Borrowdale Hotel ‘backs the bid’ and welcomes UNESCO’s cultural heritage advisory body
The award-winning Leathes Head Hotel, in the Borrowdale Valley near Keswick hosted a special dinner last week with assessors from UNESCO’s cultural heritage advisory body as part of the Lake District’s nomination for World Heritage Status.
The week-long visit marked a major milestone for the nomination process and involved the Lake District National Park, together with a range of organisations from the partnership, who delivered an outstanding programme showcasing three key themes of the World Heritage Bid: Identity, Inspiration and Conservation.
The Leathes Head served Hogget from neighbouring Yew Tree Farm at Rosthwaite to a party of twenty including representatives of our farming community who shared with the assessors their own experiences of how farming has shaped the landscape we live in today and how vital preserving the heritage.
Jamie Adamson, Manager of The Leathes Head Hotel, said,
“We are very proud to have been a part of this significant and important visit to the Lake District. It was a crucial part to the World Heritage nomination process and we thoroughly enjoyed being at the heart of the visit, and showing how much the Borrowdale Valley has to offer to the world. We are very much excited about the bid and look forward to 2017.”
After their stay in the Borrowdale Valley, the assessors met representatives of the Caldbeck Commoners Association to discuss common land issues and finished with a boat trip around Derwentwater which also served as a final meeting with members of the World Heritage steering group.
The assessors will now report back to the ICOMOS committee later in the year with the final decisions being made in July 2017.
Leathes Head unveiled as finalist for the 13th Cumbria Tourism Awards
The Leathes Head Country House Hotel in Borrowdale, has been unveiled as one of the finalists for the 13th annual Cumbria Tourism Awards. The Leathes Head is one of just four businesses in the Small Hotel of the Year category, sponsored by Colliers International, and the only hotel from the North Lakes to have made the shortlist.
This news comes just a month after the hotel restaurant was awarded its second AA Rosette. Jamie Adamson, general manager said: “We are truly delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. At The Leathes Head, we’re dedicated to delivering a high standard in everything we do, particularly for the food we serve in our restaurant. It means a lot to know that all our hard work and passion is being recognised.”
Ian Stephens, Managing Director at Cumbria Tourism, said: “The long established Cumbria Tourism Awards are widely recognised by both local businesses and visitors as a mark of distinction and quality. Those businesses lucky enough to win an award in one of the 15 categories are deservedly recognised as being at the pinnacle of their profession and represent the very best the county has to offer. Our shortlisting and judging process is renowned for being of the highest order, with high numbers of entrants going on to compete successfully in the VisitEngland Excellence Awards each year.”
The lucky shortlisted businesses will attend a glitzy black tie award ceremony at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal on 16th June and compete for the honour of being recognised as the best in Cumbria.
The Leathes Head Country House Hotel is a charming 11 bedroom Edwardian hotel, situated in the unspoilt Borrowdale Valley, just 4 miles south of Keswick.
To find out more about the Cumbria Tourism Awards visit www.cumbriatourism.org/awards
Second AA Rosette Awarded
Head Chef, Daniel Hopkins is celebrating winning a second AA Rosette for The Leathes Head Country House Hotel in Borrowdale.
Jamie Adamson, general manager of The Leathes Head Country House Hotel said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded our second AA Rosette for the hotel’s restaurant. We have been working on improving the hotel for the last 4 years and the 2nd rosette was the next step in making The Leathes Head a destination hotel. Dan joined us in 2014 with the same ideals and the determination to achieving a 2nd rosette and we are delighted with the Inspectors feedback. ”
Daniel Hopkins, head chef at The Leathes Head Country House Hotel said: “I am ecstatic to win our second Rosette, which is something that I have been wanting to achieve for the past 10 years. The Leathes Head has given me the platform and the inspiration to achieve this career long ambition. With a focus on locally sourced and foraged produce, I love experimenting with dishes and keeping up with the newest and exciting techniques.”
