THEY divide opinion every Christmas and are often the one element of a festive meal that gets left behind.

The humble sprout is loved by millions - but the veg also has its fair share of detractors.

That hasn't stopped a family-owned group of hotels from declaring themselves as sprout champions - and ordering 33,000 of the green festive staples to ensure no Christmas dinner plate goes without.

Dani Hope, a director of Lake District Hotels, said: "We will serve thousands of Christmas and New Year dinners over the coming weeks and sprouts will be a reassuring accompaniment to them all.

"We don't expect everyone to indulge but choice is everything at Lake District Hotels and we certainly won't be depriving any of our guests. Sprout or no sprout - the decision will be theirs."

Lake District Hotels have six venues across the National Park, all of which are looking forward to welcoming guests old and new for the Christmas and New Year periods.

They include the Inn on the Square, the Kings Arms and the Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick town centre; the Borrowdale Hotel in Borrowdale; the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa by Derwentwater; and the Inn on the Lake, which is on the shore of Ullswater.

Behind the scenes, talented kitchen teams have been working to deliver festive dinners to thousands of hungry guests looking for a taste of Christmas.

The numbers to make it possible are impressive.

In addition to the sizeable sprout count, the hotel group will serve almost 500lbs of turkey, 550lbs of potatoes, 2,200 pigs in blankets, 100 pints of gravy, and 100lbs of stuffing.

MInce pies will also be on the menu, with 2,300 ordered to cover festive demand.

Executive chef, Mark Harris, said: “December is a magical time at Lake District hotels and as busy as the kitchens get, there’s always a real festive feeling as the teams go about delivering Christmas on a plate to the thousands of people who have entrusted us with their festive celebration or gathering. There’s certainly plenty to keep us busy, especially as we move into the period when we have guests joining us for Christmas day itself.

“The hotels look spectacular with their Christmas decorations and really do provide the perfect setting for a wonderful experience, whether that’s on December 25, New Year’s Eve or at any point during the festive period.”

Visit for more information on the group’s venues.