Yurts and Coronavirus
First of all we should stay that our thoughts are with all our lovely guests and we are hoping that you and your families are keeping safe and well. We continue to be open for short breaks and holidays throughout the year and are monitoring government announcements on a daily basis and will keep this blog as well as our FaceBook page updated with where we're at. We've been in touch with our April guests to offer to move their breaks to later in the year for anyone who would prefer that and will contact May guests within the next week or so, once we see how things are looking. In the meantime if you have any questions do please give us a call on 07802 456087. We have put measures in place to minimise the risk of catching Coronavirus, with a new paper towel dispenser installed and a stack of 10,000 paper towels to go with it; we have a good stock of bars of soap, information about hand-washing (though everyone must be familiar with the routine by now), a huge stack of tea-towels and appropriate laundry baskets and bins dotted around. We are also blessed with plenty of fresh air and, of course, each yurt has their own cooking facilities and equipment for cooking at the yurt, in addition to the shared facilities. We're also expecting a surge in the use of the (heated) woodland showers this year, so they are freshly serviced and all ready to go. We've been heartened by the responses from many of our returning guests, who are happy with the cleanliness and standards of hygiene at the yurts and tell us that they are very much looking forward to their Easter breaks, and we look forward to welcoming many returning and new guests this year. With a heartfelt thanks for your continuing support in these difficult times, and best wishes to you all. And, we have to stay, after a good amount of winter rain the flowers are looking fabulous!
Our plans are moving ahead for converting our barn into two self-contained holiday lets, to operate from Easter 2022. We'll share photos here as work progresses but in the meantime, here's a photo of the pergola that our lovely local builder has created for us in our garden. He's a very creative and thoughtful builder with a great eye for detail and we're very much looking forward to working with him on the interiors.
We too are looking at 2021, unsure of what it will bring! We are currently looking forward to welcoming guests from 12th April (in line with Covid-19 guidelines, on a self-catering basis, with one family only at a time). From 17th May we will be opening for more guests at a time but will aim to keep numbers on site limited so that everyone feels safe, with plenty of space. . We'd like to reassure you that, as with bookings for 2020, if necessary then we are happy to move bookings to different dates, or offer a voucher for a year or two beyond. If you have any questions, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
We've entered the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and things are looking wonderfully autumnal, with the trees changing colour and the scent of woodsmoke in the air. We're open through November and are very much enjoying seeing our guests appreciate the autumn season with campfires going and smoke puffing from wood-burners as dusk settles. The setting sun is giving us great sunsets and, once its gone down, the skies are gloriously black and inky and we can see the Milky Way arcing above the meadow on a clear night and, with the owls hooting away, it's the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn. We've been fortunate to feature in the Guardian Travel's pick of top spots to stay, so the last few weekend gaps have now filled, but there's still some mid-week availability if the idea of campfires and sleeping under canvas is appealing, so do check out our availability calendar if you are tempted... It's been great to see so many returning guests this year as well as meeting newbies to glamping and despite the really difficult start to the year for us all, it's been a great lift to hear children's voices in the meadow again and to see guests visibly relax as they settle into the space, the slower pace and good Suffolk air. Thanks to all our guests for being considerate to others and to supporting us during this difficult year - we wouldn't be here without you!
We've been introduced to the delights of the Tippy Tap - a system for hand-washing that doesn't involve touching anything with your hands (and even includes a wonderfully retro "soap on a rope"). We had great fun making it one Sunday morning before breakfast - it didn't take long and the friends we've persuaded to test it have given glowing reports! If you'd like to find out more, Water Aid have a very helpful pdf with full instructions and you can also watch YouTube vidoes. Looking forward to seeing our summer guests get to grip with Tippy Tap! You can see Nick demonstrating it on the video here (and turn up the volume and you can enjoy his singing too....)
We've been missing our yurt guests - from Easter onwards it's been very quiet on the human front. The wildlife, however, has been making up for it - we've got swallows, a red kite, a kestrel family, a little owl, a jackdaw family, a fox or two, plenty of bunnies as well as a hare, moorhens (or water hens as they're known here), ducks and plenty of butterflies and insects. Adele Goodchild, who has created our willow art works and sculptures is also a talented photographer and had a wander round the meadow a week ago in the sunshine and caputured plenty of wildlife action so we thought we'd share her work with you, which we think is fabulous!
We are hoping to be open from 4th July, along with other hospitality businesses and are taking bookings for the summer and beyond. We have extended our season this year and will stay open till the end of October to ensure that as many of you as possible can get your Ivy Grange Farm "fix". In line with emerging industry practice, we are now taking a 25% deposit (rather than 50%) with the balance payable a month beforehand (though we can flex this to a shorter period depending on how things are looking), as usual. This deposit will be non-refundable in the event of cancellation due to a resurgence of Coronavirus. In this case, we remain happy to move your booking to another date or to issue vouchers for the value of your deposit. We hope you will understand our reasons for this change - our fixed overheads account for about 25% of our turnover (this doesn't include paying ourselves), so it costs us a substantial amount each year just to be open even without anyone staying (don't get us started on insurance!). We are a small business and in order to continue to operate we need to share the risks with you, our delightful guests. We have managed to rebook all but one of our displaced bookings so far this year and so don't expect your deposit to be at risk.
We're already looking forward to seeing many of you back here and have been working hard in the meadow to improve the "wow" factor and have one or two surprises in store.... Hoping you are all staying safe and well and sending virtual hugs.