Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

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Buy One, Get One Free?

…In Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns? Surely not…

No, we’re surely not offering free holidays…

We’re talking about giving a present you will enjoy quite as much as the recipient – two people’s happiness for the price of one – this to me seems the perfect arrangement and far better than the standard ‘BOGOF’ when you end up with unwanted baked beans or pineapples.

This Top Tip is not our idea, we’ve learnt it from some clever guests who sussed it out ages ago but we’re happy to pass it on.

Often someone’s partner/husband/wife books a holiday in Tom’s or Douglas’s Barns, as a secret surprise present for their partner/husband/wife. John and I are sworn to secrecy, furtive phone calls are made and immediately aborted if the said partner/husband/wife unexpectedly and inconveniently interrupts the conversation the other end, and emails are sent to a ‘private’ address.

Eventually, with a flurry of the proverbial trumpet, this secret surprise gesture is eventually ‘out’, and received with great delight and appreciation, and the giver warmly appreciated for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

Both parties come to holiday in either Tom’s or Douglas’s Barn, together, and both have a wonderful time. The giver feels good – don’t we all love giving a present that is really appreciated? And the ‘givee’ feels wonderfully loved, and everyone is happy.

And there you have it – two people’s happiness for the price of one. You could even try it but be sure to warn them to keep the dates clear or you could end up coming on your own.

Herbert’s very fine Fine English Tea Rooms

Rather late in the day, I spotted on Facebook this morning that Herbert’s Fine English Tea Rooms had opened in Tissington on March 1st. Being both late and slow, it took me a second or two to realise that this was not a new tea rooms at all but the Old Coach House transformed. Never slow to research new food experiences – and how convenient, on a Saturday, with my brother John staying for the weekend…

Off we set almost immediately as soon as we’d finished breakfast. The walk over the hills to Tissington never fails to charm, but it was a rather muddy charm today, and although the weather was dry we did not have the blazing sun we’d all been led to expect.

As soon as we reached Tissington, apart from stopping off to buy a pound of sausages and some black pudding from the butcher’s, we went straight to Herbert’s. Not surprisingly, the actual building doesn’t look any different from how it did in its past life but the minute you go in the feel is very different, with ‘its quirky decor and array of vintage china’, waitress service and a new and most attractive menu.

We were charmingly greeted and served. Anticipating a large dinner tonight we only had a drink each, and a (large) bowl of quite delicious cherry tomato and basil soup, with a very fresh roll and butter. At £4.25 this was cheaper than most places round here, and the soup quite delicious by any standard.

The place was bustling, and one can see why. It is open every day from now until 31st October, from 10.30 to 5. Meals are served from 10.30 to 3 (breakfast 10.30 to 12, lunch from 12 to 3 and presumably afternoon tea doesn’t count as a meal and can be had all day).

We liked the old Coach House, but like this even more and can recommend it thoroughly as a lovely place for friends and guests to go. We shall go a lot, I can see. I rather fancy their breakfast ‘Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Muffin’ and their Sparkling English Cream tea for Two. The latter sounds perfect for our Tom’s and Douglas’s Barn guests!

Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns’ Big Extra:

Peaceful early morning mist in Parwich valley

Early morning mist in the valley

We are often thanked and praised for our ‘little extras’. Indeed we try very hard to think of every little thing possible to make sure that your stay here is very special and just last week we were very involved in setting up the most romantic scene possible for a proposal!

Don’t get the wrong idea. If you stay at Tom’s or Douglas’s Barns we can’t promise a proposal, and realise that the very thought might be enough to terrify many of you away completely.

It’s not often that you can completely escape from normal life, with all its pressures and stresses, and more than one guest has confided to us that the only place they feel really safe and able to relax is Tom’s, or Douglas’s Barns.

What we can promise for everyone is peace, quiet, calm and great comfort, and the invaluable opportunity to be somewhere where you can be yourselves: not someone’s boss or employee, not someone’s son or daughter, not someone’s mother or father. This is more precious than you might realise.

The mobile signal is not brilliant, you have a landline in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barn but you can choose not to divulge the number. You can really escape – effectively simply disappear.

There’s no traffic noise, no sirens, no police cars: life can completely slow down to your own pace, not one forced upon you. There’s nothing else to concentrate on but yourselves. What will we do today? Where shall we walk? Where shall we eat? Or shall we just stay put and completely relax – chat, read, write, watch, listen, chill…

Talking to some returning guests today, we realise just how incredibly valuable this is. It is a very big ‘little extra’ yet it is invisible and has to be experienced rather than described. Its healing powers are immense.

And we’re just humbly grateful, that thanks to our setting, we can provide our guests with this wonderful ‘big extra’.


LATEST NEWS

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    There is still time to book a last minute Christmas get away in Douglas’s Barn. The weather may be cold but the barn is very warm and cosy. Why not treat yourselves to a get away from it all break. You can order all your supplies from one of the supermarkets, get it delivered and […]

  • Time for a short pre Christmas break

    Time to get a bit of relaxation before the Christmas mayhem. There are still short breaks available in Douglas’s Barn. Plenty going on in the Peak District. Lots of Christmas markets selling lovely gifts that you don’t see elsewhere. Chatsworth House is also a must at this time of year. There are plenty of stories […]

  • A busy Sunday in the Peak District

    Lots of events to go to in and around Parwich today but managed to get to the Horticultural Show in Parwich and the Hartington Show. Missed out on the Antiques in Ashbourne though which is always worth going to. Izzy did better than me by getting 1st prize as the Prettiest Bitch at Hartington Show […]

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