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Emily Hadfield - Thursday, October 27, 2016



Winter may mean shorter days and cooler temperatures, but there is no doubt that winter is the most intimate time of the year. You may wonder how this is possible as windswept hair and thermal socks may not scream sexy, but there is so much more to this delightful season.


Wintermacy can take many shapes. Winter allows you and your special other to get truly cosy, and it is these treasured moments that epitomises wintermacy. Therefore, the meaning of wintermacy changes depending on the individual. For some, it is escaping the bitter breeze to share the warmth of a roaring fire with their loved one. For others, it's embracing the crisp air and exploring the countryside, with snow underfoot and Robyns in the trees. Then there's those who believe that nothing says winter romance more than hiding away in an old country pub with wooden beams and crackling longs...


Whatever wintermacy means to you, be sure to find yours this season.




Take advantage of The Cranleigh's exclusive wintermacy offer and indulge in winter romance at The Cranleigh Boutique, renowned for its award winning, adult only accommodation. All bookings made for 2 nights or more in October through to March receive: Afternoon Tea For 2 at the new and effortlessly stylish Champagne bar and Patisserie, The Fizzy Tarté, a 10% discount on any additional spend at The Fizzy Tarté, plus, two Lake Cruise tickets. This is all on top of our regular boutique benefits, such as complimentary spa access and priority access to The Fizzy Tarté. Click HERE to find out more...

At the Cranleigh Boutique you can submit to the unparalleled comfort of superior furnishings and designer interiors, overlook the stunning scenery while nursing quality coffee and rich hot chocolate, and nestle in front of a warming fire after discovering the wonderful charm of The Lake District. In other words, you can revel in wintermacy.

Staying at The Cranleigh the winter? Share your cosy winter images with us on our website! Simply tag your photo with #wintermacy. 




Remember, remember the 5th of November

Emily Hadfield - Tuesday, October 18, 2016




Before the stress of Christmas consumes us all into a sock buying frenzy, enjoy a countryside getaway in one the most scenic areas of the country. From local traditions to performances from double Grammy award winning artists, there is something for everyone in The Lake District.


Bonfire and Firework Display: Windermere Rugby Club

Saturday 5th November


A truly traditional bonfire night which is a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Expect toffee apples, flowing beer, sparklers, cinder toffee, a roaring bonfire, and of course, a fabulous firework display.


The King's Singers Matinee Performance: Westmorland Hall, Kendal Leisure Centre

Sunday 6th November, 2016


To raise funds for St John’s Hospice, Lancaster, K Shoes Male Voice Choir is presenting a concert with the Internationally famous The King's Singers, also featuring K Shoes Male Voice Choir and a choir from The Queen Katherine School, Kendal. Rarely does our part of the country see such globally recognised artists such as The King's Singers, with numerous awards, including two Grammys already under their belt. With a diverse and wide repertoire, their performance is likely to include everything from classic jazz numbers to pop hits. There is no denying that this production will appeal to a vast audience. For more information on the performance and tickets, click on the link below.


Antiques Fair: Lunesdale Hall, Kirby Lonsdale

Saturday 12th November


Everyone loves a bit of vintage these days! If you're the same, visit the Kirby Lonsdale antiques fair, where you will find 14 stalls from some of the area's leading antique dealers. Find a range of collectables and unique quirky pieces which you can treasure. For more information click the link below.


Ambleside Christmas Lights 2016: Ambleside Town Centre

Saturday 19th November 2016


The annual Ambleside Switch On event is one of fun and laughter. Although the 2016 schedule is yet to be announced, last year included a BBQ, a skating rink, a charity Christmas fair, a lantern procession, and a 'Father Christmas Cruise'. An event for all ages, it's ideal to get you into the festive mood! For more information, click the link below.


Upgrade Galore at The Cranleigh Boutique

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, October 13, 2016


It has been an exciting time at The Cranleigh Boutique, with substantial refurbishments occurring throughout the hotel. Standard Room 4, Superior Room 2 and the Sanctuary Suite have all had magnificent makeovers, making Cranleigh Boutique accommodation even more luxurious than before. To gain further insight into the changes that have been happening at The Cranleigh, we briefly interviewed the owner, Stephen Hargreaves.


