Chatting with one of our regular guests, Pauleen MacDonald, and enjoying the view from The Midland on a perfectly clear, crisp winter’s morning over Morecambe Bay to the snow covered Lake District mountains in the background, it struck me that Pauleen’s enjoyment of The Midland had nothing to do with the spectacular view. Despite being born almost completely blind, Pauleen leads an active and independent life, traveling regularly from Leeds to Lancaster and Morecambe.
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When thinking about ‘going green’, many people automatically think all this involves is turning off lights and taps and walking rather than driving. However working closely with Green Tourism over the last few years has revealed so many different ways of being green, and making small changes that can make a huge difference.
The area I have found to be the most interesting and rewarding is the concept of ‘buying local’. We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful and resourceful areas of the country and even the world.
How does buying local help you go green, you may ask? Well being green can manifest itself in many different ways, and the things that are taken into consideration in this instance are;
- The more local the less transportation needed for delivery, reducing our carbon footprint
- Supporting the local economy and smaller family farms
- The produce reaches us being as fresh as possible, being better for the guest’s health as it has lost little of its nutritional value
- Buying local means our guests are eating foods that are in season
Buying locally means you can create relationships with local businesses, and actually see where your food is coming from, and can even order bespoke products for your individual hotel or even individual guests. The lake district not only offers fantastic quality meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy, beers, sauces and chutneys, breads and cheeses, but also offers an impressive array of locally produced arts and crafts, including well-known artists, photographers and poets.
Here at the Waterhead we try and make the most of all the wonderful produce we have on our doorstep, as we believe one of the main reasons people come to visit this part of the world is to sample everything it has to offer. Guests with a sweet tooth will love local favourite Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, which features in all our bedrooms, and Kendal Jacksmith’s flapjacks which are served with hot drinks in the bar. Our lounge also doubles as an art gallery featuring paintings from local artist Julie-Ann Scott, which guests can admire while enjoying a glass of own brew of local Haweswater Gold lager, or Hawkeshead beer.
Our current ‘hyper-local’ dinner menu is inspired by the history of the lake district and the 18th century spice trade coming through Whitehaven which created the modern-day local favourites, which we have re-created using local produce wherever possible. Our wonderful location in the heart of the Lake District really does make buying local a pleasure.
Guest post written by Lindsay Price, Deputy General Manager at Waterhead.