4th March 2017

We are doing our usual Spring Offer of 3 nights for 2 for new reservations from now until the end of March.  This offer is only over the phone (01404 861234) or email, stay@thebelfryatyarcombe.co.uk.

2 February 2017

Well all I can say to the year in between is, where on earth did that go!

Life took a turn last year when we decided, after 9 years of absolutely working our socks off, plus me seriously injuring my back (no longer able to do day after day in the kitchen without a numb knee) and a few other factors, that we would convert to more of a B&B.  I still get my “cooking fix” as we do occasional party nights for groups of 6-14 on Saturday nights and the occasional Sunday Lunch – and of course the Full Belfry Breakfasts!

15 March 2016

We had a slow start to the year, being full most of Christmas and New Year it took a bit of recovering from in January but then with renewed vigor into February – always a sprightly month for us as it is the month we met, the month we got engaged, Valentines, my Birthday and Pancakes!! (=Booze and Food).

So lots on in February which meant we started our next project in March which was to cover up the old wallpaper which was seriously glued to the walls and not “removeable” throughout the hall stairs and landing.  We found some fabulous polystyrene backed wallpaper which covers up all sorts and set to – starting with the longest drop on the stairs.  There was no going back once we started.

From This….                                                           To This!!!!!

From this downstairs         The Hall to this        The Entrance Hall

Goodbye 1972 and Hello………………Fired Earth Burnt Jupiter, Stripes and Chandeliers.

10th March 2016

Whoop Whoop…. we have just been awarded a “Top Rated” hotel in / near Honiton for 2016 from Late Rooms 🙂

Late Rooms Top Rated 2016

8th March 2016

Pudding Night!!

Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 702  Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 693 Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 673 Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 656                               Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 652  Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 699 Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 687

12 puddings between, 23 people…maybe there was one or two too many but a great night and I loved making them…even being up at 6.15am to get to Costa Coffee before Sainsburys opened at 7am with a beautiful sunrise:

Chris and Louise leaving do, sj dress, spanish and pudding night 644

21st December 2015

Great night last night at The Candlelight Inn.  Our absolutely favourite pub just 4 miles away.

It was their annual Sloe Gin competition last night for this years sloe gin, vintage sloe gin and “anything else sloed”.  Blooming brilliant night with great food, great company and great Sloe Gin to taste. Hic……

Candlelight inside 2

A table is already reserved for Sunday 18th December 2016!!

Thank you too to TC for my winners box of Chocs for my Almond and Sloed Gin Macaroons! 🙂

3rd December 2015

A new addition to the main course “Duck with Blackberry and Mulled Wine Sauce” – Heritage Mulberries!!!  Off a tree which was the twin to one once given to The Queen Mother.  I would love to think the twin tree is in Buckingham Palace Gardens…that would be really lovely.

Mummy in the Mulberry Tree.MulberriesThe Morton Mulberry Tree

Mummy in the Mulberry Tree!!

30th November 2015 – Private Dining at The Belfry Hotel near Honiton, Devon

The Dining Room has just 10 covers but we can go up to 15 for a private party – if you have a group of friends and would like to “take us over” for a night – how about Private Dining at The Belfry.

Near Honiton, we are just 1/2 mile off the A303 and pretty central to Taunton and the coast.

You can choose the menu – either the Monthly Menu or we can do a special Italian or Spanish night for the whole group – between £25-31pp.

11th November 2015

We held our first Spanish Night last night and absolutely loved it!!  So, for groups of 10-12 people you can hold a private Spanish night for you and your guests in The Old School Dining Room at £25.00 for 3 courses….

Tapas starters (Bermondsay Bombs by Jose Pizzaro) and Jambon Ham Croquettes

Paella

Crema Catalana with Cinnamon Churros and Hot Chocolate sauce

Belfry spicy Bomb, Alioli and Jambon Ham Croquettes 

Paella night near Honiton

Paella night Honiton

Cinnamon Churros, Hot Choc Sauce and Crema Catalana

8th November 2015

Revving up for our “Paella Night” on Tuesday!!  Menu being:

Tapas starters (Bermondsay Bombs by Jose Pizzaro) and Jambon Ham Croquettes

~

Paella

~

Churros with Crema Catalana and Hot Chocolate sauce

Can’t wait!!

21st October 2015

Well since my injury in May (S-J’s slipped disc and trapped nerve…) and copious amounts of Tramadol later, operations here at TB hotel are pretty much back to normal.   The November and December menus are complete, ready to be uploaded to the website at the end of next week and The Christmas Day menu is finalised.

Lunch will be at 3.30pm and for anyone that wishes later, we can put on a cheese board in the lounge with a glass of port…..or two….so long as it is before Downton Abbey starts!!

My injury in May meant I couldn’t really put into practice what I had learnt at Le Manoir Aux Quait’Saisons when I spent a week there in April in the kitchen.  However, now I am back…..watch this space!!

S-J at Le Manoir.

Chef S-J in the garden at Le Manoir Aux Quait’Saisons – Le Manoir

18th October 2015

New starter for November, December and Christmas Day – White Cornish Crab Risotto with Ginger, Chili, Lime Creme Fraiche and Organic Cornish Sea Salad.

Crab Risotto, Lime Creme Fraich and Sea Flowers

2nd September 2015

We have just had our first enquiry about Christmas Day – Oh gosh, Autumn is definitely here!!!!

We are open throughout Christmas and New Year with B&B rates the same throughout December and Christmas Day Lunch at £65.00 per person.

New Years Eve will be our Bubbles and Big Bites Party Night with tickets at £26.50 to include a glass of Prosecco at Midnight.

So if you are considering a break near Honiton in the beautiful Devon Countryside, have a look at our converted Victorian School with individually designed B&B rooms and L’Occitane. Being Boutique and Unique Hotel near Honiton we offer something just that little bit different. have a look back here in a couple of weeks for the Christmas menu 🙂

29th August 2015

Gosh – where did that two months go?!!

We are celebrating being here 8 years today…bubbles at tea time….

22nd June 2015

Some Sat Navs are still occasionally sending our lovely guests to a farm locally…… So….the Hotel is situated near Honiton, amongst the beautiful Blackdown Hills area of unspoilt Devon countryside, within Yarcombe, Devon – Hotel postcode – EX14 9BD

We are in the centre of the village, opposite the church and Yarcombe Inn – which we are very excited to say, has recently been sold and we are hoping with fingers and toes tightly crossed, that it will open very soon!!

19th June 2015

I found this postcard for sale online of The Yarcombe Inn…Years and Years ago.. Trying to decipher the words it looks like a lady moved to The Vicarage in Yarcombe, I think to work and she was writing, as she promised, to say she was happy in her new home and was liking her work, looking after two, once little girls…not much time for..?..as there is plenty to do!!

The Yarcombe Inn...v earlyThe Yarcombe Inn...v early2

18th June 2015

The below we have managed to copy and paste from our old website….unfortunately the pictures stayed where they were so a job for the winter is to pop them all back in!……Above, hopefully will look a little more interesting over the following few months.

