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Paw me a new one: The Ambleside inn gets sniff of approval

Springer Spaniel Max officially opening The Ambleside Inn with owner Kerry Irving (left) with general manager John Cecchini

An historic pub with rooms in Ambleside town centre has opened following a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Springer Spaniel Internet sensations Max, Paddy and Harry – who have over two-million social media fans – officially opened The Ambleside Inn on Monday December 2 after munching through a ribbon-tied Cumberland sausage. They were joined by England International rugby union and Sale Rugby star Mark Wilson who hails from Kendal.

L-R: General manager John Cecchini with England International Rugby Union star Mark Wilson

General manager John Cecchini said: “After an immense refurbishment we have breathed new life into this beautiful building. It will add another fantastic level of experience for visitors to the Lake District while we’ve brought it back to being a local for people in the heart of the community to enjoy pub food with excellence that is a celebration of great British and Cumbrian cuisine.

“We wanted to create a homely, welcoming atmosphere for people straight off the fells or lake, muddy boots, wet paws and all, whether they’re dining, drinking or staying with us – and we’ve done just that.”

Sharon and Mark Dunn had travelled four hours from Doncaster specially for the opening and to meet Max, Paddy and Harry and were staying overnight in Ambleside.

Said Mark: “Max, Paddy and Harry made my year. They’re incredible. It’s been amazing and worth the journey. We love the inn as well. It’s beautiful. It’s lovely being able to see it at Christmas. It’s a sight to savour and makes us want to come back.”

Formerly The Queens Hotel on Market Place in Ambleside, the 300-year-old Lakeland slate building has been given a new lease of life as a 30-bedroom pub with rooms following a nine-month renovation by owners, The Inn Collection Group.

The transformation, described by the group as being traditional with a contemporary twist, includes a redesign of the ground floor area to create a bar and dining area packed with original features and local memorabilia and finds including a newspaper found during the refurbishment which dates back to 1894.

Serving freshly-prepared, Cumbrian and British pub classics like Lamb Tattie Pot as well as modern twists like The Ambleside Inn Spiced Pie with authentic beef rendang curry and rice beneath a puff pastry lid, food is served from breakfast through to evening. A carvery will be served every Sunday from 12 noon through to 5.00pm. Local cask ales from Keswick Brewery and Hawkshead Brewery hand pulls are offered alongside gins, wines and speciality teas and coffees.

Walkers and outdoor enthusiasts are welcome and there are designated pet friendly areas with dog beds, water bowls and a drying area to hang up wet clothing and footwear.

The opening of The Ambleside Inn marks The Inn Collection Group’s Lake District debut. The group, which won the national Publican Awards Best Pub Employer of the Year in 2019, has pubs with rooms in Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire.

The opening of The Ambleside inn has created 30 jobs, while the opening of the group’s Coniston venue, The Coniston Inn in Spring 2020, will generate a further 30 employment opportunities.

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