A couple of days ago I wrote about a large family occasion where a birthday boy was about to turn 90 years of age. Fourteen people of varying ages arrived over the weekend, and stayed in nine of our bedrooms at Blenheim Lodge. I think everyone enjoyed themselves very much.
There were a total of three generations in the party: grandparents, parents and children, the latter of whom were in their late teens and early twenties. For us at Blenheim Lodge who were more or less running the show on the family group’s behalf, it was hard work but the birthday event and stay went smoothly, for which I was most grateful.
The family party left us today; and we continue to wade through used linen and towels, most of which will be sent to the laundrette tomorrow. What we do not send away to be washed, I will launder myself. We still have a small pile of bedding sets and towels to wash tonight. As for the washing up, I have already put one lot through the dishwasher, but there are more dishes, pots and pans, crockery, glassware and cutlery awaiting my attention as I type this blog.
Yesterday was the big day of celebration, and a large 16″ square iced madeira cake was cut to cries of ‘Happy Birthday!’ The cake was a gift to the birthday boy from one of his friends who could not make it to the party. She had had it made by a confectioner, but there were mumblings that it was actually rather dry and not particularly tasty. Perhaps we should have ordered the cake from a local Lake District artisan baker instead. We have done this in the past for other guests, and their cakes have always gone down a treat.
The meal we arranged was well received by all the diners. Aside from the delicious food, the party was pleased with the little extras such as the palate teaser before the starters and petit fours at the end of the meal. The birthday boy even had his own plate of petit fours with ‘Happy Birthday’ written out neatly in icing on the slate. What a thoughtful gesture!
The taxis arrived early to pick everyone up and were also 10 minutes early for the return journey. The latter was fortuitous as the restaurant had served the group in timely fashion and all were ready to return to Blenheim Lodge sooner rather than later. Once in, the family drifted into our lounge for a nightcap before heading to bed.
I think that arranging family occasions in this way, where the whole of Blenheim Lodge is taken over by one party, can be most enjoyable for the party concerned. The fact that one family group has the run of the whole house offers all its members an intimacy and privacy that would not be possible in a large hotel. We closed two of our bedrooms in order to ensure that this group had Blenheim Lodge in total privacy.
Would we do it again? Ye, we would. We would be interested in offering getaways for family groups; overseas English language study groups (which we have done in the past); Christian Alpha or Bible study groups on retreat; other interest based groups, such as walking, painting, writing groups; vintage car enthusiasts; and so on. However, Blenheim Lodge would definitely not be suitable for stag, hen or rowdy drinking parties.
We would not mix large groups with small parties of one, two, three or four people, as we think this would not be fair to everyone concerned. Most of the time, our guests come in ones, twos, threes or fours, but mostly in twos. This works out very well indeed, but if we already had a party of two people, we would not then let out our place to a large group of ten people, for instance. Most guests come to us for a quiet retreat, so placing a party that would make more noise with a couple on a romantic break would certainly not be ideal!
Well, Blenheim Lodge is really quite versatile in its accommodation options, and we hope that many guests will come and enjoy our Bed and Breakfast in Bowness-on-Windermere. Our aim is to give people a good time to remember, and a chance to relax in comfort and peace. Hubby and I are pleased that we achieved this with the family group that has just left us today.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’