Monthly Archives: February 2016

Designer’s skill in the kitchen wins award in the Cake District

Interior designer Alison Tordoff took first prize in the Lake District Valentine’s bake-off contest at the Cedar Manor Hotel in Windermere.

Alison, who runs Fidget Design, proved that she could apply her talents to edible art in the competition organised by Windermere and Bowness Fairtrade group.

Her entry, a lemon ricotta gluten-free cake with a “glowing heart”, took the honours from 16 entries in front of a crowd of more than 80 baking enthusiasts.

The cakes were “blind” judged by the hotel’s owner Jonathan Kaye and sous chef Michael Vango who also gave two baking demonstrations during the event.

They were unaware that they had awarded top marks to Alison who designed the rooms at the hotel.

judging

The judges in action

The cakes, all on a Valentine’s theme, were judged on presentation, texture and taste, and the judges had a difficult time reaching their decision.

“There were spectacularly-decorated cakes, and others which tasted wonderful. We used a numerical judging system to be absolutely fair,” said Mr Vango.

He added: “All the entries were of the highest standard.”

Alison won a £50 Lakeland voucher. In second place was Catherine Greenall, who won a remedial massage treatment by Sarah Todd, and third was Doreen Westmorland who won a Farrer’s gift basket.

Grainne Jakobson was “highly commended”, and a special merit prize of a Traidcraft basket for the contestant using the widest range of Fairtrade products was awarded  to Mary Shankley. All the cakes had to be made with Fairtrade sugar.

winning cake

And the winner is….

“The event was a huge success, and we had a good range of Fairtrade products on sale, said Theresa Wooll, who co-ordinated the contest for the Fairtrade group with the Cedar Manor.

Cedar Manor co-owner Caroline Kaye said: “We were thrilled to host this competition because we love cake, and it’s such a good cause. Our restaurant uses Fairtrade products, and we were amazed by the artistry and talent of the entries.”

Artists work from the earth for new exhibition in Kendal

A distinctive exhibition at Kendal Museum this month (March) will feature the work of three very different artists collaborating on an exciting project.

From the Earth will show the work of ceramicist Roger Bell; Gordon Baddeley, who works with old wood; and mixed media artist Jake Baddeley.

The exhibition, from March 19 to April 24, aims to inform and entertain, showing the links between the disciplines in which the three artists work. “Though varied (wood, clay, paint and mixed media) they have links in that they all use materials derived from the earth, and all seek to find a middle ground between abstraction and figurative representation,” say the organisers.

Carol Davies, Curator at Kendal Museum, said: “It is a delight to have such an array of stunning work by these three talented artists in one exhibition at Kendal Museum. Although the pieces are quite different, they all have the earth at their core and we hope people will come along to appreciate their individual skills.”

The exhibition is welcomed by the Kendal Business Improvement District whose manager, Sarah Williams, said:  “It is really exciting to see internationally renowned artists bringing their work here to show in Kendal. There is so much here in the town for visitors to see.”

Photography by Ben Goulter

Photography by Ben Goulter

Roger Bell is a ceramicist with considerable experience in the arts. His own work in clay has developed over time in terms of subject and technique. He is well known in the pottery world for his ceramic work and for his regular reviews of books relating to this broad and varied discipline. He has also been the proprietor of two art galleries.

Photography by Ben Goulter

Photography by Ben Goulter

Roger uses a process which can incorporate wood, metal or textiles within a fired-clay form. He has recently worked on the standard shape of jig-saw pieces, evolving this towards the form of trees, buildings, animals and alphabet letters. He often seeks to combine architectural shape with practical applications, as in the cactus holders derived from various slab structures.

Gordon Baddeley works with old wood, mainly root systems  which have been in the ground for a considerable time. Working with the grain, he produces sculptures which are mainly abstract, but often take on an organic quality. He is concerned to produce shapes which are elegant and finely finished, but which take their character from the nature and grain system of the wood itself. He likes to think of his work as a reincarnation, identifying and enhancing the essential beauty of wood.

