NEWS AND SPECIAL OFFERS FROM BLACKADDIE HOUSE HOTEL

3 Gold

 3 Gold Stars for a New Year

CHANGES

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.

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Our food of course continues to go from strength to strength – have a look at some of our recent Tripadvisor reviews http://tinyurl.com/j6dxosr

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 Multiversehttp://www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk/Carwick 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.

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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.

AUTUMN WATCH

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.

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Autumn Watch Presenters

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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.

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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 http://www.scottishphotographyhides.co.uk    www.wildlifetours.co.uk. 

 

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CAERLAVEROCK RESERVE & AUTUMN WATCH

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.

50% OFF VOUCHERS SALE

£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 ian@blackaddiehotel.co.uk to purchase your voucher. Full payment is required at the time of purchase.

VOUCHER IS VALID UNTIL SUN 31ST MARCH 2016; VALID 7 DAYS MON-SUN; SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.
£20 PER ROOM SUPPLEMENT FOR SATURDAY NIGHT.
EXCLUDES 21ST NOV, 23-31 DEC 2015, 1-3 JAN 2016
VOUCHERS MUST BE BOOKED BY 15TH JANUARY OR YOU RISK FORFEITING YOUR VOUCHER.
MULTIPLE VOUCHER PURCHASES, MAXIMUM OF 2 PER PURCHASE PERMITTED.
FREE ON-SITE PARKING.
DOUBLE OR TWIN ROOM AVAILABLE.  UPGRADES AVAILABLE; GROUSE 4 POSTER OR RIVER SUITE– £20 PER ROOM PER NIGHT.
CHECK IN FROM 2PM; CHECK OUT BY 11AM.
DOGS ARE ALLOWED AND ARE CHARGED @ £10.00 PER DOG PER NIGHT.
ADVANCED BOOKING REQUIRED. THE BEGINNING AND END PERIOD OF A VOUCHER’S VALIDITY IS ALWAYS THE BUSIEST. WE ADVISE  YOU TO BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT.
YOU RISK FORFEITING YOUR VOUCHER IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 14 DAYS OF YOUR BOOKING.
VOUCHERS MUST BE SURRENDERED FOR REDEMPTION; PLEASE BRING YOUR VOUCHER AND BRING ALONG WITH YOU TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT.
VOUCHER IS NOT EXCHANGEABLE FOR CASH OR VALID WITH ANY OTHER OFFERS AND IS NOT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY OTHER OFFERS.

AUGUST – CONNORS TANZANIA TRIP – SPECIAL PRICES AND CRAWICK MULTIVERSE

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).

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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.
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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
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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.
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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!
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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 ian@blackaddiehotel.co.uk 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.

CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2015

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:http://www.thegoodfoodguide.co.uk/feedback , 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

FEBRUARY – IT’S NEARLY SPRING!

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.

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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.

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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.

JANUARY 2015

We’ve had some super people staying with us over the festive period and New Year this year was particularly good. We had our usual piper Mark with us again this year, it was at one stage doubtful if he would actually be able to come or whether he would have to send a substitute, he’s a policeman and was supposed to be working New Years Eve but thankfully he managed to wangle his way out of it so he could be here with us again. The good news is that we’ve already had a TripAdvisor review for New Year which of course is glowing!

Now the silly season is over it’s time to settle back down to the real work of the year. The weather so far has been kind and let’s hope it continues in this vein as we have a lot of work to do getting the house and garden ready for the coming months. We started decorating the bar/lounge area pre Christmas and desperately need to get on with that and get it finished as soon as possible as there is a long list of jobs waiting behind it to be done. I am hoping to get the greenhouse sorted out this year as it really is starting to show its age now and I want to get it to be a lot more productive than it has been in previous years. We normally grow a few types of tomatoes in it every year and try growing aubergines too as well as cresses and strawberries but this year I have far bigger plans for it. The greenhouse aside Julie also has her work cut out in the garden getting the veg beds ready for spring.

We’re also going to try to get the garage doors sorted out too as they are also showing their age and really let the front of the house and the garden down. Snipes bathroom is also on the list of things to do as too is the bathroom in Mallard – and so the list goes on!

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WEATHER – WHAT WEATHER?

With all the doom and gloom there’s been all week weather wise everyone would be forgiven for staying indoors and not even thinking about venturing out. To all intents and purposes winter was said to be arriving this week with lots of snow and sub zero temperatures but as ever here in Sanquhar the weather once again seems to have passed us by. We moved here 7 years ago from Norfolk, not a county famed for bad weather, it is in fact one of the driest places in the UK but believe it or no we had more snow down there every year than we’ve had in the time we’ve been up here. This morning we awoke to a very thin covering on  the ground, more like a dusting of icing sugar rather than a fall of snow. We’ve had the winds but on the whole they have been relatively warm, We had some rain and the river rose very high indeed on Tuesday but went down relatively quickly and it has hardly risen since but the snow that was threatened never came, not here anyway. I know further north they have had a lot of snow and of course power cuts too but as I say once again we’ve gotten away with it, Even just 2 miles down the road in both directions they’ve had a lot more snow than we have.

Bad Weather Promise:

We do make an important promise to customers though, if you book with us and are unable to come because of the weather, be it at your end or ours (unlikely) then we will happily either refund your deposit or hold it over till your next visit so there is no danger of you loosing out if you make a booking with us over the winter. This bad weather promise is there to provide you with some peace of mind as we know how unpredictable this time of year can be.

DINNER 5TH DECEMBER 2014

Here are two of the dishes on tonight’s menu, Tarragon, Olive Oil and smoked Sea Salt Ice Cream with beetroot and Goats Cheese, a fantastic combination that 99.9% of those that try it think it is one of the best things they have ever eaten – honestly, I know it is not necessarily a combination one would normally think of but it all works so well together. The other dish is Seared diver Caught Scallops with Textures and Flavours of Cauliflower and is another customer favourite, so many flavours and cauliflower is such and under rated vegetables

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