A FAMILY-RUN hotel in the Lake District is gearing up for a busy week to round off its 15th anniversary year.

The Roberts family have been celebrating 15 years in business, after taking on the ownership and running of Tweedies Bar & Lodge in Grasmere in 2004. Co-owner Gillian Roberts says it’s been a rewarding journey and is something worth celebrating in a very competitive tourism industry.

She said: “When we first walked into the hotel, it was in a dreadful state. However, with my husband Brian’s background in hospitality and a lot of elbow grease we have come a long way.

“All the profits have been ploughed back into the business and with a new decade ahead, we will continue to invest and innovate. It’s essential that we keep pace with ever-changing customer expectations and keep people coming back here to enjoy this special part of the world.”

Among the most recent special events to mark the 15th anniversary year was a new Christmas Market, which attracted hundreds of people to Tweedies last month.

Already renowned for hosting the annual Grasmere Guzzler - now one of Cumbria’s most popular beer and music festivals – it’s the first time the venue has hosted a large-scale festive event.

The community-focused event was co-ordinated by Gillian’s daughter-in-law, Laura Goodall, and brought locals and visitors together for the first new Christmas event in Grasmere for a number of years. The successful first year means there are now plans to make it a permanent annual fixture.

Family ties will continue to play a massive role for the hotel in the New Year too. Both of Gillian sons are heavily involved in the day-to-day operation of the business; Alex oversees Tweedies Bar, while Head Chef James Goodall trained under the renowned Raymond Blanc and is continuing to reinvent the food and drink offering.

James says the current winter weather has prompted a surge in demand for their ‘family style’ roast dinners and their popularity has inspired him to add pheasant to the menu for the festive period.

Meanwhile Tweedies Bar is also preparing for its New Year’s Eve celebrations, with Furness-based acoustic folk band ‘Native Cult’ due to perform for revellers. Diners in the Lodge restaurant will also enjoy the celebrations with a guest pianist, before joining Tweedies party-goers for fireworks in the gardens afterwards.

Manager Laura Goodall said: “2019 has been a year to celebrate what we have achieved as a business – and a family - but we have high hopes for 2020 as well.

"The New Year will certainly bring more new opportunities for Grasmere, with the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth’s birth. A new multi-million pound investment in Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum will help to cement the village as a ‘must visit’ destination and we are looking forward to welcoming guests who want to experience the place where one of the world’s most celebrated poets write some of his most famous and best loved work.”