Author Archives: Stagey Lady

The long Sunday lunch in Windermere..

A Windermere hotel has launched a new Sunday lunch menu – that will be served, Continental style – all afternoon.

The Cedar Manor, the Lake District’s award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant, will be offering the new “lunchtime” offering from 12 noon till 6pm every Sunday.

roast beef

The aim, says owner Jonathan Kaye, is to cater for both locals and visitors who have a range of Sunday schedules.

“We know that there are people who look forward to a Sunday lunch straight after church,” said Jonathan, whose hotel is next to St Mary’s Parish Church.

“That’s where the tradition came from originally. But now there are people who want a Sunday roast after they’ve had a full day out on the hills. And there are others who enjoy the very British meal but at a later time, like they’ve had when on holiday abroad.”

The lunch menu – traditional roast beef, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, along with vegetarian and other options – will comprise entirely of locally-sourced produce in keeping with the hotel’s policy of supporting local farmers, growers and suppliers.

“Some of our guests who are checking out on a Sunday still want to have a good meal before their journey,” said Jonathan. “Others, who are just arriving on a Sunday, want to know they can still get lunch even if their journey is delayed.”

But places are limited and booking is essential. Check the menu here

Cedar Manor and gardens


Kendal artist reaches semi-finals of TV contest

A Kendal artist has reached the semi-finals of a TV  show to find the portrait artist of the year.

Catherine Macdiarmid will be seen on Sky (Arts)TV next month (April 9) competing against other artists as she paints a picture of a celebrity in London. The show is presented by Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell.


The contest is like an art version of Bake-Off, says Catherine, who has appeared in earlier stages of the show twice before. In 2014 she painted Extras actress Ashley Jensen and in 2017 her subject was the actor Ross Kemp. Both chose her portrait of them to keep.

Catherine, who was born in Kendal and lives in the town with her three children, has twice been selected for the prestigious BP Portrait Award. Her work was included in a book, 500 Portraits, published by the National Portrait Gallery.

She was elected a member of the Lake Artists Society in 2014 and is a founder member of Green Door artists in Kendal and the South Lakes.

Catherine says: “Faces are the most interesting things we see and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t paint people. I am fascinated by portraiture and how much it can disguise or reveal the inner person.

“The sitter can choose to reveal as much or as little as they want and I want to capture something of the external self as well as the inner self. It is all really about a conversation between artist and subject.”

Catherine, who is available for portrait commissions, teaches a range of art courses at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, and leads art courses for HF Holidays and Higham Hall.

This summer she will have her own solo exhibition at the Brewery from August 10 until October 5.

Meanwhile, she will face competition from eight other artists in the semi-final of the TV show. The heats were filmed at the Wallace Collection gallery in London; the semi-final location will be revealed on the night.

“It’s like painting in a goldfish bowl,” says Catherine. “Artists are used to working in isolation. This is very different, when people are watching you, and you can hear snippets of conversations.”

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2019, Tues April 9, Sky Arts TV 8pm

Self Portrait 2018. CMacDiarmid.2018

Self portrait

Time for business to act on climate change

Cumbrian businesses are being urged to follow the example of the younger generation and take action on climate change…and save costs at the same time.

A workshop run by Eco-Innovation Cumbria will ask firms to consider: do you know the impact of your supply chain on climate change?

The process is called Life Cycle Thinking and aims to encourage businesses to reduce, re-use and recycle.

“We want to provide a tool for companies to identify and reduce the resources they use to manufacture products or provide services that are sold to customers,” said Glyn Griffiths, senior project officer for Eco-Innovation Cumbria.

“Life Cycle Thinking provides a step by step approach to identify key areas for improvement. The approach will encourage working with your supply chain to reduce waste, helping to reduce CO2, with positive impacts on profit along with climate change.”

The event, at the Stonecross Manor Hotel in Kendal on March 26, is free to small and medium size companies in Cumbria. Practical workshops, delivered by the University of Central Lancashire, will be matched with networking opportunities.

It’s something that businesses can no longer afford to ignore, says Glyn Griffiths. “Life Cycle Thinking is about assessing the impact that your business activities and products have on the environment throughout their life cycle, including climate change. Incorporating LCT can bring a wealth of opportunities for your business, not only helping you to identify where you could be saving money or increasing profits but reduce your business carbon footprint and help the environment.

flood impact pic 2

Devastating impact of climate change. Flood damage photo by Ashley Cooper/Global Warming Images

The event, Sustainable supply chains that reduce CO2 and cost, will include sessions on life cycle assessment for business, workshops and demonstrations, and business models.

“We are all aware how seriously younger people are taking the threat posed by climate change, when even school children are demonstration and protesting,” said Mr Griffiths. “It’s something that every business has to consider.”

Registration for the event is here:

eco logo

Top artist in Wordsworth exhibition

Cumbria’s Visual Artist of the Year, Julian Cooper, will feature in a major new exhibition opening this weekend in Cockermouth.

This Land is Our Land at Wordsworth House explores the fragile and ever-changing relationship with the landscape that surrounds us.

