Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas is over

Fandabydosy! Yes this year was certainly a tester for the old nerves, as usual the first signs of snow and bad weather the phone starts to ring. Cancel yep within 2 hours of the snowfall we had two bookings cancel for that day 10.30am numbering 86 persons. Unfortunately for us we did not take a deposit. However they have promised to rebook in January 2011. Everyday I was out feeding the chickens so my customers informed me, us course I wasn't really feeding the chickens but throwing out rock salt from my bucket across an acre or so of car park. Keeping it clear of snow and ice with the occasional mechanical helping hand from my ever so helpful nephew Carl, who has a little company called put it right . Due to weather snow, ice, rain, frost and fog and anything else the planet could throw also the state of the economy, believe it or not Christmas was just not as good as last year. However things will certainly improve when we get to the new year with the introduction of VAT increased to 20% and increases in fuel prices. I can't wait. 3 Days of pure bliss over Christmas we closed the Hotel to allow my hard working staff time at Home with their families I hope that they appreciate this like I do. We got away lightly compared to the majority of businesses all the snow has now gone little damaged done only to the ceilings where we have a couple of flat roofs the snow and ice built up and some how managed to leak. I am looking forward to a fantastic New Year we are fully booked, I beleive that daughter Gemma has some really good offers available on line on our website. Remember if you book with us it will be cheaper that using other sites.
Signing off for 2010  Charles.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Westmorland Suite Re-vamp

Yes after some years we have now completely stripped the westmorland room back to the floor and walls, never thought that we would have the time but we have.  All the old dusty bric-a-brack has gone, all those ladders hanging over the ceiling have gone, out with all that memorabilia ( JUNK!!!). We have a new look Westmorland Suite opening for business from the 3rd September. Redecorated in sage with a soft green plaid carpet, new pale green chairs. Matching picture lights and heaters in black and silver, new ceramic uplighters to mood light the vaulted ceiling after all remember that this used to be an old barn. Modern pictures, Just the place for that Meeting or conference, private function or dinner party. Come and have look, we are sure that you will enjoy the new relaxing atmosphere that has been created.
Well Colin has now left and again on a parting note Good Luck. Changes that are now afoot at our hotel, we welcome Gareth as new Chef to our kitchens, Gareth was previously Chef at The Gilpin Bridge. we will see some some changes I have no doubt to the menu in time. On a personal note I am semi retiring from the strains of Kitchen Life, (if all goes to plan)  Gemma Daughter No1 is taking the ranes of the Hotel with Emma as no2, (with guidance from June and I) New ideas are surfacing all the time watch out for our new SPECIALS Blackboard. See you soon.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Been absent for quite a while, funny how things tend to work out! Why do we have sudden changes in the weather. Ever since they announced a hose pipe ban in the region it has rained everyday for the last 3 weeks, we are beginning to grow back our webbed feet. The grass is now growing faster than I can cut it, Holiday season is upon us and I am feeling good. A BIG Thank you to all our customers because without you we wouldn't be here, also a thank you to Colin Scott the Hotel Manager who will soon be leaving us for pastures new _ he is taking his own PUB the Greyhound at Halton just outside Lancaster.  GOOD LUCK (in this climate you will need it.) . The new Christmas party menus are now on line for you to have a look at, don't leave it to the last minute book it now. New Years Eve also is in the pipeline, it will be as Cheap to stay over as book a Taxi so just book it.Also this year we will be CLOSED for 3 days over the Xmas period this is my Time with the Girls. We are more and more a throw away society for example when a TV fails to switch on we go out and buy another, when a hoover breaks down we go out buy another, why? Is it because it is now as cheap to replace than repair? This is not good for our green policy but I guess it is the way things are going. I think I will have a look to see if I can repair. On line bookings are a steady stream did you Know that you can now book on line straight from our web site, also look out for our special offers that only appear on our site these can only be booked by phone. So have a look and pick up that phone. See you soon. Charles

Sunday, 23 May 2010

What a weekend the weather was perfect, full marks for all of you that decided to have a break the weekend before the bank holiday. You got it right, Ducketts have now finished the new windows and cladding. June and I sat thinking is there anywhere within the hotel that we have not yet decorated or refurbished,,Yes the Westmorland Suite even though we have ordered and paid for the new axminster carpet (we hope that it is still in the warehouse) and have had new double glazed windows with blackout blinds fitted it still needs completely remodelling. New tables and chairs etc, what a shock!!! my favourite and only Table and chair manufacturer Berrys of Chipping went into liquidation 2 months ago, all the stock was sold off on bidspotter. uk 160 years of manufacturing wiped out just like that. An old family firm with high values making an excellent product not cheap but would last a lifetime. Now we are left with cheap imports that are to be replaced every 2/3 years, There is one thing for sure these are not the antiques of tomorrow. Why do guest wonder off with TV remotes? these are no good to them but it is a large inconvenience to us as we do not have any replacements. The result of the Cumbria Tourist awards our hotel for sustainability was commended we did not win, maybe next year.. Bev and Daughter Gemma are already looking for new ideas..plenty of meetings going on.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

