25 years of memories...
22 April 2015
From CH – “Our first visit to the Rothay Garden was in October , a few weeks before Chris arrived. On our next visit we were greeted by a young, enthusiastic and ambitious owner who enjoyed sport and also his work. He would clearly make his mark on Lakeland tourism .
Over the years we have visited regularly and watched the vision become a reality .From those early days of a traditional Lakeland hotel we have seen several refurbishments and major structural projects. One memory is of staying in the Garden Room during a refurb (at our request). Going to breakfast through props, sheeting and materials was like a war-zone and no doubt Chris has a photograph record.
The appeal of Rothay Garden is readily apparent with good food, friendly staff, location and Chris to piece it all together. We have many happy memories of New Years, Anniversaries andholidays and of course some humorous moments. One such occassion was after one of Andrew’s splendid dinners we read of the Roman Legion being seen on Souther fell in 1745 .The next day we set off so that our wives could feel the 'presence' on Souther fell. On nearing the top our wives retreated behind the rocks to answer a call. A few minutes later we heard screams and to their horror hang gliders were soaring the ridge. The message is whenever you go to the hills for thrills keep your eyes upon the skies!.
Twenty five years on the youngster is not so young but his vision, energy continues as does caring for his guests to an extent which makes each visit like returning home. It has been a pleasure to contribute to this success story and long may it continue”.
From NP – “We were delighted and felt privileged to have been invited by Chris to attend the re-opening of the Rothay Garden following its closure for refurbishment. On the way up the weather was showery but as we entered Windermere the weather changed, the sun started to shine and the nearer we got to Grasmere the better it became. As we approached the hotel along Broadgate the first thing we noticed was the new signage, a foretaste of what was to come. We parked and went into reception. The new reception area and the staircase up to the first floor looked stunning.
Prior to the presentation we were treated to champagne and canapes in the garden as we mingled amongst theguests, finding some familiar faces.The sun shone and the moment came when the representative from the AA announced that the Rothay Garden had achieved Four Stars. We were delighted for Chris and his team, knowing that Chris must have had the odd sleepless night, bearing in mind the difficult economic climate at the time. We were then able to look round the hotel, the bedrooms, the kitchen, thecloakrooms, all had the "wow" factor, the décor and furnishings were superb. It was a most enjoyable and memorable occasion”.
From: PP – “As we had done on many occasions we chose to celebrate our wedding anniversary at the Rothay Garden. It was our Ruby Wedding and as a token of my love for Pat I had arranged with the hotel for forty red roses to be placed in our room on the day of our arrival. What Pat didn't know was that I had arranged for our daughters, Anita and Nicola, to join us on our anniversary. So as not to spoil the surprise I agreed with them that we would meet at the Swan in Grasmere at around 4pm that afternoon. That way there wasno chance that Pat would see our daughter's car in the car park at the Rothay and so spoil the surprise.
Pat and myself had spent the afternoon in Windermere and Pat couldn't understand why I was so eager to get back to Grasmere, I had just said that I fancied calling at the Swan for a drink. We arrived at the Swan at about 4.30pm and went through to the bar. When Pat saw Anita and Nicola the look of surprise and delight on Pat's face was a picture and well worth the planning and subterfuge. After a drink we returned to the Rothay Garden where we enjoyed an excellent dinner to round off a special day for us. Our daughters stayed until late in the afternoon the following day, leaving us to enjoy the rest of our holiday.
Above and Beyond…
From KB – “We first discovered Rothay Garden when we spent our honeymoon here in July 1993. David was in the Royal Navy at the timeand wasto go to Bosnia 7 days after the wedding. Those 3 precious days we had together before he went off to war were spent atRothay. We have returned several times since and have recommended to family and friends who have also spent wonderful times at the hotel.
I, along with many at 10am last Sunday morning spent 1 hourpressing redial on my telephoneto be assured of my special break at Rothay in February 2015.We along with Rothay have a celebration in February 2015 and celebrate 25 years together, how better could we celebrate than at our favourite hotel. Can't wait!!!!
Short but sweet
From EK – “The Rothay Garden is our special place, it has celebrated with us and helped us through the difficult times. Many Thanks”.
Mother knows best
From PS – “Mike and I spent several happy holidays at the vegetarian Rothay Garden Hotel as a child from 1951 onwards and shortly after we married in 1970 we stayed in a local B & B but visited the Rothay Garden for a meal - for old times’ sake.I remember a very heavy nut roast!
In September 2002 or 2003 we decided to bring both our recently bereaved mothers (both in their late eighties) for a mini break in the Rothay Garden Hotel. The food this time was wonderful and we all had a very comfortable stay. We did some gentle sightseeing but the highlight for our mothers was the two of them walking together from the hotel and all the way round the Grasmere Lake and back again. For them it was an impressive achievement and it allowed us a longer walk over to Langdale and back. Mike and I have been back again to the hotel and always have a wonderful time but our favourite memories are those of our visit with our mothers”.
From RU – “Following your call for memories of Rothay Gardens, Rod and I consider our first stay with you memorable. We had for many years be staying in Grasmere, first with our son and then as he went his own way just the two of us. However we decided to change hotels and with the alterations to Rothay Gardens catching our weary eye as we walked back to Grasmere one evening we decide to come to you for our next stay in the Lakes.
