Drawing a close to 2018

Goodness me, with the exception of a day of ice rain, hasn’t December been a mild one compared to last year.  Or at least it has been at the top of the hill!

Christmas Time

Haddon Hall at Christmas

In our book, the festive period relishes traditions yet provides an opportunity to try something new. Highlights for us this year include a trip to Chatsworth Christmas Market and a candle lit tour of Haddon Hall. Firstly, Chatsworth Christmas Market was a fabulous place to choose Christmas presents for friends and family. We ended up picking up various bottles of liqueur, socks, nuts, soaps; through to a hedgehog bird feeder (my mother is a hedgehog fan!). One note to add is regarding the parking – we would certainly recommend viewing the Chatsworth website and/or calling them directly as there are several options available when it comes to travel into the market, including a shuttle bus (at least that is the case in 2018).

Secondly, the candle lit tour around Haddon Hall felt magical, regal and the fact it is so steeped in history makes for an interesting tour, even if you may have previously visited before. Our tour started with mince pies and mulled wine (firm favourites!) and then we proceeded to tour around the main parts of the hall. We particularly enjoyed the Long Gallery with its angled panes of glass which are to be admired.

Plans for January 2019

Over the last couple of months, we have been working behind the scenes to move Bolehill to its next chapter. Some of this work is quite obvious to the eye yet some is more behind the scenes, infrastructure based. This is done with the intention of improving our offering to you in some way or form. We are firm believers that ‘new’ or ‘modern’ is not always better so constantly ask ourselves ‘why’ before we look to make alterations/changes. On the back of this, please do speak to us or challenge us if there is something you believe should be considered – it may be something we haven’t thought of. As we’ve said to many of you – we are not closed books and hope never to become as such.

Some of the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that our availability calendar is blocked out for the first 6 weeks of 2019. This is because we have lots of exciting things happening such as the addition of several en-suite bathrooms; a new hot-water plumbing system which will provide improved shower pressure; refurbishment of our games room block; conversion of garages to become a group dining room and kitchen. The aim is to cherish the history of the site yet move towards modern requirements with the view of making Bolehill an even more pleasant place to enjoy your holiday. It is sure to be an action-packed period – another excuse to rope the family in (my parents thought they had retired!! 😊)

Changing Plans

When taking over the reigns in November 2017, it was always our intention to provide a breakfast offering and this was one of the main drivers of our garage conversion in becoming a group dining area. However, shortly after I slipped two back discs and needed surgery which put our plan on hold. Since then, it has been a good opportunity for us to reflect and consider. We would like to start a family in the not too distant future and with this will come one of the greatest commitments of all time (we’ve been told this so many times by various people so decided that it must be a gospel truth!).

Winter Sunrise at Bolehill

Running the site in a hands-on manner and taking the site to the next chapter are also great commitments and as such, feel that providing a breakfast option at present is not feasible for us. We say at present, since it’s an offering we would very much like to keep on the table for the future. The introduction of a group kitchen and associated dining room will continue to proceed in January.

Farm Update

Mince Pies at Bolehill

As an aside, despite the lack of cow grass this summer, we are pleased to tell you that Fay’s parents picked up an award at the annual Leek Pedigree Cow Show & Sale for ‘Best Cow’ and for a cow that has produced 110 tonnes of milk – quite an achievement. Well done to Joanna, Andrew & Jake.

We are very fortunate to have lovely guests on-site this Christmas & New Year and I do hope that the homemade mince pies and mulled wine are going down well!

Thank you to all our guests who have stayed with us during the course of 2018 and we wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

Fay & Dan (written by Dan)

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