Why the sudden refurb?


S: It has been 10 years since the unique Cranleigh Brand came to The Lake District, and although we constantly update our rooms so they don't look tired, it was time for certain rooms to have a drastic makeover. A lot has changed in 10 years and we had to modernise, as well as listen and adapt to the change in customer tastes and preferences.





What was your ultimate aim?


S: The ultimate aim was to make each room and suite a warm and inviting space which feels special, and far from the standard hotel room or suite in The Lake District. I took into account the feedback I received from customers for truly desirable accommodation.


Why did you choose the materials you did?


S: It's all about quality. The new fabrics and wallpapers have come from top, respected designers.


What is your favourite aspect of the upgraded rooms?


S: I love how the space has changed and works in a different way from before. The rooms are much more customer friendly as they have been decorated to encourage relaxation.


























The Sanctuary Suite has changed quite a lot. Why is this?


S: The clue is in the name. This suite has to ooze privacy and indulgence and be the perfect escape for couples who want to retreat to the countryside for a luxurious getaway. Therefore, The Sanctuary Suite has to be modern, inviting and embody a warm atmosphere.


  2. To be one of the FIRST to stay in of these beautifully redecorated rooms, click here:



The Best of Brunch

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, October 06, 2016


Breakfast and brunch is booming. If the old proverb is correct by stating we should be eating breakfast like Kings, then here in the UK, we are doing well. According to a survey that was carried out in 2015, Britons now spend an average of £76m a day on going out for breakfast or brunch. That's a lot of eggs. From 'bottomless brunches' to 'all-day breakfasts', it is clear that the nation's restaurants and coffee shops have began to prioritise this once forgotten meal.


But where should you have your most important meal of the day?


Local Hot Spots:


Homeground Coffee + Kitchen, Main Road, Windermere, The Lake District.

A brunching delight in the heart of the Lake District. Rustic and inviting, Homeground Coffee + Kitchen offers a vast range of coffees and teas to accompany your tasty breakfast, brunch or lunch dish. Only open from 9 -5 (and closed on Wednesdays), Homeground is always bustling full of happy customers.


Favourites: Eggs Benny (sourdough ciabatta, smoked ham hock, spinach, two poached eggs, hollandaise) - Brunch Platter (chilli fried eggs, honey-glazed chorizo, sweet potato crisps, HG hash browns, smashed avocado, romesco, sun-blushed tomatoes, sweetened moonscape, lemon thyme & honey baked peaches, house baked crumpets, sourdough toast)





Brew Brothers, 69 Highgate, Kendal.

This independent and licensed “shabby chic coffee house” has quickly become a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Boasting a well-priced menu consisting of fresh and innovative food, alongside a number of delicious daily specials, Brew Brothers attracts a number of hungry customers throughout the day.


Favourites: Egg and Veggie Stack (poached egg, spinach, artichoke, melted Roquefort, toasted artisan bread) – Large Crumpet (fried chorizo, poached egg and sweetcorn relish).




Chesters By The River, Skelwith Bridge, Cumbria

A gem in the country. As the name suggests, Chesters is located overlooking the River Brathay, giving this charming cafe & shop a rural, countryside feel. Serving mainly vegetarian, fresh dishes which are packed with flavour , it's no surprise that Chesters By The River is incredibly popular with all, from walkers fresh off the fells to couples wanting a healthy meal with a view. Their cafe is open from 9am to 5pm, but dishes are served until there is no more, complementing their 'fresh and seasonal food made daily' concept. Although their menu regularly changes, recent brunch (10.30am -3.30pm) delights have included the Sweet potato & Carrot Fritter (peas, feta, poached egg) and the Avocado on Sourdough Toast (seeds, dukkha, rocket, grilled lemon).



For those further afield:



Duck & Waffle - 40th Floor, 110 Bishopsgate, Heron Tower, London.


