For couples tying the knot and looking for an exclusive Lake District wedding venue, The Wild Boar Estate takes some beating.

So it proved for newlyweds Kerry and Craig, who chose to book out the whole venue for their nuptials.

The bride and groom had a difficult decision to make on where to marry. The beautiful Greek Island of Paxos was a favourite, but a wedding in the Lake District got the nod in the end.

“Paxos and the Lake District are both special places to us,” explains Kerry. “And we wanted somewhere to reflect us as people, what we enjoy and where we are our most relaxed.”

A home from home wedding in the Lake District

A key factor in their decision was the ability to secure a real gem amongst exclusive wedding venues in the Lake District. An autumn wedding fitted with the couple’s work schedule. Indeed, The Wild Boar’s exclusive use availability, plus the warmth of its open fires, won the day.

“The Wild Boar wedding offer in the Lakes won us both over,” says Kerry. “We knew we wanted exclusive use of the venue. More guests would be able to join us, with as many as possible staying over on site. And it gave us a relaxing venue with a touch of luxury, great food, wine and real ale to cater for everyone’s tastes.”

A high street meeting becomes a wedding day in Windermere

So how did Kerry and Craig first meet? Both were running their own businesses, coincidentally on the hight street of their village.

The romance blossomed and the rest is history. Soon, Craig’s proposal came during a surprise birthday trip for Kerry. And with the Amalfi coast in Italy a spectacular backdrop, he asked for Kerry’s hand on the balcony, at sunset, overlooking the sea.

Planning their ideal Lake District wedding

So there was much to do to plan and organise their big day. Working with The Wild Boar Estate’s wedding co-ordinator Amy Smethurst, Kerry and Craig started to piece together their choices for the wedding breakfast, table settings, flower arrangements, decorations and of course their respective outfits.

Kerry’s gown and veil was designed and made by Charlotte at Wilden Bride, Epsom, Surrey. And her boots were fashioned by Freya Rose.

Craig’s suit was bespoke by Gieves and Hawkes, Saville Row. An added plus was the addition of a flat cap by Lawrence and Foster of Castleford, and boots by Barbour.

For their Wild Boar wedding breakfast, the couple plumped for white onion and thyme soup with cheese scones, Sunday roast dinner and apple crumble with custard.

Kerry adds: “For an extra touch, we had beer mats designed and made for place names, and calligraphy written by The Creative Nib. My vision was for an autumnal banquet style, with gold candelabra in differing sizes.

“And we had small compotes bowls with selections of seasonal flowers in ivory, plum, green, navy and peach. We added fern and hellebore plants scattered amount dreamy Spanish moss to soften the look, all finished off with plums and grapes.”

On the formal wedding invitations, the couple added a note that hats were to be encouraged. And on the day there were guests sporting fedoras, fascinators and flat caps galore.

Wedding cakes and floral decorations

And of course no Lake District wedding venue would be complete without a delicious cake to mark the occasion. Kerry and Craig chose a small wedding cake made by the mother of one of the bridesmaid’s. And it was decorated with fresh flowers and fruit. Harwoods Patisserie created a selection of mini cakes.

The couple’s pre-ceremony song was Embryonic Journey by Jefferson Airplane. And they chose Neil Young’s Harvest Moon for their last dance to wrap up the big day.

Kerry also had her own team of skilled florists amongst the guests. They took it upon themselves to construct several large-scale floral installations. That included the main entrance and ceremony room.

Kerry adds: “Having my friends from the floristry industry join us to celebrate and have them decorate the entrance to the venue with a jaw dropping Autumnal floral arch was a special memory. All the more so as they were allowed to forage from the woodland around.

“Even The Wild Boar Estate’s Land Rover, ‘The Mad Pig’ got a floral make over, covered in wild foliage and flowers.”

Wild wedding celebrations in the Lake District

Kerry and Craig took the idea of a wild wedding to the next level. Alongside the canapes and family photographs, there was a surprise ‘Wild Boar-nament’. This included indoor games, clay pigeon shooting and a quiz after their wedding breakfast. They announced the winners with a victory shot of Fireball.

Kerry and Craig had chosen to have a sweetheart top table – just for the two of them. That meant they could look around the room to see all their favourite people having a great time. They also cherished that rare wedding day opportunity to talk to each other.

They had a beautiful celebrant lead ceremony in the main restaurant filled with personal vows and their favourite songs. As the ceremony ended the bride and groom thanked each of their guests row by row until they were the last two people in the room.

So from the warmth of the exclusive use of a Lake District wedding venue, Kerry and Craig jetted off for their honeymoon. They chose Tenerife for some much-needed winter sun, but they’re already planning a second honeymoon too, possibly in Thailand.

If you are an avid classical music fan and keen to find out more about concerts in Lancaster and North Lancashire, you might want to check out the Haffner Orchestra.

Lancaster House Hotel has sponsored the Haffner Orchestra’s latest sell-out concert in the Great Hall at Lancaster University.

The hotel is right next door to the university campus. So we are always looking for opportunities to work together, support each other and help promote the City of Lancaster.