20th February 2015

Sunday 1st March, Forde Abbey Shop, Tea Room and Plant Nursery Re-Opens – Spring is nearly here!!!! There will be their annual Plant Fair on the 1st March too with a wide selection of plant and horticultural stall, free to attend……..can’t wait!!

Click below to go through to their website:

abbey-nursery

Also…..we had a fabulous morning in Exeter yesterday visting the Royal Albert Memorial Museum – walking past the remnants of the old walled City puts more meaning to it now and evidently 70% of the old wall still remains – must put our boots on one day and walk the walls. Via a pub or two.

18th February 2015

The latest pudding on the menu at TB:

Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberries, Raspberry Sorbet and Coulis

1st February 2015

If you are wizzing off from Exeter Airport to Hotels near Honiton, we are just 25 minutes away along the mostly dualled section of the A303…..

14th January 2015

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has 25% off cookery courses throughout January – see the below link for the courses at the River Cottage HQ near Axminster.

River Cottage cookery-school

9th Janaury 2015

I have finally managed to get into “the new” Keats Room to take some photos of the new bathroom!!!!!….I am still very excited about this….

We have also refurbished the room and added some new beautiful heavy lined curtains too:

5th January 2015

WOW – What a start to the new year…

We have only just come back down to earth after the New Years Eve Party…looks like it is going to be repeated next year!

Wishing all our customers past present and future a fantastic 2015, and with extra special wishes for a healthy and happy year too.

Bubbles and Bites Evening

At The Belfry

31st December 8.00pm ‘till gone Midnight

To celebrate New Years Eve and also, our

Latest award, Highly Commended in the B&B

category of the “Free From and Eating Out Awards”!

So the evening we propose, is less “Free From” and

more “Full Of” Delicious Bites – a glass of Prosecco,

a Hot and Cold Buffet and some Decadent Desserts.

£26.00pp

The bar will be open until 12.30am with well priced

plonk.

Tel 01404 861234 / stay@thebelfryatyarcombe.co.uk

17th November

A few foodie shots!…..

Rogers Poached Eggs on Hollies Trout Farm, Smoked Salmon – my favourtite breakfast, lunch and late supper!

Below, Warm Crispy Pear and Frangipane Tart with Pear Sorbet and 70% Chocolate

16th November

Keats bathroom has been Totally removed, walls taken off, soundproof inserted, new walls back on, plastered and today sanded and painted in the last week. This week is the exciting bit, we start tiling then putting the new shower cubicle, loo and sink unit in…photos to follow!!

11th November

It is that time of year again:

3 Nights for the Price of 2

until 20th December 2014 – telephone reservations only, 01404 861234

Then from 5th January to 28th February 2015

Come and get some sea air – the sea at Sidmouth yesterday was amazing evidently.

5th October 2014

Well I have absolutely no idea wher the Spring and Summer went but all of a suddenly we are in October!! We (I) have been a bit lapse on updating over the Summer – I guess we have just got used to using our Belfry Facebook page so much but you too can see that through this link and like the page to keep up to date The Belfry at Yarcombe, Restaurant & Rooms – Honiton, United Kingdom – Hotel, Bed and breakfast | Facebook

THEEE most exciting news today though is that we have just twinned our ladies loo with a loo in Cambodia – Basak Village to be precise. It feels just an amazing thing to of just done.

We have also today finished, finally, our rating assessment entry for the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Today has definitely been a “doing day”

20th February 2014

What a week………

We are thrilled to bits to have won The Best Food Waste Strategy Award presented to us by Raymond Blanc, President of The Sustainable Restaurant Association and Tracey Rogers, Managing Director of Unilever Food Solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

East Devon restaurant tastes success at Sustainable Restaurant Awards

The Belfry at Yarcombe honoured for requesting customers order in advance

A Yarcombe restaurant which requests diners order their menu choices in advance to help it reduce waste, has won a major national restaurant award today (17 February).

Raymond Blanc, President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), presented The Belfry at Yarcombe, the award for Best Food Waste Strategy, at Roast restaurant in London’s Borough Market.

Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: “Diners tell us that food waste is the sustainability issue that matters most to them when eating out. The Belfry has taken this on board and committed to a brave but laudable policy of requiring customers to order in advance, making it a worth winner of the award.”

This small boutique Restaurant and Rooms makes every effort to ensure it wastes as little as possible by storing food properly, using good kitchen skills as well as recycling its unavoidable food waste. It also plans to introduce a wormery later this year to help dispose of vegetable peelings. But what made it stand out from its competitors in this category, is its policy of asking customers to order their food from the monthly menu 24 hours in advance. This means staff shop to order on a daily basis, waste as little as possible and cook daily to order. A speciality resulting from this policy are pastry deserts are baked off at the absolute last minute prior to service ensuring a crisp “just baked” finish.

Sarah-Jane Martin of the The Belfry, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have won such an Award and feel really priviledged to have had such a fabulous day with members of The SRA at Roast Restaurant.”

There was success for two other Devon restaurants. cafe-ODE was named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year for the second year running and River Cottage HQ won the SRA Award for Sourcing for the third consecutive year.

There was a genuine Scottish flavour to the event too, with the lunch, featuring haggis bon bons and Arbroath Smokies Cullen Skink, prepared by chefs from three Three Star SRA Rated restaurants, Café St Honore, The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant, both in Edinburgh, and The Bay Fish and Chips, in Aberdeenshire.

9th February 2014

We are supposed to be off up to London next week by train but with the landslide at Crewkerne and the flooding north of Taunton it is looking more likely we shall have to catch the train further up the line at Yeovil. If you are looking for alternative travel options and driving is one of them, we are just 1/2 mile off th A303 with last minute rates from £52.00 single occupancy and £79.00 double – just ring for availbility or look at our online booking system.

16th January 2014

We recently discovered that The Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth is only a tiny fraction of what they do – alot of their wonderful work being worldwide. They also provide training courses in how to look after donkeys – see their page The Donkey Sanctuary Training Centre. Our accomodation here at TB is just 30 minutes away.

14th January 2014

We recently entered “Britains’ Friendliest Business” Competition on Facebook – see the link Britain’s Friendliest Business and became one of 20 finalists. They “launched” us with the other companies over a few days and from then on, we were allowed to share it with our previous guests in the hope of getting a few Likes. Well since our launch on the page, we have been totally overwhelmed by the wonderful responses we have received and can’t thank all our previous guests who have “liked” and posted comments enough. A Huge Thank You to you all, you have made us feel all wam and glowy! xx

9th January 2013

Well it looks like they are going to build a Premier Inn Hotel in Honiton. There has been a meeting of Town Councillors to discuss the proposals. It will be handy for prople travelleing West or East who need a stopover….but then again so are we, just being a half mile of the A303!!!

3rd January 2014

Not so happy for many – what a start to the year, floods, high tides, power lines down and many without electricty for days. We have been really lucky and just had the power off a couple of times and only for short bursts.

We are also now discovering, lucky to be on a hill…..with a “one in a thousand chance of flooding in an extreme flood situation”…..well this was the Environment Agency description for Yarcombe when we moved here 7 years ago in August.

So fingers crossed – so long as we dont loose too many more roof tiles in this dreadful wind and gales, we will stay water tight.

