A Lake District inn is celebrating Chinese New Year with a culturally themed digital variation of its logo and a special culinary dish.

The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse at Crook near Windermere is marking the Chinese Year of the Pig in 2019 with the addition of a traditional paper-cut image of a boar to the Chinese version of its website.  It is also introducing a pork belly dish to its extensive menu.

The Pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and calendar, and a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture.  According to one version of the cultural myths, the Jade Emperor decreed that the order of animals would be decided by when they arrived at his party. Pig was late and the last of the 12 to attend because he overslept.

“We have seen an increase in the numbers of Chinese guests here and at our sister hotels in recent years,” explains Adam Bujok from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, the manager of The Wild Boar.  “As 2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig, we wanted to mark this by doing something a little different.

“So we’ve designed a Chinese paper-cut image for our Chinese audiences online, and offered a new Chinese style pork dish for our guests.”

The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse is so called because local tradition has it that a particular wild boar of legendary size and ferocity was killed in its immediate vicinity. The name of the local hero who killed it was Sir Richard de Gilpin.

Gilpin is a name which crops up several times in place names around the hotel. It is a Norman name, first introduced by the brothers Jocelin and Walchelin Gilpin, or Gulespin as it was then, who were granted land in the area following the Norman Conquest.

The legend has it that in the first decade of the 1200s, local inhabitants and visiting pilgrims to the area were terrorised by an abnormally large and savage boar. Sir Richard took up the epic task of tracking and killing the dreaded animal, and though he was badly gored in the process, he finally killed the huge beast near its lair.

In gratitude, the Baron of Kendal granted Sir Richard the Manor of Kentmere, a district 7 miles north of Crook. Subsequently, the Gilpin coat of arms incorporated a boar sable and tusked heraldic gules.

The valley in which The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse is situated in is also named after Sir Richard and is the area of beautiful countryside and farmland called the Gilpin Valley.  The Inn has its own on-site microbrewery, the Brewhouse, and a smoke house, which supplies the restaurant with meats, cheeses and fish. For further information, visit http://englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar/