Our inspection report has arrived, and yes, we did not dream the Five Stars nor the Gold Award (one does begin to wonder…) We are informed that we may, at our discretion, make our inspection report available publicly; we are happy to share it with you, warts and all although I must admit we are very pleased with it. Have a look for yourself if you’d like to, click here to see the report.There are certain things we are stuck with, which we have to accept will bring marks down such as the size and shape(s) of the building and the truss in Tom’s Barn bedroom which therefore makes the bedroom appear quite cramped and yet at the same time extremely spacious as one looks out over the gallery towards our veg patch.
The inspector shuddered visibly when she looked at Tom’s Barn bath. She said that although to her it would be a nightmare she appreciated that to most of our guests it is rather special; she agreed that as long as it is clear to potential guests that they have to mountaineer – or at least climb up steps and down – to have a bath then if that is not to their taste they can try Douglas’s Barn’s more conventional approach!
Our walls are mostly rough plastered (‘It’s more than my job’s worth,’ muttered the plasterer when we told him we wanted to recreate the texture – as far as possible – of the original walls of the cow barns that they once were). Despite the rather illogical Farrow and Ball paint the texture of the walls does mean that the decoration is never going to be classed as ‘excellent’ and because neither bathroom has floor to ceiling tiling neither will ever get an excellent for that.
Our ‘cottages’ are converted barns. Having opted for a certain relaxed style and atmosphere, we are never going to be up there with the super elegant boutique cottages with their glossy magazine kitchens, wet rooms, swags and drapes and underfloor heating but that’s a choice we make. It may well be one we regret, as expectations and standards rise increasingly higher but we’ll just have to keep hoping that there are still lots of you out there who want great comfort but are happy with the odd ‘cosy’ – in estate agent speak- space or only half-tiled bathroom!
There are two scores in the report that we are unreservedly proud of. The first is the 100% for cleanliness (we’ve had that every year and my goodness Janet and Carol and indeed we all work hard at that). Our hope is that you will never be reminded that you are not the first person to stay in your barn. We’ve all stayed in enough well-respected/secretly grotty hotel and other rooms to know how horrid it is – no matter how elegant the public reception areas are – to feel you daren’t walk barefoot on the bedroom carpet because it looks greasy and stained and there are hairs in the plughole of the bath, and the pillows smell rather used. Sorry…
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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.