Clarence House restaurant

Hotel back on its feet one week after kitchen blast

Clarence House restaurantA Cumbrian hotel that has been closed for a week after a kitchen gas explosion caused structural damage to its roof is set to reopen today.

Clarence House Hotel in Dalton has been shut since last Wednesday when the blast shook the building and led to emergency services being called.

The handheld butane canister, which is used to caramelise sugar on desserts but was not in operation at the time, blew a hole in the kitchen ceiling.

Five members of the kitchen brigade were in the vicinity when the explosion occurred but nobody was injured despite the damage it caused to the property.

The hotel has spent the past seven days carrying out repairs in order to reopen as quickly as possible.

Managing director, Victoria Barber-Bolam, told the North-West Evening Mail: “We have been running backwards and forwards left right and centre. It was a very significant explosion which caused a huge amount of damage, and I don’t feel like we are back to normal quite yet.

“It will be nice to get the doors open and get back to normal. It has been a hell of a rollercoaster ride.”

It is not clear if any catering or ventilation equipment was affected by the incident, but the hotel said the blast had caused extensive damage to the ceiling space and led it to losing thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Barber-Bolam said the repairs carried out over the past week would get it through the busy fourth quarter until it could carry out a bigger refurbishment project.

“We will have to close in January for major reconstructive work due to the explosion, but we have a lot of commitments now in terms of businesses and that is our biggest priority. Now is our busiest time of the year,” she said.

The kitchen has been used by Michelin starred chefs including Simon Rogan, and is being subjected to repair work and deep cleaning to get it up to the hotel’s high standards, according to the paper.

It reported that investigators from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and an insurance company have been unable to work out what caused the canister to explode.

The hotel said it had not been stored next to a heat source.