Winder Hall Blog

Winder Hall Lake District Sausage – yum!

April 10th, 2012 by Winder Hall | No Comments

Well, we’ve talked about it for a long time but we’ve finally responded to all of our lovely guests who’ve told us that our breakfast sausage is simply the best! We’re producing more of our own sausage from our wonderful Saddleback pigs and selling it to take away after you’ve enjoyed a relaxing stay at five star Winder Hall Country House, and enjoyed our hospitality with a big heart! Guests have told us time and again that the Breakfast part of our B&B offering is really something special.

We’re well known in Cockermouth, Buttermere and the surrounding area in the Lake District for our Hog Roasts, which we love to do for parties and weddings, both at Winder Hall and at many outside catering venues across Cumbria. We’ve seen that people really do love food that is genuinely local, and where the provenance is totally traceable. The addition of sausage for guests to take away at the end of their stay is a natural progression, and is receiving a great response. It embodies our philosophy in our award winning restaurant, and Winder Hall pork has been on the menu for some time, as has our own sausage – enjoyed for many a leisurely breakfast in our restaurant!

We’re now adding 30 chickens to our smallholding so that guests can come and collect their eggs for breakfast again – always a popular pastime at Winder Hall! Anyway, here’s a youtube video of Maggie and her piglets from last year. She’s had more since then, but we captured this in technicolour – fabulous and happy brood!

Will Sim, Cumbrian Climber to talk at The Saints Rooms in Cockermouth

February 6th, 2012 by Winder Hall | No Comments

We’re really excited that Will Sim is going to talk at The Saints Rooms in Cockermouth on Wednesday 15th February at 7pm. Come along and enjoy listening to his fascinating story.

It’s all about the mileage…… At 22, Will Sim is perhaps the most experienced young British alpinist around. Raised in St Bees Cumbria, but now based in Chamonix, Will has racked up an impressive list of ascents across a wide range of terrain, and in his own  light and fast alpine style.

With a particular interest in big North Faces, he has climbed over 20 Grandes Courses, including quick ascents of test pieces such as No Siesta on the Grandes Jorasses. The talk will be really enjoyable for anyone with an interest in the great outdoors, and is aimed at climbers and non-climbers alike. There’ll be something for everyone  – rock and ice, The Alps, Patagonia and Alaska and much much more. He’ll be giving us a taste of his amazing ability to climb hard and fast at high altitude!

We’ve been following Will’s blog – and it makes extraordinary reading. For someone so young to have conquered so much ground, and to help pass on his enthusiasm to so many is quite awe inspiring! We feel really lucky that he has agreed to come and talk at The Saints Rooms. Proceeds are being given to the valuable facility of Lorton After School Club – such a useful service for local families.

For more information and to reserve advance discounted tickets, please click here to complete your details. A confirmation will be sent to you that can be used to obtain your tickets on the evening. The talk is £5 or with Pie and Peas supplied from Winder Hall £7.50 (£1 extra if not booked in advance). £1 discount for under 18s!

Hope to see you there – it’s going to be a great evening. Bar will be open if you fancy a beer to go with your pie and peas!

Why not take a look at Will’s Blog to get a bit more background information too?

 

 

 

Festive Breaks (twixmas??) and New Year Lake District

November 1st, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

We’ve been looking into what people really want when they come away between Christmas and the start of the New Year for a REALLY good break, and we think we’ve come up with the perfect solution! So many have said that, much as they love Christmas, it always seems to have its own tensions and tiredness that build up with all the planning involved. So what are so many folks looking for? A bit of R&R, and not having to think about cooking BUT they still want that homely feel that makes them feel warm, cosy and totally relaxed.

Seems that the idea of a two to three night break at award winning Winder Hall, complete with fine dining, roaring fires, hot tub and sauna, could be just the answer! We kind of wish we could book ourselves in, but we’ll be looking after our lovely guests and making sure they go home feeling totally refreshed to start the New Year. And if this is your first visit, we’ll be hoping to see you again before too long. We love the fact that many of our guests become great friends over the years, and we’ve been honoured to have hosted many of their weddings along the way too! Come and find out a bit more about our hidden gem, and join in the celebrations between Christmas and 2012!

The Hairy Bikers, our very own Nick Lawler and Taste Cumbria

September 13th, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

After an amazing Westmorland Show, where over 25000 visitors braved the wind and the rain to support the annual event in Cumbria, here at Winder Hall Country House we’re gearing up to be a part of Taste Cumbria Food Festival once again. It was a stunning event last year, and one we were very proud to be a part of. Not only did we do the hog roast for the Gala Dinner, attended by John Torode, Antony Worrall Thompson and many more, we had a stand for the two days and sold out of our famous hog roast within a few hours, calling in fresh supplies urgently for the Sunday!

