She spends most of her days in the classroom, inspiring young musicians and actors to reach for the stars.

But thanks to a collaboration with one of south Cumbria’s leading hotels, Harriet Cooper is now the one in the spotlight.

For every Thursday, once the school bell rings, she leaves her teacher’s gown behind and heads to Oscar’s Bar and restaurant, where a weekly acoustic session has just been launched.


Harriet, who also teaches history, is lead singer of Starcrossed, a stripped back acoustic ensemble which performs laid back covers. She said: “The first few weeks at Oscars have been amazing. We are not delivering fill on performances but just blend into the background and provide a soundtrack to the evening of people who are having a lovely meal or drink out.

“The feedback we have had from people so far has been amazing and quite a few have posted on our Facebook page.

“Oscar’s is such a prestigious location for us to play and being the resident band for the acoustic nights is amazing. I’m really passionate about live performances. There is something very special about playing in the here and now and we should encourage it wherever possible.”

Oscar’s, which is part of the Abbey House Hotel and Gardens, is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in the area for both formal and informal dining as it welcomes non-hotel guests in search of great food in luxurious surroundings.

The new acoustic Thursdays have a laid back vibe and since being launched earlier this month have proved to be popular with diners and hotel guests alike.

The music starts at around 7.30pm and is a mixture of covers and the band’s own music. Starcrossed play two sets across the course fo the evening.

For Oscar’s manager, James Gomes, the weekly sessions bring a new dynamic to the bar and restaurant.

He said: “Many people start to think about their plans as the end of the week gets closer, and while Thursday is not quite the weekend, it is certainly close enough to be enjoying a night out.

“Our acoustic evenings are very different to what we have offered at Oscars in the past, but they are very popular because they offer just the right mix of great food and live background music in the stunning setting of Oscar’s.”