We are all set for our Christmas guests in the Bastle and the Joiners Shop who arrive tomorrow.
Both buildings are looking lovely in completely different ways and the real trees are up, the decorations are in place, the underfloor heating is ticking away gently and everything is warm and cosy.
The Christmas day service will be in the little village church …no snow this year… but all will be peace and quiet in Beltingham, Northumberland
I hope they have a fabulous time xx
The Joiners Shop
Summer is now on its way in Beltingham, Northumberland and the Joiner’s Shop is proving to be quite a little sun trap outside the kitchen door.
The laurel hedge we planted last year is thickening out nicely to provide a private seating area, the BBQ is ready to go and the parasol is up!
Plenty of garden flowers from home to fill pretty jugs, inside and outside the cottage with a complimentary bottle of wine and other essential goodies in the welcome pack basket.
The honey coloured, stone houses in the village are looking beautiful too at the moment with hanging baskets, wisteria and tumbling roses over walls…it is quite a special place x
The festive season is over now and the Bastle decorations are down….our lovely guests for Christmas and again for New Year enjoyed the cosy underfloor heating, woodburner and twinkly fairy lights.
With the shutters closed to the elements what could be nicer?
The Joiner’s Shop guests also enjoyed the Christmas spirit with a tree, garland, fairy lights and candles.
Light and airy rooms, comfortable furniture and beds, power shower and underfloor heating in the kitchen, making cooking dinner in bare feet or socks a joy!
As you can imagine…equally as cosy when the shutters are closed.
We will be tweaking both buildings with new bedding, towels, soft furnishings and kitchen equipment to keep our standards high for 2018.
For those who have followed the progress and thought we were totally bonkers…this is for you…..the long awaited finish of the Joiners Shop has arrived!
A once dilapidated building bought in 2009, full of rubbish and with a collapsed roof, has now been transformed into a light and airy cottage.
In its heady days it was the Joiners and Wheelwrights workshop to Ridley Hall…hard to believe it is the same place.
Even the photographs we took back then look grim…
After planning approval, we set to work with a new roof, new windows and doors, lime pointed walls and rebuilt the courtyard wall.
We also divided the Bastle courtyard from the Joiners Shop with a post and rail fence and gate to separate the two buildings, but still have the flexibility of combining the two for larger parties of up to 8 people.
The internal fitting out seemed to take forever….new floor, stud walls, masses and masses of insulation, first fix, second fix, plasterboard, plastering, painting, joinery…the list went on and so did the money!
Fast forward July 2017
Finally we are now up and running and ready for our guests.
The new driveway has been levelled to provide ample parking for two cars and a private South East facing seating area with table, chairs and BBQ.
It is quite a little sun trap overlooking the woods and Beltingham burn.
The inside if I am allowed to say…is a triumph.
What appears to be a small cottage on the outside, is quite “Tardis like” with a luxury bathroom and power shower, 2 bedrooms, sitting room and steps down to the kitchen.
Vaulted ceilings and beams throughout give the place character with a light and airy feel.
The welcome pack, like the Bastle is always generous and….. there is more in the fridge too.
If you would like to read about The Bastle and its transformational journey from neglected to loved, there is a fabulous article in this March 2017 edition of Country Living….just out and on the shelves now.
For those of you who have stayed at The Bastle, you will instantly recognise the pictures…and for those of you who have not…we would be delighted to welcome you to experience the comforts of 21st century living in our special, 16th century fortified farmhouse.
In Winter, batten down the hatches and cosy up with underfloor heating and a wood burning stove or in Summer, move outside and take advantage of the various sitting areas on the sheltered, raised deck or the walled courtyard with BBQ.
Delighted to say, the dilapidated Joiners Shop next to the Bastle courtyard is on its final leg of renovation….
From a sad building full of rubbish and an imploded roof at the rear….it has been rebuilt and lime pointed, has a new roof, new windows and doors, mains water and electricity, insulation and plasterboards by the lorry load…not to mention vast quantities of timber for the stud walls etc.
Anyone who has undertaken a major renovation will understand.
The kitchen has been plastered and painted ready for the kitchen units…which will be the same quality as the Bastle, painted Farrow and Ball Mouse’s Back, oak worktops, and contemporary lighting. Underfloor heating below the slate floor too for warmth and cosiness.
It will be a lovely, light and airy room with views over Beltingham burn and the woods.
Two bedrooms (to sleep four people) and the vaulted sitting room are also taking shape, exposing the old beams and purlins and a little bit of internal stone wall for added character.
The bathroom has been fitted out too with bath, sink, toilet and the all important power shower.
Fingers crossed we are on course for completion of building works by next Spring and hopefully we will be ready for guests not long after that.
So, if you fancy combining the two properties for friends or family and sharing the private, walled courtyard….this could be your perfect place.
Keep checking our Facebook page… The Bastle … for further updates.
Having rented numerous holiday cottages in the past, I can safely say the ones that provide a welcome pack of basic essentials are the ones I would go back to or recommend to friends and family. Some don’t even try….
Arriving to a warm, welcoming property with fresh flowers and sufficient provisions to provide a supper or breakfast after a long journey is most heartening.
I make sure there are staple ingredients in the Bastle and also some extra treats…
A bottle of wine is most appreciated, if not a necessity, by nearly everyone for their holiday vacation.
A relaxing drink on a Summer evening outside, taking in the last rays of the sun, or snuggling up with the shutters closed and the log burner ticking away in Winter take some beating.
Herbs for the BBQ in the courtyard should you wish to dine alfresco. Plenty of seating opportunities, either on the deck or in the courtyard itself.
Toiletries in in the bathroom,
Books, magazines, DVDs and games in the living room for evenings or rainy days.
And in case you have forgotten where you are ….BASTLE mugs in the kitchen cupboard.
Even if you are pushed for time, it is still possible to enjoy a pleasant walk in our beautiful National Trust gardens, here in Northumberland.
A short walk from the main house, the Walled Garden is a joy, even in the colder months.
The Conservatory provides a warm welcome from the elements and the smell of the plants, intoxicating.
The sound of the fountain and the song of the wren and robin hiding in the shrubs, all add to the relaxing atmosphere.
Dogs are welcome on their leads,
Don’t forget to check out the gargoyle dragon heads on the way back to the Hall.
The temporary kitchen style chairs in the living room have finally been replaced with smart, loose covered, upholstered dining chairs.
Sitting for a few hours at the table now, chatting and eating will be much more comfortable …and with shoes off, the gentle warmth of the heated flagstone floor adds even more comfort….