The AA inspector enjoyed Dan’s spring menu which includes The Yew Tree Farm Herdwick Hogget with shoulder, cutlet, kidney and white bean puree. The Leathes Head Country House Hotel is delighted to be the only restaurant to serve fresh Herdwick Hogget from The Yew Tree Farm in Rosthwaite, Borrowdale year round.
The Leathes Head restaurant is part of a charming Edwardian country house hotel, situated in the unspoilt Borrowdale Valley just 4 miles south of Keswick. With award-winning food, stylish interiors and a friendly atmosphere the hotel aims to surprise and delight guests by exceeding their expectations.
The AA awards Rosettes to restaurants it believes are delivering an exceptionally high standard of food and according to their guidelines only 10% of restaurants in the UK are of a standard worthy of a Rosette.
The restaurant is open to non-resident diners from 6.30 to 8pm treating guests to a menu of locally grown and reared produce. Reserve your table now.
Five Things to Enjoy in Keswick this Spring!
Celebrate spring in Keswick this year, in the beautiful surroundings of the Borrowdale Valley, acclaimed by many as one of the most idyllic places in the UK. In the words of Alfred Wainwright “The Lake District is the loveliest part of England and Borrowdale the fairest of its valleys”. There’s no end of things to do in Borrowdale this spring and here are some highlights we put together.
Sip craft ales at Keswick Brewery
Visit the Keswick Brewery - a small craft brewery run with a special emphasis on quality and environmental sustainability. The brewery is built on the site of Keswick’s oldest brewery and still retains some of its original features; the charming visitor area has the original sandstone flagged floor, beams and a wood burning stove. Tours of the Keswick Brewery resume on April 3rd. Book your places here.
Explore Derwent Island
Nicknamed The Queen of the Lakes, Derwent Island is a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. This mysterious wooded island is home to a gorgeous house built in the 18th century by the eccentric Joseph Pocklington. Derwent Island House caused controversy at the time it was built, even ruffling the feathers of William Wordsworth who considered it a prank, but now it is rightly considered a jewel in the crown of Derwentwater. Derwent Island is only open to visitors five days a year (the first of which is April 1st) so make you sure you don’t miss your chance!
Brave the heights at Honister Slate Mine:
If you’re feeling brave then we recommend checking out Honister Slate Mine. They offer a wide range of activities, both cultural and adventurous. You can delve deep into the heart of the mountain with a tour of the mine, try out your skills of underground climbing, or explore the social and ecological history of the area with one of their specialist tours. For a truly invigorating experience, we recommend testing yourself on one of Honister’s Via Ferrata climbing experiences.
Dance at The 24th Jennings Keswick Jazz Festival
Keswick Jazz Festival (7 – 10 May) is a triumphant celebration of jazz taking place on the shores of the stunning Derwentwater. Whether you’re a life-long fan or a jazz novice, you’re guaranteed to find something to enjoy at this critically acclaimed festival. There’s a dizzying array of acts to choose from, with some 90 performances scheduled to take place during the festival with all styles of jazz represented, from traditional to New Orleans, mainstream to swing.
Get ready for Festival season
Keswick Mountain Festival (14 – 17 May) is a unique festival, offering a mix of outdoor activities, music and talks. Notable acts this year include Ray Mears, Badly Drawn Boy and West Country singer- songwriter Seth Lakeman. And, as for outdoor activities, you will be spoilt for choice; the festival incorporates everything from bush craft, hiking and canoeing to endurance events such as the long triathlon.
6 things about Chocolate for Chocolate Week!
We’ve been getting into the Chocolate Week spirit this month, teaming up with Divine Chocolate to create our extra special ‘Divine Borrowdale’ dessert.
Here are some facts about everyone’s favourite ingredient you may not know already!
Chocolate makes us love
Chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine which releases certain “pleasure” endorphins in the brain, which make people feel good all over - similar to how they feel when they’re madly in love.
White chocolate isn’t really chocolate
White chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. It’s mostly cream and sugar! It is the least healthy of all the chocolates.
Chocolate can be good for you
Eating dark chocolate every day can reduce your risk of heart disease by a third!
