“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”
We both know from our ‘previous working lives’ that a crisis can present an opportunity and that with an open mind and a positive attitude we can spot an opportunity and make the best of it.
Time was the first opportunity presented by lockdown.
Outside: Up until February we hadn’t had a great deal of time to spend outside in the gardens. Our transformation of The Walled Garden has to be our biggest gardening achievement. Its not perfectly manicured or weed-free by any means. Keeping weeds at bay is a full-time job.
But it is now producing plenty of fruit and veg and we have learned a lot from our trials and errors. Next year we plan to use what we learned to produce more and use it in the meals we prepare for our guests.
Inside: We know the suites are lovely because everyone who stays tells us how much they love the mix of history, tradition and modernity. We know guests also love the high ceilings with their ornate detail and huge windows overlooking the gardens in the Library, Dining Room and Bar.
We also know that, on really frosty winter nights, those lovely features can make it difficult to keep in the heat. We’ve used our time without guests to start installing log burners into all our ground floor fireplaces. The log burners are more efficient than the existing fireplaces and will make a huge difference.
Social distancing presented the next opportunity. Keeping people 2m apart isn’t that difficult but we wanted to make the experience of being socially distanced from other guests a feature of a stay rather than a feature of lockdown. We’ve redesigned our ground floor rooms to create three exclusive living rooms; one for each suite.
The feedback we have had so far suggests this change exceeds all expectations guests have when they book a B&B! It was a simple change than will really enhance guests’ experiences.