Inspired by the Dutch masters, Jake Baddeley started working with oil paint in 1992. He had his first of many solo exhibitions at Jaconde’s Kabinet in The Hague, the success of which established him as a full time painter and was a tribute to the high quality of his technique and perception. He has solo exhibitions in Holland, Germany or France.

kendal museum

Jake draws his inspiration from many sources, essentially Ancient Greece, iconography, mythology, psychology and philosophy. More recently he has developed his symbolic art work to include collage work using mixed media, and it is this aspect of his work on which he would like to focus at this time.

 

Celebrity friends who love Ambleside

Broadcaster Clare Balding has joined the list of celebrities supporting the new Ambleside Together organisation.

The award-winning  journalist and author  currently presents for BBC Sport, Channel 4, BT Sport and “Good Morning Sunday” on BBC Radio 2.

On a recent visit to the Lakes she walked up Loughrigg Fell with magazine editor Simon Ingram. Now Clare has sent a message of support to the Ambleside team: “Don’t miss what’s on your doorstep.  Feel wild and free in the Lakes.”

clare b pic

Clare Balding: Feel wild and free in the Lakes

She joins comedian Rory Bremner who has also been in touch with Ambleside Together.

The political satirist and impressionist, who is to put on a show in Kendal to raise money for flood victims, told Ambleside Together: “I have great memories of Ambleside from teenage climbing trips and recently filming Great British Views in the area. The recent flooding must have been devastating but the recovery is inspiring.” And he promised: “Visit soon!”

Q&A: Rory Bremner

Rory Bremner: climbing holidays in Ambleside

Ambleside Together was created by a group of local business people, with the backing of South Lakes District Council, as a response to the winter storms and their impact on tourism and visitor numbers.

One of the group’s challenges will be to tell the world that Ambleside – like the rest of the Lake District – is open for business and ready to greet visitors with open arms.

“We are confident that our regular visitors will come back this spring to enjoy their usual pastimes, walking, climbing, cycling and so on,” said chairman Andrew Hewitt. “But we also saw this as a good opportunity to come together as a community and jointly promote all that’s great about Ambleside, while at the same time looking at new opportunities and new events that will, perhaps, bring new visitors here as well.”

A packed meeting at the Regent Hotel heard of plans for films, social media campaigns, promotional stickers, and an events calendar.

Rory Bremner and other star comedians will be at the Brewery Arts Centre on Wednesday, February 24 and all  proceeds from the show ‘Come Hell and High Water’, will go to the Cumbria Community Foundation.

He said: “At times like this the community rallies together. The floods are the opposite of funny but one of the ways of overcoming adversity is with a sense of humour and looking on the bright side – that’s the reason to come to the comedy show.”

Mr Bremner, 54, described the Lake District as “a fantastic part of the world” and said “there is nowhere else like it”.

Follow the Ambleside group on Facebook and Twitter @loveAmbleside

 

Backgammon championship returns to the Lakes

The third annual Lake District backgammon championship will be staged at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel next month.

Leading players from across the UK have already registered for the contest, but the organiser, hotel owner Jonathan Kaye, has eight places left for the event on Sunday March 13.

The competition, backed by the UK Backgammon Federation, has been growing in popularity since it was launched at the hotel in 2014. It also led to the formation of a Lake District club which meets monthly.

Last year’s contest was won by Edinburgh-based science researcher Samantha Wilkinson who took the title after a thrilling final against financier Barry Teece, also from Edinburgh.

Jonathan said: “We are always delighted by the response for this championship. It’s always a really exciting day, with some really top class players in action. Backgammon is growing in popularity and our monthly club has seen some terrific competition during the past year.”

The first prize is a two-night stay at the Cedar Manor Hotel. Those interested in competing should call 015394 43192 as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Top comedian recalls his climbing holidays in Ambleside

Comedian Rory Bremner has sent a message of support to a newly-formed organisation in Ambleside.

