Pauline is the Proprietor, and Samantha is the General Manager of Hawthorn Lodge B&B, Belturbet. A fantastic mother and daughter team!
Hawthorn Lodge B&B, Belturbet is a multi-award-winning, family-run hospitality business. A 4-Star Failte Ireland Tourist Board-approved property, welcoming guests from all over the world for over twenty years.
Hawthorn Lodge overlooks the stunning Lough Arden and is surrounded by peaceful and tranquil countryside near the village of Milltown and only a ten-minute drive away from the popular town of Belturbet. We are a 10-minute walk away from the beautiful Drumlane Abbey and Round Tower which is steeped in history and overlooks Garfinny Lough.
We have been members of the Created in Cavan Food Network since 2020 and are also involved in the creation of the Created in Cavan Recipe Book, which is something we are both immensely proud of.
You have many awards. Can you tell us about them?
In 2023, Hawthorn Lodge B&B – Belturbet was awarded the 2023 KAYAK Travel Awards in Ireland Best B&B and Inn. Based on traveller reviews, we are now ranked in the top 3% of properties listed on the KAYAK search platform.
We are a Booking.com Level 3 Travel Sustainable property and are ranked currently at 9.6 out of 10 based currently on 378 reviews.
We were finalists in the Green Awards 2023 Micro-Enterprise of the Year category and finalists in the Cavan Business and Tourism Awards 2022, Best Family Business category.
- Having completed the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark Business Sustainability program last year, becoming more sustainable is one of the core values of our business. As part of this training program, we have implemented a series of Green Team Action Plans to help us strive toward achieving a more sustainable future.
Speaking of, tell us a little about your commitment to food sustainability.
Having completed Failte Ireland’s Taste of Place program back in 2019, we have signed a pledge of commitment to sourcing and promoting local and Irish food and beverages. Hence, this is a pledge that we are very proud of and committed to this present day.
As members of the Created in Cavan Food Network, we use as many products from other Created in Cavan producers as possible. For example, we use Moran’s Mega Jam’s range of jams and marmalades as part of our guest’s breakfast choices. Whereby, guests can also purchase from us a wide variety of jams and marmalades and take home a little piece of Cavan with them and create food memories.
We also grow our very own produce from seed in our polytunnels and raised beds located within the grounds of Hawthorn Lodge. Whereby, you will find an abundance of seasonal fruit, vegetables, and herbs that are specifically grown so that we can lovingly create dishes for our guests to enjoy. A real field-to-fork experience and no pesticides used!
You are huge advocates for supporting your local community, how do you ensure that?
At Hawthorn Lodge, our mission is to try and help support our local community by shopping for produce that we cannot grow ourselves, by purchasing from local artisan producers and local craft markets, as well as the local supermarkets. Therefore, buying only Irish and locally crafted produce. All of the meats we buy are 100% Irish. Even our eggs are free-range and are locally sourced.
We do have a food directory available for our guests to peruse so that they can be rest assured and have the knowledge and confidence that they know and can trace where exactly our food originates from!
Food waste is a huge issue at the moment, how do you combat this?
At Hawthorn Lodge, we are passionate about sustainability, food waste, our carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions, and the world around us.
As food is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, to eliminate food waste, our guests are given pre-printed menus to choose their breakfasts for the following morning. We cater to a wide range of dietary requirements, so there is a menu to cover all dietary requirements. As food is prepared and cooked to order, having pre-printed menus ensures there is no excess food wasted. All of the pre-printed menus are printed using recycled paper. We also have breakfast menus available in several different languages.
At Hawthorn Lodge, all food waste is recycled to make compost and no food waste goes to landfill. We use the Bokashi method (a Japanese fermentation method) and Hotbin composting methods. Therefore, food waste is collected in a lockable bin and is processed via the Bokashi bin. Whereby, the liquid from the Bokashi bin is used to feed plants, and the contents of the Bokahi bin are decanted into the Hotbin composter. Therefore, heat the contents inside the Hotbin to break it down into ready-to-use compost.
How do you conserve energy and water?
At Hawthorn Lodge, we have a series of green team action plans in place. Here are just a few examples of the steps we have and are taking in our bid for energy and water conservation:
- All light bulbs are A+ and A++ energy LED bulbs.
- To save water energy and detergent being released into the environment, guests can help us achieve our goals by re-using their towels. However, if guests require fresh towels, we are happy to change them if they so wish.
- To prevent clean and unused towels from being sent to the laundry and to reduce costs, guests’ towels are placed in a pre-sealed bag for freshness. Therefore, if the seal is broken, the towels will be sent to the laundry.
- Also, last year as we focused on how we could reduce our laundry bill and make energy cost savings whilst helping the environment, we purchased a polycarbonate polytunnel specifically to dry laundry. This has proved to be a great asset both financially and from an energy point of view, whilst helping the environment at the same time.
- We currently harvest rainwater and have several water butts located around the property to use to water our plants in our polytunnels, raised beds, and anything else in the garden.
What is your plan in reaction to recycling and single-use plastics?
As part of being a Level 3 Booking.com Travel Sustainable property, we have introduced action plans to make our business more travel sustainable:
- We no longer supply our guests with plastic water bottles. Therefore, reducing the amount of plastic being discarded into the recycling bin. Guests now have glass bottles of filtered water in their bedrooms.
- Single-use individual plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gels, and individual soaps will be phased out and replaced with larger refillable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gels, and liquid soaps for our guests to use during their stay with us.
- All waste such as cardboard, paper, etc, from guest’s waste bins is separated and composted. Other items that are unsuitable for composting will be distributed into the recycling bin. All food waste is composted on-site.
And last but not least, you are very passionate about our environment and biodiversity. Can you tell us more about that?
Having completed the Leave No Trace – Ireland Certified Awareness course, we aim to protect the environment around us by implementing the following action plans:
- We will plant more trees, including fruit trees, to offset our own carbon footprint. We will encourage more species of insects by creating bug hotels made from wooden pallets and other recyclable materials and garden waste.
- We will sow more wildflower seeds and have more dedicated areas of generally mowed grassland converted into wildflower meadows.
For more information on Hawthorn Lodge B&B – Belturbet, please visit our website.
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