£45,000 Fundraising Target Reached!

Congratulations and thanks to everybody that helped raise an incredible £45,000 in 2010 which will build and equip an orphan home in the Open Arms village in Eldoret, Kenya.  This has been a tremendous effort by all and the results will undoubtedly, and in a very real way, improve the lives of dozens of children for years to come.

The Open Arms fundraising project has clearly shown the dedication and care of the staff at English Lakes who have risen to the challenge with their usual enthusiasm and commitment. The list of activities undertaken this year demonstrates the creative energy that we have within the group:

Open Arms Car Wash Sponsored swimmers, face painting, aerobathon, boxing dinner, raffle, salary giving, learn-to-sail scheme, jumble sale, 3 peaks challenge, 5-aside football competition, sponsored walkers, country and western evening, cellar tours at Storrs, guess the baby’s weight, cake baking, cross bay walk, sponsored runners, Christmas gift fair, silent auction, staff raffle, pyjama party, beauty evening, Land’s End to John o’ Groats static bike ride,  photo competition, car washing, Morrison’s collection, pub quiz, tuck shop … the list is long and impressive!

We hope that the building work on the orphan home will start in Spring 2011 – watch this space for more details.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Vouchers

1005845_untitled1copy Gift Vouchers are the ideal gift for close friends, family, or an important business client. English Lakes offer a choice of hotels within the Lake District and Lancashire providing some of the best locations for a special break in the North West of England.

English Lakes gift vouchers allow flexibility of choice and can be redeemed against short breaks, romance packages, fine dining, watersports activities and more.

Order by 3pm on 21st December 2010 for Christmas delivery.

Order Online or telephone 015394 33773

Chef returns to Lancaster House

The FoodworksWe are please to announce Damien Ng's returns to Lancaster House as Head Chef. He was previously the sous chef and will now be running The Foodworks the hotel’s rosette awarded Restaurant. Damien was previously at The Borough, one of Lancaster’s most popular eateries since his first stint at Lancaster House.  

He has created a new menu for the restaurant which reflects his passion for fresh local produce and he is proud that all the restaurant’s food is sourced from within 25 miles of Lancaster.

Dishes on the new menu include pan fried king scallops and black pudding with cauliflower puree and crispy cured bacon, Forest of Bowland trio of game breast with creamed mashed potato and red current reduction,  and chocolate rum and raison tart with white chocolate sauce.    

Damien says “I am delighted to have been appointed Head Chef of Lancaster House Foodworks Restaurant. I worked here for six years earlier in my career and I really enjoyed it. I always wanted to come back as head chef and now I am very excited about being able to try out some of my ideas and build on the restaurant’s excellent reputation.’

Damien became a chef at 16.  He first got a taste for cooking at Our Ladies High School in Lancaster where he remembers being taught to make a really good sweet and sour chicken dish. 

Tim Bell, the manager at Lancaster House says “I’m really pleased that Damien has come back to work with us again. He is a very talented chef and I am sure that he will bring fresh ideas to the kitchen while also maintaining our high standards of quality and customer service.”

The Foodworks Restaurant at Lancaster House has established itself as one of the best restaurants in the area.

Orphan Home Fundraising Project Update

I’m pleased to say that the fundraising team here at English Lakes have pulled out all the stops in their challenge to build and equip a home which will dramatically improve the lives of 16 Kenyan orphans. To date, we have raised £40,000 through a whole host of activities including aerobathon, boxing dinner, Land’s End to John ‘O Groats cycle challenge, sale of cakes, photography competition, three peaks mountaineering, a staff learn-to-sail course, sponsored walks and many other events. 

Xmas treeIn a final push to reach our £45,000 target we are organizing a Christmas Gift Fair at Low Wood Bay this Sunday.

Charity Christmas Gift Fair 
Sunday 14th November
Low Wood Bay
11.15am – 4.00pm

FREE ENTRY

Many local suppliers will be exhibiting Christmas gifts, pampering products, cakes, jewellery, bags, decorations and cards! Also enjoy Coffee & Mince pies, a book stall and raffle.

Open-arms-sm

Dragon Boat Race from Low Wood Bay to Help Beat Breast Cancer

Paddlers4life On 29th October 2010, a group of journalists and presenters from the Cumbrian media will take part in a dragon boat race on Windermere to raise money to help fight breast cancer on wear it pink day.

The media team will face tough competition when they take on the Paddlers for Life crew, a team of breast cancer survivors from Cumbria and Lancashire based at the Low Wood Bay on the shores of Windermere. 

The cancer dragon boat phenomenon started in 1996 in Canada when a sports medicine doctor formed the first crew.  Research has shown that physical activity involving teamwork and paddling can give cancer survivors both physical and emotional benefits, as well as helping to build friendship and support networks.