The highest 24/7 restaurant in London. Duck & Waffle boasts breathtaking views of the city and a critically-acclaimed dining experience, serving a variety of traditional British cuisine with a playful twist and European influences. Although one of this restaurant's unique selling points is that it provides gourmet dining from “sunrise to sunset and every hour in between”, brunch is specifically served from 9am till 4pm on Saturdays & Sundays.


Favourites: Ox Cheek Benedict (hen's eggs, waffle, hollandaise, Siriacha) - House Breakfast (Lincolnshire sausage, two eggs - any style, dry cured bacon, grilled tomato, mushroom, hash brown, Scottish black pudding, cheddar & buttermilk scone) –Duck & Waffle (crispy leg confit, fried duck egg, mustard maple syrup).



The Breakfast Club - London (Angel, Battersea Rise, Canary Wharf, Croydon, Hackney Wick, Hoxton, London bridge, Soho, Spitafields) Brighton, 16-17 Market Street.

Vibrant, fun, with a 'homely' atmosphere (expect a bright 'mug' of tea), this British/American restaurant/diner offers hearty breakfast and brunch dishes served by friendly staff. If you enjoy a casual but lively ambience, this is the brunch spot for you (just don't be shocked if you have to queue!).


Favourites: The All-American (pancakes, eggs, sausage, home-style potatoes, streaky bacon &maple syrup) - Artichoke & Sun Blush Tomato (parmesan spinach, caramelised crushed potatoes, poached egg, hot pepper sauce) - Salt Beef Reuben (salt beef on sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickle, sourdough bread).



Beany Green - London (Broadgate Circle, Euston, Sheldon Square, Seymour Street, Belvedere Road)

For those who like to embrace a healthier breakfast/brunch, then Beany Green is ideal (think quinoa porridge and a a lot of greek yogurt). With a range of colourful venues across London, their brunch menu consists of a delightful variety of hot and cold breakfast staples, with a modern twist. However, a few of their venues offer a 'Bottomless Aussie Brunch', which sounds nothing short of INCREDIBLE. For £35 per person, every customer can have one hot item, one cold item, THEN, bottomless Prosecco, bottomless Mimosas and bottomless Bloody Marys. That's what I call a Sunday funday.



A Champagne Shortage? Say it isn't so...

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, September 29, 2016

DON”T PANIC! But there might be a global Champagne shortage coming our way.



A destructive combination of poor weather, rot and mildew has meant that the latest crop yield has been atrocious. In fact, 2016 has seen the lowest yield since the 1980s. But never fear, this does not mean you have to start cancelling your brunch dates or fill the towel cupboard with Veuve Clicquot. According to the experts, although we will see a slight rise in price, current Champagne reserves stand at a relatively high level, meaning there is enough Champagne available to cover at least one more bad year. Hallelujah.


Nevertheless, just in case the weather gods don't feel like being so kind (although I fully encourage anti-rain dances or any other weather related rituals which may help resolve this potential crisis), here is a list of our favourite bubbly alternatives:


UK Sparkling Wines

In recent years English bubbly has managed to earn quite a respectable reputation for itself, winning international wine awards, and gaining vast recommendations from respected wine critics. Many even believe that, dare I say it, sparkling wine from the U.K is even better than Champagne. This home-grown variation is clearly more than a phase, with demand on the increase and vineyards springing up throughout the southern counties. Our preferred wines include:


Mayfield, Essence, East Sussex, Brut 2011

This award winning sparkling wine from Sussex Vineyards in Mayfield, East Sussex is 100% Chardonnay, with a bit of cellar age to bring out the enticing, biscuity flavours and ensure a long finish. Tiny production of this tipple means that you’d better hurry and secure yours before it's all gone!




Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy around the city of Treviso, close to the north of Venice. Made with Prosecco grapes (also known as Glera grapes), Prosecco is Champagne's cheaper Italian cousin as it’s produced using a more affordable method called the ‘Tank Method’ compared to 'Méthode Champenoise”. However, there is no surprise that Prosecco is the Champagne alternative of choice, as the market offers a range of deliciously creamy and fruity sparkling wines with a slightly more forgiving price tag.