This year the organisers SK Events have once again done a fantastic job of promoting the festival, and we hope to see a great turn out over the weekend of 24th and 25th September.  A fabulous line up of celebrity chefs including The Hairy Bikers, michelin starred Tom Kitchin, and many more will be demonstrating their culinary skills over the weekend. Last but not least, after his excellent and entertaining demo at Westmorland Show, Nick Lawler will be cheffing again at Taste Cumbria. I enjoyed being part of the preparation for the last show but wouldn’t mind NOT skinning the rabbits and de-feathering the pigeons this time. Never a dull moment at Winder Hall!

On the evening of Friday September 23, there will be a unique opportunity to sample the culinary skills of Cumbria’s world-class Michelin-starred chefs as they cook together for the very first time, creating a gourmet four-course meal. In the intimate surroundings of a pop-up secret restaurant in an unnamed (as yet) location, each of the four courses will be cooked by the following chefs, Simon Rogan, chef/proprietor of L’Enclume in Cartmel; David McLaughlin, head chef of Holbeck Ghyll, Mark Teasdale of Sharrow Bay and Daniel Grigg of The Samling. All very exciting!

To find out more I thought you might like to visit their website

We also run a quarterly prize draw to win a night’s dinner, bed and breakfast at Winder Hall, so doto like us on Facebook and also visit the Taste Cumbria FB page!

Hope to see many old friends and plenty of new faces at this wonderful festival. Kate x

Go Ape Lake District and so much more…

May 21st, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

The Lawler family and friends had a fantastic time at Go Ape Whinlatter recently. We’re proud here in the Lake District to host the highest Go Ape course in the country, and you can even see across to Scotland when you’re flying along the zip wires! Treat yourself to a bit of fun and watch this video of us going ape on the course. It’s right on Winder Hall’s doorstep, and a really excellent way of spending a few hours. If you live locally, why not come and join us for a special Sunday lunch afterwards (not advisable before swinging through the trees!)

We’ve extended Sunday lunch so you don’t have to rush – you can book to dine up to 3 o’clock! Afternoon teas served through the afternoon as well.

There’s so much to do in the beautiful county of Cumbria, whether it’s mountain biking (again we have the longest purpose built trails in the country at Whinlatter and there’s lots of information and help at Cyclewise here) or walking in the beautiful fells. We’re located within 15 minutes drive of five of the most spectacular lakes, including Buttermere which takes your breath away however often you’ve been there!

Oh and let’s not forget fabulous fishing! We’re hoping to open up the beautiful stretch of river at the end of Winder Hall grounds to fishing one of these days, but in the meantime there is a wealth of helpful information on this great site. The list goes on and on: kite surfing at St Bees and Allonby beaches, parascending just about anywhere, canoeing, kayaking….

The Lake District and Cumbria just offer a complete range of sports from gentle leisure to extreme sports. Who needs to holiday abroad when there’s so much to discover here. Come and see us while we’ve got really fantastic Summer short breaks on offer – we’d love to see you!

Winder Wonderland – Christmas and New Year Cheer

May 10th, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

It’s hard to believe that we’re already thinking about Christmas and New Year bookings at Winder Hall. We were sitting out on the terrace in gorgeous Lake District sunshine and talking about Festive Breaks! For someone like me who struggles to plan too far in advance I’m still in summer mode, but people are obviously thinking ahead as we’ve had several phone calls to book up for the Twixmas and New Year short breaks already! It’s exciting to be throwing the doors open for the first time in a few years to offer our “hidden gem” Country House Hotel near Cockermouth in the Lake District, Cumbria for a house party over Christmas.

I rather like the idea myself! I would not to have to think about the cooking AND not have to get up at silly o’clock to put the turkey in the oven, and actually get to talk to loved ones rather than peeling brussels! Well, I’ll have to leave it to others to enjoy our intimate and relaxing hospitality and I may well be the one gritting the drive, but perhaps with a medicinal mulled wine in hand!

I’m amazed at how much is going on in Cockermouth throughout the year, and particularly around Christmas and New Year. Indeed, this is true of the whole Lake District. Wonderful pantomimes, fabulous walking, fun charity events including the crazy Christmas Cracker race and various other hilarities! More than anything, there is some really amazing entertainment at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick! What a great venue for festive entertainment, and close to the doorstep of Winder Hall. We’re spoilt for choice! Anyone for the hot tub in the snow again this year?

Taste Cumbria Food Summit

February 27th, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

I’m really excited about attending the first “Taste Cumbria Food Summit” tomorrow at Rheged. Following the fantastic success of the Taste Cumbria Food Festival in Cockermouth last September, which we so enjoyed being a big part of, it is great to see another event to raise the profile of food tourism in Cumbria! There are lots of high profile speakers, including Jay Rayner and Matthew Fort. It should be a great event, and an opportunity to hear what others are doing to drive more business in to the area.

The next Taste Cumbria Food Festival is on the weekend of 24-25 September 2011. After the shocking floods in November 2009, it was inspirational to see how Cockermouth pulled together as a town and hosted such a wonderful event in 2010. Cockermouth was buzzing, and the weather was kind to us all which was, of course, a huge bonus! Nick organised the hog roast for the gala dinner last year, and here’s a photo of him and Antony Worrall Thompson enjoying a piece of crackling! We’re looking forward to participating again this September, and will be taking twice the amount of hog roast so we don’t sell out so quickly this time!

