Lancaster House welcomes Andy Lemm as General Manager. Andy has bags of vision for the future of the hotel, but he is also returning to a place that is a significant part of his past.
Lancaster House has always been a special place for me. It was my home for nearly two years and I met Michelle, my wife, here when she was Restaurant & Banqueting Manager. We married at Lancaster House and so it has been a huge part of my life already. Lancaster House was a great management training ground and prepared me for my first general manager’s position at The Wild Boar, also part of the English Lakes family of hotels.
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.
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.
Lancaster Househas achieved a ‘gold award’ following an inspection by the national tourism environmental assessors.
Following an audit by the Green Tourism Business Scheme Lancaster House has been accredited with the highest level of award achievable.
The hotel, which is located in south Lancaster and is part of English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues, was commended for its strong management of the hotel which ensures that energy, water and waste are monitored to achieve reductions. The audit revealed that the hotel’s staff are well informed and trained in sustainability issues. Lancaster House has supported various environmental and social projects and is keen to encourage its guests to be more aware of the impact of their stay.
Other initiatives which led to the Gold Award include the use of water coolers to reduce plastic bottle waste, the fitting of LED lighting, reduced water flows and also good recycling.
Lancaster House’s Taste of Lancashire award for sourcing produce from within the county was also taken into consideration.
Emma Underwood, operations manager at Lancaster House, said: “It is fantastic that we have been recognised for all the work and effort that has gone in to really reduce the hotel’s impact on the environment.
“English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues take sustainability and the environment extremely seriously and have worked hard to introduce a range of measures to make Lancaster House, and all the other hotels we operate, much more environmentally-friendly.”
Stuart Brain, senior assessor with the Green Tourism Business Scheme, said: “The Green Tourism Gold Award is a significant achievement that reflects the commitment and dedication of the recipient to assess their business’ impact on the environment."
“Lancaster House has obviously invested a lot of time and effort to reduce its environmental footprint and is thoroughly deserving of this Gold Award.”