First of all, a very big ‘thank you’ for visiting our website and taking the time to read our blog. Not only is this our first year in business, it is also our first ever blog – so here goes!
Since opening the doors of our lovely cottage back in May 2019, we’ve welcomed guests from all over the world, celebrated successes and overcome challenges. If you’ve already stayed with us, then we hope this blog reminds you of a lovely time at Gable Cottage. Do come again! If you haven’t had a chance to visit us yet, then we look forward to welcoming you soon!
Having spent more than two years renovating Gable Cottage we were a little nervous about welcoming our first guests. Were the beds comfortable? Did the cottage feel cosy? Could you follow the instructions for the TV remote? And, most importantly, was the corkscrew easy to find? The only way we would know the answer to those questions was to be our own guests. So, we moved in for the weekend with some friends and put the cottage through its paces. We cooked meals, watched TV, went for walks, refreshed ourselves at the local pub and then slept late in the morning! We concluded that, yes, Gable Cottage really is your perfect Cotswold hideaway! Thankfully, many of our ‘real’ guests agree and we hope to see them again soon for a return visit.
But the cherry on the cake, and probably the most exciting thing since opening, was when we secured our 5 Star Gold Award from Quality in Tourism. This is a national quality assessment scheme for the hospitality and tourism industry. Although confident our cottage offered a high standard of holiday accommodation, we can’t deny we were a little anxious about the inspection. Every nook and cranny was dusted, every surface cleaned and polished ‘til it shone and every pillow and cushion plumped to the fullest of plumpness! Needless to say, we were over the moon when we received a glowing report with the highest level of award!
Another happy memory of our first year at Gable Cottage was the annual Ramsden Summer Fete. A truly traditional country event, this was a fabulous day out and we were so lucky that the rain held off long enough for everyone to enjoy all the wonderful stalls and attractions. Our personal favourite was the Morris Dancing!
As summer gave way to our winter season, yet more good things were to follow! In conjunction with Experience Oxfordshire we were delighted to host a visit from the award winning family travel blogger, Mudpie Fridays. Clare and her family had been invited by Blenheim Palace to visit its Christmas Lights event. Being ideally located close by in Ramsden, we were asked if we could accommodate them for the weekend. Clare, her husband and two young boys thoroughly enjoyed their stay with us and were, of course, totally charmed by their experience at Blenheim.
You can read Clare’s review here.
Well, that’s our first year in a nutshell.
Oh, we forgot one other thing! Lockdown ……
So, what have we been up to during lockdown? While we wait to re-open we continue to work hard to ensure that Gable Cottage is ready and waiting for when all our lovely holidaymakers return. We’ve been busy installing a new automatic watering system to keep our potted plants looking lovely and we’re keeping a close eye on our new beech hedge which we hope will start filling out even more this summer.
We have also switched to a greener alternative for our complimentary toiletries. Guests can now enjoy the environmentally sensitive ‘Basic Earth Botanicals’ range of liquids and vegetable-based soaps. The biodegradable contents are not only good for the planet but they smell rather lovely too! And we’ve reduced our single use plastics by presenting these great products in little brown paper bags instead of clear plastic pouches. They were a great find in our local craft shop!
And we’ve been making delicious garlic pesto from the wild garlic growing in local woods – yummy!
So, it’s been a year of ups and downs but Gable Cottage is still here and is still your perfect Cotswold hideaway. We hope all our guests, both past and future, are staying safe and well while we wait to welcome them back!