Love is most definitely in the air at a guest house in Windermere.
In the ten years since the current owners took over, 26 couples have got engaged at 1 Park Road.
And on each occasion, the proprietors, Philip and Mary Burton, have been in on the secret of the proposal.
“We know that the Lake District is known as a romantic destination. We are delighted to have rather more than our fair share of happy couples,” said Mary.
“Though it’s always a tense time for us, until he or she says yes! But we’ve not had a refusal yet.”
In each case the man or woman intending to propose has got in touch, with special requests. One couple travelled all the way from Scandinavia. He proposed on the Saturday, and by the following afternoon, his fiancée had booked a wedding venue and made all the arrangements.
On another occasion, a young couple who were about to be posted on military service to Afghanistan, came to stay for the weekend. “He organised a picnic hamper with food and champagne,” Philip recalls. “I don’t know how, but he managed to smuggle it on board a rowing boat to take out on Windermere. They got into the middle of the lake, and he stood up to ask the girl to marry him – and the boat almost capsized.”
Keri and Sarah from Oxford are the most recent duo to get engaged at 1 Park Road. Keri proposed at the summit of Gowbarrow fell: “Thank God she said yes, otherwise would have been a long walk down.”
She added: “Mary and Philip are fantastic and can’t do enough for you. I think they were more nervous than I was proposing. Philip told me to message him on the way back so they could put a bottle of bubbly in our room for when we got back.”
There was nothing particularly romantic about the place when Philip and Mary took over the business ten years ago. “But we did fall in love with the house from the moment we first arrived to view it,” said Philip.
He organises a special romantic breakfast menu once the secret is out in the open. “It’s always a special occasion, and it’s lovely that other guests can share in the celebration.”