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Orchard Farm News

This category contains 145 posts

How Long is a Piece of (Luxury Holiday Accommodation) String?

What is a bargain? What is value for money?It’s that funny time of year. Christmas and New Year have come and gone and we are all still here in spite of seriously gloomy Mayan prognostications. So what to do? How do we keep up the sense of excitement and euphoria? To avoid inertia we’ve got [...]

Leave of (Very Temporary) Absence

…just for a while we’re going all Italian…This will really be a non-blog post, a rather negative explanation and warning of possible inaction or a surprising geographical shift. Just where is the Peak District? Are we talking Tuscany or Derbyshire? Who knows? The truth is we’re talking both, really. For the next week we will [...]

The Mystery Shopper Challenge

…Have you got what it takes to ‘inspect’ Tom’s Barn?…As you probably know, after we, the ‘Mr and Mrs Mary Portas’ from Orchard Farm, had spent a very happy few days doing our best to identify the slightest failing Douglas’s Barn, we had been planning to focus our relentlessly beady eyes on Tom’s Barn and [...]

The Dreaded Inspectors Drop in on Douglas’s Barn

…Will they never give us a break?…The mystery shoppers are at it again, honing in again on Douglas’s Barn, where we last stayed almost a year ago, in November 2011. We get wonderfully appreciative comments from all our guests but there is always the sneaky worry that they are just being polite. And of course, [...]

Keep the Home Fires Burning?

…A Busy Friday in Tom’s and Douglas’s BarnsA busy day today and it is pleasant to relax now. Fridays are always busy but today was busier than necessary. We had a Fire Safety Assessment scheduled for today (they had to have entry into both barns, so it had to be a Friday). When I realised [...]

Do Real People Ever Actually Win a Competition?

…Real People do if it’s a Premier Cottages one…One never expects to win, and many of us may have wondered cynically whether a real person ever does. Does ‘ecstatic Mr B from John O’Groats’ really exist, or ‘Pensioner Mrs J from Land’s End’? Or have they been dreamt up by someone in some PR department? [...]

Certificat d’Excellence pour Tom’s Barn et Douglas’s Barn

…Laureat 2012 (2012 Winner)…I know we’ve been dashing thither and thither recently, but I bet you didn’t know that Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns has been on the move too: we appear to have been transported to France… A few days ago we received this rather handsome table plaque from TripAdvisor, accompanied by a warm letter [...]

Why on earth ask us about holiday cottages?

…Sharing some Tip Top Tips for prospective owners…A disclaimer: Presuming to write this does sound horribly big-headed, but we have been asked for advice about holiday cottages over the years by a number of friends, colleagues and relations and we have just had another urgent plea from a family friend, so John and I have [...]

Madam, you have a knife in your handbag

…Will you step this way…?… The Swallows and I, we flew to South Africa leaving one husband/ swallow photographer behind… The swallows will fly over western France to South Africa, at an average speed according to the RSPB of 35 mph, in search of warmer weather and juicier insects. No security checks, iris recognition checks, [...]

Interior Design Dilemmas

…A Confidence Crisis Resolved, we think…People often very kindly compliment us on the colour and furnishing and fittings in both barns, and it is easy to thank them graciously, brushing it off with a, ‘Well we had a lot of fun choosing everything”. Which is true up to a point, and mainly in retrospect. At [...]