21st December 2013

Just re-launched our Winter offer of 3 nights for the price of 2 from 2nd January 2014 until 28th February when dinner is taken on one of the evenings.

7th December

Hot off the Press – Gluten Free Brioche now being made in The Belfry Kitchen – if you are folowing a Gluten Free Diet, I would be delighted to make you some GF Brioche to accompany the Chicken Liver Pate starter……..

Gluten Free Brioche – Or serve lightly toasted after a sprinkle of icing sugar….with a rich chocolate mousse.

3rd December 2013

Starting to get quite seasonal now the December menu is posted online, can’t wait to get The Belfry Tree.

13th November 2013

We have some fabulous walks in the area and below is a link to The Blackdown Hills AONB site which has detailed walking maps in pdf to print out.

http://www.blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk/walking-routes.htm

We are in the Walkers Welcome Scheme with Visit Britain and have somewhere to hang coats and dry boots. Plus packed lunches can be provided with advance notice.

31st October 2013

Tales of Ghosts in Axminster, Chard and Crewkerne for Halloween……. Allegedly:

Lady de la Pole hanged during the civil war still roams Axminster, there are Poltergeists around Long Street in Sherborne plus at least 3 pubs and around Exeter Cathedral, there is a ghost of a nun and a monk. Exeter is reputed to be one of the Countrys most haunted cities.

16th August 2013

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign is building momentum……

3rd June 2013

On the June Menu – Pan Fried Sea Bass on Seafood Risotto as inspired by our recent Venetian holiday

26th May 2013

“TripAdvisor is delighted to recognise The Belfry at Yarcombe with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence.

This prestigious award, which places you in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travellers.”

Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to enable us to win this in 2011, 2012 and 2013 – Whoop Whoop!

25th May 2013

Just done a mad dash to Honiton to get some Monkfish as I forgot to place my order lastnight with our Suppliers!! Was such a “nice to do though” – beautiful sunny day, chat with the fishmonger who not only boned and filleted my Mackeral (it all looked so delicious, just had to get some for lunch) but also pin boned it too. I normally prep all my fish so to have this done for me was the equivalent of having a spa treatment!!! The A303 is really busy today though – there is a back route through Stockland which is absolutely beautiful – no quicker but virtually no traffic.

5th March 2013

The sun is shining, there is a mist settled in the Yarty Valley and we have just heard a Woodpecker…surely Spring has now arrived in Yarcombe! We are reving up for my Family arriving at the Weekend to celebrate My Parents Golden Wedding Anniversary and we are off to Combe House for DInner on Saturday Night – www.combehousedevon.com. Cant wait!!

10th February 2013

We recently had to say our goodbyes to our beautiful cat, Saona and it doesn’t seem right not to put something on the website as many of our guests asked after her and why they hadn’t seen her. Before we moved here, she was attacked by a fox and the struggle bought on her arthritis so she struggled to get up and down the stairs – hence why she preferred to stay in our apartment and was seldom seen. She was very timid too and didn’t realy “do people” but once she Amazed us by going downstairs and jumping onto the settee and stayed there whilst a gentleman went in, sat next to her and used his laptop. She did seem to prefer men too – being very interested in Daddys shoes and once virtually pushing my Sister out of bed so she could snuggle up to her Hubby!

We miss her dearly.

xx

4th February 2013

I couldn’t walk past the newly in Forced Rhubarb at Barleymows Farm Shop yesterday without buying a basketful and have decided to put this desert on the menu from today – Roast Rhubarb Parfait with Pistachio Ice Cream, Stem Ginger Shortbread and Rhubarb Coulis.

1st December 2012

Two cakes made this Autumn for a wonderful couple of ladies in Yarcombe – A Triple Layer Lemon and Almond Cake and a Strawberry and Cream Gateaux.

30th November 2012

The New Bathroom in Tennyson……bath removed and new large shower cubicle installed …plus sink in a vanity unit so there is plently of space to put a girls things – So Important. Glitsy Tiles and a De-misting Illuminated Mirror. Neil…..If you cant find me…this is where I will be.

31st October 2012

All the rooms are equiped with tea, coffee and ground coffee, hot chocolate, pots of milk plus scissors to help with the odd packet that just Will Not Open….. 🙂 Fresh milk is under the stairs with orange and apple juice for you to help yourselves to. Plus – fruit teas are there too.

16th October 2012

I just adore the wondow in Coleridge, especially when the sun streams through the window and casts sun rays across the bed.

5th September 2012

A new bed for Keats – same wonderful mattress and the bed is called “Hepburn”….I quite feel a Breakfast at Tiffanys movie coming on.

27th July 2012

Saturday 1st September – 10am until 4pm

Grovelands Farm, Yarcombe, EX14 9BQ

Local artists ~ Quality stalls for the house and garden

~ Clothes ~ Food ~ Classic cars and lots more

The September Fayre will combine work by many local artists along with unusual and interesting stalls of quality for the house and garden, gifts, clothes, food, a display of classic cars, upmarket carbooters, beer tent, wine tasting and refreshments all in support of Hospiscare.

Unfortunately there is limited disabled access.

Admission £3 (under 12’s free)

Free Parking

Registered charity no. 297798

6th July 2012

A new addition to our list of wonderful places to visit whilst here in the West Country is Cothay Manor – www.cothaymanor.co.uk which was featured recently on Country House rescue. It is a beautiful Historic Manor House dating back and barely touched, since it was built in 1480. The Gardens are open from 1st April 2012 until the end of September but the house is only open on Sundays. Stunning.

9th May 2012
Spring Tide is almost here …Spring Tide Festival 2012 – Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock on the awesome Jurassic Coast just 25 minutes away will be buzzing on Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 May 2012

Set in this fantastic location at Hive Beach on Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast, there will be a food marquee with a great mix of colourful stalls where you can sample and buy a fantastic array of high quality local products which were truly ‘home grown’.

Spring Tide is all about buying and trying great local food and drink, meeting the producers, as well as seeing what fantastic local arts and crafts are made right here on our doorstep.

8th May 2012

http://www.easybikedays.com/wp/wp-content/themes/awake/lib/scripts/timthumb/thumb.php?src=http://www.easybikedays.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/4.jpg&w=900&h=350&zc=1&q=100

A new fabulous idea for here in the Blackdown Hills is a new electric bike hire/touring company. The company is called Easy Bike Days www.easybikedays.com and you can hire bikes to tour around Devon on your own or, why not take advantage of one of their tours – a clip from the website:
Guided Tours – click on one of the below links to see more details of the tours – I particularly like the one around here “Yarty Valley Secrets” with Pixies in our hills!

Mid Devon Surprise
Neroche Trail
Yarty Valley Secrets
Hemyock Parish Journey
Photography on 2 wheels

Anyone can join a tour whether they come on their own, with family, friends, corporate groups or hen parties, Easy Bike Days has a tour for you. It is certainly not a race, a marathon or a form of modern torture. It is just you, the bike, friendly people, good scenery, food and drink and no lycra in sight.
What does a tour involve?

a small group, of no more 6 riders.
an electrically assisted cycle ride of less than 18 miles spread over a whole day.
plenty of stops along the way to take in the atmosphere, give your bottom and legs a rest and learn about the local history.