The political satirist and impressionist, who is to put on a show in Kendal to raise money for flood victims, told Ambleside Together: “I have great memories of Ambleside from teenage climbing trips and recently filming Great British Views in the area. The recent flooding must have been devastating but the recovery is inspiring.” And he promised: “Visit soon!”

Ambleside Together was created by a group of local business people, with the backing of South Lakes District Council, as a response to the winter storms and their impact on tourism and visitor numbers.

One of the group’s challenges will be to tell the world that Ambleside – like the rest of the Lake District – is open for business and ready to greet visitors with open arms.

“We are confident that our regular visitors will come back this spring to enjoy their usual pastimes, walking, climbing, cycling and so on,” said chairman Andrew Hewitt. “But we also saw this as a good opportunity to come together as a community and jointly promote all that’s great about Ambleside, while at the same time looking at new opportunities and new events that will, perhaps, bring new visitors here as well.”

A packed meeting at the Regent Hotel heard of plans for films, social media campaigns, promotional stickers, and an events calendar.

Rory Bremner and other star comedians will be at the Brewery Arts Centre on Wednesday, February 24 and all  proceeds from the show ‘Come Hell and High Water’, will go to the Cumbria Community Foundation.

He said: “At times like this the community rallies together. The floods are the opposite of funny but one of the ways of overcoming adversity is with a sense of humour and looking on the bright side – that’s the reason to come to the comedy show.”

Mr Bremner, 54, described the Lake District as ‘a fantastic part of the world’ and said ‘there is nowhere else like it’.

 

Recipe for romance as bakers line up for Valentine’s cake contest

Lovers of cake are gathering at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel for a Valentine’s bake-off competition next week. And there are still a few places left for bakers with a recipe for romance.

The contest is organised by Windermere and Bowness Fairtrade group, and amateur bakers are invited to submit their “signature bake” which must be a single tier cake with a Valentine’s theme. Some 15 entries have been registered but organiser Caroline Kaye said that there was still time to enter the contest.

caroline in the garden

Caroline Kaye: last call for bake-off entries

The event, on Wednesday (February 10) will also feature baking demonstrations by Michael Vango, the pastry and sous chef at Cedar Manor’s restaurant. Michael, along with the hotel’s owners Jonathan and Caroline Kaye, will judge the entries.

Cakes entered must be made using Fairtrade sugar (widely available in shops locally or from Traidcraft online (www.traidcraftshop.co.uk). They will be judged on texture, flavour, appearance and decoration.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded and a “Special Fairtrade Merit Prize” will also be given. “This will allow people to be creative as far as range of Fairtrade products used together with any lesser known ones they are able to source,” said Theresa Wooll, who is co-ordinating the contest for the Fairtrade group with the Cedar Manor.

Competitors must register in advance to book a place in the contest by calling the hotel on 015394 43192. Cakes must then be delivered to the Cedar Manor Hotel, Ambleside Road, Windermere, on Wednesday between 11-11.30 am, on a suitably stiffened board or plate.  The winners will be announced at around 2.45 pm and all cakes must be collected by 3.30 pm.

The entry fee of £5 will include unlimited tea/coffee and a piece of cake at the event. Spectators tickets have all been sold.

Cedar Manor co-owner Caroline Kaye said: “We are thrilled to host this competition because we love cake, and it’s such a good cause. Our restaurant uses Fairtrade products, and we are looking forward to some brilliant entries.”

 

Bartle Hall Hotel in Red Rose awards finals

Preston’s Bartle Hall hotel and restaurant has reached the finals of the prestigious Red Rose awards.

The country house hotel, near Woodplumpton,  is heading for the award ceremony in the Tourism and Leisure business award category. They are the only Preston representative in the final six.

Successful businesses were announced after a day of rigorous pre-scoring, whittling down from several hundred entries in each of the 25 categories.hall exterior

Bartle Hall’s owners Andrew and Nicola Haworth, will now face an interview and presentation at the Red Rose Suite at Blackburn Rovers.

