The hotel has re-opened after a four week closure, everyone is back rested and rearing to go. Painting, tiling, electrical testing, deep cleaning, new computer servers installed, tarmacking and general repairs finished….well almost. Maintaining an old building is on-going and we are already working out the next priorities, the first of which is the roof.
Many guests ask Susie and I where we went for our holidays expecting to hear that we jetted off to the southern hemisphere for some re-charging sun. South Africa, my childhood home, is usually top of our list. However, this year we stayed at Gliffaes for two reasons. The first being financial, the extensive works to our drains in 2012 did not leave a lot of slack in the bank for foreign holidays! The second reason is that for some time I have wanted to put some real time and effort into the trees and woodland surrounding the hotel.
With the help of Julian Jones, our gardener, and two tree surgeons we chopped, sawed and chipped our way through an enormous amount of work. We removed several Wild Cherry trees well past their best, we coppiced Hazel and removed much Sycamore and Laurel as well as stripping back ivy from a couple of big trees. Sycamore is targeted by grey squirrels and their constant gnawing ensures that the trees never grow straight and true. We spent two days in and around a huge Cedar of Lebanon to the west of the terrace removing years of dead fall. We also cut back a large thicket of Blackthorn that was hiding the tree beauty of truly ancient oak tree. I hope that you will notice what we have done when you next visit and I will be more than happy to show anyone what we have done. I think we will see many more wild flowers, like bluebells, coming through this spring as a result of opening up the canopy. I now have a lot of firewood to split and stack!
The doors are now well and truly open, Susie and I and all at Gliffaes are looking forward to welcoming friends old and new in 2013.