Looking back over 2016 …

I call it looking back, but it’s much more of a review, forward-looking and a little goal-setting (not just about losing some weight either … although that is on the list too!)

Please indulge me for a moment whilst we take a look back over the past 12 months here at Blakelow. My intent is not self-serving. It is instead to allow us to appreciate anew how and what we do to keep Blakelow fresh and share the experiences of living, working and supporting our beautiful Peak District.

Bonsall opera night … this does sound grand and a little highbrow but it is held each June in the village church just down the road, it’s a fabulous evening of music, good company, wine and canapes with two fabulous singers.

Afternoon Tea … this year we started our Blakelow Afternoon Tea service for our guests – homemade cakes, dainties and sandwiches all served in our guests cottage or weather permitting on their own private terrace.

Christmas Cottage refurbishment … which included new locally made sofas, lighting, curtains and décor.

Eroica Cycle Festival … we thoroughly enjoyed manning the Peak District Premier cottages stand for 3 days in June and met some great people.

Gallery Café … We were so pleased to have the Gallery Café (Bakewell) added to the Privilege Card scheme. Faye and her team offer great, friendly service and good food. The millionaires shortbread is the best we’ve tasted.. ever!

Our Pigs … This year our piggies, Ronnie, Reggie and Charlie were a delight to keep, so friendly. They entertained us with their antics and amazed us with their ability to ‘blag’ food from all who passed their pen.

Summer of garden flowers, herbs and veggies … a year of fresh flowers and herbs for our guests to enjoy.

Guests old and new … another year meeting and greeting great guests old and new.

Chestnut Cottage refurbishment … it’s a good job we like decorating although to design a scheme around new sofa’s and furniture plus new lighting is very rewarding, especially when our guests like what we’ve done.

Christmas at Chatsworth and Blakelow … we ended the year in festive spirit, visiting Chatsworth House with its décor inspired by the Nutcracker – the Blakelow decorations had no theme but they are very stylish, I think you can always tell when people love Christmas.

Now to the fun part for me! As I mentioned we are forward looking and already have plans in place (and in our heads) for 2017 – I get to “anticipate the challenges ahead”. I don’t mind doing a bit of crystal-ball gazing. Much of it in the form where to advertise and what changes we need to make… and of course more decorating and refurbishing – the fun never stops here at Blakelow.

Afternoon tea top tier

Afternoon tea ~ top tier

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