Latest Special Offers – Don’t Miss Out

Relax With Us At Blackaddie
£99 per person per night (dinner, bed & breakfast)

Recover from the festive season or set yourself up for the year to come with a relaxing break at Blackaddie. Enjoy a luxurious soak in a Jacuzzi bath followed by an amazing dinner, a restful and quiet night’s sleep, followed by a sumptuous breakfast.

Offer available until 31st March 2018 (excluding 9th-17th February)

Our superior rooms have a super king size bed, Monsoon shower, multi channel TV and wifi.


Sumptious Dining

Dinner is our 4 course fine dining menu, preceded by canapés and amuse-bouche. You’ll also find complimentary homemade Scottish tablet and shortbread, along with mineral water, in your room on your arrival.

Discount Codes

Book online using code WB178 (for bookings until 8th February) or SB18 (for bookings after 18th February)
Offer valid for 2 people sharing staying for a minimum of 2 nights.

Valentine’s Day Treat
From only £320 per couple (dinner, bed & breakfast)

Turn Valentine’s Day into a truly special occasion for the one you love.

With a bottle of champagne on ice and a bouquet of red roses in your room when you arrive, what could be more romantic? After a stunning and memorable 4 course dinner in our restaurant relax in your superior room or take the romantic feeling to another level in our Grouse 4 poster suite for only £370.00.

Offer available from the 9th to 17th February 2018

Additional nights just £99 per person per night (dinner, bed & breakfast).


Our Food Is To Die For ….

… but don’t take our word for it! Here’s a recent comment from a customer:

“The Hotel was great, friendly staff, the food was out of this world. It was not so much a meal but a work of art. Would recommend it to anyone, they will love it if they love well-presented food”.

Ian Wins Again

We’re delighted that Ian McAndrew was a regional winner of the Scottish Thistle Awards as Regional Ambassador for the West of Scotland, for all his work promoting the region and its tourism offerings.

Circular Driving Route

If you’re staying with us, you may be interested in the new SW300 circular driving route in Dumfries & Galloway. A great way to take in the views and places of interest.

christmas breaks in scotland at Blackaddie House Hotel

Christmas Breaks In Scotland: 10 Compelling Reasons To Book One

If you’ve been browsing Christmas breaks in Scotland but haven’t yet booked up, what’s stopping you? We all love the idea of Christmas – the festivities, the goodwill to all men, but sometimes Christmas at home can be simply exhausting and very stressful.

Here are 10 great reasons why you should book up one of those Christmas breaks in Scotland right now!

1. Spending Christmas At Home Is Expensive

If you’ve got a large family who come to your house for Christmas day and beyond, you’ll find that you actually spend a small fortune to keep them all happy.  You’ll need some sherry for Aunty Edith, whisky for Uncle Tommy and of course some vodka/Martini/gin to cater for everyone’s whim.

Which is a shame if you only ever drink wine.  That’s £100 on alcohol that you won’t get too enjoy. And what about the food, the Christmas crackers, the mince pies, the Christmas cake? Costs are starting to really tot up.

But if you book one of those Christmas breaks in Scotland, the money you would have spent will go a long way towards paying for it.

2. You Haven’t Really Got Space For All Those Guests

Unless you live in a mansion, no standard house is properly equipped for the invasion of 10 additional family members. You’ll have to drag out the spare chairs from the garage, just so everyone can have a seat; the kids are bound to moan if you tell them to give up their favourite spot of the sofa for poor old Aunty Edith and her bad arthritis; and let’s not even consider the squabbles over the bathroom if some of your guests are sleeping over.

Ah a Christmas getaway is already sounding attractive!

3. Everyone Expects You To Be Delia Smith

Even armed with “Delia’s Happy Christmas” book, many amateur chefs find it impossible to roast the turkey to bronzed perfection, create just-the-right-crispiness roast potatoes and cook vegetables so they still have a little bite rather than being a simple soggy mess.

