The Smith is our newest venture and a little side-step away from our usual stamping ground of Oxfordshire! I am from Lancashire originally and as a child spent many happy holidays in the Lake District which was right on our doorstep.
We were approached by a friend to see if we might be interested in taking on an old forge building in the heart of Windermere. Once we saw the site, we could see the potential in this beautiful space. I'm currently spending most of my time up in Windermere developing the site as an outpost of the others. When we open, it will be as a Coffee House in the same style as Coffeesmith and The Rookery with an emphasis on amazing coffee, grilled sandwiches, cakes and light bites with a British tapas style offering in the evening with some carefully curated wines and beers to accompany.
The building was a shell and I'm very happy to see it gradually take shape. The big woodburning stove and gigantic flue will finally be connected on Monday, and that is going to make it a much warmer place to work in. For most of January I've been head to foot in thermals and fleeces, hats and gloves so it will feel positively balmy once I get the stove blasting away!
When finished there will be space for around 40 people to sit and eat and drink in comfort, with some squishy leather sofas, bar stools at the counter, a big antique table seating 8 at the back and lots of smaller tables of 2. Coupled with some local Herdwick fleeces and lots of cushions, we aim to be unpretentious and comfortable. And there's a story behind lots of the décor too- we are independent so we don't do things by numbers.
You can follow our progress on Instagram @thesmithwindermere