Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
8:24 AM 19th October 2020

Brownber House - Style And Comfort On The Edge Of The Howgill Fells

The past seven months have shown me that we have so many opportunities and beautiful scenery on our doorstep. The Staycation has really come into its own - thankfully there are homely cottages to stay in that are also within or close to the Dales and the Lake District.

The beautifully renovated Victorian farmhouse Brownber House sits within the Brownber Estate at the foot of the Howgill Fells. Ravenstondale village is under two miles away.

The house is approached via a short driveway that leads on to the Brownber Estate, the neighbouring Hall is also available for hire.

Owners Peter & Amanda Jaques-Walker are always contactable or on hand from afar to offer tips on how to get the best from the area, such as walks, places to eat or to help curate experiences like water sports and horseriding.

View of the Howgill Fells from the Dining room
View of the Howgill Fells from the Dining room
Amanda’s sister Georgina Rose (formally Soho House Architect) curated the interior of the property which has been tastefully done.

Guests of the new 4-bedroom House (it only opened in August) can expect Vanessa Arbuthnott fabrics, Burlington bathrooms, Perrin and Rowe wares, Fritz Fryer lighting and an eclectic collection of hand-picked vintage furniture. The master bathroom boasts a stunning freestanding reconstituted stone bath, with views over-looking the fells.

All the furnishings from the appliances in the kitchen to the huge flat screen TV in the living room are of the highest quality.

The house is dog friendly and guests can still enjoy all the familiar and much loved Brownber touches (Peter’s sourdough pizzas have become highly sought after), with the added freedom and privacy of sole self-catered hire.

A welcome hamper of homemade goodies is left for guests in the kitchen on arrival with freshly baked sourdough, a jar of their (award-winning) marmalade, plus homemade cakes and chocolate chip cookies, chocolate and banana cake and a bottle of Prosecco - which I thought was a unique yet personal touch.

Fridges can also be pre-stocked with local supplies (such as Steadman Butchers, Appleby Creamery and Eden Brewery Beers), freshly prepared picnics and homecooked meals, such as local longhorn beef bourguignon with dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal greens and a nice bottle of burgundy or sourdough pizzas and garlic breads with seasonal salads - either delivered to the doorstep or left chilled to be cooked later (saving guests the hassle of cooking after a long journey/day of hiking the fells).

For our evening meal my sister and I feasted on a home-made beefy lasagne with Peter’s freshly cooked sourdough bread on the side. The bread was some of the best sourdough I have tasted, whilst our dessert of home made apple and blackberry crumble with custard was sublime. We could not complain about having to wash up after such a tasty and freshly home cooked meal which had been left in the American style fridge for us. We could have used the dishwasher but felt we needed to stand up for a while after eating a copious meal.

Sitting roomSitting room
Dining roomDining room

The comfortable and homely sitting room has a log burning stove, though it didn’t look like it had been used much since the house opened. It will probably come into its own during the winter months. The house is centrally heated throughout so you probably will not use the stove. Games, books and maps of the area are at your disposal.

I particularly liked the relief map of the Lake District on the wall of the stone flagged hallway. You can decide which fell you are going to tackle as the house is well placed for a day out in the Lakes.

One of the 4 bedroomsOne of the 4 bedrooms

Most of the four well appointed bedrooms are en-suite. As you might expect the bedding is high quality with the superking beds providing a good night's sleep after walking on the fells.

As we awoke to a crisp autumn morning the mist was beginning to roll off the Fells. The brown leaves on the trees glistened through the early morning October sunshine, as the local farmer tended to his flock of sheep - all witnessed from the comfort of our newly discovered hideaway.

Breakfast of freshly cooked still-warm croissants and pain aux chocolate, muesli, yogurt, home made marmalade and strawberry jam had been discreetly left on the dining room table in a picnic hamper.

If you are looking for a rural location away from the crowds (by the way your mobile might not get a signal) yet still accessible to the Lakes or the Dales then Browber ticks all the boxes.

As we closed the front door to leave, my sister who has not been far since the pandemic, commented:
“It has been wonderful, it’s done me a world of good coming here, I have loved it all”.

I am sure you will feel the same way too.

Brownber House, Newbiggin on Lume, CA17 4NX