So much has been going on down at Dalswinton Guest House since we took over in early 2015.
As well as welcoming many returning guests we’ve had the pleasure of making many new friends at Dalswinton. New visitors and their dogs have been making the journey to North Cornwall and enjoying the breath taking scenery on offer. Long walks on the beautiful dog friendly beaches. Great food and entertainment just minutes away from our front door. We’ve had so much fun settling in and putting our stamp on the place.
Here’s our story so far………
Our move started back on a cold and wet March morning. Four hours on the road and then vans to unload, we needed a well deserved pint so headed straight to the Falcon to re-charge our batteries. Ironically, due to the usual routine bank and solicitor issues we were not fully ‘official’ owners until the following day.
The following morning we set off back to Swindon to pick up the remaining things i.e. the cat and Ang and immediately headed back South again.
By now it was mid-March and our first customers were due March 28th. We had approximately 2 weeks to get ready! Time was a blur and finally the day had arrived when we would welcome the couples of Shepard and Hall – long standing visitors to Dalswinton. We were extremely nervous but they were very pleasant people who were easy to get along with. The first weekend went well apart from the incident with the toaster. Ang forgot that it does not self ‘pop’ and the alarms were poised. We quickly turned the extract to warp factor 10 and opened the windows. Phew -Catastrophe avoided. Ang immediately walks out to the dining area and asks if anybody wants more tea or coffee as if nothing has happened……
Our initial plan was not to change too much as we wanted to ensure our existing clients would be comfortable with the change in ownership first before we started to make it our own. One of the biggest changes was the decision not do evening meals. Our main focus would be increasing occupancy and to improve the holiday experience at Dalswinton. We understand the dog friendly credentials and the importance of a great breakfast to keep visitors sustained throughout the day. This has been our main focus, and judging by the lovely feedback we’ve received we think we’re doing a pretty good job with this.
Luckily most of our furniture fitted well and the 4 piece sitter looks like it was made for the conservatory. We are slowly changing the pictures and making the feel more ‘Victorian’. A couple of our own ornaments, although not particularly Victorian, are often a good discussion point. The giraffes Fred and Freda in particular. We’ve changed the seating layout of the conservatory and have made it less formal. This has proven very popular as it has become a focal point for evening drinks and discussions after diner. The drivers can relax and we often join the residents for an evening tipple and join in with their discussions.
We have decided on a beach/bay theme for the rooms and you will have noticed that the rooms have changed from a number to the names of our favourite local beaches. In time will each room will be decorated in a theme of the local beach/bay it represents.
The pool was the only issue and we quickly realised that it needed more than a new liner. The steel frame was found to be badly corroded and the concrete liner was rotten. After some serious thought it was decided that it was beyond economic repair. Our plan now is to redevelop the whole area and add two large hot tubs that can be used and enjoyed throughout the year.
On a plus side the garden near the lodge has been significantly pruned and the decking extended to over 4 meters in width. The tree line has been cut back and the views down the vale from the decking is truly stunning.
Other plans include extending on the side so that the floor level rooms 9 and 10 have a high quality living area. The roof on the main building will be replaced, the insulation significantly upgraded and the open fires replaced with wood burners to aid heat retention and reduce energy consumption.
Our aim is to build on the previous good reputation and to provide a friendly, clean holiday experience – even in the winter months and during summer showers.
There’s also a new member of the family called George. He loves the beach too.
We’ve certainly fallen in love with Dalswinton and we’ve made so many wonderful friends along the way. Thanks to everyone who has been part of our adventure up to now. Looking forward to making many more memories.
Come and visit us at Dalswinton soon.
Drew & Ang