30/05/2013 :: Goose Gang stayed at The Buttery and Cromlech House

Here's a Goose Bags video that they filmed while staying here in May 2013. All interior and sun terrace shots are at The Buttery.

Director of Photography / Editor - Sim Warren
Producer / Co-ordinator - Mia Xerri
Producer / Co-ordinator - Lucy Foster-Perkins
Aerials - Will Milne

23/05/2012 :: last minute booking

Just got another 'last minute' booking - been having quite a few of these recently. Great if one has the flexibility to grab a vacant weekend/week when the weather forecast is so summery!
Dom. Jealous Londoner.

17/02/2012 :: Iona and Dominic and kids in Mortehoe for half term

I keep forgetting quite how great to come here. Had a busy fun half term week with lots of visitors, we went to see our farmer friends, stared in disbelief at Jay and Joey paragliding (video below) more or less on our doorstep, splashed about in the sea, wondered where all the sheep have gone (answer presumably is under shelter) ..

01/12/2011 :: Cromlech House is available for rent

After very successful rentals for The Buttery since Aug 2011, we decided in Nov 2011 to also offer Cromlech House to rent (and the two houses jointly as 'The Crescent').
We are delighted with how well booking are going for 2012 for The Buttery, Cromlech House and The Crescent ... it usually takes many years for a newly rented property to build up a good rate of occupancy.

23/08/2011 :: piano moves in to The Buttery

House solidly booked since we started renting 12 Aug, and continuing for the next few weeks! VERY happy with the way the rentals are going, excellent tenants, thanks to you all!
Today Ashley and Nick helped transport Mrs Caley's Collard & Collard upright piano from Woolacombe to The Buttery. Iona bashed out a few tunes - sounded great - a new life for an underused 1920's piano.

19/08/2011 :: start renting out the house

Iona, Dominic and children have moved out of The Buttery when holiday lettings began 12th August 2011. We met our first tenants and they were completely charming, brilliant tenants ... a great start to The Buttery's new phase as a self-catering holiday home.

07/08/2011 :: bells

Visit to Darracott friends (Hi!) then Grunta beach fun in rain, Little Tommy astounded by impressive Mortehoe church bellringing team sweating quietly in the church tower while the resulting music rang out to the whole village from the ancient bells above. No time for the Brendon Show - must try it some other year, sounds more like one man and his dog in contrast to the North Devon Show's one thousand men and women and their dogs, alpacas, pygmy goats, highland cattle etc.

06/08/2011 :: Combe Martin Carnival

Fun and games on the football field near the top of the village. Carnival lasts 6 days.

03/08/2011 :: North Devon Show

Great weather for this very Devonian event on a 200 acre farm site in Umberleigh. nearly an hour in traffic jams rewarded by a farm show with something for everybody ... tractors, horses, falconry, bouncy castles, alpacas, monster trucks ...

29/07/2011 :: scarecrow festival begins

Mortehoe is abuzz with roaming scarecrow hunters. The excitement is palpable! Still the jackdaws don't seem fazed by the scarecrows. More pics here.

28/07/2011 :: building inspector gives The Buttery the all clear

There's a lot that could go wrong with a job of this type/size ... that's why site manager Allan, architect Iona, and production controller Chris look so happy here. Job well done!

27/07/2011 :: world's biggest window box

I put some of John's photos online at thebutterymortehoe.co.uk. At last. We also have a poster in window to let people know that this house is for rent. But advertising to July holidaymakers might not be the best way of filling those available August 2011 weeks ... should have started promoting house sooner!  Children variously at Mrs Caley's and at cousin in Croyde. Iona marking uni exam papers. I fitted a 500 litre planter under kitchen window at back of house. This re-purposed item was surplus from our London neighbour's landscaping business, served as a handy roof box when we drove here, and fits perfectly in its new home where it will provide fresh herbs to The Buttery.

26/07/2011 :: photography

Traditional post-Ikea 'Morning Assembly' ... all adults and children in the house allocated (according to skill level and interest) flatpack furniture to assemble before breakfast.
Late breakfast.
Chatted with some passing Architectural Historians from Oxford about how we restored/modernised The Buttery.
John Bellars photographed the Buttery ... what a pro. And a fun day too. Thanks John and Rachel!
Late afternoon: impromptu stoop concert/gig by Pete and Dave at The Crescent.

25/07/2011 :: Dominic puts together a quick GoogleSites website at www.thebutterymortehoe.co.uk

The Buttery will soon be available for rent so we'd better find some holidaymakers!

25/07/2011 :: Ikea Bristol

Iona and I dropped the children off at Mrs Caley's and drove to the nearest Ikea ... for the 3rd time in past few weeks. A few lessons learned:
  • If your car is suddenly out of fuel on the M5 try to break down right next to where someone else has already got a recovery van on the hard shoulder. Buy a slosh of diesel, clear the fuel line of air by spraying carburettor cleaner into air intake and you'll be off again within 10 minutes.
  • If you check out more than 100 items at Ikea, you need to pay-as-you-go in 100-item blocks ... not sure why.
  • If you drive into an underground car park and put loads of stuff on your roofrack you might hit the max headroom sign on the way out.

15/07/2011 :: carpets fitted

After careful analysis of colour/tone/brightness/texture/durability/cleanability/feel/carboncost/moneycost etcetera we chose acarpet. Padfields of Barnstaple did a great job of fitting, with a team led by part time coast guard Neil who occasionally had to dash of to the helipad when got bleeped.

12/07/2011 :: handover and cleaning - eureka

When this house is rented out we will usually not be here ourselves to organise handovers. So finding the right people to do cleaning/handovers/maintenance is crucial to the smooth running of the lettings. After lots of networking and due diligence we are sure that we now have a totally reliable and highly effective handover partner. Sharon and team, we have full confidence in you!  :)

04/07/2011 :: solar energy

The solar panels on the roof are quietly and efficiently doing their job of heating up water in a 300 litre cylinder. The gas boiler kicks in if the solar isn't heating enough water during the day, but even in on overcast days the solar alone is plenty when there are just us 2 adults + 2 children in the house. I'm very impressed. My hope is that some of the holiday guests that we will have staying here over the years might be inspired to install their own solar systems. Save carbon, save money, and if the gov't ever sorts out its energy policy one might even get Renewable Heat Incentive payments!

01/07/2011 :: London family create their ideal holiday retreat - and then want to let complete strangers live in it!

Finally the builders are gone, pretty much on schedule and having done a really impressive job. Iona and I arrived from London (via holiday in Cornwall) with the 3 children to an empty house. After all the planning, design, management (and blood, sweat and tears) it's wonderful to see this old Victorian house transformed from dereliction to it's current state. Lots of work still to be done by us on the empty house before it becomes a great holiday home for us and for friends/family and as a holiday let. But even in a house with no furniture, Mortehoe is always a place I'm happy in.

To come soon:
  • Background to the restoration project.
  • What to do locally - but see www.mortehoe.org for some ideas.