Winners will be revealed at the glittering ceremony which takes place on March 10 at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Bartle Hall, which recently reached the UK finals of The Wedding Venue Awards, is also a popular choice for short break holidays, conferences, business and networking meetings – and is famed for its afternoon teas. Set in 16 acres of gardens and woodland, the latest venture at Bartle Hall  was to transform – and rename – the hotel’s restaurant, Nest, which is in the command of a new award-winning chef, Craig Brown.

Nicola Haworth said: “We are delighted to reach the finals of this award. It is a fitting tribute to all the efforts of our team here to create something very special in the Lancashire tourism sector.”

Around seventy judges, made up of sponsors, business leaders and independent experts, assessed hundreds of written entries to name the finalists.

Judges said the decisions during the scoring of written entries were tougher, the stories bigger and the achievements greater than ever before.

They said: “The entries we received this year were stronger than ever, and many businesses across this great county are recording excellent performances.”

Love is in the air in the Lakes as romantic hotels take the honours

Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel is celebrating this week as the Lake District comes out top as the most romantic destination in Britain.

The award-winning Cedar Manor is one of three Lakes hotels in the top ten of the newly published Top Hotels for Romance report.

Currently holders of the best small hotel, national and international, in the Considerate Hoteliers awards, Cedar Manor is placed at number five in the new listing from Travellers’ Choice. Also in the top ten are the Grasmere Hotel and Windermere’s Applegarth Villa. The others in the top ten are scattered across the UK, with two are in the Scottish town of Pitlochry.

Cedar Manor was the Cumbria Tourism best small hotel winner in 2014, and in 2015 they took the Outstanding Customer Service title which was won by their staff member Patricia Torre. They were also runners up last year in the Visit England awards.

The Cedar Manor – a ten-bedroom luxury hotel – has been designed with romance at heart, say owners Jonathan and Caroline Kaye.jonathan and caroline with award

 

A country-house hotel with a boutique ambiance and individually designed rooms, the hotel’s top choice among loving couples is the Coach House suite, with its own dining room and twin spa bath.

“Our guests love it. The suite offers the ultimate in luxury and seclusion, and we arrange special packages for romantic breaks,” says Jonathan.

Although  not licensed as a wedding venue, the hotel has become very popular for “mini-moons”, short breaks taken by newly-weds immediately after getting married who might be going on a longer, overseas honeymoon later.

Says Jonathan: “We have the best of all worlds here in the Lake District which is such a beautiful, romantic destination itself.”

To emphasise the romantic theme, the hotel is staging a Valentine’s bake-off contest next week. The contest is organised by Windermere and Bowness Fairtrade group, and amateur bakers are invited to submit their “signature bake” which must be a single tier cake with a Valentine’s theme. And places are still available for bakers to bring their creations along.

The event, on Wednesday February 10, will also feature baking demonstrations by Michael Vango, the pastry and sous chef at Cedar Manor’s restaurant. Michael, along with the hotel’s owners Jonathan and Caroline Kaye, will judge the entries. Call the hotel for entry details: 015394 43192.

Coach House suite bathroom smallCoach House suite 1The hotel and grounds

 

New company launches successfully thanks to Creative Lakes

Kendal-based marketing and branding specialists Creative Lakes has launched a new name and brand for a maker of “indestructible” beds – for pets.

The naming and brand development project designed by Creative Lakes has included the development of a new company name – Tuffer Stuff –  new logo, website, marketing collateral and the launch of a new company Facebook page and Twitter account.

Tuffer Stuff is a pet company that produces high quality, stylish pet beds for those customers who  really want to spoil their cats and dogs. Tuffer Stuff beds are very durable and made from tough material, but at the same time are washable and extremely comfortable for the dogs and cats that enjoy them. They are designed and manufactured to last, and currently are all custom-made to order by the managing director of the company. Tailor made and personalised bed frames are also part of the current product range.

