The feel is formal, but modern and light-hearted touches (silver teapot lamps, a picnic table made from recycled cans…) lift the mood – as might a little something from the cocktail trolley; do order Estate gin.
Oak House is the largest of the Knap Yard cottages, all with private gardens and views over the cherry orchard, and perfect for special celebrations. Discuss your menu with the Estate chef – maybe Cannon of Hebridean Harewood lamb Fricassee, followed by curd tart with home-grown rhubarb; you can take the chain ferry across the lake to admire the prolific walled garden from which it comes. Breakfasts can be delivered too.
Walk to the Estate’s excellent Muddy Boot village café, and further afield in the splendid Wharfe Valley – craggy Yorkshire at its best. For bright lights, both Leeds and Harrogate are a twenty-minute drive.