Hello to you all at the end of a beautiful summer. We had the most fantastic weather in July, record breaking for lack of rain and hours of sunshine and of course just what our visitors wanted! Many of you have already booked for next year and Whitsun week and the main summer weeks are almost full – we thank you all for your loyal support.

Of course the summer is a quiet time for changes and building work for us but we had quite an eventful one nevertheless! In early July Dave noticed some bees flying in and out of a crack in our store room next to the farmhouse and decided to investigate with Simon our bee expert. They found a huge nest with at least 30lbs of honey in it spanning the trusses in the roof. The decision had to be made whether to remove the bees and take them to one of Simon’s hives or to destroy them as the roof was in danger of collapsing. We decided to try and save them but it caused us huge problems as the access was through a small hole Dave cut in the ceiling which meant honey dripped through into the store and angry bees followed. We keep all our laundry in this room and it had to be evacuated as bees were leaving honey footprints all over it!

After 2 days Simon returned and managed to remove the queen to a skip and despite being dressed head to toe in nets and protective suits, he and his friend were covered about an inch thick with live bees so they looked like something from a Tom and Jerry cartoon! We gradually coaxed the rest of the bees out and then had the mess to clear up. The final straw happened when Dave was screwing a new piece of plasterboard into the hole in the roof and slipped off the ladder and landed hard on his bottom – he couldn’t sit down properly for weeks. – and all because he was being kind to the bees!

Another eventful day was had by us in the middle of July when we went up to London for the day to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Pat is a Prince’s Trust mentor and it was the 25th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust. We were very excited and enjoyed every minute of the day. The sun shone bright and hot and I got to wear a posh frock and flowers in my hair. We took our place in the queue and managed to get a royal handshake and a brief chat to Prince Charles. The day was rounded off by tea on the lawn, a military brass band and a walk around the 45 acres of gardens. We both felt very lucky and privileged to partake in such an occasion.

As the weather was so good we managed to fit in several fun sports days for our guests. Sack races, egg and spoon, 3 legged and all the old favourites, finishing up with rounders and a barbecue. Everyone enjoyed themselves and it is interesting to see how competitive some of the mums and dads are!

We have managed to reach the finals of the Cornwall Tourism Awards and the SW Excellence Awards this autumn. We have had our inspections and are waiting to hear the results. Keep an eye on the website and we’ll let you know as soon as we can. Thanks to all of you who voted for us again – Visit Cornwall said their lines were buzzing with your votes!

The nights are closing in now and it is starting to feel very autumnal but still dry and sunny – you know those fabulous autumn days when the children go back to school, the sky pure blue and dew covering the grass? Well, that’s what we have here now. If any of you fancy an autumn break, we’re offering our returning guests a 10% discount for breaks taken from now until the 20th December. No crowds, beaches to yourselves and the fabulous autumn colours – it’s been great just wave watching on the north coast – there’s 6ft of surf thanks to hurricane Gordon and the views are superb.

We had a bumper crop of mushrooms in the horse fields and have managed to make over 50 jars of runner bean chutney. The damson gin is on the go so we’re battening down the hatches for winter! Last week Dave find a single chick in the hen shed, cold and nearly dead but with a gentle blast from the hair dryer it has recovered and is in a box next to the Aga. What do you do with one chicken?

This winters’ projects are to reshape the downstairs of Polclay and put a porch on Rose. After Christmas we are planning to build a play barn next to Pentree for our toddlers to entertain themselves whilst Mum and Dad relax.

We’ll keep you posted in our next newsletter around Christmas.

Speak to you soon.

Pat