Sunday, 24 February 2013

A funny little story

People quite often ask me, do you have any funny stories about running a B&B, and one that always springs to mind is....

One morning at the old Acorns of Lyndhurst  I was doing breakfast by myself and Izzy was still young enough to need a stair gate across our kitchen door to stop her getting through to the guests or up the stairs.  We only had one very nice couple in, so everything was relaxed and going well.  Izzy was playing nicely in the TV room and I had plated the 2 full english's up, then with a plate in each hand I headed to the stair gate. This particular gate was one where the middle part opens by lifting it up and out in one motion and when doing breakfast I always kept it unlocked but in the closed position so that I could pass through without too much trouble but it still deterred Izzy.  As I had done this route many times I had mastered a way to stand on one leg then using my other knee to squeeze in between the bars, lift the gate and open it all whilst holding a plate full of food in each hand - great when it works!

So going back to the plate in each hand, this particular morning I walked confidently up to the gate and just as I shifted my weight onto the one leg and started to lift the other I suddenly slipped.  
Time suddenly seemed to move in slow motion then (just like in the movies) and now with both legs in mid air I threw the 2 plates up in the air.  Eventually I obviously landed with a bump on the floor and had food falling all around me but my instant reaction was to catch the plates.  Sitting on the kitchen floor for a minute or two I was feeling a bit shaken and more than a bit stupid, but even more thankful that no one had actually seen any of it.  Realising that I was going to have to go in to the guests to appologise and explain what had happened, I got up, brushed the food off me, wiped my self down and composed myself the best I could.  They were so nice and understanding about it and  actually concerned about wether I had hurt myself, laughing with them I explained that I was fine, just feeling a bit foolish.  With that I went and cooked 2 more breakfasts, carefully walked them through (taking no chances this time) and successfully served them.  At that point the lady said quietly "Mel I just have to tell you that you've got some egg & baked beans in your hair"  Well, I went bright red - but we did have a really good laugh, and it still makes me chuckle now :)


Saturday, 9 February 2013

One of the New Forest's hidden treasures

This is a fantastic place that we really enjoy and want to share with you all.

Last summer our friends Wendy & Stef from Little Hayes Guesthouse heard about a great little tea room tucked away in the middle of the forest that non of us had ever heard of, by some of their guests.  So on their recommendation we all decided to go off for a walk one weekend to explore and see if we could find it.

We drove up to Bolderwood car park and then from there walked past the deer viewing platform and sanctuary heading towards Burley.  It was approx a 3 mile walk on a clean gravel track which gently meandered through the trees.
As you may recall last summer was not the best and this particular day was rubbish, really.  When we set off the sun was shining but the forecast had warned of showers, so we had all got coats with us but not much else.  We had walked 1.5 miles when the sun disappeared and the rain came and it wasn't just a shower! Knowing that even if we turned back now it would still be about the same distance, so we all decided to soldier on (like you do) and find this hidden tea room, which by now we were beginning to doubt existed.  Absolutely soaked and starting to feel miserable we suddenly saw evidence of a building with smoke coming out the chimney, and our spirits were lifted.
At post 109 we saw the sign saying tea room - we had made it!  We were not the only crazy people either, there was another couple who had found it whilst out cycling.  The only seating area is outside as Tracy, the owner, runs this little business from her kitchen.  As the summer had been so wet they had erected some gazebo's in the garden to keep customers dry and in the middle they had lit a lovely big chiminea, it was great.
The setting of this place, I tell you - is idyllic, I was blown away with how beautiful and tranquil it is.  They are the only building around for miles and their garden appears to be endless, as on all sides it just seamlessly blends into the forest beyond.  The ponies and deer just wonder around, the birds sing and there is no other noise at all.
On our arrival Tracy came to take our order and she could clearly see how soaked we were.  Mine and Isabelle's coats were not waterproof and Tracy very kindly offered to put them in her tumble dryer for us while we had our cream tea - how lovely is that!
All the cakes that she serves are all home made and if she has ran out she will even make some fresh ones for you if you have time to wait.  Stef & I had the homemade scone and it was awesome.  She makes a big round one and you get 2 portions per person, it was scrummy.  The kids had hot chocolate which comes with marshmallows and home made biscuits, Fred and Wendy had the carrot cake which they both said was scrummy too.  Tracy is an amazing host who can not do enough for you while you are there, her and her husband even wanted to drive us back to our car so that we did not get wet again walking back.  We did eventually brave the weather and walk back and it didn't seem half as bad because we had had such a lovely  experience at Tracy's.
We were all so impressed that we have been back several times and I certainly would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
This truely is one of the hidden treasures of the New Forest.