The New Year is a busy time for many holiday home owners, as thoughts turn to booking a holiday. As I write this, the summer months are almost fully booked with just a handful of short breaks left in July and August. Many holiday properties only offer full weeks during the summer, but we know many of you like a series of short breaks through the year rather than one big holiday, so we’re happy to cater for both weekly bookings and short breaks, all year round, in Beachscape and Tides.
The start of the year is often a time of reflection, so in this busy time, I just wanted to stop and take a look back at the little changes that have taken place.
We joined forces with a local business Nero’s Kitchen, run by Jan, to provide homemade dog biscuits as a welcome treat for our many doggy guests in Beachscape and Tides. They have gone down a storm! You can buy extra packs before going home from Jan’s house in Happisburgh; her contact details are on the pack.
In February, we started the process of installing wi-fi at Beachscape and Tides. No-one ever said it would be easy and boy it wasn’t! In a rural village, there were not enough lines for the increased demand all this technology brings; my first line was installed, only to find they cut off some of my neighbours in doing so. Oops! BT Openreach were upgrading the area, so gradually things fell into place. It was still many weeks before they were both up and running, as we went two steps forward and one step back. The service is supplied by Plusnet, renowned for providing good service in rural areas. They are a Yorkshire company and proud of their roots. When you are on hold waiting for a customer assistant, they play music by Yorkshire musicians and bands. I did perhaps have enough of listening to Chris Rea after a while! However, I have nothing but praise for the company itself; polite customer assistants, well trained technicians, and generally all round good service. And they’re British! Worth shouting about, and if you are thinking about installing a service by Plusnet then do contact me and I’ll give you my referral code.
Now the service is up and running, we know it’s well used by our guests. It’s provided completely free of charge and allows our guests to check on their emails and browse the internet. You can check the tide table on our website to plan your beach walks or perhaps look at suggestions for places to go whilst on holiday.
During the summer, sadly the fridge/freezer at Beachscape decided to fail. With no prior warning, apart from a note left by the guest on checkout, on a Friday, that the fridge wasn’t getting cold, we were put under extreme pressure to replace it as fast as possible. With it being the weekend and a built in appliance, that was not going to be a quick fix. To top it all we were also having a few days holiday ourselves. I stood in the grounds of a garden in rural Devon, with virtually no signal, trying to get the problem sorted! To the rescue came J B Postle, a local firm with four branches in Norfolk. I sourced the replacement fridge, placed the order, a technician came out to measure the cabinet to check it fitted, the fridge arrived in store, was delivered, fitted and finally they took away the old one. First class service all round. Our lovely guests in situ at the time were repeat guests, but even so I know it was an inconvenience to them, so thank you to them for putting up with it all. 🙂
The owners at Bramble Cottage stay on the case too. This year they did a mini garden makeover, replacing fencing, digging over flowerbeds, and purchasing new garden furniture. Lou, the owner, is always keen to respond to any issues and keep improving the property with little tweaks.
We are always beholden to our housekeepers too; without them at the front line, we just wouldn’t have a successful business. So I must say a public thank you to Jan, who stepped into the breach in 2014 when my previous housekeeper Debbie had to retire due to ill health. 2016 sees a new start at Bramble Cottage and I’m pleased that Debbie’s daughter Gemma is now providing the cleaning service there.
You soon find that Norfolk may be a big county, but it’s a small world! The number of times I’ve been on a visit and I will just bump into another holiday home owner Sue, whether it be at the local shop, both buying biscuits at Jan’s, or the local pub whilst having an evening meal. Quite unplanned and really funny, but there’s nothing like a good gossip exchanging the trials and tribulations of being a holiday home owner!
With that in mind, my latest venture was setting up a facebook group, exclusively for owners with holiday accommodation in the UK and Europe. Between us, we have everything from glamping to gites in France, cosy cottages and comfortable bed and breakfasts. Sadly for most of you reading this, it’s only for owners who can verify they have a holiday property that get in, but it’s proved a great success as a place to exchange news, tips and generally talk shop! If you’re a home owner and would like to join our informal and friendly group then find us here. On joining, I’ll send you a message asking you to provide a link to your property somewhere on the web.
For past, present and future guests, come and join me on facebook at the Norfolk Coastal Holidays group. It’s a small group and I don’t post much, but you’re all welcome and in time I’m sure it will get used more.
That’s my round up to start the year. What will 2016 have in store? Who knows, I’m not one for making resolutions, so it could be full of surprises!