So much has happened since I last wrote a blog that I hardly know where to start.
Well, how about the fact that we now have a brand spanking new Boat House. Ok the beginnings of it at least. When I last wrote we’d just had our beautiful Sail House yurts constructed. While at the other end of the lake, our Boat House was still just a twinkle in her umm Architect’s eye.
But now ta-daa here she is. Complete with local family of ducks.
I would like to say that everything is 100% ready and now unveil the finished product with a huge flourish. But as you may have spotted from the above photo, we’re not quite ready for guests yet. These things take time – you’ve seen Grand Designs right? And so our Boat House is still in her ‘developmental period’ (technical term). However we are hugely excited to be progressing with the build at last.
The Boat House Build
It all started back in May with the arrival of some ginormous steel girders which form the base of the Boat House. These were man-handled into place by Jim, Billy and Ross plus a smaller digger and a trailer. No please don’t mention health & safety. Fortunately all went well and no one had a girder fall on their foot.
Then the construction began in earnest. Billy & Jim covered the girders in waterproof paint, laid the wooden floor joists down and built the timber wall frames and roof.
Since then things have continued apace with the roof tiled in slate and insulation and weather-proofing (the blue bit) to make sure this little house keeps cosy in winter and cool in summer. There’s even a velux in the bedroom, our first window!
It’s still a shell of a building at the moment but the views from the (currently window and doorless) living area out across the lake are just jaw-dropping. It’s such a peaceful feeling being on that balcony looking out over the lake, watching trout swim below the water and dragonflies and swallows dancing above. Still lots of work to come but this Boat House is going to be a real beauty.
Sail House Update
So how about the Sail House you ask. That’s all finished and kitted out now?
Well, no not exactly. As with much else in Cornwall that will be happening ‘dreckly. So far the electrics have gone in and Jim has completed the underfloor heating and laid this beautiful wood laminate floor. Which does look rather fine, if you can just focus on that and ignore the general building mess and gubbins in the picture.
The wood burner is in and so is the gorgeous free-standing bath tub. I use the word ‘in’ loosely here – as in, the bath tub has been placed ‘in’ the yurt. Nothing is actually plumbed in yet. That’s also happening dreckly.
Meanwhile I have put together a design for the layout and have my list of interior fittings and fixtures to purchase. We’ve also chosen some gorgeous pieces of sycamore wood to construct the kingsize bed from. The aim is to complete all ready for actual guests from November this year.
Did I mention the Website?
So what’ve I been doing over these interim months while Jim’s been busy moving steel girders and huge truckloads of soil about? Lazing around in a sun lounger and do interior designering? Sadly I don’t actually own a sun longer. I really need to get one… No I’ve been mostly writing content and working on our fantabulous www.pengellyretreat.co.uk website which is now fully fledged, up, running & ready for bookings. As you’ll obviously having spotted if you’re reading this blog post.
It’s been a learning curve for me, this is the first website I’ve ever launched and the world of social media is still something of a mystery. I’m definitely not from the tech generation – when I was at university only IT students actually had email addresses (crazy new-fangled idea). And no one I’d seen had a mobile phone. Except Michael Douglas in Wall Street. I also clearly remember in one of my early jobs that paper memos were still a ‘thing’. This is quite odd as I’m pretty sure we did have emails at this point…
Luckily we have some very talented friends to help us. Rich created our beautiful logo and branding (www.richardedgerton.co.uk). This cleverly encapsulates some of the things we love about Pengelly: the swallows that dip into the lake, the brown trout which leap out of the water, the dragonflies that dance above. While Pat (www.verycreativepeople.co.uk) designed and created our fabulous website and has also shown the patience of a saint with my endless lists of questions and ideas. We are thrilled with the results, thank you very much to both. And if you are in need of amazing branding and a website then you need look no further.
.Alongside website-ing, I’ve been trying to inform myself about all things Social Media by watching seminars on Youtube. I have so far learnt that video is the future (isn’t that a bit 80’s?) and Facebook is going to be all videos by the year 2020. Or something. Well there you go – a free top social media tip from me
While I may not be quite ready to run my own Youtube seminar as yet, I have got Pengelly Retreat set up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And over the coming months I will be sharing lots of news, offers and general excitement. So click on the links and follow us – you’d be crazy not to!
Mill House & Annexe
We’ve also been keeping busy with lots of guests to our Mill Annexe over the past few months, plus a busy July & August of whole House rentals. I’ve got to hand it to Air Bnb, their marketing reach is phenomenal and we’ve enjoyed hosting visitors from all over the world. Here are just some of the lovely comments we’ve had recently:
“This is an absolute gem. A dream home in a private paradise.”
“Ruth’s Place is lovely, welcoming and relaxing. The grounds are wonderful, we saw a Heron, bats, ducks, jumping fish and lots of cute tiny frogs! There are many beautiful spaces to sit with a book or just emerse yourself in the sounds of nature.”
“Beautiful house on stunning grounds. Kids love it to bits. Wouldn’t go anywhere else in Cornwall ”
I’m also pretty pleased with myself for achieving Superhost status on Air BnB. I’d like to think is much like being a Superhero, but umm in the world of holiday rentals. Air BnB describe a Superhost as ‘ a host who goes above and beyond’ and who hits the required targets, including 5 star rating, quick response times and happy clients. And as some of you may know, I do LOVE a target. So I am super-grateful to all our guests who have enjoyed their stays at Pengelly and given us such lovely feedback. Thank you.
Here’s a bit of stat-age for you all. Apparently 13 recent guests have said our Mill Annexe is “sparkling clean” and 90% rated it as 5* for value for money. I am particularly thrilled about the cleaning feedback as I have recently discovered I have OC-cleaner tendencies. Who knew. Look out Kim & Aggie from How Clean is your House (not my Aggie – she is definitely not displaying OC-cleaner tendencies). Anyway nice to see that this has been noticed by happy guests.
Summer turns to Autumn
As interested as you are in my cleaning stats, I thought I’d leave you with a few lovely pictures of our land, flowers and gardens that I took today. It does feel like autumn is round the corner with leaves starting to falls and the nights going chillier. We’ve all got the ‘back to school’ feeling with Aggie back at pre-school and us back to business after our August travels.
Although it’s officially autumn, we are still enjoying some gorgeous sunshine here. The dragonflies are having their final late summer hoorah before they disappear for the cooler months. The wild mint is growing with wild abandon round the lake edges, September is a lovely month for this. And there are some gorgeous red flowers blooming by our ponds. Tell me if you know what these are!
Happy autumn and ‘back to school’ to you all. I’ll keep you on posted on our news on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (go on, click on the links!!) and in my next Postcard from Pengelly x