Bepin de Eto Flavè Rosato

A stunning bottle with equally distinctive flavours. Tastes of fragrant white peach and apricot are the first to emerge, followed by melon, lychee, and pink grapefruit, ending on a fine note of ripe pineapple. The palate is refined and subtle, yet rich and multi-layered, offering a crisp acidity, and a simple, balanced finish.



Prosecco Superiore DOCG Selezione Raphael Dal Bo

This elegant bottle of Prosecco boasts a noble bouquet with refreshingly light, pleasantly dry and fruity tastes.




Cava is the sparkling wine of Spain. It is mainly made with traditional, indigenous Spanish grapes, and produced using the Champagne Method. However, only producers in the Champagne region may use the term “Méthode Champenoise”, so in Spain it is known as the “Método Tradicional” or Traditional Method. However, unlike Champagne, Cava can come from a few limited, official areas in Spain, not just one area. Although Cava has suffered a certain identity crisis in the U.K, we shouldn't be deceived. There are bottles on the market which would be a welcome alternative at many celebrations.

Gramona Brut Nature Reserva 2009

Well known amongst Cava lovers, this beverage offers flavours of roasted nuts, sweet nutmeg and ginger. Boasting a complex, long, saline finish, Gramona is a sparkling of wine of generous maturity and depth.



“Crémant” wines commonly refer to sparkling wines made in France, outside the Champagne region. Meaning “creamy” in French, Crémant sparkling wines got their name from the fact that the wines used to contain lower CO2 levels, giving them a creamier texture. Crémant is known to be light and easy to drink, making it a delectable apéritif.


Astelia Crémant de Limoux
This lively drink with notes of lemon and pastry from southwest France is named after owner Jean-Claude Mas’ daughter, Astelia. It is made from up to 90 per cent Chardonnay, combined with Chenin Blanc with Pinot Noir to form a balanced and fun beverage.

What's Occurring Throughout October

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, September 22, 2016




October means that Autumn is in full swing with the golden leaves, crisp breeze and Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Make the most of this beautiful time of year and head to The Lake District where you will find traditional country events as well as others of a more quirky nature...



Hill Top Tarns and Craggy Wood Walk – Wednesday 12th October

The Hill Top Tarns and Craggy Wood Walk is a scenic, medium length walk from Staveley, with a climb through Craggy Woods then onto the fells to visit Potter Tarn and Gurnal Dubbs. It's a fabulous way to explore the landscape of The Lake District, without having to worry about a route and directions. The duration of the walk is approximately 5 hours and a reasonable level of fitness is required. It begins at Wilf's Cafe, a local favourite famous for its Veggie Chilli, ideal for a well- deserved meal afterwards.


The Lakes International Comic Art Festival - 14th - 16th October

Who knew The Lakes could be so trendy. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival features international comic artists and creators, live drawing, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, performance, master classes and independent publishers. The International Comic Art Festival is the only event of its kind in the U.K , and it's taking place in our little town of Kendal between the 14th Wand 16th October 2016. Don't miss it!


Cartmel Food Market – Friday 21st October

An event for the foodies! Discover and taste local delicacies and fine, fresh food from the area brought to you by various farmers, growers, artisan producers and speciality food merchants. Stallholders include: Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Furness Fish & Game, Chilli Pepper Company (chilli plants, chutneys & other foods), Country Fare (cakes and baked goods), alongside many others. I suggest you go hungry...


Halloween Hoot at Brockhole – Wednesday 26th October

An utterly charming event, especially if you're an animal lover. The Halloween Hoot at Brockhole allows you to meet Dumbledore the white faced owl, Tassle and Ivy, the barn owls and Eggnog the little owl, and discover how delightful these creatures truly are.


