AN award-winning Cumbrian 'restaurant with rooms', which has been on the market for a number of months, says it has benefitted from a £50,000 investment from the Cumberland Building Society.

The Cottage in the Wood is a Michelin-listed restaurant combining chef Sam Miller’s cooking and boutique-style hotel rooms.

The venue, which dates back to 1646, has been listed in the top 100 restaurants in the UK by the National Restaurant Awards, as well as being voted one of the UK’s Top 50 Boutique Hotels.

The 17th century coaching inn was bought by former teachers Kath and Liam Berney in 2002, and has since been transformed into one of Cumbria’s leading restaurants-with-rooms.

With Kath and Liam now looking forward to retirement, The Cottage in the Wood is currently for sale on the market for £1.25 million, with its owners 'keen to ensure the business is passed on to those who will continue to build its reputation'.

Times and Star: The boutique rooms at The CottageThe boutique rooms at The Cottage (Image: Newsquest)

Issues with staff shortages and lockdown-related difficulties had an effect on the business's performance during the Covid period.

The Cumberland Building Society said it worked with the business, providing 'in-depth analysis into potential solutions'.

The building society also said it devised an investment package which would see the restaurant owners extend the term of their existing loan by three years, resulting in a reduction to their monthly payments of 40 per cent, which freed up the business's finances.

Additionally, The Cumberland supported The Cottage in the Wood with £50,000 which they could spend on recruiting staff, with Sam Miller joining as head chef in August 2022.

Kath and Liam Berney, owners, said: “When we founded The Cottage in the Wood, the guest house was run down but we knew just how much it had to offer.

"Its location is simply beautiful, and we knew we had found something really special, so we wanted to place it at the heart of the local community.

“Following the Covid-19 lockdowns, we realised that we had so much potential to further grow our offering, bring in more visitors to the area and help boost the local economy. The Cumberland were fantastic in helping us to realise this potential."

Ian Craig, senior commercial manager at The Cumberland said: “With The Cottage in the Wood being at the heart of our local community, we are eager to see them flourish in everything that they do."