Tag Archives: Windermere

Designer Alison heads for awards

Top designer Alison Tordoff has reached the finals of a major business award scheme.

Alison, who runs Windermere-based Fidget Design, is in the line-up for the Enterprise Vision Awards which recognise women in business from across the North West.

AllyTordoff2018

Recognised as dynamic and inspiring interior architect, Alison set up Fidget Design in 1997, and has earned a reputation as one of the most creative and innovative designers in the UK. She has worked on a wide variety of prestigious projects with top brands including Jaguar, Aston Martin, The Samling, Langdale Leisure Club and award winning Serenity Spa at Seaham.

Her designs for the Cedar Manor Hotel won Best International Hotel interior at the Bloomberg Hotel Awards. She has since created a distinctive Welcome Lounge at the hotel which helped them win a string of regional, national and international awards.

She pioneered a new range, The Love District, home furnishings based on the landscape, history and traditions of the Lake District, including cushions embroidered with the outlines of the fells, and a Lakeland bookends wallpaper.

Alison has recently been working with universities and design organisations and publishes a regular and highly regarded blog about design issues. And she is involved in a major Cumbria-based interactive project involving artificial intelligence, robotics and human machine learning.

Alison said: “This is a great honour. The North West is packed with amazing women running businesses in many different fields, and it is wonderful to be listed among them.”

 

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Festival discount for Windermere guests

The Lake District’s top musical festival has teamed up with a luxury B&B in Windermere  whose guests will be able to buy discounted tickets.

Visitors booking at 1 Park Road in Windermere will have access to the offer for the Lake District Summer Music Festival.

Eblana string trio. Photo: Ian Dingle

Eblana string trio. Photo: Ian Dingle

The biggest event of its kind, the Festival has chamber music at its heart and hosts over 40 events in different locations across the South Lakes. Venues include historic churches and halls found across the region, including Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside and Ulverston.

The owner of 1 Park Road, Philip Burton, is a trained classical pianist whose guests are encouraged to play the piano in the lounge. He and his wife Mary also run special music-themed breaks in the Lakes.

“The Festival is a significant event on the music scene in the Lakes and we want to make sure that our summer visitors know what’s happening, and have access to this wonderful programme,” said Philip.

This year the Festival features more than 40 separate events, of works from 87 different composers, with some artists appearing at LDSM for the first time, not least the young musicians giving nine Festival Début Concerts.

“We add a distinct and compelling musical focus to Cumbria’s rich cultural heritage of painting and literature in the Lake District,” said Festival general manager Kim Sargeant. “Our aim is to develop this musical focus, to fulfil a major role in the provision of music regionally, to be welcomed by local communities and sought by musicians, music-lovers, young and old, around the world.”

Guests at 1 Park Road will have to book in advance as the discounts cannot be applied at the door. When making their reservations at the B&B, they will be given the discount code to book tickets for concerts.

Full details of the programme can be found at http://www.ldsm.org.uk/international-festival.

To book to stay at 1 Park Road, see the website

Philip has written about the music he loves…and what pleases his guests https://1parkroad.co.uk/if-music-be-the-food-of-breakfasts/

 

Top backgammon players head to the Lakes

backgammon board

Top backgammon players from across the UK will head to Windermere at the weekend for the annual Lake District championship.

The Lakes event is being staged for the fifth time at the Cedar Manor Hotel, with the backing of the UK Backgammon Federation and the British Isles Backgammon Association. It will bring together 16 of the most experienced and award-winning players from far and wide for what promises to be a nail-biting series of matches on Sunday.

Lounge & Bar

Last year’s winner was Bradford’s Steve Lee who claimed victory after a final 7-3 win over Pol Lapidakis from Newcastle.

One of the world’s oldest board games, combining skill and chance, backgammon is played in cafés across the Mediterranean and in the most exclusive of London clubs, with world championships staged in exotic locations.

The championship is organised by Cedar Manor owner Jonathan Kaye who learned to play backgammon when he was manager of Raffles nightclub in London. His dream is to see backgammon established as part of the café culture of the Lake District, as it is in Mediterranean countries, and he hosts a regular local backgammon club.

“We are now recognised as one of the major tournaments on the UK calendar,” he said.

“But while we attract the top players, we also welcome people of all abilities at our regular monthly club event. We will be very pleased to hear from any local players who want to take part.”

The winner gets a cash prize and a voucher to stay at the hotel.

 

 

Pianists who head for the Lakes

While most visitors to the Lake District head out onto the fells for fresh air and exercise, at one guest house they’re encouraged to stay indoors  – and play the piano.

The sound of music can be heard from the sitting room at 1 Park Road in Windermere, where the host  – who dishes up an acclaimed eggs benedict for breakfast – is also a trained classical pianist.

And Philip Burton, piano teacher as well as hotelier, wants to encourage guests to play during their stay, whatever their musical standard.

philip at piano

“We had a family who came here one half term holiday specifically so that their daughter could practise for her forthcoming music exams,” said Philip. He and his wife Mary now offer a special musical short break package for guests who want to play their Broadwood piano while in the Lakes.

A music teacher at the Lakes School who also gives private lessons, Philip is currently the accompanist for Kendal Choral Society. He studied music at Liverpool University and the Royal Northern College of Music, and dreamed of being a concert pianist. “I tried to pursue it professionally in London, but I came to realise that only a minority make it as a career.”

