Friday, 16 February 2018

Nine day wonder

Today the local schools break up for February half term while most of the rest of the country is finishing. We’ve never been open for this holiday before so obviously we have no clue how it’s going to be.
It feels like my first season all over again.
The weather is promising.
The Court is open every day.
The church is open every day.
We’re open every day.
We have drafted in a few members of the main season staff to help us out.
The cake makers have been limbering up for tomorrow.
We’ve ordered more milk and more bread.
Will February deliver and make the whole winter experiment a success?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018


Apologies to Val and Alec.
They turned up in the snow on that Sunday morning to find the gate closed. While they were wondering if we were going to open three other cars of potential customers turned up to wonder the same thing.
Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.
We’ve all decided what we need is a WhatsApp group of regular customers to keep everyone informed.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Party time

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. What are we to do with you?
Another poor weather day. The forecasters said it would be mild but the wind scuppered that idea.
Bev and Annie decided to continue the kitchen deep-clean.
I arrived having had a text from the church warden; someone bringing a group to see the church would be contacting me with a reservation for May.
Annie had already spoken to one caller booking in for 30-50 teas.
In May.
It was the same date (a random Tuesday). And the same time (2pm in the church and crypt, 3pm to us)
Was it the same party?
Cue multiple phone calls and a rearrangement of the DB Chatterboxers to the following Tuesday.
The phone rang again. Could we take a group booking for 1st September? Then an email. Could we do a celebratory family lunch in April? I went home (to avoid the deep clean and answer the email). When I rang to check the diary Annie said she’d taken another group booking for late July.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

A young monarch?

This made me smile.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Cold crossed fingers

I woke yesterday to snow and a question from Annie via text: did I really want her to open?
I hate those kind of decisions so I rang her. 
In the back of my mind was a phone call I’d taken from a lady the afternoon before. Would we be open on Sunday? She was part of a walking group and just wanted to check. She doubted the walk would go ahead as such heavy rain was forecast. We didn’t know about the snow at that stage so I told her we’d be open. 
Annie suggested that we wait to see whether the Court opened and then change the answer message on the phone, in case the walker-lady rang again. The Court was closed. The warden also decided not to open the church. So we followed suit.
I really, really hope the walkers didn’t venture out. 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Parenting at its best

Would today be the day of no customers? It looked like it. For a long time. 
Then, this afternoon, a little blonde girl called Charlotte arrived. Turns out that today is Charlotte’s fourth birthday and she was given a tea set as a present. So her dad offered to take her out to tea. 
This makes me content and hopeful.
When almost everything seems to be changing the future of tea feels somehow more secure now I know that Charlotte’s dad is around.

Winter Fuel

Wednesdays are not covering themselves in glory. For the second week in a row we saw very few customers and were sort of grateful when the volunteer church steward came in for his free coffee. It gave us something to do. Thank goodness for busy weekends. So far on that score January is proving much better than December.
The logburner is causing a few headaches as the logs we’re using look dry but just aren’t. Which means I may have to buy another net from the local farm shop. 
Today is bright and sunny but there are branches and twigs everywhere - the result of a very windy night. Perhaps we should gather them up, like the poor man in the carol.