We started this project around August 2019, and we made good progress until about October. Then it started raining, and didn’t really stop until March 2020. The original stone mason got side tracked as his new pub and restaurant business started to take off, but when the weather started to ease in early March local stoneworker Johnnie Atkins took on the completion of the job and we’re now almost finished.
We have a fabulous new stone patio for Middle Stolford, with plenty of room for tables and loungers, and a hot tub has been ordered although it’s currently sitting in a warehouse in Woolacombe awaiting delivery when Bay Spas return to work. This will be ready for our first guests post-lockdown. We had a special soakaway and trap built by local water engineers Hendy’s for the waste spa water, so we’re not impacting the environment, and we have converted the old stable into a multi-purpose all weather facility with a hand build clay oven, massive fireplace, and a charcoal barbecue with a bespoke griddle and grill made by Pete Henson of Exmoor Welding. We’ve also made a ten seater table and benches in our own workshop so that if by chance it rains on your barbecue day, you can all get under cover and laugh at the English weather from under a roof.
Finally, we’ve accumulated enough logs to keep all our guests happy for months, if not years to come, and laid a new lawn on the extended part of the cottage garden which is just beginning to show. The picture of the clay oven looks a bit gloomy, because after we’d built it the rains returned for three weeks and it wouldn’t dry out. In the end we covered the end of the stable with a tarpaulin and ran a space heater for a week which did the trick. More pics to follow!