‘Not your typical Hotel’
This was the title of a review by a guest recently, and I’m not sure if it was meant as a compliment or a complaint! Certainly, they felt that they should have had more privacy on the terrace by having walls where we have planters and screens with greenery. I had to explain that we weren’t in fact a hotel, but a bed & breakfast, and our ethos was very much community and connection to nature. Right from the very beginning we decided that we wanted to continue what we had started on the river guiding kayak trips, and that was sharing – of the space, nature and information, recognising that we are all different, and bring our own unique perspectives to experiences.
This led to our decision to create a 3m long table in the breakfast room (from Tregothnan Ash) so that guests could join in and talk to each other. Recognising that this might not suit everyone guests can always have breakfast taken to their room, or they can eat it outside the room on the terrace or in the garden.
We have also experienced problems with guests being able to find places to eat in the evening. We have been emailing our list of places to eat at least two weeks in advance, urging guests to book ahead, but some are finding their reservations cancelled at the last minute due to illness or staffing issues. So those of you who seen our social media posts will know that we have created a little barbecue area with a gas barbecue and a charcoal fire pit for grilling, along with some cast iron Dutch ovens. David has been making charcoal on site (that will be in another post), and the fire pit can be used with wood for keeping warm! We also bought a wood fired pizza oven, which we needed to try out for the first time.
So as the evening promised to be sunny we invited all of our guests to join us last week for a trial pizza evening, with the understanding that it might be a disaster! We were delighted that everyone accepted and we gathered outside with a mountain of dough, sauce and toppings. A bit of a learning curve for us, but it didn’t matter as everyone was so engaged chatting and talking with each other, that the pizza turned out to be incidental! As we can only fit two sets of guests in the breakfast room at the moment (for social distancing) many had not met each other, and it was so wonderful to see everyone chatting and having a good time. In fact so good that we ended up going home to bed and leaving them carrying on the party!
It was the best example of what we are about – giving people the opportunity to meet and talk to others who have all found us as the point in common. It isn’t for everyone, we know that, and we would have been happy to deliver pizza ‘room service’ to those who didn’t want to join in so that they didn’t feel left out.
Weather (and dough) permitting, we hope to be able to host a few more of these nights during the summer…..
Ps….. I don’t think Carol was threatening to chop off David’s head if he was too slow…….!