The timing is critical, the stress is immense, the helpers (kids) are too busy playing on their new gadgets and family members keep interrupting your focus in the kitchen with vague offers of “Is there anything I can do to help?”.

Just imagine – a Christmas break where the food is cooked to perfection, served with a smile, and most importantly not prepared by you!

4.  Family Have No Qualms When It Comes To Commenting On Your Food

Unlike friends you invite round for dinner, family members won’t hold back when they give you their opinions on your cooking. You may have to confess that yes the roast potatoes were a little soggy and there was a lump or two in the gravy, but do your eagle-eyed family have to appear quite so gleeful when they point out these culinary hiccups?

5.  Not Everyone Can Hold Their Liquor

For some, Christmas day is an excuse to get stuck into the gin/vodka/whisky/wine.  A few pre-lunch drinkiepoos, followed by lashings of drink during the meal. And hey presto, before you know it, Uncle Tommy is completely tiddled and starts to tell jokes far too risqué for the youngsters present.

In the worst case scenarios, Aunty Edith slips whilst stumbling to the bathroom (she forgot her cane) resulting in a trip to A&E or one of the kids drinks the alcopops you bought for your sister and spends all afternoon hugging the toilet.

If you treat yourself to a Christmas break – with just the husband and kids, or with a group of close friends – you don’t have to worry about who’s drinking what. You can just relax with a glass of red and sit by the fire after your excellent meal.

6.  There Are Always Good Excuses For Not Helping With The Clean Up

After Christmas lunch, everyone has had their fill – bellies stuffed, paper hat now at a jaunty angle – and each and every one has a simply fabulous reason why they can’t help with the clean up. OK we’ll forgive Aunty Edith and her dodgy hips, and Uncle Tommy who really does need to stay seated, but suddenly the kids have vanished, and the in-laws are glued to the TV.

If you’re lucky you may get 1 or 2 reluctant helpers, but since they haven’t a clue about what goes where in your kitchen, you’re bound to do the majority of the clean up yourself.

7.  You Can’t Get The Kids Off Their Tablets

It seemed like such a great idea to buy those tablets – and yes they do keep the little darlings occupied – but after 6 hours none stop (bar wolfing down Christmas lunch), don’t their eyes hurt?

You’ll only drag them away from their gadgets if you can offer something better to do. If you live in the middle of a housing estate, there probably isn’t much that comes to mind. But if you book one of those Christmas breaks in Scotland, and especially if you choose a venue in the beautiful Scottish countryside, you can get the kids outside for a countryside walk – even more fun if there’s snow on the ground.

8.  The Evening Can Get So Boring

For some reason, the TV companies believe Christmas is a time to re-run the old favourites.  Yes we adored all the “Only Fools and Horses” Christmas specials – but not every year. And how can you find something that the whole family want to watch? It’s as elusive as Father Christmas himself.

Now if you choose your Christmas break carefully, you’ll find that many hotels and country house hotels actually provide entertainment.  It may be a quiz, some fun games or live music. Far more fun and less stressful than arguing over the TV remote control.

9. Eat. Sleep. Repeat

If your Christmas day goes off perfectly and the whole extended family have enjoyed every minute then hats off to you.  But here’s the thing – you’re going to have to do it all again on Boxing day.  Christmas should be all about relaxing – but that doesn’t really apply if you’re the host or the chef.

Oh imagine the bliss of being holed up on a Christmas break in a beautiful Scottish retreat

10. Family Tensions Are Never Too Far From The Surface

It’s sad to say but the majority of families have some tensions bubbling under the surface. Being cooped up all day (or for several days) can be a trigger for resentments to get aired.  As the main host you may feel compelled to smooth over troubled waters, but do you really want the stress?

We think it’s far better to escape for Christmas!  There’s nothing more appealing than spending Christmas in a lovely, friendly hotel or country house hotel.  You can enjoy the festive atmosphere, the hospitality, the amazing no-holds-barred meals, the exceptional wine, the entertainment, the beautiful countryside, the cosy bar with its roaring fire and the pristine bedroom.

