We are preparing and looking forward to accepting guests on the 12th April, it is exciting in that it will be just a small affair to start off with because of the rules. It seems however that not everyone is abiding by the rules as there are a lot of visitors already here in the area and it makes you wonder where they are staying! Never the less, I have been shopping this week and although at the moment we are going for our tried and tested products for the shop I am hoping that we will be able to attend some food fairs and try some new products to introduce in to the shop.
One of our really great products are Moomaid Ice Cream which is very local to us and it is great to support the Monies family. This great company has not been idle during lockdown and in the last year have opened up two new parlours, one in the little village of Zennor, near St Ives which is just down the road from their farm and where their cows graze – not so much food miles as food yards. The other is in St Just which is a great little town to visit and this is where V.Olds our butcher is locate. We haven’t been to this ice cream parlour yet despite Bridget, our niece working there last summer but we have been to Zennor. Some guests may remember them in St Ives but for the time being they have moved out of there, however they still have their little pop up shop on the way to St Ives and their parlour in Porthtowan.
Boddingtons jam is back in stock as well as their marmalade, we love this jam and think that all cream teas should have it, with its high fruit content you really can taste the difference. We had some on our fresh croissants this morning, well you have to make sure that products are still good and that their standards haven’t slipped!
Kernow chocolate is amazing and it is always difficult choosing what to stock from their enormous range, I generally only stock a couple of flavours and this year I have settled for milk and dark mint.
Buttermilk fudge, this is a difficult one too, all those lovely flavours, I dare not order too much as I will be down in the shop picking up the odd bag here and there. This year we have small bags of the assorted and we are trying some fudge bars.
We also have Furniss biscuits and lovely new honey from Bee Special, we will have meat from the local butchers some local beverages as well as the staples (Heinz baked beans, sugar, tea, coffee, cereals, etc) that you may have forgotten to bring or for those who just can’t face a supermarket.
It is a shame, that again we have missed doing an Easter Hunt for the children, we have had great fun in the past sending children off to find different objects placed around the campsite fields, it worked particularly well when children have been put into teams, it helps them make friends faster. With a reward of an egg and an activity pack each, the children are happy and the parents love watching them all run around and enjoy a moment of peace. Today would have been a great day as the sun is shining, alas it’s not to be – maybe next year!!
It will be so good to see guests again, fingers crossed that the map that Boris has set out goes to plan. Wherever you have a holiday this year, we hope that you have a good one and if you are coming to us then whether you are a loyal guest that comes back regularly or a new guest exploring the area and trying us for the first time, we will do everything we can to make it a great experience . Our focus will be on cleaning, sanitising and good ventilation as well as keeping as many activities as we can. We have the benefit from having guests here last year, who were all great and respected social distancing, etc but still managed to enjoy pizza nights and calf feeding.
Have a great time and stay safe!
Maddy, Adrian and All at Boswarthen X
It is with much sadness that I write of the death of Stuart, Adrian's dad. He passed away on Monday 1st March.
He was an incredible gentleman who lived with Parkinson's for over 20 years and never let it get the better of him. He loved his cattle and ponies, and rare breeds. He is the reason we have our Exmoor ponies and in January 2019 he bought nine Whitebred cattle from Scotland - without telling Adrian. He always had an a little plan up his sleeve and would often say "I've been thinking...." sometimes it was "don't tell Adrian" and he would smile (like the smile in this photo). He once told to me that he hadn't been keen on having the tents and at the time didn't think it was a good idea (probably because it wasn't one of his! 😁) but admitted that he was wrong. That was one of the lovely things about him, he could admit that he was wrong and he could apologise.
He loved his children and grandchildren and was a great role model to them, he was recently planning a new shed and on Friday spoke of growing cabbages and having sheep.
