Dave & Sally have been married for 38 years now (and can’t decide which one of them should get a medal) and are the OGs of Broadrayne Farm, buying it in 2011. They are blessed with two grown up daughters, Jessica and Georgina, who are both part of The Yan team along with their respective partners (you can read a bit more about them below).
Both born and bred in Yorkshire, Dave & Sally made the move to The Lake District in 2011 with the plan of semi-retiring. Having taken regular family trips throughout their lifetime, the area always had a special place in their hearts. Once it was decided it was the place they wanted to retire to, they bought Broadrayne Farm after falling in love with the location, history and spectacular views. Since their first day on the farm, they have been working tirelessly to continually improve and develop the properties, in order to enhance their customer’s experience of staying in this part of the world. Although retiring wasn’t quite what happened when they moved here, it’s fair to say over the last few years, they’ve achieved an awful lot and done a blummin’ good job at turning the farm into a pretty special spot.
It might be a decade later than planned but Dave and Sally have finally started to think about retiring. For real this time. They are have finished renovation done on their house, The Bracken Barn, which finally completed February 2023 after 7 years in the pipeline. They are now on a mission to get in some well-deserved holidays after getting a taste of their first summer holiday in over seven years recently! Although they won’t be as involved in the day-to-day running of the farm, Dave & Sally will still very much be part of the fabric of The Yan and you’ll still see them around the farm!
Sally has over 30 years' experience in accountancy, working in a range of roles from being a Management Accountant for an industrial design company in Leicester to being Finance Director of a family-owned business based in Huddersfield, where she worked for ten years. Since taking on the farm, Sally has been in charge of the books but with retirement on the horizon, she’s been passing on her wealth of knowledge to daughter, Jess. If you look around Broadrayne, you’ll see that the gardens, flowers and foliage are all pretty impressive, that is all down to Sally’s wizard gardening skills. She’ll still be keeping up with all her gardening thankfully, but when she’s not being green-fingered, Sally can often be seen dashing off for a swim in one of the Lakes, an evening fitness class or for a run around the fells (on the very rare occasion, you may even see Dave being dragged along too).
Dave started out as an electronics & telecommunications engineer and as his career progressed he ended up with over 30 years' corporate business experience at a senior executive level - there was nobody more surprised than Dave with this! One of Dave's major roles was Managing Director for Virgin Media so as you can imagine Dave's initial priority on Broadrayne Farm was sorting the Broadband and Wi-Fi! With his brilliant engineering background and brains (and a little help from Google and YouTube), Dave has adapted from "getting a man in" to being the "man" who fixes everything during his time on the farm. One of his proudest achievements on the farm was the installation of the biomass boiler - he still goes on about it today and will jump at the chance of showing it to the guests. Trust us, if you haven’t been on one of Dave’s Biomass Tours, you haven’t lived….Once retired, Dave will try and keep his DIY prowess at bay, although you may still see him with his toolbox about the place. Oh and don’t panic, Dave’s Biomass Tours are going nowhere. You lucky things.
The legends that are Jess (Dave and Sally's Daughter) & Will have been part of The Yan team since 2018. They are the beating heart of The Yan and alongside Dave & Sally, were the brains behind our award-winning bistro with beds. They came to us after five years of living and working together in the French Alps where they managed Auberge & Chalets Sur La Montagne -a privately-owned chalet company with 27 luxury chalets and a 22-bedroom boutique hotel. Will was the Executive Chef for the company and made a name for himself there, with guests returning year after year, due to his delicious food and Jess ran the rest. Jess and Will’s dream was always to have a business of their own and after looking at many places all over the world, the couple decided to move to the Lake District and build something special within the Broadrayne Farm family business. And something special they have indeed built! Will is our Executive Chef and Jess is our Operations Director. Both of them beam positivity and have worked incredibly hard to turn The Yan into what it is today. See, told you they were legends.
They got married here on the farm in September 2018, which was the first wedding held at Broadrayne Farm and it was a perfect day (you can read more about our second Broadrayne Farm wedding below). In 2021, they welcomed their gorgeous son Oscar into the world, who you will see running around the place. You’ll often see him about the place either as our chief taste tester in the bistro with his Dad (he takes no prisoners), assisting his Mum in the office by making some fantastic drawings (his first exhibition is coming soon….) or keeping Nana and Grandad on their toes!