And of course Lancaster House is a great place to stay when attending a concert in North Lancashire. The venue is also within easy driving distance for live music in Blackpool and concerts in the Lake District.

One of the best classical music concerts in Lancashire

Over 600 people enjoyed a spectacular evening of classical music. To set the scene, the Lancaster House Hotel team hosted an intimate gathering with pre-concert drinks and canapes at the venue.

Prior to the start of the Lancaster University concert, Haffner Orchestra musical director Alex Robinson and highly respected UK pianist Martin Roscoe delivered an insightful talk.

Music concerts in Lancashire sponsored by Lancaster House Hotel

With a nod to the film history of the area, the highlight of the first half of the concert was Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, which featured in Brief Encounter.

Martin Roscoe kindly gave up his time at the interval to mix with our guests while they tucked in to festive treats.

Supporting the music scene in North Lancashire

The concert culminated in an exciting second half headlined with Finnish composer Sibelius’ Symphony No.2.

Lancaster House Hotel general manager Emma Underwood said: “This was a tremendous concert and a night we were proud to be involved in. Whether you’re a classical music enthusiast or curious about the genre, coming to music concerts in Lancashire to see talented musicians performing together live is magical.

“It was great to mingle with our guests and other concertgoers to discuss the performance. In some cases the conversations continued over a nightcap back at the Sandeman Bar in the hotel.”

Lancaster House is also supporting the Haffner Orchestra with sponsorship for two further concerts in March and June 2024.

History of the orchestra

The Haffner Orchestra has a proud history as the City of Lancaster’s symphony orchestra. Established in 1976, it consists of a host of amateur and local professionals. They come together for three official music concerts in Lancashire each year.

The orchestra’s talented musicians and polished direction allows it to deliver an array of well-known music pieces, from classical and baroque periods to more contemporary commissions.

Music concerts in Lancashire delivered by the Haffner Orchestra

Music for the local community

The orchestra team also loves to deliver occasional community performances. As part of the Lancaster Music Festival, Festa Italia’ and ‘Light up Lancaster’ events, it has played in the city’s market square, Marketgate and St Nicholas’ Arcade. Smaller groups of its musicians will thrill more intimate audiences in pubs and other venues too.

The Haffner Orchestra also offers workshops, masterclasses and one-off concerts to encourage greater musical education for the local Lancaster community.

For further information about the Haffner Orchestra and classical music concerts in Lancaster, visit www.haffnerorchestra.org

One of our most popular rural wedding venues near Windermere has appointed a new specialist to organise its weddings and events for couples getting married. Amy Smethurst has joined the team at English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues as The Wild Boar wedding co-ordinator.

Having worked in the hospitality sector in a front-of-house customer service role for over 5 years, starting in waitering and latterly as a duty manager, Amy was itching for change and new challenges.

She had always been fascinated by the wedding scene and so when her brother announced he was getting married, Amy immediately volunteered to organise his big day.  Little did she know that this would result in a change in career direction.

Amy Smethurst wedding coordinator at the Wild Boar

Thankfully, Amy did a great job – the siblings are still talking to each other at any rate! – and the experience inspired her to apply for the role of The Wild Boar weddings co-ordinator when she noticed the job advert online.

“I was a bit hesitant to apply at first,” she explains. “But I knew I had strong customer service skills and the ability to build a rapport with clients, plus the experience of organising my brother’s wedding was genuinely exhilarating, especially when the caterer pulled out at the last minute due to a freak injury!”

Amy’s first job was to get up to speed with all the weddings at The Wild Boar for the 2023 season, some of which were already in advanced stages, whilst others needed to be accelerated to ensure everything was ready in time.

One of the most important aspects of her initial induction and training for the role was to work in partnership with the wedding team at nearby sister hotel Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa.

She has organised around a dozen weddings in the 2023 season thus far, with the biggest event catering for 130 guests and the smallest, an intimate family wedding for a small group of 11.

Better still has been Amy’s response to the ongoing challenge of spreading the word about what The Wild Boar has to offer for wedding parties and couples.

Organising Lake District weddings with a difference

She recently attended the Lakes Weddings showcase event, sharing a stall with her wedding co-ordinator colleagues from Lancaster House and Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa.  And has also been heavily involved in the planning and delivery of a ‘Wild Wedding Suppliers Brunch’ at the venue.

Amy’s ability to communicate clearly what the venue is all about has resulted in the booking of an increasing number of ‘show arounds’ for couples seeking out the best place in the Lake District to get married.  A complimentary Wild Boar afternoon tea may just have been a factor!

“We’re not in competition with each other though,” explains Amy.  “Each of our venues cater for very different demographics and clientele in terms of wedding planning.  At The Wild Boar, we very much embrace the ‘wild’ theme and a certain inclination for the more quirky, informal and outdoorsy elements of what couples are looking for as part of their nuptials.

In fact the success we’ve had this year has been very much to do with teamwork and the support I’ve had, especially from the team at Low Wood Bay who gave me the chance to train with them and help out with some of their events to pick up handy tips and experience.

Wedding table setting at The Wild Boar.