He would entertain our guests with stories, which they loved. Sometimes he fell over (due to his Parkinson's) and guests would pick him up off the floor. The last couple of years meant that he wasn't out as much, mainly because he wasn't allowed to, Adrian's mum had put a stop to it. He was greatly missed by our regulars and frustrated him greatly although he respected Anthea's wishes.
Last year he had to go into hospital in February and really got caught up in the system as Covid hit, he was bounced to different hospitals and then to a couple of care homes. Helen (Adrian's sister) fought to get him home and in November he finally came home to Boswarthen and had a live in carer. His health improved, he became stronger and his mental health was restored, gone was the confusion brought on by the different environments. We saw him on a daily basis and we were able to take him out in the car and also on daily walks around the farm. He hadn't been feeling quite so well in the last couple of weeks but on good days was still up for a walk and a trip in the car. Unfortunately he became ill on Friday and went back into hospital.
We will be forever grateful that we were able to spend the last few of months with him, that he was able to enjoy these last few weeks being cared for by people who loved him dearly.
I have been meaning to write for a long time, this particular question is probably the most asked one at the moment “What is your cancellation and refund policy regarding Covid?” and not just to me.
Understandably guests are nervous about booking and not being able to come, and as always I try to be fair to guests whilst trying to run and maintain a business. In this respect I think that it will be more difficult than last year (as it turned out, we had a good season).
I am encouraging my guests to take out travel insurance, there are companies out there who will insure against illness and self-isolation. I decided not to increase my summer prices this year so this at least would go some way to helping towards that cost. I am not able to recommend any to you but one website that you could use is the Go Compare one.
When asked the big question, I have replied that – if you are unable to come, then I will put your holiday up for resale and I will refund you if/when the holiday resells. In the summer holidays I am always being asked for availability so I would be confident that it would resell but obviously it also depends on how much notice I am given.
The official wording is (found in my terms and conditions):
If you decide to cancel more than 10 weeks before the start of your holiday, your deposit will be forfeited. If you cancel within 10 weeks of your holiday start date then the entire rental amount will be payable. If you decide to terminate your holiday early, no refunds will be given.
We will refund in full if we are in a national/local lockdown ie. We are unable to accept you because we have had to close but does not cover you (or members of your party) for being unable to travel because you (or a member of your party)fall ill with Covid, or requires to self-isolate or quarantine. These items can be covered by you taking out travel insurance. There are a number of policies that include cover for Covid and self-isolation and you can look for suitable cover on comparison websites such as Go Compare (link is above) Please note that Booking Protect (offered at your time of booking) may not provide adequate cover for Covid for you (please check the small print).
It is always good to talk and we try to remain flexible under these challenging circumstances. Hopefully this year we won't get too many curve balls.
As always I am here to answer any questions that you may have. Just give me a call on 07731 776767 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Love from Cornwall X
Well we didn’t see this coming, did we?! Who could have imagined this situation just a few months ago? This blog will be about Covid-19, as this is what everyone is concerned about at the moment.
Should we be allowed to open in 2020, we will. Clearly procedures will have to change and Government guidelines will be followed. Adrian and I have been discussing and talking with our team, coming up with ideas and plans – these are not set in stone and may change although the cleaning aspect will only change for the better.
Whether you have already booked or are looking to book and you have questions or concerns then please contact us. Even before this pandemic communication prior to holidays are important and you may even highlight something that we hadn’t thought about. Although we have had our glamping business for over 13 years, we are learning all the time and this virus has put us all in a unique position.
Cleaning – The tents will be thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant and diluted bleach products, pillow protectors will be changed on each changeover and our beautiful soft furnishings will be removed for short breaks and washed between families. The showers will be cleaned after each family and we are considering offering slots for families, I don’t think that this will be too difficult as guests get up at different times, often things like this can’t be planned and are far easier to implement when guests are here. The shop will also be cleaned regularly. Frozen ice packs will be cleaned before being put back into the freezer. As regular hand washing is essential,more soap will be placed in the tents.