So what are you waiting for? Book one of those Christmas breaks in Scotland without delay!


At Blackaddie Hotel we offer Christmas packages for small groups and larger groups can enjoy our facilities on an exclusive basis.

For details of our Christmas packages at Blackaddie Hotel, please click here

or contact us via the website to discuss a larger group booking.

country house hotel breaks

The 10 Undeniable Charms of Country House Hotel Breaks

Country house hotel breaks are a completely different kettle of fish compared to those taken at hotel chains.  Of course some people love their favourite hotel chain – their Comfort Inn, Ibis or Jurys Inn – and they love the fact that they know exactly what to expect when they check in, regardless of the city they are visiting.  There are the boxy rooms that all look identical, the professional staff, the satisfactory meals and lots of other guests who quietly go about their own business.

Staying at a hotel chain can frankly feel a little on the bland side – service can be efficient but you don’t really feel that you are bonding with the staff or other guests.   You may feel you are on a conveyor belt at the breakfast buffet – waiting patiently in line to get your hands on some cornflakes or queuing up silently with dozens of others for your overcooked scrambled eggs.

And this is where country house hotel breaks trump hotel chains each and every time.  They provide a charm and intimacy that is impossible to create in a large hotel with its hundreds of identical rooms and numerous guests, many of whom are there just for business and are too busy checking their iPhone to strike up conversation with others.

Here’s what we consider to be the 10 undeniable charms of country house hotel breaks:

1.Small and Intimate

Country house hotels have far fewer bedrooms than hotel chains simply because they were originally fine houses rather than purpose-build hotels.  This means there are always going to be fewer guests staying at any one time, enabling the staff to provide very attentive and thoughtful service – they know where you’ve come from and why you’re staying – so they can easily help you get the very best out of your break.


Most country house hotels have an interesting history behind them.  They may be centuries old and be associated with a famous historical figure.  The original owners were probably wealthy families who used their country house as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.  Find out a little more during your stay, and you’ll be fascinated with what you learn.

3.Not Perfectly Formed

Due to their age and even with the renovations over the years, country house hotels have an undeniable charm due to the original parts of the building – perhaps a cosy reception area with original timber, or a slightly wobbly thatched roof on a converted cottage.

Each country house hotel has its own unique features – and that alone makes it stand out from slightly impersonal hotel chains.

4.Location, location, location

If you book a country house hotel break you’ll be guaranteed a stay in a great, rural location.  Country houses were built in the countryside, with generous gardens.  A holiday in a country house hotel will feel like a true get-away-from-it-all break – ideal to help you recharge your batteries.

5.A Base for Exploration

If you prefer a go-getting type of holiday rather than a relaxing retreat, country house hotel holidays are still for you!  Due to their location, you’ll find a host of activities right on the doorstep – from simply exploring the countryside, to biking trails, fishing, walking, bird watching or golf.  It’s safe to say that whatever type of outdoor activity you enjoy, your countryside hotel won’t be too far from it.

And if you’re more of an indoors type, check out what is available in the nearby town and go visit that museum, art gallery or shopping centre – then blissfully return to your country house hotel for some serious relaxation.

6.Rooms with Character

Remember the faceless rooms of the hotel chains? You won’t find any such thing on country house hotel breaks!  The building was created to be a home – not a hotel – and consequently the rooms  tend to be of different sizes and of different shapes.

You may find you’re staying in what was the Master’s main bedroom – now tastefully converted to a 4 poster bed suite. Or perhaps you’ll opt for a smaller room which was originally the nursery – now offering a spacious double bed and all the mod cons you’d expect in any hotel room.

The beauty of country house hotels is that they have been specifically renovated to create charming and individual rooms – each with its own character. Many of the hotels give a specific theme to each room – often inspired by the nearby countryside or the history of the house – and decorate them accordingly.

