Do England’s World Cup chances hinge on a hotel’s 1966 bottle of port?

A Lancashire hotel is hoping that England’s chances of World Cup glory this summer will not depend on goal scoring strike rates or fitness worries, but on a recent discovery in its wine cellar.

Bar staff at the four star Lancaster House Hotel have unearthed a rare gem from the year of English football’s finest achievement, two bottles of 1966 Sandeman port.

And as a warm up before the tournament kicks off, the hotel is to hold a World Cup themed port and Lancashire cheese night on Friday 8 June, with the chance to sample the vintage port and for one lucky guest to win one of the classic bottles.

Andy Lemm from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, the General Manager at Lancaster House, explains:  “1966 was a vintage year for port, recognised as one of the very best post-war years, and the exceptional quality of Sandeman port is also well known.

“We rediscovered the two bottles on a recent foray into the wine cellar and thought it might just be a good sign for England’s chances this summer.  So we’re putting on the sampling event to open one of the bottles for tasting and give someone the chance to win the other one in a prize draw.

“The port is characterised by being long lasting with firm, perfect weight and balance and usually turn out greater in the long run.  Each bottle would be worth £600 to £700 if sold by the shot.  The hotel has had the bottles for around 15 years, so as with England’s chances, we really don’t know how they will perform.  It will be fun to open up a bottle and taste it.”

The hotel has a long association with Sandeman Port with the bar named after the famous local producers and has also discovered a bottle of 40 year old Sandeman Tawny Port, which was originally acquired by one of the hotel’s directors and will also be available for sampling.

The port and cheese evening will also feature produce from a number of renowned local cheese makers, including Leagram Organic Dairy, Dewlay, Singleton Dairy, Greenfields Dairy, Mrs Kirkhams’, JJ Sandhams and Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses.

Tickets for the event are £30 per head and include a two course Lancashire Hotpot dinner, Lancashire cheese and port sampling from the famous Sandeman range and free entry into the prize drawer for a bottle of the 1966 port and other prizes.  To book telephone 01524 844 822.

Lancaster House, one of English Lakes Hotels’ popular 4 star venues, is the ideal place from which to enjoy the Forest of Bowland, the historic city of Lancaster, the Southern Lake District and beautiful Morecambe Bay.

The hotel offers excellent food and drink from The Foodworks Restaurant and the elegant atmospheric courtyard of The Sandeman Bar, and guests can relax and unwind in the hotel’s Sandpiper Health Club.

For further information about Lancaster House, visit

PHOTO: Lancaster House Hotel general manager Andy Lemm with operations manager Emma Underwood and the bottles of 1966 Sandeman port.