When are the guided tours available?

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from April to October
Photography courses run on Saturdays please contact for dates.

Am I fit enough?

Please remember though that all our tours cover distances of no more than 18 miles in a day, the pedal assisted electric bikes will provide you with a lot of help on the hills and there are plenty of stopping points on where we can pull in and rest and take in the scenery and watch the wildlife.

All our of guided cycle tours are graded to help you in your selection.

25th February 2012

It was wonderful to see our village of Yarcombe on BBC Countryfile this evening!! Even more beautiful in real life, perfect for walking or cycling in The Blackdown Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Must dig out our walking boots and walk to The Candlelight Inn at Bishopswood for lunch this week…weather permitting, of course.

Must must get to Churchinford too and get some salad leaves……only 4 miles away…if you visit, bring a cold box to take some goodies away as there is also Barleymows Farm shop just 4 miles away.

4th February 2012

Oh No – A van skidded on the ice this morning and came through the entrance – luckily he is OK….

9th January 2012

These are photos from a very blustery Boxing Day morning on Burton Bradstock Beach near the Hive Beach Cafe the beach was packed when we arrived and it was Freezing but we soon warmed up with Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows and Whipped Cream – well it was Christmas!

There had also been a shark washed up on the beach which had died- very sad to see but it got alot of interest from the children.

I resisted the tempation to put him in a fishcake…

2nd January 2012

Happy New Year Everyone – Today we have added a new desert onto the January menu which is a “Flaming Baked Tiramisu Alaska” – a Tiramisu base, topped with Mascarpone ice cream and Hot Meringue, flambéed at the table. The first one set the table cloth on fire when I was a little over zealous with the brandy….and it can be made Gluten Free too.

So chuffed – we have just been awarded a Breakfast Award by Visit Britain (” Sponsored by Kellogg’s, this award recognises those hotels and B&Bs that offer their guests a quality and choice of breakfast, service and hospitality that exceeds what would be expected at their star rating – those places where the owners, managers, chefs and staff have gone the extra mile to ensure the breakfast will exceed expectations”)

11th October 2011

I have put Somerset Applecake on the menu, served warm with a “ciderscotch” sauce made with Perry’s Cider and Yarty Valley cream – see below all about Perry’s cider….

There are some fabulous events in The Blackdown Hills over the next few months – see calendar on the Blackdown Hills website for more up to date details…
11 Oct 11 Riggles Farm, near Luppitt Nature Nights
Join us on Tuesday evening in the beautiful setting of Riggles Hill where we will explore the local ……..
26 Oct 11 Buckland St Mary village hall Make a rustic hedgerow chair
Make a traditional Westcountry hedgerow chair to take home. Learn how to select the right green-wood……..
30 Oct 11 Tuckers Arms, Dalwood Mushroom Foray
Dr David Allen’s ever popular autumn mushroom foray. Hunt for wild fungi and learn how to identi……..
05 Nov 11 Yarcombe Fabulous fungi photography
Join wildlife photographer Dan Bryan and expert mycologist Dr David Allen to discover the fascinatin……..
09 Nov 11 Park Farm, Wellington Deer Management and photo stalking course
A day of information on all aspects of our native deer to include species, life cycles, the law, dam……..
12 Nov 11 Yarcombe/Stockland area Hedge laying day course
Learn the traditional skill of hedge laying with experienced instructors from the Blackdown Hills He……..
03 Mar 12 Castle Neroche Orienteering after dark
After Dark 5 – Orienteering event3 March 2012Time slots: Register 17.00-17.45, Start 18.00-18.45, Fi……..
14 Mar 12 Park Farm, Wellington Managing woodland for woodfuel and wildlife
A day of information on all aspects of woodland management concentrating on the smaller owner/user, ……..

28th September 2011

Wonderful night for stargazing – absolutely no light pollution and the stars just seem to go further and further back this evening. A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc helped of course.

22nd September 2011

Thank you to The Blackdown Practice in Churchinford for helping our lovely guests who had forgotten their tablets…a quick telephone call and a fax or two and hey presto, our guests had their full prescription that same morning. Wonderful.

15th July 2011

Visited Montacute House w-montacute which is part of The National Trust, just 4 miles west of Yeovil – about 15 miles away from here…

The whole village is made out of Ham stone – a beautiful honey coloured stone quarried from Ham Hill, Somerset. It is a Jurassic limestone and in the 19th century there were 24 small quarries operating on the hill employing some 200 men.

Today Hamstone is only quarried in two areas on the top of Ham Hill….you can go for a walk around the park and there is a pub. Always helps.

Part of The Belfry is made of Hamstone – a couple of the large leaded stained glass windows.

Bit of blurb from the website….”Montacute House is a magnificent, glittering mansion, built in the late 16th century for Sir Edward Phelips. There are many Renaissance features, and the Long Gallery, the longest of its kind in England, displays more than 60 of the finest Tudor and Elizabethan portraits from the National Portrait Gallery collection. The state rooms display a fine range of period furniture and textiles, including samplers from the Goodhart collection. Montacute’s formal gardens are perfect for a stroll and include a collection of roses, mixed borders and famous wobbly hedges. Waymarked walks lead around the wider estate, which encompasses St Michael’s Hill.”

29th June 2011

Had a wonderful evening last night at The Anchor at Seatown, www.theanchorinnseatown.co fabulous location, amazing beer garden overlooking the sea, wonderful food….just perfect. The fish and chips are amazing.

The view below is of the pub and in the distance, The Golden cap, which stands imposingly over Seatown, being the highest point in Dorset at 618 feet high. The golden nature of the sandstone cap makes for a very distinctive coastal feature, An immense amount of satisfaction is to be gained by reaching the top of the Golden cap, if only to take in the most breathtaking views from both sides…..dare I say we went up the other side which having the pub in view on the way down gives some encouragement to get to the bottom ASAP.

Turn South at the Church in Chideock and within approximately three quarters of a mile is the “sea town of Chideock”; Seatown. The pretty hamlet consists of a pub “The Anchor Inn” a few houses and thatched cottages and some of the most glorious scenery you will find anywhere. This costal area of the parish of Chideock was the second wholly-natural World Heritage Site to be designated in the United Kingdom, and enjoys its status as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

15th June 2011

A must must when visiting us here in East Devon – Perrys Cider – we are now stocking their single variety Dabinet and Redstreak plus a Vintage Cider – all absolutely delicious and the Vintage Cider makes a fabulous sorbet.

www.perryscider.co

Perry’s are cider makers in a beautiful village called Dowlish Wake near Illminster. The cider works are award winning and the farm is open everyday except Christmas. Soak up the atmosphere of a real working cider mills, grab a cider or a bite to eat in the lovely tea room & eatery, before checking out the local foods, drinks, gifts and art in the farm shop, or just stock up on your favourite ciders which can all be tasted before buying.

There is also a small museum on site – housed in the original 16th century thatched cider barn where the company first started from. The barn is stocked to the roof full of old cider making and farming equipment, as well as two hydraulic presses that are still used every autumn to press the ciders.