Farm Tour – This will be reviewed on a week by week basis, we will probably do them more often and either individual families or small groups.
I hope that this addresses some of your concerns and as always, please get in touch with any questions.
Social Evenings - These will also be reviewed on a weekly basis, depending on how guests feel. Those who I have spoken too are keen that we should continue, although we will need nice evenings as using the Eating Shed won't be possible. I can cook individual lasagne meals for tents, pizzas will be fine, picnic tables can be spaced out and social distancing can be maintained around the campfire. Of course these are optional anyway but we will try to maintain our usual, exceptional (I have been told this) hospitality.
Whatever the 2020 season holds for us, looking after you is our priority.
Stay well, stay safe and look after yourself, your family, friends and community.
With much Love
Maddy & Adrian X
Bedruthan Hotel & Spa
This is just an interim blog until I sit down and write about all that has happened recently.
For one night last week Adrian and I stayed at this beautiful hotel. It was Adrian’s idea and he was going to arrange it for a nice surprise but chickened out of the surprise bit a couple of days earlier. To be honest I was glad that he told me as I had guests coming into the Lodge for Friday (brave souls)and although I hadn’t left everything until the last minute, I did need to structure my week a little differently, at first I didn’t think that we would be able to go but as it doesn’t look like we are going to get a holiday anytime soon, the least I could do was indulge Adrian and have a night away. Stuart (Adrian’s Dad) is currently in hospital and it looks like he is going to be there for some time, also except for the odd trade show we haven’t been anywhere for over a year, whilst this may not be a problem for most, this means that Adrian has worked everyday.
Bedruthan Hotel and Spa – has lovely welcoming staff and from the first initial contact from booking and to leaving, the receptionists are really lovely. I have often been complemented on my welcome to our guests but until you have received such a welcome you don’t realise how important it is. We were upgraded to a villa room which sleeps a family of six, it has one bedroom with two bunk beds and an ensuite shower room and another with a super king bed, ensuite bathroom and a view to die for! The patio doors opened out onto our own little veranda and you could not only sit and admire the amazing view/hear the sea but just as you can see your children playing from the tents here on Boswarthen , you can see the childrens playground, small football pitch, trampoline, etc. Having boys made me realise that when they are quiet they are upto mischief, so it was important to keep them in my sights (particularly Alex) at all times, so when we set our tents up, I made sure that the chicken coop and sand pit could be seen from all of the tents, that way parents could relax and see their children from the verandas, this has also been applied at Bedruthan.
The food was lovely and the breakfast was nearly an all Cornish affair, so nice to see the hotels using Cornish products as much as they can. Even the soap, shampoo etc was made just down the road at Mawgan Porth.
Bedruthan does have one thing that Boswarthen doesn’t and that is an indoor pool and a spa, unfortunately we weren’t there long enough to try these out – maybe next time …….
Hope to be posting again soon!
Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city, we arrived on the train from London on Friday afternoon into beautiful Penzance. Maddy was immediately a fantastic guide, she was so welcoming, showed us all around the site, and introduced us to her very own fluffy entourage; Harry and Hermione, Boswarthen's very friendly VIP sheep!
We both were surprised by how plush, cosy and well kitted out our 'tent' was. This was not camping as I remember, stuffy, sweaty and generally uncomfortable.
After making ourselves at home in our cabin, we buckled in for the night, lit the candelabras (I told you it's not camping) and got the wood burning stove going. After eating a delicious meal cooked and delivered to us by Maddy and with our bellies full of quiche and wine we slept soundly, aided by the blissful silence and calm comfort of our little field cabin.
I’d only ever been to Cornwall once as a child so was excited to go and explore St.Ives. We had Cornish pasties for lunch, followed by cream tea on the beach. Then hungry for a culture fix, we headed to the Tate modern followed by the Barbara Hepworth museum and garden (not to be missed!) we finished the day with fish and chips on the promenade before climbing up to St Nicholas’s chapel to watch the sunset.
