08 Feb Local Produce
We feel extremely lucky to have so many local businesses on the doorstep selling all things delicious and beautiful! From eggs to art, bacon to teapots, coffee to carpentry – our philosophy is to shop as local as possible (or to make it ourselves!). Our eggs could not be fresher, delivered by farmers Thomas and Kathleen from nearby Scales Farm.
Bacon, sausages and black pudding come from Thomasons in Keswick – some of our guests have said it is the best bacon they have ever tasted! The milk is delivered by Braithwaite Farm, our fruit preserves are by Claire’s Handmade Jams (claireshandmade.com) of Fletchertown, NE of Bothel, and the delicious chutney is by Mr Vikkis of Cumbria (mrvikkis.co.uk). Our wonderful coffee is prepared by the Cumbrian fell runner (and coffee roaster), Rinaldo (rinscoffee.com) – our guests love being able to use it to make a fresh brew in their room.
We love discovering local artisans and many of guests comment on the lovely shower gel and handwash we have from The Soap Co – a fantastic Keswick business (thesoapco-keswick.org). Our beautiful Elterwater Slate tablemats are produced by Lakeland Slate in Keswick (lakelandslate.com).
Much of our art was bought direct from the artist whilst wandering round their homes during many Brighton Festivals where we used to live, but are now adding some beautiful paintings of Lakeland scenes. We love Pat Cremer’s ability to capture the Lakeland scenery in all its glory and for details on his next exhibition in the Moot Hall in Keswick see patcremer.com. We think our tea pots and pottery bowls are works of art in themselves. They are made by the extremely talented Stuart Broadhurst whose work has been exhibited in the V&A in London (stuartbroadhurstceramics.co.uk).
It is important to us that we employ local tradespeople and it is amazing how many highly skilled people live in Portinscale or Keswick. Aside from being part of our support network, many have become our friends such as Brian the plumber, Kerry the locksmith (Max out in the Lake District), Stephen the carpenter, our interior design consultants Tony and Julie, John and Dave the builders, and John and Alison the landscape gardeners.
We also enjoy making some produce ourselves: the bread, biscuits and cakes are all homemade. Clive is now branching out onto Aga-dried tomatoes (delicious) – who knows what the next gastronomic adventure will be!