We love dogs, and their owners, and we welcome dogs to Tom’s Barn, warmly and almost unconditionally. However, we do always stipulate ‘well-behaved’ and we do politely suggest that they don’t go upstairs or onto the furniture (unless it is adequately protected by dust sheets and old curtains which we do provide).
So, what is this all leading up to? And, no, we haven’t had a bad experience, not for a long time… What is worrying us is that on Wednesday we are having a carpet laid! Carpet, up the stairs and in the Tom’s Barn bedroom and no… we didn’t really want to do this having always tried as hard as we can to keep our two barns as charmingly ‘barnlike’ as we can rather than what in the circumstances would feel to us to be overdressed and inappropriate.
So what has brought on the astonishing change of mind you may wonder? Well, it’s status seeking, no less, or perhaps, status retaining. As you know, both our barns are annually inspected and given 5 Stars with a coveted Gold Award. In Tom’s Barn this is quite an achievement, accepting dogs as we do (although by no means all our loyal and lovely Tom’s Barn guests have dogs) and we are determined not to risk losing it, nor do we ever want to threaten the pleasure of any guest coming without a dog. At our last QiT (Quality in Tourism) inspection we were warned in no uncertain terms that to retain our Five Star status we had to do something about the wooden surface of both the stairs (bad, thanks to occasional sharp and slithering dogs’ claws) and the bedroom floor (mostly just general wear and tear and countless moppings but also what can only be the odd doggie claw mark).
We consulted Jason our decorator, David our joiner and various other experts who know about these things, hoping against hope that someone would have an attractive and workable solution. Very very reluctantly we have come to see that short of serious structural and extremely expensive reflooring which anyway would be impossible to achieve with little likelihood of a long enough gap in our wall-to-wall bookings which we can’t disrupt the only reasonable solution is what we hope will be attractive and hard-wearing carpet.
So three burly carpet layers from Nutts Carpets of Clay Cross are coming on Wednesday to lay the carpet. I say burly, but of course they may all be wiry and slim but what we do know is that they will be strong and they will be skilled because they will have to lay the carpet with the enormously heavy bed in situ; they also have the central pillar to work around. It won’t be a simple job. Guests are coming on Friday and everything has got to be spick and span and spotless so the pressure is on for the poor carpet layers and for us.
And once the carpet is down for all sorts of obvious reasons we will not want dogs up the stairs or in the bedroom, please. I know most people wouldn’t dream of letting their dog upstairs, here or at home but we do understand that for some dogs it is difficult: there is no door you can firmly shut and if they can hear and see you upstairs they may find it hard to understand that they aren’t welcome. Fortunately we now have a permanent stair gate and we do ask your cooperation not just for our peace of mind but for all our guests as well, those with dogs and those without.
John this evening took a few before shots of the carpetless wooden surfaces; all being well tomorrow we shall have some after pictures which we will all be happy with!
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.