On the Sunday we went to St. Michaels Mount, which you can see from Boswarthen. After a great free walking tour of the island and a rifle through the castle we headed to Mousehole. Part walking along the coastal path, part cheating by hoping on the bus, we travelled to what Dylan Thomas described as the ‘loveliest village in England’. After a pint in The Old Coastguard we headed back to our cosy cabin to make dinner on the wood-burner.
On our last morning we drank coffee on the deck and looked out at the beautiful view, rolling hills and sea in the distance. We both wished we could stay longer. Neither of us wanted to leave the cosy home we'd made for the weekend. Despite being a short trip, we both felt all the better for it, the sea air and three nights of deep sleep left us feeling refreshed, as well as big fans of Boswarthen.
We really hope to see Maddy, Harry and Hermione again soon and have some more of that great Cornish ice cream in the not too distant future.
Boswarthen convinced us of the wonders a peaceful trip away can do and that staying in a tent can be pretty luxurious!
Always on the lookout to add new things for our guests experience, I was interested in the goat Pilates story on the BBC news this week. A group of ladies were demonstrating Pilates in a barn while pygmy goats ran around, jumped on their backs and even ate their hair. I love these little things (don’t tell Harry and Hermione) they are so cute, we even had a couple a few years ago, Tiny Tim and Freddie. They were very popular with the guests but Adrian wasn’t so keen on them after they ripped open a lot of bags of seed in the shed. Unfortunately they died and it has put me off having them. Anyway I was wondering whether I could do something with my lovable duo that are Harry and Hermione, definitely something that doesn’t mean that they jump on guests as they are so big now and rather fat.
Talking of enhancing guests experiences, we have added a hot tub to the Lodge (two storey tent), it has now completed that space and has gone down rather well with the guests that have used it.
Easter seems a long way away now but it was a fantastic week, we suddenly became very full and the Easter Egg Hunt was a huge success.
It is short and sweet this time, mainly because I have forgotten what has happened and we have been really busy so didn’t have time to write anything down.
I really like this quote from Sebastian Coe, as I get older I think about the future and what it would be like not to be busy - "I prefer to keep busy. It is better than the alternative!"
Love from Cornwall X
The rain is here, fortunately it seems to arrive in the afternoon and evening so I am not getting wet on my morning walks with the dog. On Wednesday the sheep decided that they would like to join us, I spent a lot of time trying to shake them off as we needed to go on the road, eventually we went through a gate which they could not get under or a hedge that they could not get over. They did however wait for us to come back.
This morning I walked to Lanyon Quoit https://www.britainexpress.com/counties/cornwall/ancient/lanyon-quoit.htm which took just over 20 minutes via our fields, the road and a public footpath. From there the dog and and I walked to Men An Tol https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/history/sites/men_an_tol.htm , from Lanyon it was 30 minutes along the road and up the track (which took about 15 minutes of the 30), a note to parents with younger children, it is a lovely walk up the track (car park is on the side of the road) and you can walk onto the moor after Men An Tol. I was tempted to not go up the track but to go left and end up at Chun Castle https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/history/sites/chun_castle.htm but as it is a longer walk I decided this wasfor another day. After Men An Tol I walked to the Nine Maidens stone circle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boskednan_stone_circle and then back to Greenburrows (Ding Dong Mine) http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk/mining/dingdong.php , it was then that I realised that I had seen 3 ancient sites and some old mine workings in less than 2 hours, the history in this area is incredible.
Adrian , Daniel and Alex are still catching up on jobs and last week our heifers (young cows) were freeze branded, which means that they now have numbers on their bum as they are either in, or are ready to go in the herd – it is easier to identify them with their own numbers. Time is short during the day as there are only a few hours spare in the day after the animals have been milked, fed and bedded and before afternoon milking. Some farms have turned their cows out, some because they are short of food and others because of the mild weather. However, we tend to keep ours cows in a little longer as Adrian is concerned that the cows fertility will be affected if they are turned out to early.
