It’s been a long pregnancy (9 months plus 3 days)…

….but finally, today, we delivered our pre-opening trial day and it went well- as far as we could tell.  Under the circumstances, I won’t bore you with details of jobs undertaken since I last blogged but rather focus on us having got to the end of the first stage of our many stage refurbishment programme.

We had contacted a few friends who had helped us prepare to launch the business since we arrived last December, and invited them to come along today to test our systems.

Was that a latte or a cappuccino I am supposed to be making?
Was that a latte or a cappuccino I am supposed to be making?

I started the day as a total rookie on the coffee machine, but ended up feeling rather more as I imagine a barista should.  Jane did sterling work in the kitchen, providing various flavours of scones along with soup, bacon baps, and a Victoria sponge to complement her range of millionaire shortcake and flapjacks delicacies.

Mike drew the short straw and was banished to clean the long corridor after he had cleaned away all his tools from outside the restaurant.  He turned the tables somewhat by spending much of the day chatting with visitors, but then more than earned his keep through liaising with BT to ensure the new WiFi hub in the restaurant worked.

The weather was certainly with us this afternoon, along with the horses and some riders:

We had some walkers who dropped by to fill water bottles, but got more than they expected...
We had some walkers who dropped by to fill water bottles, but got more than they expected…

 

or is the view better this way?
or is the view better this way?

 

Another view of the restaurant
Another view of the restaurant

We asked each guest to complete a feedback form, and are delighted that much of the feedback is as we might have expected and thus can relatively readily be addressed before opening for real.  And so we have decided: we will take tomorrow to address much of the feedback and then

OPEN ON FRIDAY 16th September!

Shaun has volunteered to update the Facebook whilst I update the blog, so a special credit:

Paul and Shaun enjoying a late lunch of Jane's carrot and lentil soup with cheese scone
Paul and Shaun enjoying a late lunch of Jane’s carrot and lentil soup with cheese scone

but our heartfelt thanks to all who helped today.

The menu for the next week is likely to include: Brodies Teas and Coffees; sandwiches and paninis; soup and baked potatoes; bacon baps; Jane’s cakes and flapjacks, along with various cold drinks, beers and wines.   Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with hot food available until 4 p.m.   Once we have mastered the delivery of these, no doubt the  menu and, in time, the hours will expand.  A priced menu will appear on the web pages as soon as I get over the shock of what working all day has done to my ageing body.