Perry’s is a little off the beaten track but we think the cider mills is well worth the visit with something for everyone – nothing beats the orchards in spring, a cold cider in the summer with friends, the smell of pressed apples in the autumn or snuggling up in the eatery in the winter.

5th May 2011

The Marine Conservation Guide has just launched a Good Fish Guide which can be downloaded at www.goodfishguide.co

5th March 2011

The Yarcombe Inn is getting a new thatched ridge!

2nd March 2011

An Almond Danish making day for our special local ladies…

15th February 2011

A wonderful night last night celebrating Valentines night at The Belfry

3rd February 2011

Getting the Terrace ready for Spring!!…The snowdrops are out, it is just around the corner.

14th January 2011

Join Hughs Fish Fight at www.fishfight.net …we have sustainable farmed Sea Bass on the menu as well as non sustainably sourced fish (Monkfish) for your choice.

2nd January 2011

You can now follow us on Facebook –

…and Twitter – Sarah-Jane Martin@BelfryYarcombe

Early days but shall put any updates and cooking hint and tips there…..Just click the above links.

5th January 2011

Happy New Year!!

We have been amazing full over Christmas and New Year and throroughly enjoyed our Christmas hosting a large family party for Alison and John. New Year we spent in the restaurant with our guests then across to The Yarcombe Inn (where else!) to see in the New Year. Then we went next door to David and Margarets as they have invited us around for cheese, biscuits and port – just delicious and our latest ever stop up on New Years Eve – 2.45am was when we turned out the lights. Just a tad worse for wear in the morning whilst cooking 10 breakfasts!

January sees the launch of steak on the menu – this is from Complete Meats at Axmninster and so will be 21 day aged and delicious. It also sees the return of Monkfish on the menu. Whilst this is not a sustainably sourced fish, I want to give you the choice of a sustainable fish on the menu and one from a non sustainable source.

January also sees the development of the February menu to incorporate a slight Valentine feel…i.e.chocolate for definate.

14th November 2010

A family weekend visiting the Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth (www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk) and Lyme Regis.

2nd November 2010

We had an amazing walk yesterday through the Castle Neroche Forest (further information on www.nerochescheme.org/index.php). Walks through the forest vary from a mile or so to a 13 mile circular route. The forest is situated between us and Taunton in the Blackdown Hills.

These are some of the photographs we took…

13th August 2010

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a 4 Star Rating in the Restaurant with Rooms category by Visit Britain – see logo below!!

7th July 2010

Just got to add this in here, just on our doorstep is Still Waters Fly Fishing at Lower Moorhayne Farm, Yarcombe.

Fishing rods can be hired (from £15) and small fishing equipment, including lines, gut and flies may be purchased from the shop. Sandwiches may be ordered in advance or a even a BBQ. Families are welcome.

Additionally, fishing may be arranged on other local rivers (i.e. in the beautiful lower reaches of the River Axe with productive pools for Salmon and Sea Trout) by advance notice. Daily rates are as follows:

£35 per rod to include up to 3lbs

from 9.00am to 2.00pm, £20 per rod to incluide £3lbs and from 2.00pm onwards £20 per rod to include up to 3lbs. From 6.00pm until dark, £15 per rod to include up to 3lbs. Extra fish caught is charged at £2.40 per lb

Coaching is also available at £50 per hour.

For further information on the above, contact Caroline or Michael Ford on 01404 861284 or their website, www.landowninginitiatives.co.uk/fly-fishing.html

30th June 2010

We have been decorated! – Huge thanks to Ebbatson Decorators of Exeter who were fantastic.

Before as above left and after above right and below left…

Before above left and after above right

31st May 2010

Just hosted a Walkers tea and cake stop for The Yarcombe Parish Council and locals – circa 29 people and 5 dogs arrived after a walk around the Yarcombe Valley for teas coffees and home made cakes – Parkin, Apple Cake and an Apricot, Almond and Cream desert – I just love making cakes….I know where I get this from!

19th May 2010

We have just had a wonderful evening hosting a candlelit dinner with Georgian music for P and P Tours (Pride and Predjudice) run by Helen Wilkinson who is a Jane Austen Tour expert and accompanied by Guides, Maddy Hall, an authority on the BBC production and Hazel Jones, the renowned Jane Austen author. Helen, on the right runs short tours tours which can be combined into a longer Jane Austen experience seeing.

If you’re a fan of the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, then these tours are for you.

P & P Tours are the only tour operator offering a dedicated tour of all the UK filming locations. Jane Austen tours are their speciality. See:

The lake where Mr Darcy dived, Longourn House, Home of the Bennets, Pemberley, Hunstod Passage and Rosings, Netherfield, Lambton – also, be abel to speak to people involved in the filming and hear unique and personal anecdotes.

There is also a “Shropshire Double Bill Tour” – if you enjoyed the Oscar winning film ‘Atonement’ starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, or if you’re a fan of the surprise BBC hit ‘VICTORIAN FARM’ then this tour is for you. Deep in the beautiful Shropshire countryside the hidden property gems used in filming are uncovered.

Have a look at Helens website www.pandptours.co.uk for more information and tour dates through 2010 and 2011.

25th March 2010

New beds have arrived for Wordsworth and Coleridge – this means Wordsworth (new Black Leather bed) and Keats are now king-size rooms and Coleridge has a chocolate brown leather super-king-size.

20th February 2010

Power Showers have arrived at The Belfry Devon Hotels – our hot water cylinder was loosing water at circa 4 buckets of water a day – a bit of an inconvenience and it needed sorting so we have replaced the cylinder with a Super Dooper pressurised system which has given all 6 rooms power showers which has made a fantastic difference.

12th January 2010

Happy New Year!!! Gosh it’s been So Cold – needless to say we have been exceptionally quiet as the weather has been that bad that no-one could get here and all sorts of events – such as Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstalls events at River Cottage and River Cottage HQ have been cancelled. Roll on Sring…

17th December 2009

We are well underway with Christmas Parties and the Festive Spirit – indeed the kitchen seems to be full of alcohol fumes most days if not with

Armagnac Sorbet, feeding the cakes with Whisky and marinating the duck with Plum Liquor!

The tree has been up now for a few weeks but still looks OK – I had a feeling there would be no needles left by Christmas Day but so far so good. Don and Aud, Neils Parents have been down the last few days and decorated a tree outside and it looks gorgeous so a big thank you – plus to Sonya in the village who has decorated our lounge beautifully.

18th November 2009

Its been a bit quiet as we have just got back from a lovely holiday in Cyprus!..Starting to seriously think about Christmas now..

29th September 2009

A date for your diaries! 12th – 18th October is National Chocolate week and Divine chocolate has asked us to become a Partner and participate in providing samples and using it in our deserts (which we do anyway!). So for the whole of October, we are featuring two chocolate deserts:

Chocolate Brownie and Pistachio Ice-cream

Rich chocolate brownie made with Divine 70% dark chocolate served with pistachio ice-cream

Rich Chocolate Torte

Rich chocolate Torte made with Divine 70% dark chocolate and Morgans Spiced Rum.

