Regular and new visitors to Lytham Hall Tea Room were pleasantly surprised when they visited this month. The previously unassuming Tea Room has seen an incredible change to comfy chairs, eclectic mahogany tables, vintage china cups, book-lined walls and dramatic lighting.
Heritage Trust for the North West has appointed Peter Anthony and Paul Lomax, well known locally for their involvement in various successful catering businesses, and in musical and theatre circles, to the staff at Lytham Hall, as the next step in the development of the Tea Room.
As a registered Charity, Heritage Trust for the North West lacks the capital to invest in the Tea Room, and so has to develop the catering facility using a different formula to a traditional business. The latest developments, which are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund are a leap in the dark, but John Miller, on behalf of Heritage Trust for the North West, says its essential to help bring in more visitors and generate additional funding to look after the Hall, which unlike other similar attractions receive no revenue grant from the local authorities. The new arrangement continues the Trust’s practice of employing core staff, supplemented by a small band of volunteers. John Miller says “We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for its support which has enabled us to take this bold new approach. I would also like to pay tribute to Peter and Paul who came in over the Christmas holiday on a voluntary basis when the Tea Room was closed, to carry out the revamp. They were supported by some of our regular volunteers and have done a marvellous job.”
The flooded driveway couldn’t keep them or Lytham Hall volunteers away from the task at hand which included painting walls, wallpapering, hanging soft furnishings, flooring, lighting and replacing all the furniture. An exciting new lunch menu has been launched, a new range of hot drinks, complementing our popular homemade cakes, and with clues to the history of the Hall too. What would Harry Clifton have thought of the Harry’s Hunter Chicken? Or Violet Clifton of her fish pie?
Just as the work of Peter, Paul and Lytham Hall volunteers was essential, the changes wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local businesses and organisations which have generously supported the makeover with materials, labour and donations. We will be putting up a plaque behind the counter and inviting all those who contributed to an official opening in February.
Peter and Paul said: “We are both really excited to be part of the next chapter of Lytham Hall’s future. Having already raised £1000’s over the last few years, we are delighted to have been taken on by Heritage Trust for the North West to run the hospitality and catering operations at the Hall. The Hall has been our chosen charity, so therefore means a great deal to us. We are so lucky to have this architectural gem on our doorstep, its success is vital to ensure it is enjoyed by future generations, whilst also being vital to our local economy. This is a challenge we are going to embrace, so look out for future events.”
The new setting has delighted existing staff and volunteers alike and visitors have been flocking in to try out the new menu. Social media was buzzing in response to photographs of the Tea Room, with responses coming from as far afield as America, saying “This new style is far more fitting to the Hall. It’s beautiful.”
The extended staffing and investment in the Tea Room is essential to bring income to the site, which will be undergoing restoration from springtime. Heritage Trust for the North West, the regional charity managing Lytham Hall and its restoration, are hoping the investment will pay off and help make this local asset financially sustainable.
So how about a visit to the newly refurbished Tea Rooms at Lytham Hall? Enjoy sampling our new menu and atmosphere, and feel good about supporting your local heritage as you warm up this winter. We are now open 7 days a week too!