Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pumpkins and Postmen .....

With Halloween tomorrow,  and Drinkwaters shop 'a plenty with pumpkins!  I grasped the opportunity to update my blog :-)  ...... its been a while

I was going to add a photo of their lovely window display - an array of pumpkins carved to spell out "Drinkwaters" !  - on close inspection of the photo I was excited to see an apparition behind the glass, however, soon realised I'd captured my reflection - phone in one hand, and one of their giant pumpkins from inside the shop firmly gripped beside me -  "with his head tucked underneath his arm ..." as the song says!

My Pumpkin!

... Oh how I love this time of year!   the B&B is becoming much calmer - with just the odd (numerical not personal!) one or two guests hoping for a little autumn/winter respite taking walks and kicking copper coloured leaves around which are everywhere!  ... and also I am actually ahead of myself this year surprisingly, as the Christmas Cake was made the other day - an annual ritual shared with my daughter Steph and a friend of mine, Pino Grigio!

This week has also been "half term" and no surprise that both cottages were booked for the week which has been great.  Thank goodness things seem to be going well, and all our guests have been lovely people all appearing to fall in love totally with Chipping Campden and the Cotswolds!

... and who can blame them ?!

I called into Crafty Cottage this morning to check on things once our guests had left for the ferry back to Ireland, - the sun was beaming down it has been such a lovely day today.  With the bins emptied, & a little "pottering about" here and there - it was nice to bump into Arthur the postman, who was happy to pose for a photo !

I have yet to ask if he'd be Mr. October
on the Crafty Cottage Calendar ?!
Crafty Cottage Garden
is looking good too!


Still sticking to the Arts & Crafts "White Garden" theme
the garden is maturing at a fast pace. 
and with the October weather having been fairly mild *(31.10.14 = 22!)
it has still been a lovely little space for guests to enjoy in the heart of town.

...  and now it's the 31st - Halloween, and breakfast time!
Today I shared a "Builders Breakfast" with Paul and we went to a familiar haunt of his,
less than a 5 minute walk away from Crafty Cottage & Number Six.



... surrounded by giant spiders, cobwebs & ghoulish skeletons
it was a great fun atmosphere, .... and the coffee was great too!

Particularly liked their Terms
which were hanging on the wall!

 and finally,
the finished product!

"Happy Halloween!"
I will of course (with the help of Arthur)
be keeping you posted!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Old Campden House, Hidcote Gardens ..... and other stuff !

Well !
I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog!

...  Seriously missing my blogging, and with things at Crafty Cottage and No.6 having now settled into a good routine with guests arriving/leaving on a regular basis, and the "changeover" days appearing to be relatively under control I was totally inspired by the town's attractions recently, - so grabbed my camera, my sunglasses and my husband (in that order!) and headed out incognito hopefully blending in with the many tourists that descended on Chipping Campden for the Open Gardens and other local events.

Sunday 22 June was my first day of exploration, - and what a day!  .... glorious sunshine.   My first achievement was to get Paul to pass The Eight Bells and head towards Old Campden House, - which now owned by The Landmark Trust was open to the public during that particular weekend.  This doesn't happen very often - and certainly a first for us both .. 

Keen to see the two pavilions or banqueting houses across the field, like many others we walked through the gateway which was once the grand entrance to Old Campden House, (to the right of the church) -   It must have been such a beautiful Jacobean Mansion in its day, sadly destroyed by fire in 1645 ... just a little before our time!

We were also keen to make comparisons, as the Landmark Trust is a building preservation charity that rescues historic buildings at risk and 'let's them for holidays : the banqueting houses sleep 6 & 4 people.  It was very interesting but impossible to compare them with Crafty Cottage !!  -  two totally different types of accommodations. The Landmark Trust

You can even see the wool in the field here, - where the sheep had obviously been sheared during the last couple of days!
It was a glorious sunny day, - and as we left the Campden House grounds I kept my half of the bargain ... and we made our way to the Eight Bells for a light lunch!   just a hop skip and a jump away from the church, (*the historic Eight Bells actually housed the stone masons who built the church!)
Our short walk beside the Almshouses en route to the Pub, somewhat compared to a scene from any episode of Midsomer Murders! - as the morris men were gathering in readiness to perform ...
... such exhibitionists !
- catching up with myself - a few weeks later I visited the beautiful Hidcote Gardens with my great friend and bridesmaid "Trude" (of Crafty Cottage/No.6 curtain fame!)
We had a lovely morning, it was good to see the "White Garden" which was the inspiration for the Arts and Crafts garden at Crafty Cottage.

(I did actually take in excess of 70 photos which can be found on Crafty Cottage Facebook )
If I had to give a "tip" for anyone visiting Hidcote Gardens, that would be to take a stroll down the little lane through the village (hamlet?) - as most people seem to head for the car or the tea rooms after the gardens!  -  the village itself is beautiful .....

.. another tip would be to grab a copy of "Attractions & Events 2014" which has a 2 for 1 discount voucher inside which saves you £11  !

