Allan Blackburn column

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park
Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

Happy Christmas everyone. Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas lunch today.

At GB Antiques we are open seven days a week and at busy times of year especially in the run up to Christmas, although it’s a cathartic and rewarding time, I also find it tiring.

After the madness has died down, I like nothing more than to treat myself and my family to a well earned afternoon somewhere really special.

Now I know I mustn’t make this sound like an advert (and I’m not on commission) but I must share with you my most favourite place to eat.

The Sharrow Bay Hotel, Restaurant and Gardens in the Lakes.

I have travelled a lot over the years and could easily recall many beautiful places where I’ve had a wonderful meal, but there’s nothing like the Sharrow Bay for me.

Maybe it’s because it holds such personal and happy memories, but I do eat there a lot and I think it is the most fabulous lunch anywhere in the country.

The Sharrow Bay was the first ever ‘country house hotel’ and opened its’ doors in 1949. I first went there in 1957, so it was very new then.

If you’ve read my column before, you’ll know about the special relationship I had with my grandfather who ignited and nurtured my passion for antiques.

Well, he had been on a couple of occasions and recommended it to me.

A recommend from him was a sure thing, so we went along together and he was right.

It really was (and still is) the most marvellous hotel.

It was owned by two men, one who did all the cooking and one who worked front of house, but I can’t remember their names now.

I was in awe of the most amazing views of Lake Ullswater and totally felt at peace there.

For our 40th wedding anniversary in August 2012, my wife, Gloria, and I had the pleasure of treating the whole family.

We booked out the terraced rooms for two days and it was just as nice as when I first went with my grandfather.

Gloria remarked we’d never found anywhere to beat it in over 50 years.

There’s not many things you can say that about.