Is it all a bit Squir­rel Nutkin?

Lancashire Life - - FOOD & DRINK -

A Lake Dis­trict ho­tel with a lit­er­ary his­tory now has a strik­ing new

look. Beau­ti­ful or just a bit bonkers? ROGER BOR­RELL re­ports

It seems these days ev­ery ho­tel needs something spe­cial, something that makes it stand out from the crowd. A unique sell­ing point, to bor­row a phrase from the won­der­ful world of pub­lic re­la­tions.

If you need a dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture, then they don’t come much more distin­guished than be­ing the for­mer home of the children’s au­thor Beatrix Pot­ter.

The Pot­ters were reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to Lin­deth Howe, near Bow­ness, when it was a pri­vate

home and Beatrix il­lus­trated some of her books there. She was smit­ten by the house and when it came on the mar­ket, like a good daugh­ter with a few bob in the bank, she bought it for her wi­d­owed old mum.

That con­nec­tion is gold dust to an hote­lier. We all love Beatrix but in some coun­tries they are se­ri­ously be­sot­ted, trav­el­ling half­way around the world to buy key rings with Squir­rel Nutkin’s features em­bossed in plas­tic.

Nev­er­the­less, it seems the own­ers thought the old place needed a lit­tle more oomph so they hired in­te­rior de­sign­ers who spent three months con­ceiv­ing a new look. A re­furb of the down­stairs lounges and bar – along with in­vest­ment in the 34 be­d­rooms – cost about £1 mil­lion.

The own­ers de­scribe the re­sult as ‘bold’ and aimed at ‘broad­en­ing its ap­peal to vis­i­tors.’ You could also call it ‘busy.’ It no longer uses the words ‘coun­try house’ to change ‘out­dated per­cep­tions’ about the place.

ABOVE: Fake ferns hanging from the func­tion room ceil­ing. The style is ‘busy’

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