It’s fascinating looking back to where we were a year ago and realise how far we’ve come already.

June 23rd 2017

The invention of the photograph has revolutionised the recording of the personal history of families around the world. Our loved ones, never far from our mind, need never fade, rather our memories can be refreshed at need. On a daily basis, I can look into my mother’s eyes and carry her with me. Technology allows the daily sharing of our lives with our friends and the world if we so wish.

When Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature pops up with pictures from a year ago it’s always interesting. Today one year ago we were having the tartan hall carpet fitted. Using this as a memory prompt, I went through my phone to check my photographs. One year ago, the kitchen wasn’t finished; the bedrooms were just about finished but weren’t fully furnished, didn’t have curtains and certainly weren’t dressed, the rear hallway was still being decorated, the gent’s toilets weren’t plumbed in and the rear courtyard was a quagmire. In the garden, we had just finished the pond, had yet to re-seed where the hydro work had been done and the car park was in a shocking state. We had appointed Gareth, Pim was appointed and due to start on July 1st, in fact with less than two months to go until soft opening we were seemingly in chaos. Except, we weren’t. Alan and I are driven, organised, and therefore a formidable team. Whilst people told us we would never be ready on time, there was never any doubt (well, no publicly admitted doubt) that we would be ready. We trusted Williams Homes to deliver on time, they did. We trusted Gareth to appoint his team and get the ordering done, develop supplier relationships and work with Michael to plan those early menus, he did. We trusted Pim to turn our beautiful country home into a fully functioning hotel, he did. We trusted Steve and Michael to whip us all into shape and ensure a reasonably smooth opening, they did. We trusted our staff to work their socks off to get us ready, they did. We placed our faith in people and, as we have both found so often in life, to be trusted is empowering, people did not let us down.

We have been open 294 days; they haven’t all gone smoothly. We have dropped the ball occasionally, there are things we are still working on and there always will be, because it’s impossible to be perfect it means we can always do better. BUT, that being said, and putting all due modesty aside, those 294 days have gone well, in fact really well. So, as well as being awarded our 5* rating by both the AA and Visit Wales with fantastic scores, as well as being delighted with journalist reviews and appearing on several ‘hot’ lists, our guest comments and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, our guest book makes emotional reading.

Here are just a few of the reviews and lists:

Feeling very proud here, ‘and the work goes on’.

Have a wonderful weekend.

A&A

P.S. Following on from the previous blog post, after two years of dogged determination on Alan’s part the hydro is fully functioning and producing electricity. An ‘Oh be joyful’ celebration of the bubbly kind was had in the Harper household last night.