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Welcome to The Lakeside Hotel and Spa



Well-known for hosting business events and conferences, we began working with The Lakeside Hotel and Spa three months ago to promote the hotel to the masses.The Lakeside Hotel and Spa

 

Ashamedly it has taken me three months to get a weekend free to nip up with my family to experience - as a customer rather than in a business context - this gem at the very base of Lake Windermere. Just a 10 minute drive from the M6 Kendal turn off, the hotel is on the shores of the Lake, meaning it’s in a very useful location for anyone coming from the south in particular.

 

Starting by shThe Lakeside Hotel and Spaowing my other half the conference centre (if you or your partner is in PR you’ll understand this), we had a quick tour of the two first-class dining rooms, traditional pub, coffee area, conservatory and spa, and headed out for a walk.

 

The steam train had just pulled into the station next to the hotel. It looked like lots of families were heading on and off the train - so for this reason I'd recommend it as something to do while at Lakeside, although we didn't try it ourselves.

 

Handily, the Lake cruises stop at three points - Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside - meaning we spent part of our day on a cruise of the Lake, eventually hopping off at Lakeside and enjoying afternoon tea on the hotel’s outdoor terrace.

 

 The Lakeside Hotel and Spa

Inside a wedding service had just taken place in one of the many downstairs rooms in the sprawling hotel, and just a stone’s throw away outside on the Lake a boat was getting ready to take a group out on a private charter. It really enforced what we’re here to do from a PR point of view: make sure the business community and holiday makers/day trippers alike know that whatever you want from your stay at Lakeside, it is probably possible!The Lakeside Hotel and Spa terrace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more visit http://www.lakesidehotel.co.uk/ and for conferences and meeting venues ask for Amy.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged with: Food & Drink, Home Interest, Leisure, Lifestyle, Manchester, North West , PR, PR agencies Manchester, PR Agency Manchester, PR campaign essential, Public Relations North West, Silver Surfers

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Bring a conservatory alive with a new glass roof!



Refresh Glass site visit – November 2012

Last week I went on a site visit to see some work being carried out on a conservatory in a home in Gateacre, a pretty area just outside of Liverpool. I went to see a new conservatory roof being fitted by our newest client – Refresh Glass, manufacturers of replacement glass roofs for conservatories.

Refresh Glass conservatory roofs are fitted in place of those not so effective plastic polycarbonate conservatory roofs commonly found on the majority of conservatories in homes across the country.

The semi-detached property I visited in Gateacre was owned by the Taylors, a retired couple who were keen to improve their home and reinvigorate their lifeless conservatory, situated to the rear of the property and overlooking their pretty, well maintained back garden full of flowers and plants.

The Taylors have a common conservatory story that is shared with many homeowners across the UK – their conservatory was not in use as much as they’d like it to be as it never really felt comfortable enough to sit in – generally feeling a bit too cold in winter and often overheating in summer months.

You might be surprised to learn that in the UK alone there are over 3.5 million homes with conservatories.  Despite good intentions, the conservatory is very often the least used room within a home. And I can tell you why this is. It’s largely due to the fact that like the Taylors, many of these out-of-use conservatories have been fitted with plastic polycarbonate roofs, which are, quite frankly, both inefficient and unsightly.

Although plastic polycarbonate roofs for conservatories are light, low cost and durable, they do the conservatory roof no favours when it comes to staying clean, reducing noise caused by rain, and controlling the temperature inside the conservatory.  Plastic polycarbonate roofs are a reason for making a conservatory an uncomfortable place to relax in, whatever time of year it is.

Refresh Glass conservatory roofs offer a clever and practical solution to all of these problems – and they are set to drastically improve the performance of a conservatory roof and transform a conservatory like the Taylor’s into a comfortable room to relax in. The recent availability of new Refresh Glass could not be timed any better either; as the housing market struggles, many property owners are opting to improve rather than move so the chance to create a new space in a home with minimal fuss and maximum results is an appealing one.  

This new glazing concept for conservatory roofs has been made possible due to advancements in the manufacturing process of glass. New Refresh Glass conservatory roofs work well in place of old plastic polycarbonate roofs because Refresh Glass has a special, invisible metal oxide coating on it, which gives it a perfect balance of solar control properties (reflects heat away) and thermal insulation properties (retains more radiated heat within a room).

The invisible metal oxide coating within this roof glass means it is able to reflect up to 78% of the heat from the sun away. The clever glass is also able to retain radiated heat within the room due to the roof glass having a centre pane u-value of 1.0, an impressive measurement that means Refresh Glass conservatory roofs are extremely thermally efficient.

As I mentioned earlier, plastic polycarbonate roofs are also unsightly. And this is because they are not as clear as glass roofs and they are also inherently difficult to clean, often building up with green mould over the years that can be difficult to remove.

Refresh Glass conservatory roofs tackle this issue with a built-in self-cleaning function. This reacts with natural daylight to break down dirt and rainwater then washes the dirt away, helping to keep the glass cleaner for longer.

A Refresh Glass conservatory roof also offers a far clearer view of up above than a plastic polycarbonate roof, helping to make a conservatory a brighter, lighter space, something that is due to the special aqua-tint of the glass.

The Refresh Glass conservatory roof installer was at the Taylor’s property for just over a day before the conservatory roof had been replaced and the space had been totally transformed, which is a pretty speedy turnaround.

