A warm welome to our overseas guests

One of the best things Hubby and I enjoy about running a Bed and Breakfast in the Lake District is meeting the myriad guests we receive from foreign countries. Sometimes we seem to get a spurt of numbers from one country or another; at other times, we could simply get a trickle of international guests. Thus far in May 2013, the nationality most represented at our guest house is Australian.

orrest head, lake windermere, lake district

Here an international visitor takes a photo of Lake Windermere and fells from Orrest Head, about a mile’s walk from Blenheim Lodge.

Having lived in the UK for so long already myself, I sometimes forget that I am an incomer too. For I was not only not born in this country, but lived in Scotland before coming to England. My husband also prides himself as a Scotsman. Having moved to the Cumbrian village of Bowness-on-Windermere only 10.5 years ago, we are still considered incomers, not having been born or bred in this lovely district. The fact that I am married to a Scotsman, with miles of ocean between my home country of Singapore and the UK, has made us more aware of cross-cultural exchanges that can really enhance our personal experiences of other cultures – be it ever so small – and, we hope, also those of our guests.

Our experiences of foreign guests come not only from chatting with them and getting to know them a little, such as what they think about various issues, customs, and local foods, but also what they bring us in terms of little gifts from their home countries. In the hallway cabinet of our guest house are displayed many small Japanese, Taiwanese, and Irish mementoes. One of them, a little hat, evoked much curiosity from Hubby and me. It turned out that this little Japanese hat held a lump of rice, to be cooked only on New Year’s Day.

blenheim lodge lake district

Momentos and thank-you notes from previous guests take pride of place in a glass cabinet. See the little hat given to us one New Year by a Japanese guest?

Hubby and I love chatting with all our guests, because they always have their own interesting experiences and opinions to share. However, one of the highlights about getting to know our foreign guests a little are their perspectives on the UK and on similar things that concern both them and us. Both sides discover that the world is really small indeed when we discuss our hopes and dreams for our children, our interests, our lives and aspirations and so on, and find them really similar. The human heart is truly very much the same all over the world, and it is one level on which anyone anywhere can connect with most everyone.

At Blenheim Lodge, we also very much enjoy sharing this gorgeous Lake District with our guests. We try to give appropriate guidance to our visitors when they pump us for places to see and things to do. And if we do not have the information they require, then we try to get it for them. I think one of the things that Hubby and I find most satisfying about running a guest house is to see our guests exploring and discovering places hitherto unbeknownst to them. More often than not, their experiences are more than positive, for they would have toured beautiful places previously unknown to them, tried food and drink perhaps once unfamiliar to their palates, mayhap chanced upon curious nooks and crannies of tiny hamlets and villages not often found by the casual tourist, traversed open fells from which the wide open spaces of splendiferous landscapes call to the spirit, observed the habitudes of important men, women and families that once preceded us, perhaps conceived a liking for local arts and crafts during their journey, and most probably cruised at least one or more of the numerous lakes and meres whose very forms originate the namesake of this pulchritudinous area, the Lake District National Park.

rainbow in lake district

A vivid rainbow over gorgeous Lake District countryside, complete with Herdwick sheep. (Photo courtesy of http://www.wordlesstech.com.)

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.’

Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com

Email: enquiries@blenheim-lodge.com

Telephone: 015394 43440

 

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