I cannot believe that it is over 6 months since I did our last blog. Maybe its an indication of just how busy our season has been!
We have been pretty much fully booked, back to back bookings, at The Grainstore from the beginning of May to the end of September, with a few guests staying in March & April. Our season finished at the beginning of October this year. This was because we needed time out to visit the family, have a holiday ourselves etc. However the decision was made to keep the accommodation closed for the winter – except Christmas/New Year. This is because we are having major internal works done to the main house & we may need to stay in The Grainstore’s accommodation ourselves! We will be open for guests to stay from the middle of March 2018 & anticipate being open throughout the year from then on. Book now if you wish!
The 2017 season was our first year of welcoming people to stay as Self-Catering guests – although we still had many preferring to stay on our B&B option. We had a few learning curves during the season & we are making a few subtle changes to ensure our guests get the best possible accommodation experience whilst staying with us during 2018. We have had some lovely reviews on various sites which we were thrilled to receive and sincerely thank those of you who wrote them, & recommended our accommodation as an excellent place to stay for an Orkney holiday.
There were two very exciting events for us in 2017. The first was the building & completion of our ‘flying’ viewing platform. This goes from the terraced garden & hangs over the burn, which runs through our garden from a waterfall, also on our property. It consists of a walkway which is suspended 2 – 5 metres above the ground, with a seating area at the end where 2 people can sit in comfort & take in the views of West Mainland Lochs & stunning scenery, seeing the glint of silvery sea in the distance at Skaill Bay, near Skara Brae. We have used the platform ourselves at different times of the day from May to September & it really represents a unique spot where one can sit & relax. Our guests have used it this year, when it was completed, & it is available to our future visitors to use when ever they wish to.
The second exciting event was that our garden (a wilderness when we moved here 6 years ago) was opened up to the public this summer as one of the gardens in the Orkney Garden Festival 2017. It is a bi-annual Orkney Festival that gets bigger with more gardens & garden-related events every time it occurs. I was delighted to be asked to take part in 2017 & we hope to have our garden in the next festival in 2019. However as all gardeners will realise, showing off a garden at its best doesn’t happen by chance & for weeks beforehand most of my time & energies were concentrated on making sure I didn’t let the Festival organisers down. Hence the time has flown by this summer as it felt a bit of a race against the clock! And now the hard work continues in the garden to finish its renovation, hopefully in spring 2018.
And 2018 is now not far away! We are at this very moment in the midst of constructing a large summer house with multi-fuel burner and electricity, nicely furnished to increase the available living accommodation for our future guests. It won’t be advertised or featured on our website until it is completed & we can take photos that do its description & functionality justice. Watch this space!!