Paddlers for Life have two dragon boats at the Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre where it has been based since 2008 and meets most Sundays to practice.

They will be given some training by staff at the Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre as well as tips by some of the Paddlers for Life team. 

The race will be on the 29th October at 2:30 pm.

We are delighted that so many journalists and presenters have been such good sports and agreed to take part in this race to raise money to help beat breast cancer.

Dragon boat racing isn’t easy.  The media team will find they need strength, endurance and skill but above all they’ll need to be able to work together as a team.

The team at Low Wood Bay will be wearing pink on the day as part of Breast Cancer Campaign’s wear it pink day and will get involved in the event on the water as well as providing a variety of pink themed treats for the boat racers and hotel guests alike on the day.  

To sponsor the dragon boat race and make a donation to Breast Cancer Campaign please visit englishlakes.co.uk/wearitpink

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and one woman in nine will be affected by it during her lifetime.  Breast Cancer Campaign funds innovative world-class research to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure.

Anyone who would like to get involved in Paddlers for Life, or who would like to offer sponsorship or donations, can find more information and contact details on the Paddlers For Life website.

Our New Look…

Simon Berry & David Neale rebrand You may have noticed recently, here at English Lakes Hotels we gave our website a brand new look. This new look reflects the diverse range of businesses English Lakes Hotels now includes and to help communicate our commitment to excellent service and quality.

Here at English Lakes Hotels we have changed our name to English Lakes: Hotels, Resorts and Venues. We took this decision as we felt the new name better represents our business – which includes self-catering lodges, a marina and watersports centre, health and fitness facilities, larger conference and wedding venues as well as five quality hotels and an inn.

New product identities and logos have been produced to reflect the individual nature of the properties. However they share some common design elements so that customers will recognise the English Lakes brand, while still allowing the hotels’ very different characters to shine through.

Simon Berry, managing director and chairman said: “The change consolidates what we offer as a group and reflects that we are much more than a hotel chain."

“We are a group of individual properties that all have their own unique style and character so we do not want any kind of homogenous uniformity. However, we feel that it is important for people to be able to recognise our brand and know that they get the same attention to detail and level of quality at each of our properties.”

The Low Wood Hotel has also been rebranded. It will now be known as Low Wood Bay – reflecting the many facilities located there, including a Marina, Watersports Centre and large leisure club.

The rebranding of the company also allows it to become more flexible in how it develops in the future.

David Neale, commercial director said: “The new branding is a better expression of the breadth of what we do now as well as expressing something of our vision for the future.”

To find out more about our new look visit our new site at englishlakes.co.uk where can see the new hotel brand identities on the hotel pages.

Summer Film & Photography Competiton Winners

The Summer Lake District Film and Photography competition came to a close on the 5th September 2010. The summer competition received over 700 high quality and unique video and photo entries submitted by contributors of varied abilities, making it such a difficult task for the judges; Eric Robson, the film maker and chairman of BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time and Cumbria Tourism, and Simon Berry, the Chairman and Managing Director of English Lakes.

The Judges Were looking for films and photography that best portrayed aspects of the Lake District, with this competition focusing on summer.

The winning film was submitted by Alan Starkie. The film is a personal documentary of a family walk from Buttermere village featuring Innominate Tarn & Haystacks. It is well shot and the judges particularly liked the narrative featuring the works of Wainwright and the way the video followed the walk from start to finish.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12377850&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Other highly commended films included “The English Lakes District” by Phil Brown, which features wonderful shots of Tarn Hows & Aira Force Falls and “Ordinary Day” by Azul Serra which was shot in and around Lake Windermere and also features Storrs Hall.

The winning photograph was submitted by Alec Steele. It features hounds jumping over a closed gate at a senior hound trail in Buttermere and is a unique shot taken in the right place at the right time. Both judges agreed that photograph stood out from the others because of the unique subject.

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Other photographs that reach the Judges shortlist were Ian Dinmore’s Eskdale to Ravenglass Steam Train, Susan Rowe’s Langdale fells from Blea Tarn, Zaneta Miderska’s Coniston Water at dusk and Alyson Levett’s hidden Game Bird.

Both winners of the Summer Film and Photography competition have won a two night break at their choice of English Lakes luxury property, inclusive of dinner on the first night.

Simon Berry says: “When we created this competition we wanted to create a site that would help show off some of the fantastic views and attractions around the Lake District. Many people already make short films and take photos of their visit to the Lakes and this site serves as a showcase to show what they’ve been doing, as well as giving potential visitors the chance to see what’s on offer.” All entries submitted will be showcased on our site for all to see.

As a result of the success of our summer competitions, once again we will be inviting entries for an autumn and winter photography and film competition where the seasonal images and film that best portrayed aspects of the Lake District could also win a short luxury break with English Lakes. Find out more about the new competition here.