We take a three day break after a brisk trade at Easter. We had quite a few people in, especially when the sun managed to shine.
We have lots to do in preparation for the summer season. We manage to notice the anniversary of our first year’s trading. We’re pleased with how we’ve coped and have enjoyed learning how to do things. Reassuringly, we are slightly ahead of our business plan projections in terms of turnover. The biggest boost to our confidence is the positive feedback we continue to get from our customers; about the quality of our coffee and food, the look and feel of the coffee shop and the atmosphere we create (and maintain) inside it. We’re looking for that ‘sweet spot’ now somewhere between not resting on our laurels and making changes for the sake of change.
One of our jobs is waxing and polishing the wood floor in the coffee shop. It’s taken quite a pounding through the season. Washing it every day has left the boards looking a bit dry and thirsty. You can almost hear the wax being sucked in as we mop it on. The (new) polisher does a good job of buffing it back to a warm, welcoming shine. Our bid at auction for some Victorian chairs we had spotted was successful. Elegant, balloon back chairs with soft brocade seats. We use them to replace some, from the auction last year, now with ‘saggy bottoms’ after a year’s intensive use. A winter job will be to re-seat the old ones, or maybe they’ll go back to the auction!
The daffodils we planted in the raised beds last year are blooming but the raised bed needs attention.
There aren’t many days off as we move into the main season so we spend an afternoon buying plants (sweet peas, lupins, scabious, aquilegia, campanula and geraniums among others) and getting them in to the raised bed. Fingers crossed we won’t be caught out with any late hard frosts. We replant the mystery perennials that have survived from last year and, like in a good school photograph (tallest at the back, shortest at the front), try to plant the new purchases to create a pleasing arrangement when in full bloom.
Our family has acquired the cottage next to the school that was built as the head teacher’s residence in the 1870s. Applegarth is a pretty, two bedroom cottage with lovely garden tucked between the river, the coffee shop and the churchyard. We are going to operate it as a holiday let and spend some time getting everything in place for our first booking at the beginning of May.
Bill will set up a dedicated website to promote the cottage. In the meantime, people can contact us with booking enquiries through this website. Contact us