Well, try as we might we simply could not open our online QiT (Visit England Quality in Tourism) report but after after a couple of frustrating and somewhat worrying days the QiT office had to send another version which worked like a charm, to reveal no unpleasant surprise after all!
As always there appear to be anomalies and inconsistencies but perhaps that is only to be expected. The inspectors are only human and in a tick box system there is little scope for subtleties or explanation – the answer is either Yes or No, Black or White. As much as we might moan about the system and its sometimes hard to fathom priorities, having a nationally accepted grading system must on the whole be a good thing: it gives some sort of an idea to prospective quests of the kind of standard to expect nor avoid, and it does keep us owners on our toes.
At the moment however there is consternation in the QiT ranks since it was suggested that the government intended to phase the official star rating out completely and rely instead on TripAdvisor on the grounds that a) it would save the government money and b) more and more holiday makers make their minds up on the strength of online reviews rather than on ecstatic comments written by owners themselves, or indeed on official QiT star gradings.
We really value our reviews on TripAdvisor; however, it would be hard to see how they could replace an objective national ‘grading’ system. Reviews on TripAdvisor can be anonymous, they are subjective, can be malicious or have apparently even been composed by over keen owners themselves.
Anyway, so much for all that and back to the current system… Our overall score is 92% and once again, 100% for cleanliness! We have some more improvements in the pipeline so things can only get even better. We have already bought a new chair for Tom’s Barn, and are having the footstool recovered; we have two oak bedside cabinets, two side tables and a coffee table being made by a local joiner. It will be Douglas’s Barn’s turn next.
But the crucial ‘to do’ is to buy a set of smaller tumblers for both barns or we apparently, suddenly (the first we have heard of this) do not meet minimum standards for 5 Stars! It would be a shame to go down a grade for the sake for six small tumblers…
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.