7.Rooms with a View

How many times have you checked into a large hotel, whipped back the curtains and found that your room looks directly on to an office block, a brick wall or the rubbish collection area at the rear of the hotel?

Very disappointing.

In a country house hotel, rooms have a great view!  After all the building is surrounded by gardens and natural countryside.  Nothing nicer than opening the curtains in the morning and watching the sun dapple across the vibrant flowers, the green, green grass, the swaying trees, and the trickling stream or lively river.

8.Getting Communal

The communal areas of a country house hotel – such as the lounge, the library, the bar – will be as charming in appearance as the rest of the building.  You may find a place to read your book on a comfy sofa near a roaring log fire – and not many modern hotels offer that nice little touch.

In fact the country house hotel owners tend to ensure the communal areas have whatever you need to keep you happy.  They often provide a wide selection of books in the library for you to read to your heart’s content.  The lounge is likely to be well stocked with board games and cards for some after-dinner fun.

And because so much attention is given to these small details, the communal areas of a country house hotel are really used by the guests – giving you an opportunity to chat and make new acquaintances during your stay.

9.Exceptionally Attentive Staff

Bear in mind that a country house hotel is normally run by the family which own it – and the staff they have handpicked for their efficiency and friendliness.  They all genuinely want you to enjoy your stay and will do everything in their power to make this happen.

Consider this the icing on the cake – not only are you staying in a charming location, but the staff will always go the extra mile to make your stay extra special.

10.The Food

Undeniably the food is often the main reason for choosing country house hotel breaks. The restaurants can really make these types of hotel stand out – often with Michelin Stars or with an owner who has a background of this type of award.

Exceptional meals make the stay that much more special –  many of the raw ingredients will have been grown in the hotel’s own grounds, cooked with love and care, and composed into an wonderful dish with a great attention to detail.

Unlike larger hotels, you’ll find no dismal breakfast buffet here!  Instead breakfast is one of the highlights of a Country House Hotel break, with your dish cooked fresh to order – and also cooked to perfection.

If you’re planning your next holiday, and have yet to discover the charms of country house hotel breaks, perhaps it’s time to consider this option.  With all of their undeniable charms, country house hotels provide the perfect break for all!


If you’d like to learn more about what charms Blackaddie Country House Hotel can offer you, just browse our website, book online or contact us with your enquiry.


3 Gold

 3 Gold Stars for a New Year


There have been quite a lot of changes here at Blackaddie over the last few months, firstly we have recently been awarded 3 GOLD stars from the AA which we are really pleased about. Towards the end of last year we completely refurbished a room, well 2 actually, we knocked 2 rooms into one making, what we think, is our best room yet. Looking out over the garden and river beyond, Pheasant is now a really large bright room with a massive double bed, I would call it a super king but it is bigger than that at 2 meters wide. The room also boasts a superb bathroom, with under floor heating, bath and separate walk-in monsoon shower. To top it all off it also has a magnificent view up the river from the bathroom.

We didn’t stop there though, we continued the refurbishment with Mallard. With a magnificent view up the river Mallard has always been a popular room but it’s bathroom has always let it down. Not now though, totally refurbished the view is still the same but now Mallard is a beautiful light and airy room with a much improved bathroom with a magnificent walk in monsoon shower.
Throughout the winter we also decorated our two 2 bedroom self catering cottages so they are bright and fresh ready for the new season.

Spring Sale

For readers of this email we are offering a 25% discount on any 2 night booking from the 29th February through to the end of April (subject to availability), all you have to do to qualify is mention this email offer to get 25% off our published room rate for a minimum 2 night stay. You can now book directly on our web site and get the discount, no need to call us, just log on to the site here then click on Book Now, enter the dates you are looking for and enter this Voucher Code Spring16 to get 25% off any booking of 2 nights or more during March and April.

