Wild Boar Inn Windermere Interview
Wild Boar Inn Windermere is set in the ancient beauty of the Gilpin Valley with 72 acres of private woodland and a beautiful tarn. This traditional Inn takes its name from the local legend of Sir Richard de Gilpin who bravely fought and killed a ferocious wild boar close by. Listed in the Telegraph as one of the best hotels to stay in the Lake District they also house the largest collection of whiskies in Cumbria. We speak to Manager Adam Bujok to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the industry?
I studied for an Economics and Tourism Degree before starting with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in 2006. My journey began at Waterhead, Ambleside, where I waited on tables and really got to grips with the industry. My move over to The Wild Boar provided me with the opportunity to work through the ranks, becoming Restaurant Manager, Hotel Deputy Manager and now the Manager at the 4 star Inn.
Can you run us through an average day running The Wild Boar?
Every day is different! If I’m working an earlier shift then my day will usually start with some office administration followed by meeting with staff and suppliers before going back to the office to tackle the inevitable deluge of emails that will have come in overnight. Otherwise, if I’m working a later shift I’ll generally spend more time downstairs in the bar and restaurant, greeting guests and supporting our team, which is where I prefer to be!
Have you ever had any major problems to overcome?
The end of 2015 and going into 2016 saw Cumbria devastated by Storm Desmond, and although we were lucky enough to not suffer any building damage, we certainly felt its adverse effects. Guests and staff alike were either unable to reach us or stuck inside. Some of the team were forced to stay over as they simply couldn’t travel home, which made for a challenging few days whilst we waited for the flood waters to subside.
What is your favourite thing about working at The Wild Boar?
Being a popular tourist destination, we see a variety of guests come through the doors each day and it’s this variety that I enjoy most. Each day presents itself with something new, sometimes challenging, but always interesting – I’m certainly kept on my toes!
Can you tell us a bit about your impressive collection of whiskies and your on-site microbrewery?
We pride ourselves on having one of the largest selection of whiskies in Cumbria (over 150!) some of which are rare bottles, and are looked after by our very own in-house ‘Master of Malt’, George. We’re known for our range and this makes up a large part of The Wild Boar’s offering, with regular whisky tasting nights held throughout the year.
Our Brewhouse has been a fantastic addition to the Wild Boar Inn Windermare. With the expertise of master-brewer Tim Bloomer of the Fell Brewery we brew a selection of real ales in house which are available to purchase and to enjoy at the Wild Boar Inn Windermare bar as well as at other English Lakes hotels. The aroma of freshly brewed craft beer wafting through the Bar and Lounge make brewing days at the Inn my favourite.
In your opinion how important is it to use local ingredients?
It’s really key to use local and seasonal produce, and it’s something we try to do as much as possible. With our cheese supplier based just two miles down the road and our local farmer even closer, just next door, we work hard to ensure that we have brilliant relationships with our suppliers which is reflected in our menus.
What courses and events do you hold at The Wild Boar?
We hold a number of events throughout the year, from whisky tasting evenings to wedding showcases. We host regular food smoking courses with Smoky Jo’s and clay pigeon shooting in our 72 acre woodland with Michael Coates.
What do you think sets your restaurant apart from the rest?
As a sympathetically restored 17th century coaching inn we find that our guests are looking for that quintessential English bolthole feel with traditional styling and quality at its heart. At The Wild Boar we combine this with our open kitchen and grill to ensure that diners get an inclusive experience and have the chance to delight in watching their meal being cooked. We’re known for our variety of cuts of steak which are sourced from Lakes Speciality Foods and our menu really centres on the great British meat we serve.
Finally, what would you say is your biggest challenge when juggling 34 rooms of accommodation, a bar and a restaurant?
The joy of working in this industry is that something new comes through the door every single day, and I’m always learning new things about the hospitality industry. Our ultimate aim as a team is to try and please everyone that visits or stays with us, and leaves with great memories of their time here as it is always incredibly rewarding to see people return because they enjoyed what we do and what we offer. We want everybody to have a great experience and not only leave with a smile but come back to see us again with that same smile!
The Wild Boar Inn Windermare is also proud to be a member of Great Inns – www.greatinns.co.uk