It’s the dream dinner so many people want. An army of family gathered around a table with sharing platters filled with good food to be enjoyed with the best company and conversation. It’s also the dream Sunday lunch that, if it’s anything like in my house, never quite adds up to the rose-tinted view conjured up beforehand. One person is forever stuck in the kitchen, imploring others to start as they’ll be ‘just one more minute making the gravy and don’t want anyone’s dinner to go cold’. Back in the dining room, guests sit feeling guilty the cook of the day is missing out. I’m sure we’re not on our own.

But The Yan at Broadrayne, a gorgeous bistro with bedrooms, glamping pods and cottages on the fringes of Grasmere can fix all that. Sunday lunch is a dream banquet of all the good stuff with a chunky sharing platter laden with sky-high Yorkshire puds and a choice of Cumbrian dry-aged beef, Herdwick lamb or Cumbrian pork belly with crackling – heaven. That all comes with rosemary roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, Yan stuffing, green beans, courgettes, carrots and red wine gravy – that doesn’t go cold - leaving you to talk and taste without any of the hassle. Choose your table right, and you’ll also get a peek of the outdoor fells. It’s the epitome of fun, relaxed dining.

Great British Life: Jess Manley is one member of the family creating the warm welcome at The Yan. Jess Manley is one member of the family creating the warm welcome at The Yan. (Image: The Yan at Broadrayne)

This Lake District haven, as you might not be surprised to hear, has been created by a family. In 2011, Dave and Sally Keighley, then living in Yorkshire, had planned retirement in their much-beloved Lake District. But fell in love with the then hostel The Yan at Broadrayne – yan meaning 'the one' from the old Cumbrian dialect counting system still used for counting sheep. Since then, along with daughter Jess and husband Will Manley – and more recently – their other daughter Georgina King and her husband, Pete, this bistro with bedrooms has turned into a must-stay spot.

They’re a team who come with some serious credentials – Will and Jess working in Europe and the UK in some of the best dining spots, including more recently for Will, the nearby award-winning coffee spot Homeground in Windermere and Grasmere’s Michelin venue Forest Side. Georgina and Pete are equally formidable and previously worked as head chef (Georgina) and restaurant manager and sommelier (Pete) at nearby fine dining restaurant Lake Road Kitchen.

No detail is left wanting. Everything from the homemade cordials and herbal teas made using ingredients foraged from their own land or close by to rustic and comforting dishes of their posh pasty – the perfect parcel of mushroom, butternut squash and aubergine with a bean, vegetable and pearl barley cassoulet and duck cassoulet topped with crispy kale hit the spot. Then there are the sharing platters including their beef bourguign-yan – beef bourguignon, made with slow cooked local beef shin and bacon chop, topped with sliced potatoes, melted cheddar cheese, and pickled shimeji mushrooms.

Great British Life: The Yan Sunday sharing board. The Yan Sunday sharing board. (Image: The Yan at Broadrayne)

Those sharing platters, starters - did I mention we also started with baked Darling Howe brie from North Lakes-bases Torphenhow, baked with truffle oil and topped with red onion, balsamic chutney and seeds - and indeed all the carefully curated menus, are part of the magic of The Yan at Broadrayne.

Together, this family, have made a home from home – but better. This is a place where guests feel part of their family, a perfect pitstop for everyone, whether you’re a group out for a Saturday night dinner, walkers at the end of a long leg-stretcher or a family with children from sit-on-your-knee age up to teenagers.

Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The Yan has earned plaudits from the likes of the Good Food Guide, have won multiple awards and Grace Dent, restaurant critic for The Guardian as well as broadcaster and author, has made no secret of her love of this lovely little spot.

When you’ve enjoyed your feast, you’re just a few short steps from your room and its huge, don’t-want-to-get-out-of beds – I counted, and it was less than 20. The rooms have the perfect kind of laid-back luxe that keeps that homely feel going but with an extra gloss that makes it feel good to be away. In our room a sink-into sofa bed caused squeals of delight, and a good night’s sleep, from our 10-year-old – or perhaps it was the home-made brownies waiting for us.

Great British Life: Laid-back luxe in the bistro bedrooms. Laid-back luxe in the bistro bedrooms. (Image: The Yan at Broadrayne)

Sharing a good feast continued over breakfast with everything from croissants and creamy porridge to salmon and eggs from Broadrayne Farm – although you’d be mad not to try the Yan breakfast, a heavenly plate of thick cut buttered sourdough toast with streaky and back bacon, fried field mushrooms, baked tomato, runny poached egg and hollandaise. The perfect start for a day walking a Wainwright.

It’s no small feat to create what this brilliant family have done at The Yan. Fortunately, for us, they are happy to share.