A Brief History…..and How it All Began

Sail ‘n’ Dine was started in 1986 by John and Judie Surridge.

The location had surrounded and exhilarated them for years as they sailed “Allegro” their treasured 24 foot Hurley yacht, exploring the calm tranquil yet sometimes tempestuous waters of England’s largest natural lake, “Windermere”.

They revelled every weekend absorbing the unspoiled breathtaking scenery, wildlife and fresh hillside air. After a sharp increase in mooring fees, to maintain these special breaks sailing Allegro, a little extra cash was needed. Judie’s birthday gave them a gem of an idea.

Their two teenage sons took it upon themselves to prepare a gourmet meal aboard. After a thoroughly special time, including darn fine food and drink, they really appreciated the combination of a tranquil evening with panoramic views, good cuisine and the family there to enjoy it. Oh!…and a few bottles of wine too, and so Sail ‘n’ Dine was created.

Demand increased in the two years that followed and they updated “Allegro” for two Trapper yachts which were slightly larger and more accommodating. They also made the tough (?) decision to quit working in the teaching and probation professions. They sailed one boat each during the day, offering trips on the lake, corporate events and sailing tuition. In the evening they teamed together to offer their “jewel in the crown” evening cruise, incorporating a tempting sail and equally tempting food and wines.

Things went from strength to strength and in 1998 after a visit to London’s boat show the two yachts were replaced with a brand new 34 foot luxurious Legend 340, “Excalibur”. Working together was certainly the way forward.

In 2003 John and Judie were lucky enough to be visited by the BBC holiday programme which was televised in February 2004, giving “Sail ‘n’ Dine” enormous nationwide credibility and kudos. It was repeated twice on “Ten Of The Best” in 2005 and 2006.

After 20 years of wonderful memories, hard work and many friendships formed, John and Judie retired in 2006 and now spend quality time exploring the inland waterways of England by narrow boat.

In 2007 I took over their inspirational venture, invested in a new yacht and relaunched the business in May 2008.

2022 marks 36 years of Sail ‘n’ Dine which is Windermere’s longest running yachting business.