            Blackaddie-134-2  Blackaddie-111-2  Lemon Posset Parfait Blackaddie-141-2

Our food of course continues to go from strength to strength – have a look at some of our recent Tripadvisor reviews

Local Attractions
There’s lots to see and do in the area such as Dumfries House (which is stunning, see below), the Dark Skies Park, Lead Mining Museum, Drumlanrig Castle and Gardens, Walking, Fishing of course and lots more besides. We now have a brand new tourist attraction on our doorstep. Crawick Multiverse Multiverse is a major land restoration and art project utilising landscape art to transform a former opencast coal mine into an outdoor space that can be enjoyed by future generations.Privately funded by the Duke of Buccleuch and designed by globally-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks, Crawick Multiverse is a stunning representation of exciting discoveries and theories of the universe.

This world-class landscape art design links the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology, creating a truly inspiring landmark that will appeal to everyone from art enthusiasts and scientists to the wider community. It really is worthy of a visit and is open daily and is less than 2 miles away from Blackaddie.

Dumfries house is well worth a visit, even if you’ve been there before it is defiantly worth going again as it is constantly improving and evolving with new things to see every time you go and who knows you may even see Prince Charles there. He does visit a lot, indeed when Jane visited it last year she bumped into him. Well not literally but almost as he was only a few feet away.

Dumfries House
Dumfries House is really magnificent and well worth a visit

Then of course there is the British Open which this year is being held at Royal Troon just over an hours drive from Blackaddie. Treat yourself to a day or two at the golf while staying in a fantastic room and dining on stunning food each night!

We very much look forward to welcoming you to Blackaddie, we have already taken a number of bookings for Hogmanay 2016/17 so do not have that many spaces left, if you are thinking of coming this year you will need to call sooner rather than later.


Have you been watching Autumn watch this week which is coming from Caerlaverock to the south of Dumfries? It just shows in all its magnificent glory to abundance of wild life our region has to offer, from Badgers to Barnacle Geese from rutting Stags to cavorting Mice and in huge quantities too. The amount and variety of species of birds in the region is phenomenal with Red Kites throughout the forest park and beyond, to the masses of migrating geese as well as many other birds both large and small that pass through Dumfries and Galloway every year – to and from their winter retreats.


Autumn Watch Presenters

barnacle-geese-at-caelaverock (1)

Barnacle Geese can be seen in their thousands


It is great to see our region featured likes this as it helps put this fantastic part of Scotland firmly on the map and if you are wanting to seek out the wildlife of Dumfries and Galloway for your self then there are many ways to do it. Yesterday I learned of a company that are working hand in glove with the Autumn watch team, so much so that it is their infrared cameras they are using to film the night time habits of these birds and animals. Wildlife Tours are a unique company that operate both day time and nocturnal tours of the region seeking out local wildlife so if you have an interest in nature then why not join them on one of their nocturnal wildlife tours as you will be amazed by what you can see and experience with the aid of their professional hand held night vision and thermal imaging equipment, the very stuff that was used by Autumn Watch as it is Wildlife Tours that they called on to help them detect the wildlife that is out there in the dark and there equipment they used.

Each participant has their own state of the art thermal imaging device for the duration of the tour along with access to other high tech equipment and everything you see whether on foot or in the vehicle, can be recorded at the touch of a button for you to take home as a memento of your tour. They also offer day time tours with guides that have over 40 years of experience.

As wwell as these tours they also offer Wildlife Photography in Dumfries and Galloway too with Alan McFadyen and he has his own hides fom which you can learn to take stunning photographs such as this one.



Should you wish to organise to be part of a tour or partake of the photography while staying here at Blackaddie we can do this for you or alternatively you can do it yourself, please visit 





For the first time, Autumn watch has set up home at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s Centre in Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway.

Situated on the Solway Firth, the centre is the overwintering home for a huge range of wildfowl and wetland birds, including the entire population of Svalbard barnacle geese and hundreds of whooper swans, who will have made the journey all the way from Iceland.

