One of Windermere’s most iconic buildings that boasts a history stretching back more than 100 years has been rejuvenated following the opening of a brand new restaurant.
Brown Sugar is the latest venture from award-winning entrepreneurs Ian Dutton and his wife, Annette. The restaurant opened in September 2018 and has enjoyed positive initial feedback. It occupies a site formerly known as ‘The Lighthouse’. Prior to that, it operated as Boots and an independent chemist.
Premier Hospitality spoke to Ian Dutton a few weeks into the launch of this exciting new venture. He explained what Brown Sugar is all about:
“Brown Sugar is a culmination of more than thirty years of experience in the trade. We had to decide, did we want to go down more of a coffee house and takeaway option, or did we want to go for more of a bar? We decided to go for a vibrant, modern and informal establishment and liked the idea of healthy eating in a relaxed environment.
“The building has three floors with a wraparound balcony and seating for 24 on a heated outside terrace. There is seating for more than 35 customers on the ground floor and a further 30 on the first, which is light and airy. The top floor serves as a ‘snug’: a relaxed bar area to host private functions or to enjoy a drink whilst waiting for a table.
“My wife chose the colours so there’s orange, brown and a lot of copper,” said Ian. “The bar is stainless steel with orange lights. There is a very comfortable, cosy feel when you come in rather than a clinical setting; that warm vibe was really what we were hoping to achieve.”
Brown Sugar is open all day, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The food and drink offering range from cakes and coffee, to pizza and cocktails. An award-winning chef in his own right, Ian has previously worked as head chef at The Miller Howe Hotel.
“We had a ‘soft launch’ in mid-September and are now focusing on training staff and getting the best team in place. Feedback from both locals and visitors has been exceptionally positive,” continued Ian. “Undoubtedly, one of Brown Sugars USP’s is that it isn’t a chain; nothing is mass produced. Like our two other venues, The Pig and the Village Inn, everything is authentic; this has formed part of our business model from the outset.
“With all of our businesses, we have got better and better, making continual improvements, resulting in a company that we’re extremely proud of. It’s been a hard struggle and unless we’re on holiday, we work seven days a week and give 100% all the time; in the hospitality industry, that’s just the nature of the beast! We’ve always cared about the customer and make sure they receive the very best product and service.”
Together with The Pig and the Village Inn, Brown Sugar makes up Dutton Cuisine Limited. The Pig in Windermere shines a spotlight on pork – an underrated meat in Ian’s opinion – with the menu home to a number of creative and innovative dishes. Opening in March 2016, it has become one of the village’s most revered bar and restaurants.
The Village Inn Bar and Grill opened in 2011 and is an all-day destination for great food and a warm ambience. A range of high-quality food and drink is available, making the most of local suppliers.
For further information on Dutton Cuisine Limited, please visit www.dutton-cuisine.co.uk.
Lakes Catering Maintenance
Lakes Catering Maintenance specialise in the provision of complete commercial kitchen solutions for the hospitality and leisure sector. From project design, supply and installation to an award-winning service, Lakes Catering Maintenance works closely with clients to ensure the right solutions are presented in order to meet their needs.
Since its inception, Lakes Catering Maintenance has worked on a range of prestigious projects, including a kitchen & front counter installation for Levens Hall Heritage Centre in Kendal. More recently, the company has been involved with the work on Brown Sugar, helping to transform the former Lighthouse Restaurant into a fantastic new venue.
Working on this project, Lakes Catering Maintenance was responsible for a range of services including the installation of a new extraction system, the supply and fit-out of all bar equipment, and the fabrication of the top floor bar & ground floor bar. In addition, the company supplied the kitchen with an Urban Cultivator, to ensure Brown Sugar has a continuous supply of fresh micro herbs.
The kitchen equipment supplied for this project included a Charvet 900 centre island, Rational SSC Duo combi ovens, an Adande refrigerated drawer, a Synergy Grill, Gram refrigeration, Hobart warewashing and extraction systems.
While Brown Sugar provided a few logistic challenges for the team at Lakes Catering Maintenance, the project proved to be both successful and rewarding.
Established in 1990 by brothers, Paul & Karl Greenall, KQC Commercial is one of the largest flooring contractors in the North West with a stunning 200msq showroom on the edge of the English Lake District. The company provides an unrivalled service for house builders, local authorities and the hotel & leisure industry; is backed by 18 fitters; and can offer services such as specialist CAD design and interior design support.
