What a great week that was….

We thought that we were tired when we finished furnishing the rooms and making the beds. How little we knew!

Ten days later, we are now proper tired – but it was worth every minute of it. We have trialled the rooms with three different groups of people. We have completed two changeovers, and quite a lot of laundry. We have offered early (and not-so-early) breakfasts and up to 20 evening meals at a time. So if nothing else, we are now clear how many people will will need to employ to make this work.

We even provided entertainment for the kiddies…

—they built the canyouuseeverypieceofduplosaurus

The feedback has been really useful. Suggestions range from putting in hooks in various specific locations, through to installing a bird table and leaving binoculars around for people to see, hopefully, some of the local birds (red start, pied flycatcher, wood warbler and dippers, to name a few).

Giles in the cockpit

In the meantime, all the normal cafe duties continued. Here you see Giles leaving in his stylish old Ford, after enjoying a latte.

What with the test in the rooms, and holding the fort in the cafe on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, we haven’t been doing any building works this week.

Our new pot garden

I have been working with Alex to fill pots for the flat area outside the cafe doors. I had been hoping to break up the top of this slate-covered area, cover it with soil, and create a sort of scree garden, but turns out that isn’t possible. So, instead, we have filled various pots, and then Alex is spreading slate waste between the pots to hide the rather patchy crazy paving below.

Tomorrow Mike is having a day off. I know – does the man have no sense of urgency at all?!? On the other hand, he has been slaving away pretty hard recently, so I guess he deserves a little time off…

The clock is now ticking again, though. We really hope to be open for at least part of peak season this year (i.e. the school summer holidays) which gives us about 12 weeks to complete floor 1 and the staircase. No pressure there, then…

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