As luck would have it I spent much of today in our kitchen churning out Bakewell tarts and also the coconut ‘Lincoln Tarts’ (guests may recognise!) for the Derwent Rural Counselling Service (DRCS) Shopping Fair tomorrow. The apparently burnt offering at the back does not look so bad in real life, I promise!
2011 DRCS Shopping Fair, at the Maynard, Grindleford, S32 2HE Tues 5th Oct 6pm-8pm; Thurs 6th Oct 10am-4pm
Then we had spent the previous two days indoors too, escaping outside to enjoy the balmy October sunshine whenever we had a break – we’ll be writing about snow next…! We had been attending the Premier Cottages AGM, which rather conveniently for all of us us in the Peak District is usually held just outside Stafford, so a much easier drive for us than those poor Premier Cottage owners who come from the far north or Cornwall.
It is always a very pleasant affair, with lots of stimulating discussions both formal and informal and interesting presentations. These included one by the CEO of VisitEngland, and another about star gradings and inspections for holiday cottages by Pam Foden, the VisitEngland Quality Controller, who warned that inspections would become (even more) robust. We all had a nervous turn about this when John and I reported back to Janet this evening: we take the cleanliness so seriously anyway and already it often takes every single minute of the five hours we have between visits to tackle everything, however clean and tidy the previous guests have (almost invariably) left it.
In our experience the ‘robustness’ of inspectors has never been in question – it is more the puzzling inconsistencies…
Finally, to end on a more positive note, here is another happy photo, of umbrellas: the Peak District Premier Cottages (PDPC) group has commissioned an umbrella with PDPC Logo for a bit of cheerful and useful PR.
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.