It was with a sense of excitement and, I confess, trepidation that I arrived at Waterhead for a weekend of Lake District Watercolour Painting. Signing up for something like this can feel a little like putting your creative neck on the line!
Testing the water over dinner 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 enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal 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!”→
Learn a new skill in a day – our Smoking Course is the perfect opportunity to discover how to hot and cold smoke food without the need for any professional equipment.
Partnering with Jo and Georgina from Smoky Jo’s – supplier of smoked goods to Prince Charles! – our one day course will inform, delight and entertain. At the end of the day celebrate with a huge banquet prepared by Chef using the foods smoked by you and fellow participants. Invite your partner, friends and family members to the meal for added kudos!
Joining the throng of Great British Bake Off enthusiasts, the ladies in English Lakes Central Reservations Department will be glued to the screen this evening. However, they have their own resident Queen of Cakes, Denise, who regularly surprises and delights them with her delicious and creative creations.
We have seen some amazing photographs taken from The Midland, but this takes some beating. The story behind the photograph makes it even more poignant.
Midland guest, Chris Peear-Wilson, has been diagnosed with various auto-immune illnesses and a degenerative condition which affects both eyes and has rendered her partially blind. She never has a day free from pain. With the vision she has left she is making every second count. Keen on nature, with a passion for ornithology, flora and fauna, Chris had, until quite recently, made quite a name for herself locally in Denbighshire as an artist who loves to draw birds. Observing them from close quarters, she developed a way of committing their shape and colour to memory, later re-creating the images on paper. Unfortunately, Chris is now no longer able to see well enough to draw.
Indefatigable, Chris has taken up photography and captures nature through the lens whenever possible. She was delighted with this particular shot – the light on Morecambe Bay sands in the shape of a cross echoing her own strong faith. She calls the photograph ‘Divine Sunset’ and commented,
‘Divine Sunset’ was followed by a ‘divine evening’ that only The Midland could deliver. I hope this photograph encourages and inspires others.
We wish Chris every success in the future as she faces the challenges that her illness brings. Thank you for sharing this magnificent image with us.
Room with a View
The Midland with its Sun Terrace restaurant and bedrooms overlooking Morecambe Bay is the perfect place to experience your own divine evening. We look forward to welcoming you.
We can hardly believe it is 25 years since we first opened the doors of Lancaster House to welcome our guests. Where has the time gone?
We’ve hosted hundreds of weddings over the subsequent years, but Sarah and Duncan Roper were our very first wedding couple and we look forward to re-creating their wedding breakfast for them when they visit soon for a mutual Silver Celebration.
Sarah introduces the family and tells us about their ongoing connection with Lancaster House.
I was brought up in Lancaster, my family having moved to the city when I was very young. My father’s job at the University meant we occasionally spent time living abroad. Duncan grew up in Sheffield where even a trip to Barnsley was a major expedition! We now live in Timperley, Cheshire, in the home that we bought just after we got married.
We’ve got two sons, Joe, 21 who is studying Civil and Structural Engineering at Sheffield University, and Sam who is studying for his A levels at Sale Grammar School.
How did you meet?
Both Duncan and I have been involved in healthcare throughout our professional lives. We were introduced to each other whilst Duncan was working in Burnley for the NHS. We went out one Sunday afternoon for a platonic drink in a real ale pub in Manchester. A fight broke out in the pub (nothing to do with us!) and Duncan grabbed my hand and led me safely away from the fracas – from that moment on everything changed!
Was it a romantic proposal?
The first proposal was on a night out in our local Indian Restaurant – where else? Duncan subsequently delivered a much more romantic ‘official’ proposal during a holiday in the Lake District on the banks of Coniston Water – not an onion bhaji in sight!
Why did you choose Lancaster House?
I was brought up in Lancaster and have many happy memories of the area. My father took up a post in the Physics Department at Lancaster University when it first opened in 1964 and he worked there until he retired. As a family we have always had a very strong relationship with the University. The Chaplaincy Centre at the University seemed an obvious choice for our wedding ceremony and with the brand spanking new Lancaster House on the doorstep it was the ideal venue for the reception.
Booking our wedding in a hotel whilst it was still under construction did have its risks. I made sure we had a back-up plan ‘just in case’. I’m very glad we didn’t have to use it!
The Big Day
The wedding day just seemed to fly past so quickly. It was everything I had always dreamed of for my wedding – sunshine, family, friends and a lot of fun – oh, and Duncan as well! Our wedding breakfast menu was Melon , Lamb Noisettes followed by a decadent Chocolate and Raspberry Roulade. Duncan’s request for naan bread and tarka daal was politely declined by the management at the time!
My parents, Jean and Peter, remain loyal members of Lancaster House Sandpiper Club. We visit regularly and have celebrated other special birthdays and anniversaries at Lancaster House. Sadly, Duncan’s Mum and Dad, Jean and John, passed away a few years ago but we have an enduring memory of them both from our special day.
Weddings at Lancaster House
Our Wedding Showcase on 25th August, 4.30pm to 8pm is a perfect time to have a personalised wedding show round of Lancaster House, sample our wedding breakfast options and meet our local wedding suppliers. Our Wedding Coordinator, Lauren, and the team will meet you with a complimentary arrival drink and canapés.
The decor at Lancaster House may have changed over the years and we now offer a much wider choice of menu (I’m sure Chef is happy to talk about tarka daal if that is your heart’s desire!) but one thing remains constant – we aim to help make happy memories for our couples for many years to come.
A popular gin from our Waterhead library, Fifty Pound is a traditional recipe that was long buried after the Gin Craze of the eighteenth century. We think it’s time to dust it off and enjoy in Waterhead’s garden overlooking Lake Windermere.
Deviating from our normal Malt of the Month post, our Master of Malt, George, tells us about his trip up north to his homeland to visit two distilleries and see first hand how the amber liquid is produced.