Chocolate helped invent the microwave
Percy Spence, a scientist working on WWII radar and weapons projects, happened to be a big fan of chocolate. After spending some time near a formidable device called a magnetron, he noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. He realized magnetrons might be able to heat up food at incredibly fast rates, and voilà, the microwave oven was born.
The Ivory Coast produces more of the world’s chocolate than anywhere else
37% of the world’s chocolate is produced there!
Chocolate was used for money!
In Mayan history, Cocoa beans were used as currency. The beans were literally coins and were even counterfeited.
Our new head chef, Dan Hopkins, has created a dessert using Divine Chocolate’s new flavours, ‘70% Dark Chocolate with coconut and mango’ and ‘38% Milk Chocolate with whole almonds’.
Chunks of chocolate tart mirror Cumbria’s impressive fells, and are made using the ‘Dark Chocolate with coconut and mango’. The area’s iconic lakes are reflected in a sheet of caramel and Dan has incorporated greenery into the chocolate landscape by coating truffles with pistachio. The chocolate soil is made using the ‘Milk Chocolate with whole almonds’.
To enjoy our new ‘Divine Borrowdale’ treat come and dine with us before end of October 2014. To book contact [email protected] or call 017687 77247.
Five ways for history buffs to enjoy the Northern Lakes this August
Although British history is something to be treasured, we can be forgiven for foregoing stuffy local museums on our summer staycations. Here are some more exciting ways to interact with the literary and industrial history of the Northern lakes...
Paddle boarding and Peter Rabbit
You needn’t go abroad to master a new water sport. Derwentwater Marina offers tuition in a variety of water sports, including kayaking, sailing and wind surfing, set against a back drop of the spectacular local fells - scenery which provided Beatrix Potter with much inspiration for her countryside tales. New for August is stand up paddle-boarding, a sport more familiar to the Californian coastline than the Cumbrian lakeside, but at £6 an hour it’s touch more affordable than a trip to Laguna Beach. If you prefer watching others take to the water the Derwentwater Regatta is also held in August, with a number of activities appropriate for landlubbers such as a traditional summer fair with rides and stalls.
For more information visit www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk
If you’d like to try something a little unusual, the Greystoke Cycle Café offers ‘Quirky Workshops’ throughout the summer. You can try your hand at a variety of weird and wonderful historical crafts, ranging from traditional long bow making to designing your own lampshade. Not only can foodies perfect the skill of making tasty gluten-free breads and pastries, they can learn an age old skill - build your very own cob oven to bake them in.
If you’d like to impress your friends with your stone letter carving visit www.greystokecyclecafe.co.uk
Walking Poets’ Exhibition
Those with an interest in literature can follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth and Coleridge, the fathers of romantic literature, and discover Dove Cottage nestled in the greenery between Keswick and Ambleside. Here Wordsworth was inspired to write Britain’s favourite poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, and a number of his other popular works. This summer’s special exhibition examines the relationship between Wordsworth and Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Despite writing centuries and continents apart the two had much in common as you’ll discover at the ‘Walking Poets’ exhibition.
Summer Ale Tasting
Take shelter from a surprise August shower (well that’s our excuse) and visit the Keswick Brewery. They offer tours that give you some of the history of Keswick and the chance to try a variety of traditional and special beers. They also offer seasonal specials, and this August the refreshing, fruity summer ale ‘Thirst Quencher’ is available. You can even buy bottles of your favourites to take home as souvenirs – or just for yourself!
Slate Mine Adventure
A popular attraction in Borrowdale year round is the Honister slate mine. This award-winning attraction has something for everyone, ranging from tours of the historical working mine to climbing experiences. The ‘Via Ferrata’ climbing experience allows you take in unbelievable views of the Lake District, with an ‘extreme’ option available for the more adventurous. It’s a safe and achievable even for the inexperienced and the views are well worth the vertigo. Even if you can’t brave the climbing, the tours make it a worthwhile visit offering a fascinating insight into the history of one of Britain’s oldest and greatest industries.
