Happy Birthday Five Acre Barn
It’s hard to believe that our first guests checked in exactly twelve months ago – 8 April 2017 (even harder to believe that we had thought we would be ready by the previous November – apologies to the people whose bookings sadly we had to cancel).
It had been a big build up to opening – first the long search for a suitable site and then fourteen months of building and renovating – and we weren’t even 100% sure that we would enjoy the experience. Fortunately it turns out that – perhaps bathroom cleaning aside – that it is really a lot of fun.
That it has been so enjoyable has mainly been down to our wonderful guests. We have been extremely lucky, meeting so many interesting, enthusiastic, positive and supportive people (possibly more architects in 12 months than in the rest of our entire lives). As B&B newbies, we have particularly appreciated all the lovely things that our guests have said – it has really lifted our spirits and helped reassure us that we are on the right track. We have equally valued the more critical feedback along the way – all helpful pointers how we might further improve our ‘offering’. Sometimes we are asked ‘have you had anyone awful to stay’ and we can honestly say that we haven’t. Long may that continue!
We have also been really lucky to have had some great exposure in the press and online – on the beautiful interiors blog www.designhunter.co.uk, the amazing www.Outthere.travel magazine and www.zafiri.com (the intersection of style and endurance!). Not forgetting Emily Mathieson’s Guardian feature which really put us on the map and filled the bookings diary (and continues to do so)!
Here’s a few random things we have learned in the last year:
Tumblefluff – we designed the rooms (concrete and ply floors) so they were easy to clean…… however you will always miss a bit of fluff floating ready to settle once you have left the room. Sorry about that – we do our best.
Dogs can open doors – Murphy (the Great Dane) taught us this valuable lesson in January, who set off in search of his owners who had just gone out for a cross country run. It seems that doors with lever handles are a doddle for dogs the size of a Shetland pony.
Weeds can be beautiful – we kind of lost the battle against the weeds last year – especially the tree lupins that eventually formed an impenetrable hedge along the guest rooms. However we realised that our guests weren’t bothered what the birds and butterflies were visiting as long as they could watch them from their rooms.
It’s surprisingly hard to get out of the garden – whilst we do have a large garden we were surprised to have a few people struggle to find their way out (no names) – so we will be investing in some paths shortly to help with the navigation.
Gluten-Free doesn’t mean taste-free – quite a few of our guests have had dietary requirements and we have always done our best to accommodate them. It’s amazing to see how many great recipes there are out there that are dairy or gluten free or Vegan. Our greatest challenge was vegan, gluten and nut free. Thank goodness for coconut!!
People love lemon drizzle cake – maybe that wasn’t such a surprise….
So that was our mini review of our first years – fingers crossed for the next twelve months. If you have visited before then it would be lovely to have you back and if you are thinking of coming to visit the Suffolk Coast then please do come and try us out!