The new job was perfect for Amy’s home life too.  Whilst trying to break into the wedding organising side of hospitality, she was also looking to move to Kendal with her girlfriend.  The new job has allowed her to do so and she passed her driving test in the nick of time the week before starting the job.

Great wedding experiences at The Wild Boar

Amy is already receiving some heart-warming feedback from couples who have recently tied the knot at the venue:

“We cannot thank you enough for everything you did for us on our day and beyond that! From start to finish you made everything so easy.  We had the most amazing wedding at The Wild Boar, every single member of staff was kind and helpful and made us feel extremely special.”

Hannah and Brad

“You were amazing on the build-up to our wedding, and on the day you were so calm, thorough and reassuring the whole time and you paid attention to the smallest details. We cannot thank you enough.”

Kate and Adam

“The set up you made was beyond anything we’d imagined. The tables looked so beautiful and everything was perfect. The details you put up were just amazing.  The whole day ran so smoothly.  Everyone said how amazing the food was.  All the staff were so friendly, from when we dropped stuff off to check out, thank you all so much, you really made the day.”

Amy and Callum

Where do you go if you fancy a slap-up Mrs Miggin’s breakfast in the Lake District?

Fell walkers seeking to fuel themselves before tackling a full day’s hiking might want to take a little detour to The Wild Boar Inn to experience arguably the most sumptuous and varied breakfast in Windermere.

Those who have braved the night camping or glamping may decide to eschew the embers of the previous night’s barbecue and head out to Crook to tuck into a big breakfast fry up at the hotel too.

And local residents, families and friends in the South Lakes may choose on a whim to pop out for a breakfast get together, working up (or walking off) an appetite with a stroll around the 72 acres of woodland in the hotel’s grounds.

Breakfast at The Wild Boar for those looking for a hearty breakfast in the Lake District.

The breakfast menu at The Wild Boar caters for everyone’s palate, from a traditional full English through to a varied platter offering delicious sweet and savoury mouthfuls.

From 8:00am each weekday morning, The Wild Boar Inn’s culinary team is up, ready and waiting so serve not only our guests but also non-residents seeking a bit of breakfast adventure.

Could The Wild Boar Inn be your favourite breakfast stop in the Lake District?

The centrepiece of The Wild Boar Inn’s popular Lake District breakfast offering includes everything you would expect: Cumberland sausage, locally sourced back bacon, slow cooked tomatoes, grilled flat cap mushrooms, Bury black pudding, baked beans and a choice of eggs, plus the option of the less than traditional hash browns – an influence perhaps from the US.

For the more adventurous looking for a meaty start to the day, there’s steak and eggs featuring an in-house smoked medallion of beef fillet with duck egg and wild mushrooms and hollandaise.

Breakfast offering of Treacle cured salmon with wholegrain rye bread and scrambled eggs

There are menu options for the more discerning eye too, such as treacle cured salmon with wholegrain rye bread and scrambled eggs or Lancashire Cheese Rarebit with smoked streaky bacon and fried duck egg.

From lemon curd French toast with vanilla bean mascarpone and toasted hazelnuts through to wild mushrooms, spinach and poached eggs on sourdough, there’s something for everyone to savour.

Many of the hotel’s breakfast servings are gluten free dishes, with vegetarian options including a Potato Rosti with wild mushrooms, baby spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce.  There is also a delicious selection of artisan breads and croissants.

A Windermere trip out for breakfast – what will you choose?

The full English breakfast can mean slightly different variations depending on the diner and indeed the chef.  To this writer, it’s sausage, bacon and eggs as the staple, with the side addition of mushrooms, grilled tomato and fried bread.  The coffee needs to be served hot when the breakfast arrives, but the real key is that the eggs are still warm when served.

Others will demand the inclusion of black pudding of course, and perhaps a side ramekin of baked beans to boot.

Historically, the tradition of the full English breakfast anecdotally goes as far back as the 1400s, with the country’s gentry maintaining the idea of hospitable Anglo-Saxon cuisine and practices.  They developed a reputation for tremendous breakfast feasts for family, friends and visitors passing through.

Those foundations were fortified on the country estates and the concept of a hearty morning meal before the landed gentry went off to hunt.  The Victorians made the idea into a more formal affair, and a chance to display their social status and wealth, before the Edwardians established the main constituents of the full English fry up.

A traditional English Breakfast

It was in the early decades of the 20th century that the nuts and bolts of the English breakfast fry up we know today started to become the standard across the country.  This is around the period where the idea was no longer exclusive to the wealthier in society.  Indeed the full English breakfast was rapidly embraced as a wholesome, filling way to start the working day.  By the 1950s, it was commonplace across all areas and walks of life.

Today at The Wild Boar Inn, it’s fell walkers, hikers, ravenous campers and glampers and local residents who seek us out on a casual weekday morning for a hearty breakfast trip out from Windermere.

And breakfast here does not always have to be a social occasion – indeed it’s part of our cultural fabric to sit with family, friend or partner and perhaps not utter a single word as you scan the newspaper (or the ubiquitous mobile phone!) as you ready yourself for the serious business of the day ahead.

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