There’s a lot of pleasure to be had in a driving holiday. It’s mainly derived from the freedom to explore and duck off the main roads and discover tucked away treasures. There’s the cocoon of your car; no other patrons, just you, your companions and an ipod for company.

The Lake District of the UK is a stupendous spot for such a trip (so much so, that Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon even felt compelled to make a film about just such a journey).

There are great restaurants up in this neck of the woods; L’Enclume, being just one of them (for a full write up of the L’Enclume experience, go here).

But the sticky thing about driving to dinner, is getting home afterwards- particularly if there’s the option of paired wines to go with your 17 course supper.

Which is where L’Enclume House comes in handy.

Beyond L’Enclume, the ancient village of Cartmel is most known for their 12th Century Priory, curved small streets, racing festivals and as one of the original homes of sticky toffee pudding- available at the Cartmel Village Shop.

Staying in L’Enclume house allows you to literally roll home after dinner- and spend the next morning exploring the village. There are a variety of rooms- since we were celebrating our ten year anniversary, we plumped for one of the superior rooms.

It’s got everything you could wish for; a king size bed, plush carpets, swift wifi, a kettle, a little fridge with proper milk and even home made chocolate chip cookies to stave off any hunger pains.

The bathroom in room 11 has a large bath with a shower overhead.

There are a few vintage quirks; thanks to the heritage building the doorways are short- fine if you’re 5 ft 6 like me- but if you’re nudging past 6ft 2 (aka The Hungry One)- if you’re not careful in the middle of the night you’ll smack your head, hard on the way to the bathroom. And then there’s the noise- right above reception, in room 11 you’ll hear every word uttered at the front desk, clear as a bell.  And parking in the village can be a bit of a challenge- there aren’t any spots reserved for the restaurant or accommodation- it’s every punter out for themselves

Breakfast the next morning is included in the tariff for the night and is served at Simon Rogan’s bistro, Rogan and Company, adjacent to L’Enclume House.

It’s a modest two course affair; it starts with freshly squeezed orange or grapefuit juice, the choice of yoghurt and fruit, cereals, fruit salad or organic porridge.

Yoghurt is gloriously thick and speckled with fresh berries and banana slices.

A full english arrives as a considerate portion- one egg, half a tomato, some mushrooms, black pudding and bacon.

For those who fancy even more of an English breakfast experience, there’s the option of smoked haddock or kippers. The timing on the boiled egg and soldiers went a little awry, with the second egg cooked through- leaving very little to dip.

An espresso with hot milk is a sounder choice than being cheeky and asking for a flat white. A pot of Earl Grey is faultless. And the marmalade, butter and whole grain toast is exactly the thing to steel you for the long road back to London.

As far as gourmet English get aways go; this is a great one.

L’Enclume House

A superior room at L’Enclume House is £159 for bed and breakfast.http://www.lenclume.co.uk/sr/rooms.html