For more information visit www.honister-slate-mine.co.uk
THE LEATHES HEAD COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL PICKS UP TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE 2014
The Leathes Head Country House Hotel in Borrowdale Lake District has been awarded with a Certificate of Excellence 2014 from Tripadvisor.
Now in its forth year, the award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments which consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on Tripadvisor.
The 11 bedroom Edwardian Hotel is currently ranked second place out of 5 Borrowdale hotels with a rating of 94% positive reviews posted about the hotel on the website.
Jamie Adamson, General Manager of The Leathes Head Hotel, says: “We are delighted to have been awarded with a Tripadvisor Certificate this year. We are working hard to promote Borrowdale as a great place to visit. With the continued support of Cumbria Tourism, Keswick and all our local partners including Yew Tree Farm and Honister Slate Mine our aim is to put the Northern Lake District back on the map for the younger generation of travellers.
Our guests have unrivalled access to some of the best walking routes and outdoor recreation in the country”.
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, Tripadvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honourees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall Tripadvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five. Volume of reviews, as well as business’ tenure and popularity rating are also factored into the algorithm.
Five Things to do in Borrowdale this Easter
Spring is a beautiful time of year in which to visit the Lake District, the largest of England’s national parks and the Borrowdale Valley is acclaimed by many as one of the most idyllic places on earth. It runs for ten miles from the high fells, with 977m Scafell Pike the highest summit, down to the shores of Derwentwater. There are endless options for exploring this stunning landscape; you can either plan your own hiking routes, or join in with a wide range of guided walks on offer. Special events for all the family include an Easter Extravaganza at Brockhole on Easter Sunday. Visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk or www.golakes.co.uk for more details.
The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick is running a variety of exciting and culturally enriching shows over the Easter period, with matinee and evening performances available. For more details, visit www.theatrebythelake.com
Honister Slate Mine offers a breathtaking array of activities, both cultural and adventurous. Delve deep underground into the Kimberley and Honister Slate Mines, learn about the history of the Honister community, or test yourself on one of daunting Via Ferrata climbing experiences. Visit www.honister.com for more.
Take a leap of faith with Go Ape in the heart of Whinlatter Forest Park. Zip wire between the trees, traverse rope ladders and swing through the canopy in one of the UK’s most beautiful forests. More information at www.goape.co.uk.
Derwentwater is one of largest and most scenic bodies of water in the Lake District. Cruises are a popular way to explore and enjoy the lake, with seven landing stages from which tourists can board the boats. Go to www.keswick-launch.co.uk to find out more.
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY – TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS
All of us have suffered from the disappointment of getting home and finding that the shot of a superb sunset or beautiful view just hasn’t matched up to our expectations. “This is one of the major reasons we decided to host a Landscape photography course at The Leathes Head Hotel,” reports Jamie Adamson, General Manager at the hotel. “Our guests come back, tired and happy from a great day walking on the fells and we share their sadness when their pictures don’t quite meet the mark.”
Here are five smart tips to remember when you set off on our beautiful nature walks this spring and return happy with your collection of shots!
~ Do your homework. You normally have a choice of vantage point – find the best place to create your shot from and you’re half way there.
~ Choose the best time. You’ll read a lot about the ‘Magic Hour’ and it’s true that early mornings and late afternoons offer the best opportunities. However, if being up with the lark doesn’t fit with your idea of a holiday, you will still find plenty of good angles during the day.
~ Invest in a sturdy tripod. As you get more experienced you can experiment with slow exposures and this is when a steady tripod becomes essential.
~ Forests. The best time to take pictures with lots of trees in is after it has rained. The water on the leaves add life and a cloudy sky presents an even light.
~ Reflections. You have to decide if a reflection really does enhance the shot. Some do and some just make for a messy scene. If it’s not looking good, move round the location until you lose the reflection or come back later in the day.
Come and join our favourite expert photographer Jason Chambers on Thursday 8th May and Thursday 25th September for a one-day intensive course in professional photography. No matter what your level you will come away with some great new skills to test your lens.