When local residents Patty and Peter Cooke saved the Pickering House in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, from being torn down and replaced by a big-box shop, the couple could not have imagined its transformation—from a dilapidated 1813 building into a luxury inn, winning Travel & Leisure’s Number 1 Resort in New England for its ambiance, décor, and hospitality.
After a painstaking two-year renovation, The Pickering House (the homestead of Daniel Pickering, known as the “Yellow House”) is a destination inn like no other in New Hampshire. Today, the inviting accommodations offer a cheery atmosphere, luxury guestrooms, and a delicious New England–inspired breakfast just steps from Lake Winnipesaukee.
Patty Cooke, a designer by trade, designed the inn around the structure’s 93 windows. The rooms are one-of-a-kind, filled with thoughtful touches and the latest luxuries. The house was in such disrepair that it had to be taken down to the studs.
However, Patty and Peter saved original architectural details, such as the doors, and repurposed them as wainscoting in the welcoming reception area. Old porcelain knobs, nails, and hinges are displayed in glass jars set neatly on shelves. Artifacts found in the walls and under the foundation, such as old newspaper clippings and whiskey bottles, are also kept on display for guests to enjoy.
The common areas, including a library and sitting room, retain the original marble mantels, moldings, and pocket doors while being updated with sophisticated, comfortable furnishings. Patty also saved the front stair’s original banister. A soothing blue wall mural along the stair depicts the southeast section of Lake Winnipesaukee.
The 10 guest rooms with spacious bathrooms are all uniquely furnished and offer the latest in luxury amenities including smart-shower technology. Clever touches such as closets that resemble antique jelly cabinets are found in the hallways.
The Cookes also saved the home’s historic barn, where they hold a limited number of weddings a year along with innkeeper suppers, and “Restaurant Roadshow” dinners featuring guest chefs from around New England.
The PAVILION restaurant next door is also owned by the Cookes and executive chef Jonathan Hudak and offers perfectly prepared local and seasonally inspired dishes by chef Hudak and his culinary team. Smoked salmon deviled eggs, farm greens with clothbound cheddar, hen-of-the-woods risotto, and Creekstone Farm ribeye with smoked fingerling potatoes are some of the hyperlocal plates you may find on offer as the menu changes seasonally.
Take a stroll down Main Street to experience the bustle of Wolfeboro’s downtown area. Filled with bookshops, clothing boutiques, and ice cream stands, the quaint village is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy New England in autumn—which is New England at its best.