I think we can all agree that 2021 hasn’t been a typical year for anyone, and it certainly has been an interesting one to say the least!

The start of 2021 seems like ages ago, and even though it was eerily quiet in Buttermere during the 2021 lockdown, we kept busy behind the scenes.

Work started on the Bridge Inn pub – one bar was totally removed to make room for a brand new area. This is where the original Lounge Bar was and we are really happy the way it has turned out. Extra seating has been created, with the addition of spacious booths, complete with their own USB charging points and doggy lead holders

Another popular addition is the inclusion of a real log burner, so if you are quick enough to get a seat near it you will be warm and toasty all night during the colder months. Perhaps with the addition of a dark ale and slab of our infamous Pie, or even a scone with cream and rum butter, we have the perfect accompaniment for the crackle and pop of the fire.

The dog friendly Walkers Bar has had a facelift too – a brand new bar for us to work behind, as well as updated customer toilets offering Pure Lakes hand wash products ( you must try the Sweet Basil and Orange). We continue to operate full table service, so you will be well looked after from the moment you arrive. We have introduced a new ” traffic light” system too – essentially a wooden block, one end painted red, the other end painted green. When you require service, pop the block up so that the green side is upright, when you don’t require anything simply leave the block on its side. Simple and effective – doesn’t rely on wi fi or electricity, so that’s ideal given we are in Buttermere!

During the summer months painting commenced for the entire exterior of the Hotel, Self Catering apartments and Staff block. The colours really compliment the buildings and it looks like it should have always been this way. Many thanks to the painters who grafted tirelessly in the heat to get this all completed – we hope that you like it as much as we do.

The Self Catering apartments haven’t been missed off our to-do list either. The 2020 November Lockdown allowed us to start on the refurbishment work, which was completed in early 2021. We have repainted the apartments both inside and outside, replaced all the sofa beds, wardrobes, beds, carpets, lighting and décor. This has been well received by our guests, and the feedback has been mostly all positive ( still have rural wi-fi speeds though 🙁 ). Self Catering in The Lake District has really proved to be popular in 2021, never have we been so booked up until the end of November 2021 – and 2022 Self Catering bookings are coming in thick and fast ( you can check out our 2022 Self Catering rates for Buttermere here).

Car parking in Buttermere has always been, how can we say this politely, interesting to say the least. We have never seen, in all the years we have been here, the volume of traffic we have experienced since May 2021 right up to September 2021. The village has brought in traffic marshals ( big thank you to you guys and also to the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team volunteers to help with this) to monitor the car parks and bus stop to control the congestion that was arising. I bet you didn’t know that you can park wherever you please……no, we didn’t either!

Further up the road, towards Gatesgarth Farm, we had a lot of activity in the form of a film crew. Scenes from the new Mission Impossible movie was being shot there, complete with Tom Cruise jumping out of a helicopter.

As Autumn approaches, we start to look forward to our Muddy Boots Winter walking deals and our Self Catering short stays. We are looking pretty busy in the Hotel up to mid November, while the Self Catering apartments are nearly full to the end of November. If you are looking for a Winter staycation these offers run through December, February and March so if November does fill up you still have some other months to chose from for your scenic Winter staycation.

Unfortunately we too have been hit by the UK national shortage of hospitality staff, and as a result of this we have had to rethink our operations. While we remain in this awkward situation, we have had to modify our bar opening times to reflect the circumstances and allow us to allocate the resources we do have to looking after our Hotel and Self Catering guests. This is to ensure we can provide the service standard required by our guests. Therefore, the Bridge Inn bar will be open to the public as follows:

Fridays 12 noon to 11pm

Saturdays 12 noon to 11pm

Sunday to Thursday 12 noon to 5pm.

We are truly sorry for any disappointment caused to anyone trying to access the pub after this time – it wasn’t an easy decision to make, and we appreciate your understanding of our position. The sad reality is that you only need to drive through the Lakes to see that almost every Hotel, Bed and Breakfast and pub are in similar situations and we feel for those who haven’t been lucky enough to have the amazing core staff we do.

Hotel and Self Catering Guests are not affected as the Bridge Inn bar will be open on a residential basis.

We really hope that our recruitment drive is successful, if you know of anyone looking for work in hospitality please get in touch with us as we would love to hear from you!

On a final note to this blog, we would love to thank each and every one of our customers who have supported us through the hard times and good, we truly do have the best guests in The Lakes and we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you.