The list of things to do for the campsite seems to grow on a daily basis and no sooner an item is ticked off the list then another one goes on it. I am looking forward to having my office cleared of items that belong to the campsite.
I will leave you with a quote about the weather, this one is by John Ruskin - Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating: there really is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
Love from Cornwall X
Where on earth is the time going? Adrian is still going with his theory that we are going to pay for this mild weather somewhere along the road. Today he is spraying and lately they have been catching up with jobs like replacing gate posts and laying a new water pipe that has been on top of the ground for 2 years, after we had had a serious water leak. Usually when we have a leak there is a lack of pressure so if I turn on the taps in the house and the pressure is low we always investigate but on this occasion there was no loss of pressure and there were no visible wet areas anywhere on the farm, in fact it seems that the water was leaking into an adit for a considerable time, resulting in a rather large water bill. We are now looking into a bore hole for the farm which will certainly help with our bill.
Adrian and I went to Madeira for a weeks holiday, it was so lovely and there were many similarities with Cornwall, here are the 4 most obvious.
I have started cooking for the campsite but I have not got off to a good start, I have a lovely recipe for a sweet potato curry and decided to make this in a large batch, however, I never really follow a recipe to the letter and am always messing about with the quantities, lets just say it is okay but not amazing (so I will have to eat it). This week I am going to tackle my honesty shop, tidying, painting and generally sorting for our new season. But first a trip to Billingsmoor Farm to stay with Rob and Jayne so that we can go to a trade show.
It is always difficult writing as there is always something going on, first of all I have to remember it, then have time to write it and then I am never sure of how many people read my blogs (although a couple of guests have admitted to reading them), so when I saw this quote from an unknown author I thought, that’s me!
“I hope someday to write something worth plagerizing”.
Love from Cornwall X
It was so lovely to hear the news that Lisa Faulkner and John Torode have become engaged, Lisa has been here to stay many times and presented the programme on ITV called Holiday Home Sweet Home, which we featured in, we had the Feather Down tents then, back in 2012. Before that when she won Masterchef in 2010, she was here on holiday and we all watched the final on our tv in the tractor shed. Lisa is so lovely and we wish them lots of love and happiness.
News on the farm - it has been a mild winter and I am sure that there are many farmers out there heaving a sigh of relief as winter feed for many was short, this is following a long winter last year and a very dry summer. We were lucky and it looked like we had enough food to carry us through. We have struggled this year with lots of pneumonia in our calves – it has been the perfect weather, Adrian is convinced that we will pay for this mild winter at some point. We completed our TB testing last week, this was done over a couple of weeks including New Year’s Eve and I am pleased to say that for the moment we are clear. We are always dipping in and out of being clear so whilst I am generally a cup half full kind of person, when it comes to TB, I am the opposite. Last year we went down when we should have been selling animals, we did go clear in the end but the price of cattle had dropped as farmers were concerned about their feed stocks. Whilst our cash flow was affected because of the price of cattle, we had to change our John Deere Gator as our old one was worn out, I have attached a photo, although by the time the children get to ride on it in the summer, it will have attracted a lot more mud.
News on the campsite - Harry and Hermione are still here, they are so sweet that I can’t part with them, they are currently shut in the car park to eat the grass off and to keep them out of gardens but they are bored and they miss running around the farm and hamlet. The final piece of news is that we have decided to bite the bullet and purchase a hot tub, we look at this every year and finally have purchased one. It is going to go with the two storey lodge, I dither so much and I keep looking at where to put it and I think this is where we have finally decided to site it.
We are looking forward to opening again and thinking about it now daily, I cannot believe that we are nearly ¾ of the way through January but first we have a holiday to fit in, as well as many other things. I saw this quote by Henry Kissinger and it rang so true – “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full”.
Hopefully I will write again in a couple of weeks, until then - love from Cornwall X