Christmas comes early to Ambleside residents at The Waterhead Inn

Elderly residents across South Lakeland were treated to an early Christmas by The Inn Collection Group last Wednesday (December 13) as The Waterhead Inn hosted residents from across the area for lunch.

Aiming to help combat some of the loneliness that can occur during the festive season, the pub with rooms operator once again tapped into its network of contacts in Ambleside and the surrounding areas to invite those in need of a welcome boost.

The newly renovated Inn which returned to trading in late summer following a multi-million-pound refurbishment was chosen as this year’s venue, after general manager Daryl Hardy had delivered a similar event in 2022 and the town’s Regent Hotel.

Building on those foundations, numbers more than doubled for 2023 with 84 diners arriving for an afternoon of great food, good company and low winter sunshine bathing Waterhead Bay on Windermere with a delightful golden glow.

Starting a 1pm, a freshly prepared three-course meal was rustled up by the kitchen teams and served with a smile by a band of happy little helpers, with starters of Tomato Soup or Melon and Parma Ham followed by either a traditional roast Turkey or Beef dinner or a vegetable wellington.

Giving the chefs plenty of practice ahead of Christmas Day, when The Waterhead Inn is set to welcome more than 140 diners, all the dinners came with the appropriate trimmings and were thoroughly enjoyed.

Traditional festive flavours continued into the day’s final course as Christmas Pudding with brandy sauce, a trio of ice cream or mince pies with tea and coffee rounded out the meal.

Fully fed, watered and full of festive spirit from an afternoon of good company, the invitees began to leave around 3:30pm.

The Inn Collection Group and the team at The Waterhead Inn are indebted to Ambleside Parish Centre and its Evergreen group, Ambleside and Kirkstone Rotary Club and Age UK South Lakeland for their help in extending invitations to the community.

Reflecting on a successful afternoon, general manager Hardy said: “It was good to welcome the guests to the lunch at The Waterhead Inn and to be able to invite people from across the community in Ambleside and the surrounding villages.

“Through working with Ambleside Parish Centre, Ambleside and Kirkstone Rotary and Age UK South Lakeland, we were able to welcome double the number of guests we did in 2022 and I know from speaking to them throughout the afternoon that they enjoyed the day.

“As an inn, it is important for us to be at the heart of our community and to look after our local residents and I’m hugely grateful to our contacts at those groups who helped us reach a whole new band of people.

“The whole team did a great job in putting on the event, from the front-of-house guys who looked after the diners to the kitchen brigade who turned around more than 80 three-course meals with no pre-orders and I’d like to thank them for making the day run so smoothly.”