Spotted: The Lakes takes to The Big Screen

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, September 15, 2016

    The 19th August 2016 marked the release date of Swallows and Amazons in cinemas, the latest film adaptation based on the 1930 novel by Arthur Ransome. The plot remains a tale of innocence and adventure, as it follows four boisterous children on holiday with their mother in The Lake District in 1929. Staying true to the story, a large majority was filmed right here in The Lake District, and it certainly looked beautiful! (We'll have to forgive Yorkshire for stealing some screen time)


    But where exactly?

    1. Coniston



      The calm Coniston Water takes centre stage as the four siblings - turned explorers - set sail for 'Wild Cat Island', or Peel Island as it's known locally.



      1. Derwentwater

      Known for its breathtaking views, Derwentwater boasts tranquil waters set alongside the dramatic landscape of the shore’s edge and surrounding peaks. It was the ideal location for the children to explore sailing techniques, and it welcomes visitors to do the same with canoe and paddling sessions on offer.


      The stunning scenery featured in Swallows and Amazons undoubtedly left many of us Cumbrians proud, if not a tad smug at the sheer beauty of our home. However, it's not the only film to have been shot recently in The Lakes.


      The A Word


      The A Word was a six-part drama from the BBC, airing earlier this year in March. Thought- provoking and highly watchable, it was a series tackling the subject of autism as well as the effects felt by the family when a close member is diagnosed with the condition. The story is set against the backdrop of The Lake District for a mountainous and rural feel.




      Star Wars: The Force Awakens


      The peaks and hills of The lake District may not be the first location that comes to mind when someone mentions Star Wars, but alas, it was turned into an alien landscape , and furthermore, it worked. See for yourself!







Keep your Sweet Tooth on Trend this Summer – Pt 2.

Emily Hadfield - Thursday, September 08, 2016

Woah, what's fro-yo?!


Yet another ice cream style product to grace our high streets and supermarkets. Britain has seen the rise of frozen yogurt as the latest trend in all things sweet. A crossbreed between traditional ice cream and healthier yogurt products, fro- yo has become the new way for customers to enjoy their dessert while still being conscious of their health. Although there is debate regarding how healthy frozen yogurt actually is, there is no denying that many of the frozen yogurts on offer are naturally low in fat and full of probiotics. I'll take that as a win.

Where to go for fro – yo:


Originating from a dairy farm in North Wales, Frae pride themselves on using real yoghurt in their products over cheap, rehydrated powder mixes commonly used by fro-yo brands seen on the market today. Often filled with an impeccably dressed crowd, the trendy shops are located throughout London, but Frae also offer their services for events and occasions.


Sheila's Fruity Cumbrian Fro-Yo

Formed in 2014, Sheila uses locally grown fruits to create her flavours and products. New flavours this season include: gooseberry & elderflower, plum & damson and rhubarb & ginger. Her range of frozen yogurt is available at Cumbrian shows and food festivals throughout the summer months.


Just want some proper ice cream? We have it covered...


English Lakes Ice Cream

Renowned across The Lake District and the UK, English Lakes Ice Cream is undoubtedly one of the country's finest producers of luxury traditional ice cream. Award winning and synonymous with quality, English Lakes' reputation of being a superior ice cream brand is well deserved (don't worry, a thorough taste test was executed previous to writing this blog, JUST to be sure). Their flavours include the ever popular Thunder & Lightning, Madagascan Vanilla, as well as combinations such as Banana Toffee & Walnut and Raspberry Pavlova.


FYI, sprinkles never go out of fashion.




Keep your Sweet Tooth on Trend this Summer – Pt 1.