Instead he, and Mary, worked in the health service for many years until they moved to Windermere to run the guest house. Over the years he’s been director of music for a number of choirs and choral societies, with a reputation for the unusual, such as staging experimental versions of Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.

And he was given a very special gift by a museum curator in Diessen, the twin town of Windermere, where the composer Carl Orff was born, after Philip conducted Staveley Choral Society in Orff’s Carmina Burana at The Lakes School. It is a bound facsimile of the entire score of the piece, one of the world’s most famous choral works.

Also in pride of place at the guest house, this time on the dining room walls, is a series of framed cartoons. Look closely, and you’ll see Philip in each one, featuring comic highlights of his time as a choirmaster in Buckinghamshire and created specially for him by a member of the choir.

And his own favourite composers? Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach, Haydn, Debussy and Bartok.

They run a two or three day piano package for all abilities, where pianists are promised great fun, and that they will leave playing a piece. Call 015394 42107

marking music cartoon

Detail from one of the cartoons

A familiar question at Windermere guest house: Will you marry me?

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.

outside sign

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.”

keri and sarah

Sarah and Keri

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.”

Designer Alison in finals of premier business awards

pic of ally

Windermere’s Alison Tordoff who runs Fidget Design has reached the finals of the Enterprise Vision Awards, the North West’s premier women’s business awards.

Alison was nominated in the Creative Category, and will now be interviewed by a panel of judges prior to the winners being announced at a red carpet dinner in Blackpool in September. She was chosen as a finalist from hundreds of entries across the region.

Alison’s company is well known locally, nationally and internationally and she has won awards for her designs including Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel, the best small hotel in Cumbria 2014 and recently highly commended in the Visit England excellence awards. She writes a monthly column for Lancashire Life magazine, and she was Cumbria Businesswoman of the Year in 2003.

Alison recently launched a new range of home décor products under the Love District label, all of them paying tribute to the history, landscape and heritage of the Lake District. It includes a distinctive “Lakeland books” wallpaper which is a feature of the new welcome lounge at the Cedar Manor.

Married with two children, Alison says that juggling deadlines, contractors and family is “just part of life”.

The EVA awards, now in their fifth year, aim to help women celebrate their achievements and contemplate future business development. Finalists are linked to the EVA website and winners are featured prominently, allowing extensive promotional opportunities.

Alison said: “This is a really exciting opportunity and I am thrilled to have reached the finals. There are many inspirational women in business and it is great to see their achievements rewarded.”

Coach House suite bathroom One of Alison’s designs, the Coach House suite bathroom at the Cedar Manor Hotel

World’s toughest race comes to Windermere: new partnership with YHA

Ambs YHAThe world’s toughest extreme triathlon is moving into the central Lake District. Triathlon X, staged this year at Wasdale, will start and finish at YHA Ambleside at the head of Windermere next June.

The event, with steeper ascents than any “ironman” triathlon anywhere in the world, this year attracted 133 competitors, of whom 98 finished.

The race was won by Ryan Brown from Effingham in Surrey in 13 hours and 51 minutes. The first four athletes finished within seven minutes of one another.

In a new partnership with YHA (England and Wales), organiser Mark Blackburn has created a route which is already generating excitement among triathletes.

Competitors will swim twice round Seamew Crag island in Windermere, and then cycle all the Lake District passes on the route of the Fred Whitton challenge, some 112 miles. The marathon run of 26 miles will take the athletes out and back to the top of Scafell Pike via Elterwater and Great Langdale.

The total ascent on the cycle and run routes is 5150m, the highest in the world, with a projected winning time of four hours longer than Norway’s Norseman extreme race.

Anthony Gerundini, veteran of 99 iron-distance triathlons, said after finishing this year at Wasdale: “I was extremely happy to be in the Top Ten of the hardest extreme triathlon in the world.”

Another finisher, James Cooper, said: “It amazed me how we all managed to go through hell with a smile on our faces.”

Mark Blackburn said: “We are thrilled with the new arrangement with YHA which will mean that our race will be much more accessible to competitors from all over the world. It will be another great sporting event for Windermere, Ambleside and the Lake District.”

Andy Barnett, YHA (England and Wales) Operations Manager, said: “YHA Ambleside is the perfect setting for Triathlon X and I’m delighted that it will be starting and finishing here. Being a Lake District Youth Hostel, we’re geared up for outdoor events and have the facilities for competitors – whether that’s bike storage, a drying room for clothes, a bed for the night or simply a hot meal and drink.

“We’re delighted that Triathlon X and its participants have chosen to support YHA’s bursary fund for disadvantaged young people, Breaks for Kids. The sum of £5 from each entry will go to this cause. Every penny raised from this event will go towards creating opportunities for young people to stay with YHA and have new, life-changing experiences.”

Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations, said: “As the UK’s Adventure Capital the Lake District, Cumbria has an adrenaline-fuelled calendar of outdoor challenge events every year and this event is no exception. There are plenty of events for the first time competitor, and others for more experienced athletes that require total endurance and dedication.

“Hosting TriathlonX on Windermere will allow even more people to access this high level event and allow them to come and embrace their adventurous side here in the Lake District.”

Entries are now open at http://www.wasdalex.co.uk/index.php/enter-2016

spectacular route runnersPhoto: Steve Ashworth/MovieIt