As we left Hidcote behind us, - lunch and a "natter" was very much on the agenda.
After a lot of deliberation and driving around we decided on ....

The Horse and Groom at Bourton on the Hill.

We had a lovely meal, - and it is a place that holds special memories for Trude in particular, as this was when and where she sent her first "Tweet" ( .... on Twitter !!!) ..
 and the fabulous "COTTAGE CURTAINS" was created alongside a wonderful photo of the huge portion of fish and chips infront of her :-) !
...... jumping back on the time machine and catching up with myself,
there have been many days over the past couple of months when the sun has been shining and the days (and views) have been wonderful!
Yes, the weather has been good for most of the time, and guests staying at Crafty Cottage - and Number Six have been very lucky to see our part of the Cotswolds in all its glory!
The Lavender fields at Snowshill were particularly picturesque ...
and you just never know what you are going to
come across up in the hills and around the corner!
....  and to bring things up to date,
inspired by a gorgeous sunny afternoon yesterday - I wandered around town, which certainly didn't disappoint me with photo opportunities!
I ended up at the beautiful Church in Chipping Campden ......


Wandering around the churchyard, - I came across the Arts and Crafts and modest gravestone of Gordon Russell,
....  and "being a local"   my grandparents too ..........
.... having now caught up with things - blog wise! - I will endeavour to keep the trusty blog updated on a more regular basis.
It is now almost 1 year - since our very first guests stayed in Crafty Cottage
"Hello Judi and Ian"  :-) !!
we have had so many lovely and friendly people from all over the world stay in the cottages, and I  know some of them have enjoyed glancing at the Blog, - to re-kindle the memories of their holidays in Chipping Campden.
We (that's the "royal we" .... it's really just me !) have embraced social media
... sometimes I haven't a clue what I'm doing - but thankfully I don't seem to have upset anyone yet!
I tweet on a VERY regular basis! - I update the Facebook page with photos (tweets go on there too!)
I have just added my first YouTube video of Crafty Cottage - (very much a beginners effort!)
and so "fingers crossed" things are going well at the moment!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog....
.....  I will of course be keeping you posted!
The Postbox @ Hidcote

Friday, 16 May 2014

"No.6" the big reveal !!

"Crafty Cottage" and "No.6" now stand side by side as our Cotswold holiday cottages in Chipping Campden, just off the High Street, directly infront of The Old Silk Mill, both with off road parking, wifi, and everything we imagine visitors to the town would need, - including only being a few steps away to the nearest Pub for that all important Pint !
Finally, after weeks of drilling, sanding, painting, cleaning, gardening ....... and sleeping! (the latter 'ing much preferred!) we are able to add photos of our new holiday cottage "No.6" to the blog:


We still have some "tweaking" to do - particularly with the paintwork - my fault entirely as I was in charge of the magnolia roller, and I do have the habit of painting half the ceiling when i'm only supposed to do the walls!   ... (and half the walls when i'm doing the ceiling! :-)  In the meantime - we decided to stick with what we know best & have used William Morris Strawberry Thief fabric for the soft furnishing side of things - which looks great! (Thanks Trude - big hug :-)

Despite being over 100 years old (the cottage - not Trude!),  "No.6" has perhaps a slightly more contemporary feel to the ground floor particularly, and with a little more space to play with, we are on the look out for a decent armchair, & perhaps another side table or two so I feel another trip to Barn Antiques coming on in the not too distant future !

The lovely pine dresser had belonged to Paul's mum Daisy, - and it's nice to see it decorating the wall in such a useful way - each time I glance at it - I must admit I think of her :-) x 

The spacious lounge leads towards the kitchen at the rear of the cottage, - in much the same way as with Crafty Cottage next door, although I am wondering whether anyone will be taking full advantage of such a lovely range cooker when Chipping Campden has so many wonderful restaurants!  - and people will be on holiday afterall ........ they won't want to cook will they? ?!  (that's my way of hinting, I don't fancy cleaning an oven that size  very often, - thank you very much !!)
And upstairs,  - "No.6" currently has 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.  The first bedroom has a double bed & looks lovely and cosy (as a Cotswold cottage should be!) :-)

The second bedroom has a King Size bed, which can be split to twin beds when necessary ...

The bathroom is off the landing to the rear and has a lovely view from the window over neighbouring cottage rooftops & gardens, with the Old Silk Mill standing proudly over the terrace, where the guildsmen first lived when they came to Chipping Campden in 1902.   "No.6"  was the first home of Mr. & Mrs Osborn and their three sons.  Mr. Osborn was originally an ivory worker - although following the decline of the ivory trade was given work in the silversmith's shop at The Guild.

With the sun pouring through the windows, on a day like today it's easy to see how either of the cottages are going to be such lovely places for people to stay when they visit Chipping Campden!  -  ...... looking forward to the next chapter of the Crafty Cottages book ! and now I have put  the magnolia roller down for the final time, I will be able to keep you updated with more regular blogs !!