The Taylors were delighted with the result and are looking forward to eating Christmas dinner in their conservatory this year.  The before and after pictures (below) speak for themselves.

Tagged with: conservatory, Construction, cool, extension, glass roof, Home Interest, Lifestyle, new home, Silver Surfers, warm

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Dallas - The nation's new favourite?



It’s time to dust off the stetsons and trumpets! It’s over 30 years since Dallas first appeared on our TV screens and more than 20 since we last saw a TV episode, but it’s got the nation – almost three million of us that is (including our office) - hooked after just one week.

 

And it’s not just women tuning in to get a glimpse of Patrick Duffy (he’s 63 years young!) and Jesse Metcalfe. Since the first episode in the new series hit our screens via Channel 5 Refresh PR has been out and about networking and – unexpectedly – we’ve spoken to so many men who are proud to admit they tuned in…and loved it! And they said they would be glued to their sets tonight at 9pm when we will see the conniving JR in fine form taking on his brother in the battle for Southfork – just like the old days.

 

So, just what makes this soap so damn popular?

 

Dallas represents ‘youth’ for a generation of 30 and 40-something’s, where we somehow managed to illegally tune in without our parents finding out (remember, we didn’t have computers, let alone On Demand. We had four TV channels. But we still succeeded…). For the silver surfer generation, could it be that it simply takes them back with a bucket full of nostalgia to the glorious 80s? Dallas was absolutely crackers and unrealistic in many ways – and far away from our lives - but unmissable at the same time.

 

Casting Jesse Metcalfe as Bobby’s son Christopher attracts a slightly younger audience too. And it seems that the producers are keen to borrow fans from Desperate Housewives to assist the ratings, as that makes at least three actors who cross both programmes, including John Ross Jnr (Josh Henderson aka Edie’s teenage nephew) and Ann Ewing (Brenda Strong aka Mary Alice, the ‘wives narrator) – a good move we think.

 

 

So will this get families tuning in together? It’s a chance for husbands and wives to have an hour together to reminisce about their youth – at a time before they had even met maybe? It certainly set twitter alight with comments and we’ll be watching closely this week at the sentiment online.

 

So, could this be the kick we all need after an amazing summer of sport? Let’s face it, the Strictly line up is looking good, X Factor’s nearing Boot Camp, but can anything beat Dallas? Let’s hope the series has as strong storyline with as many twists and turns as its 80s counterpart. And please don’t invite me to any networking events post-8pm on Wednesdays. I need an hour to get home, get settled and get a brew. It could get awkward.

 

A Dynasty come-back anyone?

 

 

Tagged with: Home Interest, PR, PR Agency Manchester, PR Manchester, Silver Surfers, Twitter

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Embracing social without becoming completely anti-social?



I’ve had a few reasons to go home to my parent’s house recently and every time I reach the driveway, I reach for my BlackBerry with dread before walking to the door.  Without fail, within 30 minutes I’m guaranteed to get asked “Will you please put that phone down?”

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being rude, just diligently checking Facebook, twitter and the blog – and those of our clients too.  Okay, it’s a little anti-social, but at a recent networking event I was faced with a statement of fact from the speaker: In a few years the ‘phone’ function of our phones will become incidental and we will realise the ambitions of those who have been banging the drum for social media for decades.  The speaker was right – the phone will quickly become one small part of a beloved handheld device that offers us so much potential and access to the world. 

 

Trying to explain this to the folks is another matter entirely – even Facebook has (fortunately, some would say!) evaded their home entirely.  Yet currently around 40 per cent of mobiles in the UK are smartphones – I’m not on my own here.   I think it’s a shame that they are missing out on something that is gathering pace at incredible speed. Gowalla, Foursquare and Facebook Locations could provide them with some amazing instant voucher deals for their favourite local restaurants soon – and Groupon and Chiconomise would be fantastic for offers for them.  And introducing them to these sites via the computer in their office just isn’t the same, in the world of instant information it doesn’t work like this!

 

Rant over, it’s actually my old fave Facebook that is really interesting me at the moment – this week www.Asos.com will launch its first store inside Facebook, allowing customers to buy its entire range from within the social network – so it’s a matter of months before this development in shopping becomes the norm.  Farmville and other social gaming apps continue to grow, creating direct revenue via Facebook credits which could reach over $1 billion in the next year.  Who knows the potential, even in the next six months, for this social network with over 600 million users worldwide? ‘F-Commerce’ – I love this term, although I’m not sure my bank balance is about to.

 

And with the advent of the tablet, from the IPad 2 which should launch later this year to other android-based devices, manufacturers are continuing to push the boundaries of life as we know it.  Predictions show that well over 50 million tablets will be sold by 2015.

 

The challenge in my work life is to keep ahead of developments, to apply these to work with clients and Refresh PR and make sure we capitalise on the exciting developments coming in the next few years.  The challenge in my home life is to help my parents become part of this phenomenon – mum’s already spending hours at a time on her DS since new games championed by the lovely Mr & Mrs Redknapp arrived under the tree this Christmas.  So, teaching them (and myself too it would seem) to become social while not becoming completely anti-social in the process will be an interesting one.    

 

It’s going to be a busy year!

 

 

 

Tagged with: F-Commerce, Facebook, Foursquare , Groupon, North West , PR, Public Relations, Silver Surfers