The finishing touches are now being applied to the café building and inside the walled garden the pathways and topsoil are going in ready for serious planting to start in the next two weeks as we move towards the opening weekend of 2nd and 3rd of July, there is still a lot to do but it is quickly moving in the right direction with the whole team at Lingholm working flat out to make sure we are as polished as possible come the end of June.
On the café front manager Melinda Bilko now has her team in place with head chef Andy West (formerly of the Saddleback Café in Keswick) ready to start cooking in a few days as we plan to work our way through the whole menu over the next 4 weeks so we are perfect come D Day!
The really positive news is that the new Lingholm jetty for the Keswick Launch has moved ahead really quickly over the last few weeks with Carl Peet and his team putting in lots of extra hours to make sure the Jetty is ready for the Launch to start stopping at Lingholm before the summer holidays, which has put a bit more pressure on us to make sure the footpath from the Lake to the garden and café is ready at the same time.
On the other side of the Estate where the new footpath meets the Catbells path the new entrance is now in place and work is well underway to build a small traditional arched bridge across the stream so our new customers don’t get wet feet!
The inside of the cafe is looking quite stunning with light literally bouncing off the walls, the roof glazing works particularly well in shedding light down onto our artwork wall where we will be displaying the work of our resident artist Rob Miller, outside the terrace is finished and ready to welcome customers who want to sit out in the lovely summer weather we are expecting (or at least hoping for).
Work to restore the original Victorian greenhouse that is one of the few structures that remains from the old kitchen gardens Beatrix Potter knew is almost complete and much as it would have been a lot cheaper to knock it down and buy a new greenhouse the restoration has been very worthwhile and the 130 year old timber will probably still outlast the new timber used to repair it.
The greenhouse will be used as an annex to the café and available to be booked for groups of up to 24 people, we already have quite a few bookings for the afternoon tea we are planning which we are intending to make one of our signature servings, when not booked it will be available to all and will be ideal for groups of walkers and cyclists arriving together and wanting to sit all in one place.
The idea for a small Beatrix Potter gallery dedicated to her work in the Derwentwater area in the old potting shed has been given the green light by planners and after a lot of mileage and research, and an amazing amount of help from both the National Trust’s Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkshead and the V and A museum in London we are confident we can get the gallery open for the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birthday on July 28th.
We made some new discoveries about the work she did while on holiday at Lingholm during the research and all will be revealed when we open the gallery which will be free to enter (in the hope that folk will stay and have tea and a cake!).
So put the date in your diary, 2nd and 3rd July, there will be lots of events around the opening weekend and we hope to see you there.