Yorkshire born and bred, Jess fell into hospitality as a teenager when encouraged to make her own money as soon as her National Insurance number came through the post. Starting at a small café in her hometown and quickly moving to a larger popular garden centre café where she continued to work through her college years, Jess quickly learned that her hospitality experience allowed her to travel and work anywhere in the world. She left the UK in March 2010 to travel and worked in various hospitality roles across Europe and Asia including places such as Melbourne, Australia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, until she landed in France in 2013 to work for Auberge & Chalets Sur La Montagne.
Will has always been a foodie and from an early age fell in love with the endless amount of knowledge and creativity that cooking requires, and its ability to bring people together. He is a Southerner, a qualified football coach and an Arsenal supporter, but we try not to hold this against him!
Will completed his NVQ Level 3 Chef Training in Bournemouth and has since worked in various restaurants in Dorset (most notably as Junior Sous Chef at two AA rosette restaurant, 1812), Wales and Australia, progressing up through the ranks. He became Executive Chef for Auberge & Chalets Sur La Montagne in 2011 where he oversaw the menus, ordering and sourcing for all the properties. During his time in France, Will ran a number of cookery course holidays. Many guests would come over especially to stay at the Chalets for the weekend to be taught by Will due to his engaging teaching style. Since moving to The Lakes, Will has worked as a sous chef at the well-known and very popular Homeground Café in Windermere and at Michelin-starred restaurant, Forest Side where he developed hugely within the high-level environment.
Will has introduced the food offering to the farm with the opening of The Yan in 2018. When you see, smell and eat his food you’ll see his passion shines through in every dish he creates. Along with the brilliant team he has developed, Will is always thinking about new ideas and dishes for the bistro.
Gee (Sally and Dave’s younger daughter) and Pete are the newest additions to the farm, completing the force that is the ‘Keighley Quartet’. Like a Claret is to a Beef Wellington, Gee and Pete are the perfect pairing and combined, have 20 years of experience in hospitality, developing their crafts in some of the best restaurants in The Lakes. They come to us after working at Lake Road Kitchen down the road in Ambleside where Gee was Head Chef and Pete was Restaurant Manager and sommelier. Quite the power couple, we think you’ll agree. Having witnessed the growth of The Yan from conception to today and enjoying their wedding reception on site in 2021, Gee and Pete have decided 2022 is the year they want in on the action and to be quite frank, how could you blame them? But heck, we are ecstatic to have them and know their love for Broadrayne Farm runs through their veins as much as it does ours. They’ll bring fresh ideas, inspiration and a truckload of experience with them, which will help us to develop and diversify our offering. So watch this space, everyone! There are even more exciting times ahead for our fabulous little farm.
Yorkshire born and bred, of course, Gee’s hospitality journey began when she took a four year ‘gap year’ in 2012 with older sis, Jess. After travelling around South East Asia, she went to Australia where she started cooking semi-professionally in a café and at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the corporate suites. She then went on to do a ski season as a chalet host in Val d’Isère where her love for cooking professionally began. This showed after she was promoted to Chalet Chef for her second season in Alpe d’Huez. She came home in 2016 and went straight off to Kendal College to get her Level 3 in Pastry whilst also starting at Lake Road Kitchen as a commis chef. Six years and a lot of hard graft later, she worked her way through the ranks and was promoted to Head Chef in 2019.
Gee is a lover of the water and if she’s not in it swimming or scuba diving, she’s on it with her paddleboard or kayak. She also doesn’t mind being dragged up a fell or two with Pete, as long as they take the most direct route and there is a promise of wine at the end!
Pete, like Will, is a southerner so it’s just as well they’ve got each other! Thankfully, Pete saw the light and moved from Greater London up to Cumbria to study Outdoor Leadership at university (or as Gee likes to call it ‘the study of walking’). He started working in hospitality on the side where he developed a passion for cocktails and wine. Being at uni, meant he became well practised in the skill of drinking. When working as manager of a cocktail and wine bar in Ambleside, he met Gee. Pete went on to work as part of the front-of-house team at Rothay Manor and then moved to Forest Side. He started at the Michelin-starred spot as Chef de Rang, became Head Barman where he had one of his cocktail recipes featured in The Guardian and then later took his sommelier qualifications, working his way up to becoming their Head Sommelier. Drinking through work and recreationally, Pete has tasted over 6000 different wines! It’s a tough life. In 2019 he joined Gee at Lake Road Kitchen and became Restaurant Manager.
Pete is an outdoor enthusiast and has climbed 158 of the Wainwrights where he enjoys taking the most indirect route possible so he can touch lots of random piles of rocks. Don’t ask. He is also a qualified scuba diving instructor and is a keen sailor, sailing for the England Under 17s team.