No Time to Stop

Weeks turn into Days, days turn into hours and hours turn into seconds, congratulations I am now term the older generation. We had a booking for a special birthday party one of the guest who I know well mentioned that he could see the cycle of life unfolding in front of him. I know exactly what he means. I sometimes wonder about diners that have not book tables in the restaurant and then have a moan about the time it takes to prepare food we are not BIG MAC or Dominoes Pizza all food is prepared and cooked in the kitchen with a few loyal staff. So if you know anyone with cooking skills that wants a job get them to give me ring. As we are all getting older and it seem slower to boot. Saturday night one of our diners said, "Quiet night tonight," not so was our reply. They were just one of 180 or so diners that we catered for on the night. Sunday Carvery was a breeze have you ever tried it? We serve in our Hayloft Restaurant on the 1st floor in the Old part of the Hotel, we do have a lift if required. We have been trying out a few lunch time specials which have been very popular, the 8oz Aberdeen Angus Burgers have now all gone, I might be able to find a few more. Ducketts are now well under way with the fitting of the new Windows and Cladding to the Superior Block. All I need now is a painter to give the job a final shine. I must take the dogs out for a walk see you all soon..

Monday, 10 May 2010

Tuesday Night Bash

Tonight June, Gemma and Beverley our housekeeper will be off to the awards ceremony at The Rheged Centre. Penrith..  You never know, we have made the finals of the Sustainable Hotel. (means we are GREEN.) Lake District Tourist Board have organised the event fingers crossed.. Also tomorrow sees the start of the new Windows and cladding for the Superior wing, volunteers are required for painting duties?  Gemma has just finished putting together the new Malt Whisky list I just love the tastings, hick!!!!!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Bank Holiday Blues

The weather great topic of conversation, we could really do with some sunshine to bring out the best in us. When the sun shines yes we do really become human beings again its amazing just what a difference a little sun can do.  June and I had a day out to, of all Places SOUTHPORT great places to eat, there we found a great little italian restaurant Casa Italia good food at reasonable prices try it sometime. This week saw the introduction of the new Jules Restaurant Menu it has gone down a storm and we can now cook all the new dishes without a hitch. I managed the first 2 nights Chris has had palputations ever since. 2nd stage of our new windows commenced last week Ducketts our local builders and joiners are starting soon on the New white cladding and double glazed windows in the superior rooms. The Standard rooms got theirs last year together with new furniture, wall mounted flat screen tv's new carpets, bathrooms etc, etc. Again this weekend has been a very busy one, thank you to all of our customers without you our lovely little hotel would not survive.. Minty the cat sends his regards.
See you soon..

This was us at Christmas more snow than I have ever
seen in my life fell just about everywhere!!!!!!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Good for trade but completely knackered?!!!!!!!!

I feel older by the day, but I guess that how we all feel once you pass the 50 barrier. Staff represents the biggest problem that all businesses face firstly finding staff secondly finding the right staff. We have lost one or two of our staff recently this has stretched and tested some of my key members, some have raised their game to perform under these difficult times others have wined on about the situatation. It is just as hard if not harder for June and myself, we would have liked to slow down a bit but instead seem to be always on the receiving end. Holidays with over 24 full time staff and up to 16 part time there is always someone on holiday guess who ends up covering yep yours truly.. Now thats better, now I am even becoming to sound like one off my own staff.
This weekend was extremely busy Friday Night 130 covers in the restaurant, Saturday Night 150 covers
Sunday Lunch 120 covers for our Excellent Carvery served in the Hayloft Restaurant. We accommodated 2 biking groups this weekend one from the Round Table and the other was from Yorkshire White Rose Motorcycle Tours. I am  now reciding in the Kitchen along with Chris and Lee battling against the steady stream of Checks that must be cooked and served. All the food that we prepare is in house, it does take a little longer but we think it is worth the wait.  This week should see the return of Emmi to the kitchen (still not sure whether she has returned from 2 weeks in Kenya , not heard if the flight was in flight.) Colin should also be back from his holiday in Egypt (unfortunately the flight never took off and so he passed his time somewhere on the north east coast)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

United Utilities, Do you know you have a water leak? I do!!!

Great just what we wanted another burst pipe just a few hundred yards up the road and out of sight. Being at the botom of the hill and lower than the road water just collects until its level with the car park, then it goes away. I guess its out with the hose pipe again for a BIG Clean up.. ( well it would have been but this was 2 weeks ago and we are all tidy again now.) Spring has now arrived and it was out with the mowers again today, all grass now cut and happy.

10 Bedrooms received New Zip and link Beds today, major cost to me and by royal appointment no less.. should get a good nights sleep on these...Keeping the family working. Our new restaurant menu comes on line this weekend, what out for further postings. see you soon.
I stayed in a fantastic hotel near Kendal in the lakes - it was called Crooklands Hotel - You should go!
Coming soon our latest news letter