Caerlaverock was once a working farm, which has developed into a 1500-acre reserve including farmland, saltmarsh and freshwater wetland habitats. In keeping with its history it now ‘farms’ for wildlife and as a result the area is home to a wide range of different creatures.

The nearby market town of Dumfries is also home to a surprising wealth of urban wildlife – they hope to capture the kingfishers, mergansers, dippers and otters that thrive on the autumn riches of the River Nith.

Highlights include:

  • Barnacle Geese – up to 30,000 fly in from Svalbard to set up home on the Solway Firth. We’ll be watching their daily routines as they settle in for the winter.
  • Whooper Swans – flying in from Iceland. This journey is one of the longest sea crossings that any swan makes.
  • Starlings – arrive in late October and create stunning murmurations at dusk as they decide where they are going to roost. We’ll be out every evening hoping to catch these seasonal spectacles.
  • The Caerlaverock Badgers – popular residents on the reserve, the badgers feed most nights under the windows of the old farmhouse. The team hope to delve deeper into their nocturnal behaviour and, in conjunction with University of Brighton, plan to test the badgers of Brighton and the badgers of Caerlaverock to discover whether urban badgers have more of a preference for anthropogenic (human) food than their rural cousins. Does exposure to human related food make urban badgers more likely to feed on it or will all badgers attempt to eat any food they find? Using camera traps and remote cameras Autumnwatch will find out.
  • Triops – Caerlaverock is one of only two places in the UK (the other being the New Forest) where you can find one of the oldest species in the world – the triops. We’ll be getting up close and personal to these tiny crustaceans, often known as tadpole shrimps, and discovering why they are thriving on this reserve.
  • Mergansers and Goosanders fishing for migrating lampreys, eels and salmon.


£239.00 instead of £480.00 for 2 nights Dinner Bed & Breakfast in a superior room with Michelin Star quality fine dining dinner each night and a sumptuous breakfast each day or upgrade to Grouse our 4 poster suite for only another £20.00 per night.

Once again we are giving readers of this blog and regular visitors to Blackaddie the opportunity to come and enjoy the food and the rooms (especially the new one) for a really great price. So if you are looking to come to Blackaddie and have never been before, looking to return to us again having enjoyed a previous visit or even want to give a present to a friend then this offer may be for you. We’re offering vouchers for sale, the same way as the group buying sites such as Travelzoo, Groupon, Secret Escapes etc do, they work in exactly the same way, buy a voucher and get a great discount then come along and enjoy it!

Enjoy a stunning 2 night stay at Blackaddie in a superior room with dinner each night from our fine dining menu, breakfast each morning, homemade tablet and shortbread in the room along with bottles of mineral water for only £239.00 saving £50% (normal price is £480.00).

Call us on 01659 50270 or email Ian on to purchase your voucher. Full payment is required at the time of purchase.

EXCLUDES 21ST NOV, 23-31 DEC 2015, 1-3 JAN 2016


Flaming August – well not quite but we could always get a good September, indeed September is invariably better than August in these parts so if you are looking to take a few days in Scotland then that might be the  best month, it surely can’t be any wetter!

Despite the rain we’ve had the river has not been overly full and I understand a number of fish are running so it bodes well for the main part of the season.

JULY 2015

The height of summer has arrived and while we’ve had some hot days the weather is proving to be typically Scottish. The garden is doing really well this year and Julie has worked wonders out there. (that’s her working away).


We’ve had masses of strawberries on the menu from the greenhouse and there are still more to come although they are slowing up now. Our tomatoes are looking strong but none ready to pick yet and outside things are shooting up.
We’ve planted lots of fennel for our now infamous Fennel Ice Cream, there are Celeriac and Cauliflowers galore so look out for our Slow Cooked Belly of Pork with Curried Cauliflower
and Scallops with Cauliflower appearing a lot on the menu, along with beetroot of different hues, leeks and courgettes, Jerusalem and Globe Artichokes and more besides.
The outside of the hotel is starting to get a make over, as you can see the garage doors have been replaced – they really needed it as they were in shocking condition and despite arranging for new ones to be made and fitted last January it is only this week, the 2nd week in July that it has actually happened! Once the rain stops we are also planning on painting the outside (including the garage doors) so next time you come you may not recognise the old place!

