Boutique Loves

A luxury Lakeland escape at Kai

A luxury Lakeland escape at Kai

Upon reaching the majestic Edenhall Estate in Cumbria, a private country lane escorted us along a vast stitchwork of verdant fields and pockets of woodland. With dusk falling, the warm glow of our retreat beckoned and guided us through the gates to the luxurious Kai, our heavenly homestay for the weekend.

conservatory space at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

Residing in peaceful solitude, Kai’s only neighbours are the resident wildlife. As an owl flew overhead and hares and pheasants meandered in the verdant fields surrounding the cottage, it was clear that the most serene escape to nature would ensue. 

Inside, we were greeted with a hamper full of local produce, including a fresh loaf, eggs, cheeses and cake. With a basket laden with logs, we settled into the cottage by lighting the open fire and taking a few moments to simply listen to it crackling and watch the flurry of flames within the grate. This dog-friendly retreat meant that our canine companion could join our Lakeland escape, and he quickly found a prime spot in front of the fire to curl up.

dog friendly kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

With the early golden sun pouring into the cottage the next morning, the conservatory was the perfect spot to gaze across the surrounding countryside while drinking a steaming coffee, before sitting down to breakfast in the dining area. The snug was also a welcoming space in which to sit back, relax, and plan the day’s adventures. 

breakfast scene at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

pouring coffee at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

Setting the backdrop, the interiors of Kai present an array of interesting features and thoughtful details to admire. Marrying earthy-yet-contemporary tones with playful artwork and furnishings, it’s perfectly curated to create a cosy and homely space with plenty of character. Before heading out for the day to explore, a soothing soak in the luxurious roll-top bathtub was top of the agenda, and while it was tempting to stay cocooned in our cosy retreat, the magic of the Lake District was calling…

roll top bathtub at kai, a boutique retreat in Cumbria

This otherworldly part of the UK offers the wildest sense of escapism, whatever part of the National Park you find yourself in. The breathtaking Ullswater Lake is just a short drive from Edenhall Estate, so we made this our first stop on the map. Opting for a leisurely walk just shy of five miles, the Aira Force and Gowbarrow Park trail took us from the thunderous rushing waterfall, through woodlands, and along a steady climb up Gowbarrow fell to its summit, spoiling us with spellbinding views with each step. 

ullswater lake in the lake district national park, cumbria

After descending the fell with a backdrop of lilac skies, we eagerly made our way to one of Penrith’s best restaurants, Four & Twenty, for an evening of good food and good wine. Feeling replenished, we returned to our retreat under a starlit sky and the brightest full moon. 

full moon at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

The next morning, rising to the chorus of birdsong, we lit the wood-fired hot tub and gently stoked it while admiring the soul-stirring views of the Pennines with a coffee. Later, when ready for a dip, the views were enjoyed from the bubbling waters with a glass in hand. 

wood-fired hot tub at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

prosecco and strawberries at kai, a boutique retreat in cumbria

Embracing this divinely leisurely pace, we later ventured to the charming market town of Penrith and the Garden Tea Room (one of Penrith’s charming cafés) for tea and cake, before embarking on another walk in the Lakes - this time at the foot of Helvellyn mountain as the sun arched over the pines and glassy waters below. 

pine trees at helvellyn in the lake district national park

helvellyn at sunset, in the lake district national park

We spent the evening soaking up Kai’s ambience while reminiscing about our time in the Lakes, with the promise to soon return to this utterly magnetic part of the UK. 


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