at Ees Wyke on several occasions when the family rented the house as a holiday home.

Ees Wyke remained a private home until it was converted into a guest house.