We have a good problem to solve. At weekends, traditional holiday periods and during the summer we are beginning to be fully booked. We need more bedrooms.
With the barn, the coach house, the kennels and the stables we have ample space to develop beautiful garden rooms. We are looking at making four more in phase 1 with the potential for a further four at a later date. We wouldn’t want to get any bigger than that, as we never want to lose the personal touch that Palé is becoming so well known for.
There is already planning permission to turn these areas into accommodation. We will work closely with our listed buildings officer to ensure all development is sympathetic and will preserve these buildings for the future. We were so lucky to meet some former owners of Palé a few weeks ago. They came to stay and asked to meet Alan and I. They presented us with some wonderful old photographs. When their family bought Palé it had had many years of neglect, the gardens overgrown, the interiors dark and dingy. It’s fascinating to follow the path from those days to the glory that is Palé now thanks to a succession of owners who, since the 1970s, have cared for her and lavished much thought and money to ensure she survives. This next phase of work will ensure the restoration preserves the fabric of the estate’s working buildings, if not their original use.
Projects like this take a great deal of planning, you need to get your ducks in a row before you press go. We are hoping that these rooms will be ready by next Easter. With additional planning consent, and the conservation requirements for our bats, the lead time will be a few months. The bat team were keen that we re-roof the coach house anyway, so hopefully we can find a way to make it work. We have, of course, been talking to Williams Homes to undertake this next stage of development and have reached an agreement for the proposed scope of the work.
I am already in my element, trawling through The Style Library for the right papers and fabrics, and looking for beautiful pieces of furniture that will meld together. I haven’t quite fixed on how I want them to look yet but it only takes a piece of fabric, a picture, or an interesting console table and that will get the ball rolling and the spending going. The design bits will be my baby; Alan will pay for it all. Now I call that a fair deal.
We have had a bit of weather this week. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered flooding across the country. It is of course why this stunning part of the world is so verdant. I have never seen anywhere with such a myriad of shades of green, some so powerful they almost hurt your eyes. The rivers and reservoirs needed the rain as it’s been a very dry start to the year, but today our hydro is almost at full capacity.
By the time you read this you will probably know how Adam and Sam did on Bake Off The Professionals (no spoilers here). To say that the boys have done us – and more importantly themselves – proud is an understatement. I am certain that this will not be the last you see of the Palé Hall pastry team on your televisions. In fact, it’s already started. This week we have had the BBC here filming Sam for their See Hear programme. It was a great day, with Sam receiving the attention he so richly deserves, for following his dream, working in a fully hearing environment and being such a role model for other deaf people.
Have a lovely weekend.