We shall also have samples in the rooms and restaurant of their new mini bars…Mmmmmm

15th September 2009

We are compliant with the new Fire Alarm regulations having just upgraded our system to an all interlinked singing and dancing model…

Also had a leak in the kitchen which has lifted the kitchen floor so we have just chosen the new flooring in “Midnight Blue” and it is being fitted next week – this means closing for 4 nights as it will take us a day to get everything out of the kitchen, two days to prepare the floor and lay it and another to put everything back together. Also hoping to turn our twin room around, Shelley and get my Great Grandma’s wardrobe in there too at the same time as I have had it for nearly a year

Possibly set our sights a bit high on achieving all this in 4 days!

August 2009

Nothing particularly newsy – we have been open 99% of the time so haven’t got out much!! – But we have been here two years – on 29th August so we had to have a bottle of bubbly!

We had one Gentlemen who on checking out quite alarmingly said to me…”I was just perusing your book collection and noticed one on Senna..I thought for a moment it was a book on laxatives! (I nervously giggled)…. I was once given a book called the Fear of Flying, but do you no what my Dear (another nervous giggle and a short “No”) it wasn’t about flying at all, it was all about ***”

July 2009

It occured to us that in the two years we have been here, only a handful of people have seen Saona and those have largely been her bottom disappearing through the catflap to our Apartment – she only justs fits through…but all she does is sleep, eat and umm, use her tray…all within about 10 square feet. Rarely will she appear downstairs and Never outside…so here she is….

28th June 2009

Mummys Big Birthday Bash at Cliveden Devon Hotels

23rd June 2009

The Yarcombe Geyzer – a burst water main which evidently went on for quite some time!

The caption – “I think I am going to need another bucket……”

13th June 2009

We hosted the South West Alvis Owners Club weekend and there were some fabulous cars – I know somone who would like that numberplate too – MG 3106!

12th June 2009

Neil chatting to David…Neil has quite taken to mowing around the village, keeping it looking spick and span.

10th June 2009

We have just had a lovely wedding in the village – many congratulations to James and Annabel Kettler.

Thursday 21st May

Oh this is Really girly but the L’Occitane has arrived!…I know certain men won’t be the least bit interested but goodness I just love this Sheah range, it smells amazing and is So moisturising. We decided to put larger 500ml pots of body lotion, shampoo etc in the rooms for various reasons…mainly because there is less waste, less packaging and cost wise we can provide a higher quality product.

We have started with the body lotion and conditioner with shampoo and shower gel to follow (using up old stocks!)

Eventually, we will start stocking small “add-ons” from the L’Occitane range too.

We have just had some new professional photos done of the restaurant and terrace for the Devon Food and Drink Guide..wish the weather could have been a bit nicer for the outside shots….just having the new sign made for the front of the building to replace the old green one..I have been a bit of a pain with the new colours as it took a while to decide (another girl thing I guess!) and then we found that the sign had to be in gloss…

Thursday 12th March

Gosh, alot has happened today – we have decided to team up with Origin Coffee who are a small, independent and innovative coffee company from Cornwall. They are all passionate about coffee and in addition to ensuring superb and distinctive espresso coffees they have worked hard to make sure every bean roasted for them promotes social, environmental and economic responsibility….and the machine has arrived today!

Origin logo

We have been down to the Origin HQ near Falmouth this week for a training course and have been pracising today with the machine. It really is fabulous coffee and shall be open for morning coffee Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings (or whenever the board is out!).

The terrace at the front has been redesigned to make it more pleasant to sit outside with the addition of some new picnic benches with backs and parasols to follow in a few weeks time (possibly heaters too for those late night soirees!).

We are just waiting for some slate to cover the matting:

Heres to a lovely Spring and a hot Summer (well we can wish!)

Also – the new TVs have arried and we now have flat screen Samsung Tv’s (22/26″) in all the rooms with Freeview incorporated – Yippeee – no more problems with the set top boxes!

What a day – Neil managed very well whilst I made my self scarce!

23rd February 2009
Milo with Water Babies
My Nephew goes swimming!! Meet Milo, who has just had his first Birthday – just love those bubbles!

We have just got back from a lovely few days in South Wales which was our Christmas, New Year, Birthday and Valentine celebration. We have had another calamity with the phots though as I left the Compact Flash in the Reader which I was using with some software to try and retreive the a few hundred photos we had lost. So, we went all over South Wales including walking up a mountain (well it wasn’t but it felt like it) with a heavy camera taking photos only to find that there wasn’t a compact flash in it – oh bring back non digital cameras!

January 2009

Goodness – I worked in Churchills Accountants for a few days a week throughout Janaury so ther isn’t an awful lot to report as I wasn’t here much! We were starting to plan towards the Spring and what we would like to achieve at The Belfry over the next few months.

December and Christmas 2008

We had a great Christmas and New Year but due to loosing a whole load of photos, unfortunately we can’t share this with you…I am endeavouring to try to retreive them but to date it looks as though the Flash Card was corrupt and they are stuck somewhere.

We were open for bed and breakfast or dinner, bed and breakfast from 1 night onwards whcih worked really well for alot of people so we shall do the same this year.

November 2008

Christmas is approaching and we have been fully booked for it since September – we just have two more rooms to decorate, our twin room Shelley and Byron so we decided to do Shelley – the plan with this room is to make it into a twin / kingsize but we have decided to get it decorated first then work towards changing it around:

We complete this in between planning the Christmas Day mene!

September / October 2008

This is going to seem a bit vague….we have / I have dilly dallied and not got on with updateing this page and when I finally come to do so (it is actually March…I know but if you have started reading from above….) we have found that a certain person on the Belfry household (exc Saona and dare I say me) has deleted ALL of our photos from Summer 2008 to date so I have been around and taken some more but unfortunately, this doesn’t include Christmas..which is not good as it was brilliant and everywhere looked great and I cant share this with you. Hey ho…shall just have to replicate everything this year..

So what did we do…we decorated Tennyson first then fairly quickly after, we decroated Keats – we still need to do a few bits and pieces at this stage…

Thursday 4th September 2008 – Devon Hotels Preparing for Christmas and New Year 2008!

I know it is awful isn’t it – we like you, no doubt feel as if those baubles (I am guessing with the spelling here) have only just been put away but we are planning the Christmas and New Year menu. We are going to be open all the way through Christmas and New Year and have decided not to put packages and minimum stays together but run The Belfry as usual, reserving a room for bed and breakfast with optional dinner should you wish. There will be a slight increase in the room rate from £85.00 to £95.00 per room per night from Wednesday 24th December through to Wednesday 31st December and Coleridge will be £105.00. The menu however will stay at £28.00 for Dinner except Christmas Day Lunch which will be £40.00 per person and New Years Eve which will be £35.00 per person. I am hoping to finalise the menu for the festive season within the next few weeks and publish it here and under the monthly menu.

