Although the spring was wet and bookings a bit slow to begin with this year we have enjoyed the fabulous hot summer with the flow of even more delightful guests from all over the world, and bookings are still coming.
The launch of the second apartment last year has been a huge success into this year and often is the preferred choice, possibly because of its larger kitchen and more suitability to larger families.
We are still in building mode and started yet another room last winter specifically for our volunteer workers, (explained further on) with an extra shower room and also a large walk in airing cupboard for all the linen and towels etc. This area still has to be finished which we will complete in the next few weeks now the summer seems to be over.
We then have just one more area to develop and that will be it.
We couldn't manage all this work without the help of a constant stream of Workawayers. These are volunteer workers who come to give work in exchange for board and lodging. We use a site called Workaway.info where we can search for volunteers and they can search for us. We all post a profile so it's easy to make choices. A big thank you to all of them over the last 3 years we have been part of the programme.
We now also have a cascading water fall right next to the picnic area which is lit up in the evening. The large oak dining table which we have had in storage since being in France has been brought out and dusted off and put in the picnic area which can now easily seat 14! With the chiminea and the pergola roof which is now on, we can even sit out there in the evenings when it's a bit chilly or even raining. This area has become an extension of the house and this year we have spent almost every evening al fresco! Geoff also has built a very pretty seating area by the pond, which we had dug out last winter. This part of the garden gets the last rays of sun in the evening and is a perfect spot for a G&T, or our favourite, Voddy limes! (thank you Jeannie for the recipe).
Cut into small pieces, one lime per person and put into a heavy based glass, like a whiskey glass. Add two teaspoons of sugar and use a pestle to grind the lime and sugar together to extract as much juice and zest as possible. Fill the glass with ice. Pour over the vodka, stir and enjoy! The size of the whiskey glass, to one lime to the quantity of ice and vodka are perfect proportions. (It's very important to fill the glass with ice BEFORE pouring in the vodka. You will only make that mistake once!)
Just one bit of sad news...we lost our adorable Westie, Henri at the end of June to a stroke. I had to make that dreadful decision and it broke my heart, but at almost 17 years old he had had his day and it was his time. Until the stroke he had been perfectly healthy and even lively. He is sadly missed by every one who knew him. But Freddie continues to delight us and all the guests and is proving to be a loyal, intelligent and gentle dog.
I will be updating the pictures on the site any day now, just waiting for the sun the come out again, hope I haven't missed the opportunity. Want to take the pictures while the Creeping Virginia is still on the house and the dahlias are still in bloom.