Julian Cooper profile pic

Julian Cooper

It includes several dramatic landscapes by Julian Cooper, a member of the Heaton Cooper family, whose work features in collections around the world and can be seen in London’s Art Space Gallery, as well as at the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere. He was named Visual Artist of the Year in the recent Cumbria Life culture awards.


Force Crag Mine by Julian Cooper

There’s a collection of William Wordsworth’s personal objects, including his ice skates, and other contributors include writers Robert Macfarlane, Sarah Hall, Hunter Davies and George Monbiot, local farmers and others living and working in the Lakes.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House’s visitor experience manager, said: ‘This Land is Our Land is about nature’s power to shape us and the impact we, in turn, have on the environment. These are issues that affect us all.

“The exhibition combines the written word, stunning images, a series of specially commissioned short films and a range of extraordinary objects chosen by the participants to exemplify their relationship with this very special place.”

This Land is Our Land forms part of a year-long series of events on the theme People’s Landscapes being held around the UK by the National Trust. Wordsworth House is hosting a series of linked talks, including an evening with farmer and author James Rebanks.

For more information and to book tickets, see wordsworth-house. This Land is Our Land is open daily, except Friday, 11am to 4pm, from 9 March to 8 September, and admission is free with entry to the house and garden.

How to stop your business ideas being stolen

New business start-ups along with established companies need to protect their ideas. Now small and medium businesses in Cumbria are to get a helping hand to safeguard their intellectual property.

A workshop that will highlight the pitfalls and explain procedures will be held at the Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa near Windermere next month (March 21). Organised by Cumbria Innovations Platform, the day-long event will show that having the right type of intellectual property protection helps stop people stealing or copying your inventions, products or brands.

Experts will describe the different types of Intellectual Property protection available, such as patents, copyright, trademarks, and design rights. They will explain the processes involved in securing them and the importance of having an IP strategy.

The workshops will be run by experts in the field. Gordon Short is from Entrepreneur Business School Ltd, a private company that delivers guided entrepreneurship training for innovation driven businesses.

Frank Allison from FIS360 Ltd has a record of accomplishments of working with and supporting entrepreneurs at all stages of the commercialisation process.

sarah allison pic

Sarah Allison

Organiser Sarah Allison said: “The workshop is designed for directors and managers from established small and medium businesses as well as entrepreneurs and start-up firms, who will find out more about protecting innovations through IP and other licensing opportunities.

“It’s one of the most important aspects for any business to be fully aware of.”

The businesses must be registered in Cumbria. The event is at the Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa on Thursday March 21. Register here:


Going greener: what florists can do to help save the planet

Windermere is to host an event to show florists how they can go greener to help save the planet. And one of the country’s leading experts on greenhouse gases will head the discussions.

The day-long workshop at Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa is aimed at companies in the floristry supply chain in Cumbria such as flower wholesalers, event managers, wedding planners, and hotels and other venues.

low wood

Low Wood Bay resort and spa venue

Organised by Eco-Innovation Cumbria, the aim is to explore the business challenges and opportunities for sustainable floristry.

“Hotels and venues are becoming renowned for sourcing local foods, using renewable energy and minimising water consumption, but are the flowers on their tables equally sustainable?” said Glyn Griffiths, Senior Project Officer.


“The UK floristry industry is worth £2billion. The Lake District is one of the most popular destinations for hospitality, weddings and corporate events, which places these businesses servicing this sector firmly in the floristry supply chain.”

Sustainable floristry looks at where flowers are sourced, as well as eliminating harmful plastics, foam, cellophanes and other packaging.

Contributors to the event include Mike Berners-Lee, researcher and writer on greenhouse gases, who is professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University and director of Small World Consulting. He will look at the carbon footprint of British and imported cut flowers.

mike berners lee

Mike Berners-Lee

Paula Baxter, co-chair of Flowers from the Farm and owner of Millpond Flower Farm will lead a discussion on British flowers for florists, and there will be case studies and workshop demonstrations.

The Low Wood Bay  team will discuss the environmental practices they implement and how they have achieved Green Tourism Gold award.

The event, on Monday March 11, is free for SME businesses in Cumbria, funded by the ERDF through the Eco-Innovation Cumbria programme, University of Cumbria, and organised by Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS).

Register here:

Exercise to improve mental health

A pilot scheme to encourage people to take up exercise starts in Kendal on Sunday (Feb 24).

The mental health mile will start at Abbot Hall social centre on Dowkers Lane at 3pm. It’s organised by Jogging Pals who already operate a Couch to 5k programme, and further training for runners.

This one is aimed at getting people of all abilities, ages and fitness to get together to walk, wheel, jog and talk. A similar event has been held in Lancaster for the past year and the organisers there say that by using exercise, group work and a safe environment, they have helped the more vulnerable in the community to try something new.

Abbot Hall social centre has plenty of parking in the overspill car park, and there are toilets, and refreshment facilities.

“This is aimed at those who don’t do much exercise but might want a healthier life/work balance, and need some support and encouragement,” said Wayne Singleton of Jogging Pals.

“We want to get people out walking and talking primarily. If they want to jog/run then that’s ok, but we want to focus on inclusivity and the positive impact of activity rather than racing.”