We are preparing for the arrival of the Tour of Britain (www.thetourofbritain.com) race team organisers on Monday in readiness for Stage 3: Chard to Burnham-on-Sea, which leaves Chard at 10.00 on Tuesday morning. The Tour of Britain

They will be travelling through the Blackdown Hills, up Staple Hill just a few miles away at approx 10.30am then off up through Exmoor…guess where we will be on Tuesday morning!

Sunday 3rd August 2008 – Terrier Racing at Yarcombe and Steve and David’s Lands End to John O’Groats

This was incredible – something we hadn’t seen before and great fun…as we had received no reservations in the restaurant, we decided to take a night off and go the the Terrier Racing – in addition to seeing everyone from the village, there was a beer tent and burgers / sausages – fabulous!

Oakood Fuels MD, Steve Tooley (and ummm Neils old Boss!) with David Yates, are driving 966 miles on classic Massey Ferguson 148 & 135 tractors raising funds for Rainbows Childrens’ Hospice and Cancer Research UK. Meeting the needs of children and young people affected by life-limiting and life-threatening conditions in the East Midlands. They offer specialist respite stays, palliative and end-of-life care, as well as support for the whole family. They receive no government funding and rely totally on private donations

To date, they have raised £10,605 – congratulations! For more details – http://www.tractorrun.com

Thursday 24th July 2008

What a week…we had a new loo and washbasin fitted in Wordsworth and as we had to take the room out of action, we decided to get it decorated at the same time with the plumber working around the wall paper table (thank you Piperight!).

Monday 14th July 2008

Neil has been in charge of winding the Clock in the Yarcombe Church whilst our neighbour David has been away. We have had “stick-it” notes all over the place for fear of forgetting to do this as once it stops…it is not easy to synchronise… and not something we could put right. I went up too and the views are stunning – this is the same view as from Keats window.

Tuesday 8th July 2008

We have just had a weekend off and had our family to stay which was wonderful…you will notice children under the age of 13! I hasten to add that should anyone want all six rooms for a family / friends get together, we will accept children under 13 as there won’t be any other guests in the hotel!!

Saturday 21st June 2008

Alan Biggar, Head of Private Clients at Bell Lawrie in Edinburgh (part of Brewin Dolphin) is undertaking a challenge to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. The Drive for Zoë brought Alan to The Belfry on Thurdsay evening, part of his tour or Britain in his 50 year old Morgan Plus 4 around all 39 Brewin Dolphin offices. Theses range from Inverness in the North, to the Channel Islands in the South, as well as across to Belfast. The journey is expected to last for up to two weeks. For further details see www.rememberzoe.co.uk

Last time we looked at the site, he had raised over £140,000 – Congratulations Alan

Friday 6th June 2008

We have had a wonderful few weeks comprising of hosting a hen and stag weekend for some friends Chris and Louise and then attending their fabulous wedding. Below are a few of the 337 photographs of the two weekends which commenced with a trip to Dartmouth in our hired minibus in time for breakfast at Cafe Alf Resco (no photos of that as we left early and we are a touch bleary eyed) and then arriving at The Malsters at Tuckenhay to reveal the activity of the day (how we managed to keep it a secret is beyond both of us). This was to be a trip along the River Dart in a canoe (www.canoeadventures.co.uk) – all ten of us, with a BBQ on the beach. It was just oar some…sorry…and huge fun.

Our skipper was truly on form and brought along the wok and hot chocolate, we took sausages etc. Note to self…next time remember the alcohol.

The following day, after all that strenuous activity rowing the guys along the Dart, we ladies went to be pampered at the Buff Day Spa in Taunton (www.buffdayspa.co.uk) and had such things as manicures, massages and munchies of a high cream tea, all in readiness for dinner at Mount Somerset (www.mountsomersethotel.co.uk)…..the gents meanwhile got sunburnt at Axe Cliff golf course on the coast. Sorry James, this looks like it was your ball in the water and it wasn’t…

Louise looked just stunning.

Sunday 27th April

I promise it didn’t take until today to finish the lounge – taking the photos is the easy part, its getting them uploaded which is one of those 5 minute jobs that never seems to get done!

In addition to the lounge, we then went on to strip the kitchen out, tile and paint it (I wont show you a photo of it – albeit it now looks very pretty but it would be somewhat boring for you..) and decorate Coleridge. Keats and Tennyson are next and we hope to start in a few weeks time.

It has been wonderfully busy here – we have done a 60th Birthday Lunch for 18 which was a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed Nicola and Peters family and friends taking over The Belfry on the day of the Grand National… it was the day after this we attacked the kitchen for 3 days and did Coleridge too!

The new Menu for May and June is complete and I have left a few things on which I have promised to some not to take off – the duck and also the merangue.

The new beds as referred to below are extremely sumptuous having great thick mattress toppers too – we have put the mattress from Tennyson (very comfy) into Byron and the 2 new ones are in Wordsworth and Tennyson. The beds now sit a good 6 inches higher!

Plans are afoot for a large joint stag and hen party we are hosting at the end of May – don’t worry, we are closed to non party guests – we have hired a minibus for the weekend and organised a day trip to Dartmouth with breakfast and activity on the river Dart followed by Dinner at Wildfire…I cant say too much about the River Dart activities as we are keeping it a surprise but we shall get lots of photos up after the event! If you would like us to host a party weekend we can put all sorts of activities together.

Plans are also taking shape for Christmas and New Year too as we have had some tentative booking enquiries. We shall be doing a Christmas Eve supper, Christmas Day lunch and Christmas Day buffet in the evening and then dinner as usual on the Boxing Day evening….

Monday 3 March – New Beds at The Belfry!

We have ordered 2 new mattresses – 1 for Wordsworth and 1 for Byron as it has been brought to our attention that they may be slightly past their best. Thank you to those concerned who raised it with us – it is feedback like this that we use to plan our next projects. .

The lounge is almost done – the wallpaper is going up tomorrow and also in the entrance hall. We can then get the new suite covers on – can’t wait! Just in time, for Easter. Huge thanks to our great neighbours John and Sonya who have helped paint the hall and lounge. This has been great fun, especially seeing John move to Micheal Buble whilst painting and Karen with her bright yellow mop and bucket doing a Devonian jig in the hall…we must cut down on the caffeine!

Sunday 17 February

Thank you Shannon…these are super – they are the photographs of the fireworks which James, Shirley, Chris and Louise brought at New Year and which Shannon managed to take with her mobile phone. The pub emptied at midnight to this fantastic display – a huge thank you to you guys.

Sunday 17 February

Ooops, this hasn’t been updated for a while! You know when you plan to do something to the house and you get part way through and wonder whether actually it was a good idea?…..well we have taken the wall down in the lounge which used to form the office, moved the office techi bit upstairs, ie printers and pc’s which you dont really want to see and revealed the old wooden floor. It was part way through with the plaster dust in every conceivable area and then the sanding of the floor with more that I started having thoughts.

But is is looking great and has made the lounge so much larger. We aren’t quite there yet, just need to get the wallpaper on the walls and the new suite covers on and I shall get a photo on here.

Neil is now relief clock winder for the Yarcombe Church and when David (one of our lovely neighbours) goes away in a couple of weeks, Neil HAS to remember to wind the clock every three days. Otherwise it will stop. It is a touch complicated evidently to get going again as the chimes get out of sink to the time so it would have to wait for David to get back. We are going to have to have “stick it” notes everywhere to remind us…well Neil!