Over the past 28 years, KQC Commercial has built up a strong portfolio with projects for the likes of Persimmon Homes, Hallmark Hotels & Diamond Resorts, as well as an award-winning installation for Leeds Civic Hall. More recently, the company has been involved with Brown Sugar, supplying and fitting a variety of finishes to both floors and walls.
To cover the walls KQC Commercial used TrikBrik, a product from Havwoods, which is a composite cladding providing a superb solution to actual brick work. TrikBrik comes in both brick & slate effect finishes, boasting outstanding thermal, acoustic and flame retardant properties and is water resistant & non-permeable, making it a great solution to add character to bathroom facilities. In total 105sqm of cladding was fitted across the three floors to wall space which has truly transformed the look of the interior.
For the flooring within public areas KQC Commercial installed Amtico Signature, Antique Wood in a parquet laying pattern which has added real character to this contemporary scheme. This commercial grade flooring comes with a 20 year warranty. Across working areas such as the state of the art kitchen and bar the company fitted Altro safety flooring, the perfect solution for a busy environment which creates a surface that’s easy to clean and maintain.
Karl Greenall, Managing Director of KQC Commercial, said:
“Over the years we have had the pleasure of working alongside Ian & Annette of Dutton Cuisine across a variety of their renowned venues. It has been fantastic to have played such a key part in this refurbishment, not only supporting Ian & Annette with solutions for both the floor and walls but working alongside some of the county’s premier contractors. Our installation was led by expert fitter Nathan who truly excelled himself here, working extended hours with meticulous precision to ensure a perfect result.”
“At KQC Commercial, we pride ourselves on the quality of our service, which is truly at the heart of who we are as a business. We provide the highest quality of service from a customer’s initial enquiry, to the free estimation service, right through to our expert fitters completing the installation. Our entire team pride themselves on delivering this level of service which we are extremely proud of.”
Colin Barnes Joiners
Colin Barnes Joiners specialises in a range of commercial and domestic joinery works, from new locks and kitchen fittings to full house refurbishments and more. In addition to joinery, the company offers a full project management service, which utilises a team of local trades, including plumbers, electricians and decorators – many of whom have worked alongside Colin Barnes Joiners since the company’s inception.
Now into its 17th year, Colin Barnes Joiners has built up a fantastic reputation, as well as an enviable portfolio of projects. A large number of second home owners approach Colin Barnes Joiners to project manage their schemes, while many private hoteliers continue to utilise their services as part of an ongoing, trusted working relationship.
Most recently, Colin Barnes Joiners was appointed as the main contractors on Brown Sugar. Assisting Duttons, Colin Barnes Joiners carried out all the joinery work and organised a team of builders, plumbers, decorators and stone wallers to bring the job to a successful completion.
Colin Barnes, said:
“It’s great to be able to do such an interesting project like this in the centre of Windermere village, especially as local people have been looking forward to this being completed since we started the alterations.
“For us, as a local business, it is a fantastic showcase for our work.”
“We are a local business and will always do our best to help. Whether it’s a small simple job, or a large complex project, we have the knowledge and experience to meet all our clients’ requirements.”
Digital Ariel Vision
Digital Ariel Vision specialise in the supply and installation of television, sound and security systems for the construction sector, with a specific focus on projects within the hospitality and leisure industry. The company has been in operation for ten years and within this time has built up a strong portfolio of projects which includes work for Park Dean Resorts, Twin Lakes, Langdale Leisure and Camping & Caravan Club, amongst others.
More recently, Digital Ariel Vision has been involved with Brown Sugar supplying and installing a sound system across different areas of the venue. The system can be controlled by iPads, mounted behind the bars, and includes ceiling speakers in the washrooms and a Martin Audio system on the top floor, which allows external music sources to connect to the system.
At the client’s request Digital Ariel Vision installed a timer so outdoor speakers can be turned off and on at specific times. This ensures external audio is played only within designated licensing hours.
Jamie Graham, Digital Ariel Vision, said:
“We are very proud to be involved in Ian Dutton’s projects as he always works to the highest standards. Ian and his team respect professional opinions and work continuously with each contractor throughout the job to ensure every detail is considered.”
“At Digital Ariel Vision we take great pride in our knowledge and experience. The sectors we work in are constantly evolving, so we understand the importance of investing time and money into training and research to ensure we are offering our clients the best possible service, which in turn gives them the edge on their competitors.”