A BELOVED member of staff of a Lake District bar has died aged 31.

Rafal Krzywda, the general manager of the Fizzy Tarte in Bowness, was described as a ‘true gentleman’ and a ‘very genuine’ person.

Born in Poland, Rafal was a devoted member of the team at Fizzy Tarte and his loss has rocked the business and wider community.

He was the much loved and devoted partner of Flori, who he worked with at the bar.

Flori said: “He was my best friend and partner. He will be missed immensely by me and everyone who knew him.”

Stephen Hargreaves, who owns the Fizzy Tarte and a number of other business in the Lakes, said: “Rafal was a really popular guy. He was one of those gentleman types and a really genuine person.

“He was a good and clever person, even being a former chess champion.

“He was very intelligent and thoughtful - you could not help but like him.”

Rafal died in his home country of Poland on October 12 and his funeral was held on October 16.

Members of staff in Windermere plan to hold a small ceremony for his memory.

The bar wrote a tribute to their manager’s memory on social media.

“Many of our customers will have known Rafal, his amazing cocktails, his utter professionalism, his showmanship bar tendering and his knowledge of mixology," it read. "He was one of the best. A true gentleman of the highest integrity.

“I wish you safe travels, I thank you for being the perfect family member. I thank you for your honesty. I thank you for your hard work and dedication to making us the best cocktail bar in Cumbria. You helped make this happen. Thank you.

“I thank you for allowing us to be part of your short time with us on this planet. I thank you for being you, Rafal Krzywda.

“I will never forget you. We will never forget you. The Fizzy Tarte will always hold you close in our hearts, forever. That I promise you…

"We will look after your beautiful Flori. She will be kept safe. I promise you that also. We love her too."