Celebrating Christmas marked the end of my first three months here at The Mill House – and what a three months it has been. Hectic, tiring, but awesome.
As the Christmas downtime draws to a close, I figured now is as good a time as any to finally kick off this blog. So, here’s a little bit about what’s been happening at The Mill House these last three months.
The first three weeks were spent in marigolds, cleaning the house from top to bottom inside out - giving it some much needed TLC. A new habit of buying pieces of antique furniture, beautiful paintings and other artwork had developed into full swing quite quickly, and I slightly fear it’s a habit that I already have no control over.
The AGA was serviced and fired up, the chimney’s swept, walls repainted. We took down feral trees and cut back hedges that hadn’t been tended in several years. Sheds cleared out; and wood to last the winter delivered and stored. Many, many handyman repairs were undertaken to get the house back into ship shape (- Thank you Dad!) But what a difference those first few weeks of intense work made! It’s an inviting, warm, cosy, homely, comfortable and welcoming place to visit and stay once again already. And this is only just the beginning.
The new website was launched and a partnership with Airbnb began. Since then, I’ve successfully completed nearly three dozen bookings with a steady flow of 2020 bookings coming in too – As a new business starting out in what is renowned as being the quietest time of year, I’m happy with the rate of which bookings are coming in and I am really excited and optimistic about what the next 6 months will hold.
I feel really lucky to be here with this opportunity to provide some luxury accommodation with friendly and thoughtful hospitality in such a beautiful part of the county, and to restore some love to this 17th Century house to make it a place that people want to visit, want to stay, and perhaps even want to come back to. There is a lot that will be going on at, and around The Mill House in the coming months and I look forward to sharing that with you through this blog, on Instagram and other social media channels.
Violet (our Resident House Cat) is settling in well to her new home here. All Violet has known before now is the city life, and she is absolutely in her element learning the ways of being a countryside cat. She’s not overly happy about the pheasant (that I’ve named Barney) who has claimed sanctuary in the garden from the local Estate’s shoot, but I’m sure over time she’ll come to accept his now daily presence.
I’ve been asked a lot by guests so far about me, what I did before this etc; Well, I grew up in the next village over from The Mill House, in Upper Langford, though until September of this year I’d spent nearly the last decade living and working in Bristol. I’d worked for nearly 7 years in the NHS before moving across to the private sector to be Operations Manager for an IT Recruitment Consultancy firm. I learnt a huge amount along that journey. Unfortunately though, I was being made redundant along with my colleagues, which was an unwelcome change (I really loved that job!) but equally I saw it as an opportunity to step out of playing the corporate career game (which lets face it, doesn’t help ones wellbeing) and try my hand at a new kind of challenge, that of self-employment.
I’ve always been working towards being a business owner but becoming a B&B business owner is never something that I thought I would be doing. That said, it was an opportunity that seemed stupid not to take and run with.
I am not entirely new to working in the hospitality world, I’d be pretty crazy to take this on if I was...my experiences of both providing high quality hospitality and that of being a long time receiver of high quality hospitality, I hope to use to create a pleasant, comfortable, enjoyable and positively memorable experience for each and every person who steps through my door.
The Mill House is a home that deserves to be shared. It has prominent place in the village, blissfully located next to Rickford Mill Pond, surrounded by woodland to the rear and large flat lawns stretching across to the front. The water, consistently flowing steadily past before winding its way through the village. It has character, it has style and it has class.
I look forward to sharing The Mill House with you.