Monthly Archives: June 2014

Award for Lakeland hidden gem hotel

One of the Lake District’s hidden gem hotels has just won another award.

The Cedar Manor, tucked into a quiet corner a few minutes’ walk from Windermere village, and with views of the mountains across the lake, has been judged Best Small Hotel in Cumbria.

Small, but perfectly formed: just ten bedrooms, but every one individually designed, in a country-house-meets-boutique setting. There’s a detached coach-house suite as well, a two-storey retreat of luxurious proportions, with a dining room, mini conference facilities, a stunning twin-spa bathroom and carpets made from a blend of wool from Herdwick and Swaledale sheep.

The hotel was judged best international hotel interior a couple of years ago, but further improvements since then have taken the design concept to another level. The new welcome lounge, for example, with its bespoke “bookend” wallpaper, features a chandelier made from recycled Bombay Sapphire gin bottles. In the gardens, a new patio has been created in the shade of the signature cedar tree.

Hoteliers Jonathan and Caroline Kaye work with local designer Alison Tordoff, and local craftsman Andrew Smith, of Lakeland Fells Furniture, to create their classic look. But the award judges were also impressed by the restaurant – open to non-residents – where legendary chef Roger Pergl Wilson creates distinctive dishes using local produce. Starters like Curthwaite goat’s cheese and red pepper mousse with red wine and shallot vinegar dressing and ciabatta bread, for example, or mains such as lamb rump in a herb and pine nut crust with Dijon mustard, tarragon gnocci and vegetables.

Jonathan and Caroline were thrilled with the latest award, but there will be no basking in glory. “We have set a very high standard here, but we want to keep on developing the hotel,” said Jonathan. “But we are thrilled to learn that the judges loved our place as much as our visitors do.”


Folk music legend to sing at Windermere

Folk music star Eliza Carthy will sing at a special ‘Lakes and Legends’ concert in Windermere next month. It is being staged to celebrate the end of the three year Windermere Reflections environmental campaign which finishes later this summer.

The concert is part of a series of events that highlight the positive work completed by WR, a Heritage Lottery Fund supported programme that aims to improve the environment in the Windermere catchment, with a particular focus on its lakes.

The concert will be held at 7pm on Thursday 24 July at The Lakes School, Windermere. Eliza will be performing with musician Saul Rose and supported by Furness Tradition young folk musicians NoJ; who will also play during the interval. Grasmere’s storyteller Taffy Thomas will also be performing a special commission with Eliza and Saul.

Eliza Carthy is the daughter of folk legends Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, who both played a huge part in the British revival of folk music. Beginning at the young age of 13, Eliza started her own group with mother Norma and Auntie Lal. Since then, she has gone on to receive two nominations for the Mercury Music Prize ‘Best Album of The Year’ award. She also won Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Folk Singer of The Year’ with her album ‘Angelica’.. Last year she released her double album ‘Wayward Daughter’.

Melodeon player and folk singer Saul Rose is no stranger to Carthy, they toured together last year, on Carthy’s ‘Wayward Daughter’ tour to celebrate her 21 years of musicianship.

Storyteller Taffy Thomas, of Grasmere’s Storyteller’s Garden, originally began as a Literature and Drama tutor at Dudley College of Education, and is founder and director of the folk theatre company Magic Lantern. From his extensive collection of over 300 different stories, Taffy will be treating the audience to two stories on the theme of Lakes and Legends.

NoJ are a new grouping of local youngsters who are thrilled to be learning from and playing with one of their musical heroes, whilst using their music to deepen their connection to the landscape.

Tickets are being sold at Esquires coffee shop, Ambleside and Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal for £8. All proceeds including donations for wine, beer and snacks will go to help Nurture Lakeland continue the ‘Love your Lakes’ work they have been delivering with Windermere Reflections for the last three years.

Windermere Reflections’ programme manager Liz Davey said: “We are really excited that Eliza Carthy is coming to the area and helping us celebrate the end of our programme in style and that the event will raise funds to help sustain some of the work we have been delivering.”

Inspiring day for adventure leaders

A special study day for outdoor leaders is to be held in the heart of the Lake District in Ambleside.

Journeys to Inspire Change is a one day symposium to explore leadership and sustainability, led by the Adventure and Environmental Awareness group.

Staged at the Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria, the event offers outdoor leaders the opportunity to consider the core values of leadership needed to encourage more sustainable living.

Participants will choose to explore issues on themed “journeys” with experts in the field. Outdoor philosopher and environmental campaigner Kate Rawles will look at local and global climate change, with Ruth Kirk, from the Friends of the Lake District.

Chris Loynes, reader in outdoor studies at the University of Cumbria, along with Richard Leafe, CEO of the Lake District National Park will lead a group tackling “landscapes – power, politics and values”. A third group will look at practical ways to connect with nature, led by Graham Watson of the John Muir Award and Amanda Luxmoore from Windermere Reflections.

Geoff Cooper, AEA Chairman said: “How many adventurers are aware of the delicate ecological balance and beauty of the environment through which they journey? How many of us accept responsibility for the environment and are prepared to take steps towards its conservation? We will address questions such as these and discuss sustainability and leadership at three levels by considering actions that can lead to personal, organisational and global change.”

Established in 1984, the Adventure and Environmental Awareness Group is made up of a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts and representatives of national and regional environmental and recreation organisations.

Bookings for the event on Friday July 4 can be made via the Institute for Outdoor Learning (01228 564580 / and cost £30 for the day, including a packed lunch. Call Amanda at Windermere Reflections on 015394 34401 for further details.


Down to the woods for a weekend of adventure and crafts

A weekend of woodland adventure and activity is planned for Windermere this weekend.

Based in the grounds of Stott Park Bobbin Mill near Newby Bridge, the Woodland Crafts and Tales event will feature workshops in traditional crafts, storytelling, and information about the importance of trees, on Friday and Saturday.

The most spectacular feature will be an “earthburn”, a charcoal-making fire which will be kept going overnight by the Coppice Association and its volunteers.

Organised by Windermere Reflections in association with English Heritage, the weekend will have fun and facts for all the family. Craftworkers will help the public make besom brooms, artist’s charcoal, and hazel flowers, whilst hearing stories inspired by the woods and mill.

Amanda Luxmoore, project officer for Windermere Reflections, said that the event was organised to highlight the importance and value of trees, especially in the Windermere catchment area.

“We want to focus on the benefits of trees for biodiversity, mitigating flooding, and reducing run off and erosion, as well as highlighting the livelihoods involved in sustainable forestry, such as coppicing, traditional industries and crafts,” she said.

Volunteers will camp on the site to maintain a vigil at the earthburn, as the controlled fire needs to be kept covered with turf to keep out air in making charcoal.

The free event starts on Friday June 13 and activities will be held throughout the weekend. It will also be possible to tour the bobbin mill and usual tour and parking charges apply.  Stott Park bobbin mill is one of the few surviving and preserved working museum mills in the country which once provided the bobbins to the spinning and weaving industry in Lancashire.

Windermere Reflections is a £1.69 million Heritage Lottery funded programme (running until August this year). The programme’s projects are about helping everyone get a better understanding of environmental issues affecting the Windermere catchment and making a positive difference to the way it is managed by getting communities involved.