We have had a house full of (paying) guest over the past week- here for the Cowal Highland Gathering.
Highland Dancers from Newcastle.
A family of highly creative folk from France and London, including a jazz musician, an opera singer and a life model.
Michaela and I cooked 31 cooked breakfasts (once at 6am!) cleaned constantly, changed bedding every third day, and in the middle had time to do some pottery, some wood carving and bits of socialising. It has been a busy hectic week, but we have both enjoyed it enormously. It helped that our guests were so lovely of course, but just the process of welcoming others into our space with other people is such a simple pleasurable act.
Michaela in particular is really good at those little touches that make people feel that special effort has been made- place mats with hand lettered quotes, suggestions of places to go and things to do, etc etc. Mostly (particularly in the morning) I kept out of the way and worked in the kitchen. On one occasion whilst delivering some toast I was accused of sending it sliding down the table western bar style- with no small amount of elan I thought!
Weekends like this when the house is so full gives hope for the future of our mixed economy way of making a living. It will always be marginal, and Cowal Games comes but once a year, but it kind of fits with who we are.
This week an old friend from Bolton is using the Annex- I have not seen her for 10 years and it will be lovely to catch up with her news.
Our big old house is a demanding old aunt, but at last it feels like she has softened into genial old age…
Come and see for yourselves!
Sorry to go all commercial, but regular readers of this blog will know that this year we opened some of our house as a bed and breakfast. We are half a season in, and have really enjoyed sharing our house with guests from all over the world.
In these difficult times, we are well aware that many folk are looking to make their hard earned cash stretch as far as they can, and so have decided to offer a couple of special offers- one of which is an exclusive one to readers of this blog!
Through the Visit Scotland ‘Surprise yourself’ , people who book two nights in our B and B are entitled to a free pottery taster session in our pottery;
However, if you mention ‘this fragile tent’ when you book a couple of nights, then you will get a 10% discount of the cost of your stay too!
The weather has been beautiful up here over the past week or so- temperature in the 20’s, blue sky above the mountains and lochs, space, quietness and peace yours for the making.
We are closer than you think, on the edge of the National Park, near Dunoon;
And here they are!
Yesterday we had a ‘secret visitor’ in our B and B- from visit Scotland. We knew that we would get a visit at some point, and we had our suspicions about this particular guest (which made for some nervous moments!)
As it happens, she said lots of lovely things about our service, the rooms and the general feel of our B and B, and more crucially, awarded us three stars!
Three stars signifies a B and B of ‘a very good standard’. Realistically, we will not meet the criteria for 4 stars because of our location, the lack of lighting on the driveway and the fact that our rooms are within a family home. Overall, we are delighted with the three stars, particularly so early into our trading.
So if you would like to have a stay within our three star B and B, taking in the wonderful views, and perhaps trying out some pottery as part of your stay- take a look at our website!
We are really pleased with the new logo for our wee collection of micro enterprises.
We have been developing bed and breakfast rooms, self catering accommodation, retreats, crafts and craft workshops, pottery and more over the last few months. We needed something to tie it all together. At first we used the house name (Sgath an Tighe, meaning ‘shelter of the house’ or ‘house of shelter’) but increasingly we thought that it might confuse slightly as people cannot pronounce or spell it!
Eventually we came up with ‘Recreate’ as a name- with all its implications for creation, creativity, starting again, and making use of recycled materials.
Hence our business website will be transitioning to branding around the new name, and will use a new address of www.recreate-argyll.co.uk
Here is the art work, by Simon Jones, who we would highly recommend to others on the look out for some branding/graphic design work.
Here is a peek at what I have been working hard on over the past weeks- our first guest room for the new holiday/retreat/craft business is nearing completion;
It will all be ready to go in the next few weeks- available for cosy escapes, quiet retreats and the like.
We are waiting for curtains and a couple of bits and pieces, but check out the view;
Last night Michaela and Pauline led the first workshop in the pottery in the cellar of our house.
It is really exciting to see this space coming alive- and to see beautiful objects being shaped out of what are essentially lumps of mud. Last night people spent some time at the potters wheel, and also made a slip decorated cake plate. Results were very impressive for first time potters!
Over the next few months we intend to spend time developing part of the old house into Bed and Breakfast, but already we have self catering accommodation available in our cosy annex.
If you are considering a break in Scotland, perhaps it might be worth combining this with some potting? We can tailor a residential potting experience!
If you contact us via our website, mention this blog and you will be eligible for a discount!
For locals, there are details of Michaela and Pauline’s craft courses here.
A few more photos from last night;
I have spent much of this weekend working on our new website for all things Sgath an Tighe. I hinted at a possible change of direction for the family recently- well here it is made real in cyber space!
Eventually this will be a portal for a number of different things happening in or around out house-
- Self catering accommodation (already available)
- B and B accommodation (still a work in progress)
- Craft workshops (Blue Sky programme is on the website)
- Crafts- woodworking, pottery, all sorts of other things
- Retreats- both in the house and wilderness retreats
- Information about our lovely area
The website is still under development, but there is a lot there already. I have used a wordpress platform, which has not been without the odd frustration, but is mostly OK, even to a relative novice like me.
Call by and let me know what you think!