We’re offering a special deal for those wishing to enjoy the festival, and stay in our welcoming, five star Country House Hotel near Cockermouth in the Lake District, Cumbria. Have a look at the website for details.

Kate

Sunday Lunches and more…

February 27th, 2011 by Winder Hall | No Comments

It’s been a busy time at Winder over the last few months. Busy, but exciting! After the fun and success of festive breaks, rounded off by a fabulous two day full-house at New Year to welcome in 2011, we spent the first few weeks in January freshening up our beautiful Lake District Hotel! Swinside has a lovely new look, and we’ve also had fun upgrading the rooms with flat-screen TVs and ipod docks. We felt it was time to update the technology, whilst keeping the luxurious and welcoming fabric of the hotel that people comment on so warmly! We’re over the moon to receive recent fabulous reviews on Trip Advisor mentioning our new additions!

The other area that has received great feedback is our food! More and more people are staying for dinner, bed and breakfast at Winder Hall, and we’re enjoying having our elegant and intimate restaurant buzzing with happy diners. We’ve always enjoyed crafting a daily menu based on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, but as we are now open for resident and non-resident diners every night, we’re loving developing even further our range of cuisine. Some guests who stay a few days still enjoy to sample the local restaurants in Cockermouth and Keswick, or enjoy the lovely food at our local pub the Wheatsheaf, and then dine with us on a couple of nights as well. A perfect combination, allowing them to make the most of their time in the area.

This got us thinking… why not respond to all the requests we’ve had over the last year or so to serve Sunday lunches? So, from March 6th that is exactly what we’re doing! Sunday lunch will be “on the menu” from next Sunday, and will be a regular fixture. It will be full of choice, combining traditional sunday lunch with that extra bit of flair and expert twists to make it a truly luxurious, five star experience! It’s going to be busy, busy, busy as this is the most popular day for afternoon teas as well – we can’t wait!

So… we’ve now expanded the team at Winder Hall to make sure we offer a really perfect stay at Winder Hall, we’ve introduced free use of mountain bikes so that people can enjoy the beauty of the Lake District from our doorstep, we’ve upgraded the rooms so guests can enjoy improved technology whilst still relaxing in the peace of our welcoming Country House Hotel, and we’ve expanded our dining to include Sunday lunch after many requests. We’re really striving hard to deliver exactly what our guests (resident and non-resident) are asking for……… watch this space for more developments! It’s a fun journey, and I’m so enjoying being one of the latest additions to Nick’s team! Having got married here 7 years ago, Ann and Nick couldn’t keep me away when an opportunity came up to work with them. So here I am, and I hope for many years to come. That’s if they’ll put up with my insatiable appetite for cups of tea!

Kate

Twixmas Festive Breaks & New Year at Winder Hall

November 25th, 2010 by Winder Hall | No Comments

We’ve been looking into what people really want when they come away between Christmas and the start of the New Year for a REALLY good break, and we think we’ve come up with the perfect break! So many people said that, much as they loved Christmas, it always seemed to have its own tensions and tiredness that built up with all the planning involved. So what are so many folks looking for? A bit of R&R, and not having to think about cooking BUT they still want that homely feel that makes them feel warm, cosy and totally relaxed.

Seems that the idea of a two to three night break at award winning Winder Hall, complete with fine dining, roaring fires, hot tub and sauna, could be just the answer! We kind of wish we could book ourselves in, but we’ll be looking after our lovely guests and making sure they go home feeling totally refreshed to start the New Year. And if this is your first visit, we’ll be hoping to see you again before too long. We love the fact that many of our guests become great friends over the years, and we’ve been honoured to have hosted many of their weddings along the way too! Come and find out a bit more about our hidden gem, and join in the celebrations between Christmas and 2012!

Taste Cumbria Festival

November 25th, 2010 by Winder Hall | No Comments

Well, what a fabulous time we had at the Taste Cumbria festival. I mentioned it briefly in the last newsletter, but it’s only now we’ve had chance to appreciate the success of this event – and get our hands on some photos!

It was hog roasts all round for the Winder Hall team – and they’re really not as easy as they look! We started with the VIP Gala Dinner on the Friday night, attended by Antony Worrall Thompson, the TV chef. It was a fabulous night – one very prominent local businessman said he enjoyed it so much he wants to buy every ticket available next year and treat it as a big corporate party!

The fun continued all weekend. There were 17,000 visitors in total – nearly three times as many as were expected. We sold 200 hog roast sandwiches in just two hours on the Saturday. Every stall was packed and some traders even sold so much of their stock they couldn’t come back the next day!

It really raised the profile of Cockermouth and the amazing products available across the county. We’re devoted to serving local produce at Winder Hall and The Saints Rooms, so it was brilliant to see so many other people getting passionate about Cumbrian food.

If you didn’t make the festival this year, make sure it’s in your diary for 2011. It will take place during the last weekend of September – so why not book your stay at Winder Hall now!

- Nick