We’re considering doing some special Gourmet Evenings as from late September, it will be a tasting menu with wine pairing, numbers are limited but if you’re interested please drop me an email on and I will add you to the list and let you know when they will be, I hope to do at least 2 between September and Christmas.

We’re also looking at re-branding Blackaddie from a country house hotel to Restaurant with Rooms, the more I think about it the more I realise that that is exactly what we are. Yes we’re basically an hotel and we are just about in the country but at the end of the day it is our food that makes us stand out from the crowd, we are also being advised by lots of people to take this route and in the Michelin Guide we have always been classed as a Restaurant with Rooms.

I am always happy to offer special prices, especially when we’re quiet, just call me, tell me when you want to come and I will give you the best price I can.


I am really pleased to announce that once again, this is the 3rd time, I am on the short list of 4 for the Chef of the Year award through CIS, I was first shortlisted in 2011, then again in 2014 and again this year. Who knows, I might even win it this time! Mind you it doesn’t end there either as we have also been shortlisted for Restaurant of the Year in the CIS Awards – the 2nd time we’ve been nominated as we were listed in 2011 along with COTY. So 2 nominations in the one awards – surely we have to get one of them this time around ! Don’t we?

A big thank you to all that have nominated and voted for us we really appreciate it and who knows, if we manage to wine one this time it could really put us on the map! I certainly hope so.

We are also getting a lot of nominations for the Waitrose Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year and it would be fabulous to win that one too – who knows 3 in one year, is it possible to get them ALL? Fingers crossed. You can vote for us at the following address: , even though we are not yet one of the front runners in this award there is still ots of time left in which to vote so please every vote counts


This year seems to be flying past, it fells like it was Christmas just a couple of weeks ago yet we are nearly at the end of February already. Mind you I suppose it is because we have been very busy since the turn of the year, not so much customer wise but in all the jobs we have managed to complete over the past 2 months. The bar is now completely redecorated and it is looking great now, gone are the old bench type seats, all the woodwork has been stripped and stained and we now have lovely curtains to the windows thanks to Jane’s hard work. In fact as I write this she is busy sewing away making curtains for the conservatory which will transform it.

We’ve had a carpenter in and he’s been busy with all sorts of little jobs that need doing after a hard year and ready for the coming season but he still has a lot yet to do.

I mentioned in the last blog that we are trying to sort out the greenhouse to make it more productive this year and Julie is currently on with that. She’s scrubbing it to within an inch of its life getting rid of all the built up moss etc that accumulates in greenhouses and tiding up inside. She has the vegetable beds looking good and well manured ready for planting so roll on spring.

snow-drops sunset-jan-09misty-february-morn

The garden itself is starting to shake of the winter blues with the snow drops and crocuses coming through as well as the daffodils too so it will soon look far more inviting.

We now have a new member of staff int he kitchen too, Sarah arrived with us at the end of January from New Zealand, she was a student at Christchurch catering college where one of my former Sous Chefs – David Spice – is now lecturing and he sent her over. She is settling in well which must be quite difficult, coming half way round the world by yourself to a completely new environment where she knows no one at all and leaving summer behind in New Zealand to find snow on the ground to greet her arrival.

We are of course still producing some fine food in the kitchens so why not come and give it a try if you’ve not been before or re-acquaint yourself with what we do if you’ve not been for a while. It seems that most of our business lately has been returning customers which is always nice.

fillet-of-beef stone-bass lemon-posset-parfait

Have a look at the seasonal offers page on the web site as there are some good deals to be had at this time of year and I’m sure you will not be disappointed.