Friendly staff ‘key’ to business success

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Escape to the lakes: Staff at the Angel Inn aim to welcome guests to the pub as they would their home
Escape to the lakes: Staff at the Angel Inn aim to welcome guests to the pub as they would their home

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Staff can make or break a business according to general manager of the Angel Inn, which was recently recognised as one of the top places to stay in the Lake District.

The Inn Collection Group (ICG) pub in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, was featured on a ‘best of’ list in about the national park for its “simply styled rooms and cocktails” in The Sunday Times.

Acquired by the Newcastle-based operator in December 2020, the site reopened following a multimillion-pound makeover​ at the start of the year.

For the general manager Leanne Jeffrey, hiring friendly employees was key to delivering a stellar accommodation offer.

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Getaway: The Sunday Times named the Angel Inn a top place to stay in the Lake District

“The staff​ make people’s stay sometimes,” she said. “[The customers] might have whatever issues when they get there, but by the time they’ve left, they’ve had a great time, because everybody’s made to feel welcome.”

Key to success

She said the ICG always tried to welcome guests into pubs as they were welcomed into their own home. “Your staff​ are always your key to success”, she added.

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Room with a view: The pub, which was renovated earlier this year, boasts 37 rooms

This was certainly true for the team at the Angel Inn,​ which is located on the banks of Windermere. “Hats off to them to them,” said Jeffrey. “They do a good job”.

The pub which includes 37 double, twin and family rooms, is “beautiful”, according to Jeffrey, in a prime location only a stone’s throw from the lake. Windermere is a mere 20-minute walk away, and Ambleside is also accessible by bus.

Prime spot

However, she believed it was the beer garden that set the Angel Inn apart from the crowd. During the April heatwave, it was a “prime spot”. She added: “It gets sunshine all day, [and] we’ve got a nice little view as well – you can see the lake.”

Renovations to the site were led by Newcastle-based Design North and the ICG’s projects team.

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Heatwave: The garden was a 'prime spot' during the sunny spell of April

ICG​ operations manager Paul Brown said: “We have created a wonderful bar and restaurant that people are seeking out and enjoying so to see it make a list of the top places to stay in the Lakes is fantastic.

“The refurbishment has refreshed all the bedrooms at across the three buildings into the group’s style, created a cosy and welcoming pub and a stunning garden terrace with a really pleasing view of Bowness and the surrounding fells.”

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