However the new vision was not quite finished and we stayed when the dining room was located in the bedrooms on the ground floor.What fun! Everyone was chatting, the food was great and the atmosphere matched. We have never moved hotels since! Best wishes for your 25th Birthday, see you next spring”.
From DS-R – “In response to your invitation in the Newsletter, for guests to share their memories of visits to the Rothay Garden, it prompted us to recall our first visit, back in 1987, which we believe pre-dates your own association with the hotel. Our next visit was to celebrate our Silver wedding in 1991 - after which we were completely 'hooked' and have returned almost every year since.
On one particularly memorable visit, when our daughter and her partner were staying nearby in the Lakes, we arranged for them to join us for dinner, during which the said partner took us by surprise, by asking for our daughter’s hand in marriage. This was celebrated by a bottle of Rothay Garden champagne. Six years on from then, the married couple have presented us with a lovely grandson, who has already been introduced to the Lake District. We look forward to our usual visit in 2015. In 2016 we will be celebrating our Golden wedding anniversary - where else, but the Rothay Garden”.
A Santa Special
From BB – “Our most memorable moment at the Hotel was our first Christmas away from home. The village and the surrounding fells were covered with snow and Christmas day had been a clear crisp blue sky type of day, which was ideal for a walk to sharpen the appetite. At dinner that evening just as Santa appeared in the garden, as if by magic it started to snow and completed a memorable day”.
Fish ‘n Chips
From LA – “We have many happy memories of our various stays at Rothay garden. Here are two that stand out;
A few years ago, before Vicky had her family, we were discussing menus with her and my husband, John, said that after a few nights of gourmet food he had a longing for 'good old fish and chips'. That very night Vicky told us that the chief had prepared two portions of battered fish, with chips and pea puree just for us! Where else could you get such individual service and attention?
During our last stay here in August 2014, it was my birthday. I happened to mention this to Jill on reception and when my sweet arrived that evening it was tastefully decorated with 'Happy Birthday' written in chocolate!
These are just two of the reasons why we love your hotel so much and always look forward eagerly to our next visit. See you all in December”.
From BC – “Over the last 16years we have many fond memories of celebrations spent at Rothay. From birthday's,wedding anniversaries,valentine nights and the launch of Rothay Garden refurbishment. However we have two special memories my 50th birthday and three years later my husband’s 60th. Both were surprises and were celebrated with family and friends. A big thank you to all Rothay staff for making them so memorable”.
From FS – “We chose to come back to Rothay Garden for our silver wedding celebration on 29th July this year. We have some great memories from our two day stay, including the delivery ofan ice bucket to our room to go with our champagne, and the always brilliant haddock kedgeree at breakfast,
We also had a lovely walk along the coffin path to Rydal Hall Gardens from above Dove Cottage, continuing into Ambleside and then taking an open top bus all the way back to Grasmere in glorious weather.
A special memory of Rothay Garden Hotel
From BS – “We stayed at Rothay Garden Hotel for the first time in October 1993 when my brother, sister in law, husband and I brought my mother and father here to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. They stayed in a lovely large ground floor room with doors opening on to the river. They had never stayed in such a nice hotel room before. That night we all had a meal together and on the menu was onion soup. As I don’t particularly like onions I asked for the soup minus onions which was duly supplied. The rest of the family appeared to have copious amounts of onions which should have been in my soup! The family have often laughed about this occasion, and still remember it whenever we return to Rothay Garden.
Four of us returned to Rothay Garden in the following January and in the evening the waiter remarked ‘I remember you, you are the lady who ordered the onion soup without the onions. It is so interesting to return in November 2014 during Rothay’s special year and experience all the changes and improvements that have been made since the first time we came 21 years ago, and to stay in the Garden Suite overlooking the lovely gardens. We have still received the same warm welcome and excellent food that we have always experienced whenever we have stayed at Rothay Garden”.
From DS – “My husband and I have celebrated some special birthdays/events with you – including his 50th birthday, our 25th wedding anniversary and we are due to visit on the 21st of this month to celebrate my 50th birthday.
We have many special memories of our stays with you but one special memory I recall is when we were in the restaurant late in the evening reflecting on a fantastic meal and planning the next day. We suddenly noticed a beautiful young fawn in the gardens – it just strolled in and began to graze, totally at ease and we watched it for several minutes until it just gracefully moved away into the trees.
It was a pure moment of magic – being so close up able to watch the lovely creature in natural surroundings…priceless! Many congratulations to everyone on your 25th anniversary.
We look forward to creating more special memories during our next stay with you later this month”.
A Special Touch
From AB - “Six or seven years ago when staying in the area we called in at Rothay Garden for Sunday morning coffee.
We were met by Elliott, who was his usual attentive, caring self. He told us all about the hotel and showed us around. We were so impressed by both the hotel and Elliott's enthusiasm wedecided to stay for Sunday lunch. The following day we should have been returning home to Lincolnshire but decided to book into the hotel to fully sample what was on offer.
We may not be in the top ten of regulars but we do keep coming back. We have our favourite room and table and feel welcome every time. Have we got special memories? Yes, it is special every time we return.
Chris, congratulations to you and all your team on 25 years. Long may it continue!”.
From PM - “Congratulations on your continuing success at ‘our’ long time favourite hotel. I miss Grasmere and the Lakes but think fondly of the last visit when we celebrated my birthday and my son’s first wedding anniversary”