So, the last wedding pre summer was Thursday. Our Holly hosted that one so Tracey and Rich got the chance to work at home and Steve and i got to take the kids after school to ice skating and a v naughty food establishment.
They had a great time.
Then came Friday. Oh what a day. Well, really what a week. Just before the wedding season we work really hard at presenting the house for wedding parties, then just before the holiday season we turn everything around and throw all our efforts into how we want it to be for holiday guests. So much of the week was spent getting the games room ready...
(well done to Tracey), sorting out all the toys, buying lots of new games, hanging bunting..
... wondering what to give this year as a welcome gift (we settled on home-made brownies, a bottle of local wine, a milk bottle in the fridge and some flowers from the garden)..
....re-writing our welcome pack...stocking up apartments with good holiday books...checking all the inventorys, washing sofa covers, cushion covers, buying new hoovers, buying new Z beds, buying in all the cream-tea bits (we do a cream tea for all our summer guests mid-week)and generally finishing all painting and maintenance throughout the apartments!
Oh, and we also turned the Snug into its true purpose..a snuggly one bedroom studio apartment with a gorgeous little ensuite wet-room. Tracey or I will post a photo of how it looks now in a coming blog.
One of our previous guests gave us the great idea of having a bin of water to wash the wetsuits in before putting on the line, rather than walking further away to the tap. We thought that was a fab idea.
From 4pm the guests started to roll in. If we are really, really honest we would all say that the holiday guests are our favourite thing about our business side of being at Pickwell. The house seems to come alive and everywhere you go you see people really appreciating the space, the view, being with their kids, their partners and properly relaxing. We all really love meeting the various people who find us in this little corner of Devon.
So, this week we have a guy who brought his girlfriend here to propose (she said yes!), we have a family from Dubai staying for 5 weeks, a family from South Carolina staying for 2 weeks, (gorgeous people seen in photo's. The guy on the skate board is a dad of four kids who were all highly embarrassed about his antics, whereas we were just VERY impressed and made him do it four times so i could get a pic!),
an old friend of all of us Pickwellers (with his family), a couple who got married here one year ago and are back to celebrate their anniversary, and lots of other really lovely people. I think there are 38 guests in total.
Our kids love it because they have other children their age around all the time through the summer so they tend to just all club together and spend hours running around the woods and playing in the games room.
We ended the day on a 'Friday Night Tea'. We try to eat together ( us and the Elliotts) every friday where we dont have a wedding. This was the first friday in a long time. Rich cooked a gorgeous carbonara followed by eton mess. I love Richard's cooking and he doesn't even know how good he is. We drank wine (well deserved after our day we felt)
and did the 'discussion box'. From the beginning of this adventure, three years ago, we started friday night teas. We brought in this idea whereby each person at the tea (including many guests who have come and joined us) has to bring something for the box which after tea gets pulled out. Everyone has to ask questions about why the person put the thing in the box. We have had everything from newspaper clippings about the Israel/Palestine conflict through to questions about what penguins eat (every week for six weeks, thanks Millie-Grace!). At one point a year in, we tried to phase out the discussion box and bring in something different to change the format a bit...but no...the kids were having none of it. Although more recently Zac and Molly brought to a house meeting that they wanted to introduce 'film night' (thank you Hewitts) and 'games night' into Friday's so woohoo, watch this space!
The 'box' is on the left hand side of the pic. Molly was just explaining to us the reason for her pasta inclusion..(she ate out at an Italian with nanny and papa the night before when they were passing through). I think we were just all relieved it didn't involve penguins.