Jonathan Denby is the owner and managing director of South Lakes Hotels, a group of five Lake District Hotels, consisting of The Riverside Hotel, Kendal, The Newby Bridge Hotel, Newby Bridge, The Damson Dene Hotel, Crosthwaite, The Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey and Bay Villa, Grange-over-Sands. The business was established 25 years ago and has grown organically from 10 bedrooms to the current 161 (with a further 17 under construction). He is the current Chairman and past President of the Lakes Hospitality Association, and an active member of Slow Food UK. He recently obtained an MA in Garden History, and is currently doing a DPhil in Economic and Social History at Oxford University.
Jonathan is a keen gardener and garden designer, and has designed show gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the Gardening World Cup in Japan. He is a frequent visitor to Japan, where he owns a house. He is married, with three daughters, and lives in Grange-over-Sands, where his garden opens under the National Gardens Scheme and supplies organically grown fruit, vegetables and flowers to his hotels.