Neil Corrigan, managing director at Creative Lakes, said:  “This project has been a fantastic opportunity for Creative Lakes to showcase our branding and creative skills. We have worked strategically with Tuffer Stuff to really understand their market and their product. We pride ourselves on getting to know our clients and their business. The new name reflects the brand values of the Tuffer Stuff range of products.”

neil profile smaller

Neil Corrigan: We pride ourselves on getting to know our clients and their business

Sarah Woudenberg, owner of Tuffer Stuff, said: “I’ve been delighted with the new brand and marketing toolkit that Creative Lakes has come up with. They were highly professional throughout and very speedy. We were working to a number of tight deadlines due to Tuffer Stuff exhibiting at the National Pet Show in Manchester. Thanks to Neil and his team I was able to take the new brand to market and have my new leaflets, pop-up stands and, importantly, the new website ready in time.”

The new Tuffer Stuff website is now live at http://www.tufferstuff.co.uk The new facebook page http://www.facebook.com/tufferstuff and twitter account is @tufferstuff and are also both now live.

Tuffer Stuff is looking to extend its product range and has a number of new initiatives in the pipeline. Sarah said: “As a new start-up marketing can be daunting, but Creative Lakes really helped me through the process. No doubt when I need to work on my next big marketing push, I will work with Creative Lakes again. I really enjoyed the way we worked as a team.”

Neil Corrigan said:  “As a business, one of our key strengths is building new brands that really work for clients. We enjoy the collaborative process of working closely with businesses, to really understand their needs. We are a company that can not only help with tactical marketing elements, but also work at a strategic level with clients.”

 

  • Creative Lakes is a specialist marketing and branding agency in the North West based in Kendal, Cumbria. The company focuses on brand development; creating names and brands for small to medium sized organisations. Services also include creative marketing, web design, development of marketing collateral and digital marketing services. For more information please visit http://www.creativelakes.co.uk
  • http://www.facebook.com/creativelakes
  • Twitter: @creativelakes
  • Tuffer Stuff is a new pet product company, based in the South Lakes, that prides itself on high quality pet bed products for the discerning pet owner that demand style and substance. The hardwearing, durable and washable beds come in a variety of shapes, patterns and sizes with matching and personalised bed frames for those that really want to treat their pets. Customers are from all over the UK. For more information please visit http://www.tufferstuff.co.uk

 

 

 

Cheaper train fares to flood hit areas welcomed by Kendal business leaders

Business leaders in Kendal have welcomed a move by Virgin Trains to discount fares to flood-hit areas for a three month period, which starts next week.

The train company has teamed up with VisitEngland to boost tourism and support the “Open for business” message in Cumbria and other parts of the north, to encourage people to visit the outstanding national parks, historical cities and cultural places of interest.

The exclusive discount of 30% off Advance fares to areas affected by recent flooding starts next Tuesday (Feb 9). Virgin Trains, which operates passenger services on the West Coast main line, aims to increase visitor numbers following the damage caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank in December 2015. The offer is timed to coincide with the February half-term holiday and Easter break in March.

The offer follows an initiative by the Kendal Business Improvement District to encourage visitors from London to travel to Kendal by train. The BID tbottle label piceam began their promotion over the Christmas period, with a specially designed bottle of Lakeland water that showed the short journey from London Euston to Kendal via Oxenholme.

 

The campaign was followed up by a number of London-based broadcasters including Chris Evans who talked to the Kendal BID manager Sarah Williams on his Radio 2 show.

“We are delighted that Virgin Trains have come up with this offer, which will make travelling to Kendal even more attractive,” said Sarah. “Kendal is just a couple of minutes on the branch line from Oxenholme, so barely three hours from London.”

The partnership between Virgin Trains and Visit England comes four days after the Government’s announcement of the Flood Recovery Fund and a new £1 million ‘Staycation’ marketing campaign to promote tourism in the North of England.

Discounted fares can be purchased from Tuesday 9th February on direct Virgin Trains services to destinations including Oxenholme, Carlisle and Penrith on the West Coast route.

Destination organisations along the East and West Coast are also pulling together a raft of late availability offers and deals to help customers make the most of this great travel offer.

Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re pleased to support VisitEngland’s campaign; we want to demonstrate that the regions affected by the storms are very much open for business. We hope people make the most of these great offers and show their support for the region.”