I had the sniffles on Wednesday so retreated to bed with a new book – The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. This is the true story of a couple who lose everything and decide to walk the South West Coast Path, all 630 miles. My friend, who we are walking the path with, leant me the book and I was gripped after the first paragraph. Obviously it was initially interesting as we are walking the path ourselves, however Raynor’s writing immediately transports you to the North Devon coast and her descriptions of the path along the way are fabulous.
I have always been a book worm, inherited from my mother, who is also an avid reader. I grew up on Peter and Jane books, followed by every single book Enid Blyton ever wrote – I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who grew up on a council estate and wanted to go to St Clare’s or Mallory Towers. I also desperately wanted to be in the Secret Seven or the Famous Five, having adventures and eating egg sandwiches and drinking lashings of ginger beer.
Our book club, called BBC2 (Beer Book Club 2 as the original book club got so large that it had to be split into two) is a thriving group who read and meet monthly to discuss a book. In the last year we’ve read a whole host of different books, the latest being The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Not everyone understood the ending but when I googled it, it turns out that lots of people didn’t understand it either!I’m looking forward to the film being made to see how they interpret it.
A book for me is pure escapism. I like to visualise the places that are described. I don’t always like to watch the film version if I’ve loved the book, but although the Dursley’s house in Harry Potter didn’t look like that to me in my mind, I loved everything else about those films.
One of my favourite musicals of all time is Les Miserable. I’ve seen the stage musical three times and the film countless times but I’ve never read the book. Barry and I are loving the TV series on BBC at the moment so I’m tempted to read the book as we’re learning things we never knew about the story from the stage musical and the film.
I can never be bored if I’ve got something to read. I read anywhere and everywhere but my favourite place is to escape to the beach hut in the summer. If I’m reading something that I’m loving I can often be found in bed by 8.30pm with my nose stuck in a book!
Our cottages all have book shelves and over the season these take on a new form as guests leave the books they have read and take one from the collection. In this way I’ll never not have a book to read!
I’m hosting BBC2 at my house in March so need to recommend a book for everyone to read, so what are some of your favourite books?
When Barry and I first fell in love with Garlands in March 2015 we never dreamed that our daughter would also fall in love with Devon. Yesterday, Alexandra and our son in law, Simon, moved to Seaton to a brand spanking new house and we couldn’t be more delighted for them both.
Alex has secured a permanent role for her current company COOK covering the South West and Simon is going to work on a farm. So not only moving to Devon but working on the land! Simon did his first Parkrun at Seaton this morning as a local and even finished first over the line – what a great couple of days for them both.
It’s been a busy day so far as all three cottages were booked for Christmas and they are all full for New Year. There’s still lots to do in Devon in the winter time and there’s no rain forecast for the foreseeable future so our guests will be able to get out and about.
When our New Year guests leave Barry and I will be taking a break for approximately six weeks as we’ve got some building work going on in our house. The conservatory is on its last legs and if we don’t take it down I fear it would be blown down!
Bookings for the 2019 season are incredibly strong. We’ve already got 50 number of weeks booked! If you’re thinking of a March spring break here’s our latest availability –
The Beach House – 16th, 23rd and 30th March available
The Seaside Inn – 16th March available
The Boat Shed – 16th and 23rd March available
March is a lovely time for walking or cycling breaks and remember the South West Coast Path and the beautiful Jurassic Coast are right on our door step.
The Folletts at Beer won Bronze and Gold at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018 last week.
Little did we think when we purchased our three cottages in the quintessentially British fishing village of Beer, that three and a half years later we would win Bronze in the Self Catering Property of the Year award, and Helen would win Gold in a special award of Customer Service Superstar which was announced on the night.
We think the judges were impressed by our free dog sitting service and the addition of our wonderful complimentary use of the beach hut. The way we have integrated into the village we think made a difference – I lead the Beer Coastal Community team – a volunteer group that exists to ensure Beer continues to be a wonderful place for people to live, work, visit and holiday. This team have recently been awarded a grant from the Government’s Coastal Community Fund to further enhance the village.
We both also supported the village in Channel 4’s Village of the Year competition where Beer won the best village in the South West region to make it to the national finals.
In our press release I said that we were thrilled with both awards –
“Barry and I are delighted to have won the Bronze award for Devon’s Self Catering Property of the Year. It’s particularly pleasing considering we’ve only been in business for a short time. Winning Gold for Customer Service was amazing – to win an award which is all about how you treat people is the icing on the cake! We’re so lucky to live and work in beautiful Beer and East Devon, right on the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coast Path”.
All of the winners can be found on the Devon Tourism Award website.