Emily Hadfield - Friday, September 02, 2016

  • No longer is the classic '99' the sweet treat of choice to be enjoyed on a summer's day while meandering along the various promenades and lake shores of the UK. Now considered a dated symbol of summers past (or a 'classic' for those of a more sentimental nature), times have moved on, and now the market is home to various delicious alternatives...
  • Ice Cream vs. Gelato
  • Sales for Gelato have skyrocketed, and the public are no longer screaming for ice cream. Although I hate to question two such wonderful creations, it's time for answers. What IS the difference between ice cream and gelato? Well let me tell you...
  • Both products have a similar custard base, but gelato has a higher proportion of milk and a lower proportion of cream and eggs (or no eggs at all). Churned at a much slower rate, and thus incorporating less air, gelato is much denser than ice cream. Gelato is also served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, allowing for a smoother texture. Plus, due to its lower percentage of fat compared to ice cream, it is a healthier alternative to ice cream, with slightly more powerful flavours.
  • Have a sudden urge for some quality gelato? Here are a few of our personal favourite gelato gems to be found in the UK:
  • Gelateria 3Bis London
  • Situated on Park Street, suitably next to Borough Market, Gelateria 3Bis offers authentic Italian Gelato which is made in small batches on site everyday. Favourite flavours include the 'Mascarpone with Figs' and 'Peanut Butter', plus, they offer a quirky special feature where customers can have molten chocolate poured into every cup and cone if they so wish.
  • Kimi's Gelato Bar – Windermere Quays, Glebe Road
  • Served on the shores of Lake Windermere, Kimi's Gelato Bar sells artisan gelato packed with natural ingredients. On top of classic favourites, unusual, but unbelievable tasty concoctions include: 'Turkish Delight' and 'Lemon Meringue Pie'. This little store also enjoys celebrating the seasons with speciality flavours such as 'Hot Cross Bun', 'Pumpkin Pie' and 'Toffee Apple'. Having received exceptional reviews on TripAdviser, and being referred to as the “best gelato in the UK”, we suspect that popularity for this new shop will only increase.


Keeping it Fabulous with Farrer's

Emily Hadfield - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why compromise on coffee? Coffee is the second largest commodity after oil and it is fast becoming the world’s most popular drink with over 300 billion cups being consumed by us each year. There is no doubt that a morning (and mid-morning and lunchtime, and pre-supper...) cup o'Joe is crucial to many people across the globe, so we shouldn't be settling for anything but quality. Luckily for us in The Lakes, Farrer's Tea and Coffee Merchants guarantees the freshest coffee to be roasted in The Lake District.




Established in 1819, Farrer's in one of the oldest independent blenders and roasters of fine tea and coffee in the country. When John Farrer & Co. was formed, it began as a small, family run specialist tea and coffee merchants in Stricklandgate, Kendal. The tantalising aroma of roasting coffee beans became a daily feature of market town life in Kendal, and with its ever bustling coffee shop based on Kendal's high street today, popularity has hardly died down since.

The longevity of this Cumbrian company means Farrer's has been roasting and perfecting blends for generations, keeping up with modern techniques without compromising on taste as a result. For example, every blend is kept in a foil bag which has a special valve in order to retain the coffee's freshness. Experience coupled with the world's leading roasting equipment has made Farrer's tea and coffee renowned for its impeccable standard. However, as a tribute to the roots and traditions of Farrer's, they still use a small Vicom Vittoria roaster for speciality batches or exclusive coffees to ensure that foundations remain.

Farrer's only sell pure origin Arabica beans, which comprises 70% of the world's coffee production. Compared to the second most common species on the market, Coffea Robusta, the Arabica plant is particularly delicate and requires greater care than the Robusta variety. However, the extra activity required is more than worth it, as compared to the bitter notes found in the majority of Robusta coffee, Arabica has a very wide taste range that differs from sweet and soft to sharp and tangy. This allows for some exceptional blends for a variety of preferences.

Apart from offering rich and distinctive favours with their coffee, Farrer's can tell you the provenance of every single product, and ensures that they are all fairly sourced. The London broker knows all the families of the farmers personally, and makes regular trips to the farms to assure quality conditions for all the workers involved . The farmers are also brought over to the UK to see and taste the results of their hard work. Like I said, fabulous right?

The Cranleigh Boutique recognises the superiority of Farrer's products and business practice, as well as its rich history based in The Lake District. As great believers of quality in all aspects, The Cranleigh Boutique provides all guests with Farrer's coffee to be enjoyed at any time of the day.


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