It seems like an eternity ago, I was stood in my kitchen, glass of Balvennie Doublewood in hand, staring at PM Burgess’s Tubular Fells, contemplating whether I could walk all 214 ‘Wainwrights’ in the calendar year of 2012. I wasn’t a complete novice to the Lakeland Fells, so I was under no illusion as to the task ahead of me, but I’m sure the alcohol clouded my judgement!
It was with a sense of excitement and, I confess, trepidation that I arrived at Waterhead for a weekend of Lake District Watercolour Painting, one in a series of events hosted by English Lakes. Signing up for something like this can feel a little like putting your creative neck on the line!
Testing the water over our champagne and canapé reception on the Friday evening, I tentatively threw out a line about having not ever really done anything like this before. I was pleasantly surprised, and not a little relieved, to discover that we were all novices, and all nervous about our impending foray into the world of paint, colour, tone, perspectives and vanishing points. Having established our common fragility, we relaxed and enjoy a sumptuous three-course dinner whilst Dawn Pretty, our artist in residence, outlined what the weekend might hold, promising us that we would all have a work of art to hang on our wall by the end of the weekend. Continue reading “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder!”→
As part of Lancaster House’s commitment to local charities, members of the hotel team recently swopped their chef’s whites and uniforms for Gardening gloves and Wellington Boots for Heysham-based charity Primrose House The local residential care home which provides dedicated 24-hour care for severely disabled young adults had a back garden in desperate need of a Horticultural make-over. 10 years of thorn and weed growth had overgrown a sizeable area and was preventing the residents from enjoying this spacious area.
They were also joined by Tim Bell, General Manager who is Chair of Trustees for Primrose House and a keen supporter and fund-raiser for the charity.
“It was a certainly a very different day for us” Tim comments. “The sheer scale of the gardening challenge was very daunting when we first arrived in the morning, but thanks to some great team work and a few handy tools lent to us by a local landscape gardening firm, we were able to completely clear the area in just 5 hours. Now, the residents and staff can fully appreciate the back garden and enjoy the nice weather we’re hopefully looking forward to this Spring and Summer”
The team were recently awarded Gold status in the Green Business Tourism scheme thanks to efforts and projects such as the gardening day at Primrose House and are looking forward to helping more local charities and projects in the future.
Our hotels were praised for their extensive efforts to enhance the visitor experience while reducing their impact on the environment.
“As the assessor for the group I was impressed by the overall commitment to the environment and the Green Tourism Business Scheme,” said GTBS senior grading assessor Stuart Brain. “Since their entry to the scheme the management and staff have worked hard to improve the environmental performance of each hotel.
“The group supports local environmental and social initiatives. On site each hotel has undertaken significant measures to reduce water and energy consumption as well as using fair trade products they are also committed to using local suppliers where ever possible. Overall, a strong performance from a forward-thinking group with the potential to become leaders in British sustainable tourism.”
Staff training initiatives were also highly commended along with the hotels’ willingness to ‘give something back’ by supporting a variety of environmental and social projects.
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues were praised for their commitment to using local food and produce. The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse being singled out for their concentration on local meat, vegetables and beer together with an on-site purpose-built smokery.
Nevil Jeffrey, Manager of Low Wood Bay, who co-ordinated the hotels’ entries into the awards said:
‘We are very pleased with the results of the accreditation. Each of our hotels has worked incredibly hard to ensure that we are as environmentally and energy efficient as possible.
“The awards acknowledge the hard work of all of our staff and the commitment of our guests to greener tourism also. We will continue to work hard to make further improvements and ensure our impact on the environment is as small as possible.”
Waterhead, in Ambleside, was praised by the assessor for its use of local food ensuring “guests get a taste of the Lakes”. The Midland, in Morecambe, was praised for its staff being well informed and trained in sustainability, and Storrs Hall, in Windermere, was also praised for its reduction of waste in energy and water, as well as having an extensive vegetarian menu.
The English Lakes Group was given an overall Silver Award and was lauded for the enthusiam and strong management within the company, its reduction of waste, giving back to social and environmental projects – such as more than £100,000 to Nurture Lakeland – replacing water bottles with water coolers, good recycling and the use of some LED lighting, among other initiatives.