With a little help from our friends
11th June 2013
A little insight into all the people who have helped us transform the Bed and Breakfast over the past two years.
When we moved to Stratford-upon-Avon to run a Bed & Breakfast we were initially unaware of how many fantastic suppliers and local businesses were on our door step. As we started looking around to find the best suppliers for our breakfast and local businesses to help with the renovation on Avonlea we found some fantastic people. So today here is a little shout out for all of the locals that have helped us move Avonlea forward over the past 2 years.
Many of the people mentioned below we have met through Twitter. Those of you who follow us on Twitter will already know I like to chat and there is a fantastic community that has built up around Twitter. I would also class many of the people as friends too. If you are interested in finding out any more about the people mentioned you will find their Twitter names and websites at the bottom of the page where available.
I would first like to mention our local food suppliers; I could not start this without mentioning Anne & Chris for Monsoon Estates Coffee. They hand roast some of the best coffee I have ever tasted, and they have built their business up through their local markets and the Stratford Twitter community. We are proud to serve their coffee at breakfast to wake you up for a busy day enjoying Stratford.
Next up are Peter and Bill of Moss Cottage Preserves, Peter hand makes some wonderful Jams and Marmalades that we serve at breakfast. Along with the normal flavours there is often some more unusual ones like Quince Jam and Spiced Pumpkin Marmalade, the latter of which actually won an award at the International Marmalade Awards.
Obviously to go with the Jam or Marmalade (“JarMalade” as Bill and I like to refer to them!) is some freshly baked bread. Grants bakery deliver fantastic bread right to our door 6 days a week, these guys start work at 10pm to ensure they can be delivering fresh bread in time for breakfast. If you ever pop out for a morning stroll and notice it on the door step please feel free to bring it in.
Now the main event at breakfast is the Sausage and Bacon, we had to look a little further afield for this but we still only had to go as far as Broadway to the fantastic Willersey Provisions. When it comes to a breakfast sausage we believe that it should be high quality but not too herby such is the current trend with most places. Willersey seem to have the balance just right. When it comes to bacon they cut theirs extra thick for us, this rasher of bacon is so much more pleasing than the paper thin stuff.
To complete the Avonlea breakfast experience we get our Eggs from Vanessa of Country Eggs. Again another supplier just over the border into the Cotswolds but the hens on her farm are of great quality and she supplies us with fresh eggs every week that we will cook to your liking. Many people take the easy way out and microwave their scrambled eggs, we are firm believers in doing it the traditional way in a pan with just a little butter, they stay so much softer.
Our final local food supplier is Franks Biscuits. They hand make luxury Oaties, Butter Bites or Shortbread that we provide on our hospitality trays. They have won many gold stars in The Great Taste Awards over recent years. They are just the perfect little pick me up after a long day exploring Stratford sights.
That is everyone with regards to local food here at Avonlea but they are not the only local businesses that have helped us transform Avonlea. Over the past 2 years we have been through various stages of refurbishment. Please see my news feed from April for more about “our refurbishment”.
The main contributor to our transformation was Charlie Budd and his team who spent over a month decorating the B&B from top to bottom. He could have actually done it bottom to top for all I know! We were away at the time and Charlie does like to do things differently! Anyway, he spent a great amount of time painting all of the rooms so they felt bright and fresh. We got back in Charlies’ final week and it seemed that what had got them through the job was Charlie’s wit and Monsoon Estates Coffee.
Now we had all the walls and ceilings ship shape, it was time to focus on the flooring. We sourced Barbers Flooring of Stratford to take on the task of carpeting the entire Bed and Breakfast. We have gone for soft luxury carpet in all of the bedrooms and slightly more contemporary sisal in the hallway, without detracting from the Victorian roots of the property. Finally, we chose Karndean flooring for in the Breakfast room to make the most of the natural light that floods in through the conservatory.
The final flourish to our refurbishment was to change the curtains, so this is when we called upon Fiona Tait. She came round and we gave her the brief that all curtains had to be black out and showed her the colour schemes for each room. Fiona came back with some fantastic suggestions and a few weeks later she came back and fitted them all. We were really happy to find Fiona as she seemed to really understand our style and chose some fantastic fabric and made us some lovely curtains.
Once the refurbishment was complete we had to show everyone who looks at our website so we knew exactly who to call. Sally Crane, she had already done the initial website shots when we first moved in to Avonlea and she also did our wedding a few months later. Sally has such a good eye and always picks out shots you wouldn’t normally think of. All of the shots currently on our website are by Sally and we are hoping to convince her to do a few more local scenes for us on canvas for the bedrooms.
Without all of these people if would not have been possible to make Avonlea the place it is today, if you would like to find out anything else about any of our suppliers please see the links below.
Barbers Flooring - http://www.barbers-flooring.com/