We had a wonderful Valentines evening with hotel guests and locals and had lots of red roses in the restaurants and heart shaped chocolates with coffee, we all talked and talked after dinner until about 1.30am.

I cant believe Easter is around the corner, must go and finish the lounge….

Thursday 3 January 2008…after coffee

Do you remember reading about Paul who got stuck on the landing outside Tennyson with his trousers tangles in his suitcase?…well he has kindly forwarded to us his Christmas painting for this year and how fantastic is this. It so sums up how the weather at Christmas ought to be…may be we will get a little snow today as it is forecast (fingers crossed!).

Thursday 3 January 2008

What a fantastic Christmas and New Year! It was lovely to see our families in Nottinghamshire but also great to be back after Christmas to get ready for the New Year with the arrival of our friends, Chris and Louise with James and Shirley…along with 6 wonderfully behaved children. It was fantastic to have you all here for our first New Year at The Belfry. We managed to get out on a walk which took us above Yarcombe and along the ridge to Underdown Moor and the views were fabulous.

After seeing tracks in the woods, James went out deer stalking early the following morning with Harry and Josh and saw some deer in the forest. They were back in time for Chris to join James to make breakfast…the full works. A real treat and it was delicious.

On New Years Eve we had a BBQ and later a few of us went to the Yarcombe Inn. Just before mid-night, we rushed back to The Belfry to set off a fantastic display of fireworks which Chris and James had organised and brought down with them…thank you, they were amazing!

They were set off along the beds down the side of car park to the joy of us and everyone in the Yarceombe Inn.

Yarcombe in the distance

Sunday 16th December

We have just recently returned from France – we went to Nice and Monte Carlo – stunning scenery and as usual when we go to France, we ate far too many croissants! Christmas is fast approaching and we haven’t even brought our cards yet never mind a present, but The Belfry looks great..we have the tree up in the dining room, Karen our marvellous housekeeper has been busy making fresh green christmasy floral decorations everywhere. We have the coloured lights up at the front of the building plus we have some new lights in the car park and at the side of the building to light it up the same as the church and The Yarcombe Inn (sun glow / moon glow?…it looks slightly orangey). Neil helped Alan put the Yarcombe Inn tree up yesterday, it being well over 15 ft it was quite a challenge but it looks great all decked out in white bulbs. I was dying to shout out of the window, “left a bit…right a bit” but they were freezing and I didn’t think it would have gone down too well. We can’t wait for our first Christmas here…but we will be in Nottingham as my youngest Sister is pregnant and just can’t travel down..but we shall be back on Boxing Day. We are open between Christmas and New Year if anyone is in need of getting away for a few days in between.

Next year we will definitely be open throughout Christmas and New Year so watch this space…no only joking, we wont put any details up until at least June!

I shall get some Christmas photos up ASAP and of The Belfry in her new lights at night…off to buy a BBQ for New Years Eve and to use next Summer in the evenings and maybe even the odd lunch time. Have a Wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Monday 5th November

I can’t believe it is a month since we updated our news – quite a lot has happened, not least the removal of the hedge to the side of

The Belfry and look what we have found!! Not sure what to call him but he has pride of place welcoming guests in the Hall.

We also discovered a water pump which we believe Spring Water was fed to. We have tried to get it working but not succeeded so if anyone has any suggestions… Halloween was great with pie and a pint night at the Yarcombe Inn (we had our pie, served dinner then went back for our pint) and we had a couple visitors!

We had a wonderful couple stay (you have all been wonderful actually!) Paul and Jen, I know you will be looking for this! Paul unfortunately managed to get their suitcase stuck on his trouser belt loop just outside Tennyson. He couldn’t get into the room (it was a rather large suitcase) so I managed to get a chair into the landing for him to rest the case on whilst Jen (needing her glasses…which were in the case) and I assessed the situation. Neil had characteristically, looked out onto the landing after hearing Jen and I laughing and decided not to get involved! With some force from Paul, he managed to dislodge himself from the offending case but only after quite a struggle and I am afraid tears of laughter from Jen and me!

Saturday 6th October

My goodness – what a few weeks! We finally exchanged on 24th August and completed on 29th August…a little close for comfort but we are delighted to be here and are absolutely loving it. Everyone here in Yarcombe has made us feel so welcome too. We found The Belfry for sale on the Internet back in June after both feeling enough was enough, we needed to stop talking about going to Devon and running a B&B (albeit this is a bit of a bigger beast than we had originally envisaged!) and do it. One evening I (S-J) declared to Neil “what Are we going to do?” to which the response was…well let’s just go…let’s sort it. So I did! The following day I found The Belfry and did some number crunching over the weekend. We both fell for the place, the concept, the idea…everything before we had even visited. We phoned the Agents on the Monday, got a viewing for the Tuesday, with Neil driving through the night to get home in time to drive down from Notts and we put the offer in on the Wednesday.

Since we moved in on the 29th, we have been pretty full since, with bookings for accomodation and the Restaurant which has been fantastic – our first guests for rooms and meals arrived on Friday 31st so it was rather chaotic those first few days and thank you so much Mum and Dad who worked their socks off helping us to unpack items out of 120m of bubble wrap and organise where to put things in those first 2 days.

We have since been getting in touch with Paul and Katies long list of Suppliers and Producers to carry on sourcing these fantastic ingredients from them, plus sourcing some more of our own.

Organising the Menu for September was great and we have decided not to alter it that much for October due to it being very well received and everything still being in season. We apologise to those of you who have looked at the Website for not only the September menu but also the October menu, but we have been held up by our telephone company who only got us onto Broadband a few days ago. Thank you though to Michael from Yorkshire who when I declared my frustration after receiving a telephone call about not getting the website done said “but you Just Can’t do everything”. Aaahhh.

So on to October, Halloween and Bonfire Night with tar barrell rolling in Ottery St Mary to look forward to.

In the meantime, thank you Paul and Katie for all your help and guidance in our first few weeks. What a wonderful and special place you have created here at The Belfry….we shall take good care of it and hope to see you here as a guest one day. In the meantime, we wish you all the very best in whichever way life takes you.

Saturday 25th August

Two months since the last ‘blog entry? That’s shocking! It’s not as though the weather has been good and we’ve been sunbathing! Nevertheless we’ve been rushed off our feet what with one thing and another.

The one thing is, of course, doing what we do and welcoming loads of guests, despite the foul weather (thank you all for coming.)

The “other” is finalising negotiations to hand over The Belfry to its new owners.

Yes, indeed you read that correctly.

Next week we hand over to Sarah-Jane and Neil Martin, a lovely couple who are going to be just great for the old place.

I won’t get all gushy here about how great it’s been as all our guests have been pelted with our farewell emails already (unless they’ve changed email address…which happens). Suffice to say, it’s farewell from us and a big Good Luck to Sarah-Jane and Neil.

Thanks for reading the ‘blog folks.

Next entry will be S-J and Neil’s with their message to you.

All the best,