Thursday, November 05, 2009

Another season drawing to a close already! Where does the time go? It seems like only days since we were serving wild garlic soup and rhubarb ice cream and now here we are making jams and pickles ready for 2010.

Once again we’ve been very busy. Geoffrey has been enlarging the borders yet again – one day they will meet in the middle. We have lots of new plants and some of the old ones are really coming into their own this year. Earlier in the year we were smitten with the rhododendron virus that had already affected the castle – only the best places, dontchaknow? – but, fingers crossed, we are managing to keep it under control.

Red Magazine Fashion Shoot at KilmichaelIn July we had all the excitement of Christmas when 'Red' Magazine came to Kilmichael for a fashion shoot for their Christmas issue (due out in November). Half of the island appeared to get involved and we were treated to the sight of a beautiful spanish model promenading through the gardens dressed in several thousand pounds worth of leading fashion.Who knows, maybe Alexander Mcqueen will be designing our staff outfits for 2010!

Chickenopolis is still bursting at the seams. We had to put in a gate because Antony’s turkeys were taking altogether too keen an interest in passing dogs, including Giuseppe, who really isn’t that keen on poultry that moves. Visitors to Chickenopolis now have to watch out for The Pasha, a palm turkey, who loves to nip one’s leg as a ‘gentle’ reminder that he needs feeding. We lost a few of the older peafowl, but one of the peahens surprised us by appearing with a white chick, which we are hoping will survive to astound next year.

The flower garden in summer

In addition to the Scottish Country House Hotel of the Year Award (see previous newsletter!) we have learned that Kilmichael is once again to be an AA Red Star Hotel and will be an Inspector’s Choice for 2010. VisitScotland has told us that we are to receive their coveted Gold Award and our self catering cottages were inspected by VisitScotland and declared to be firmly in the five star category. A big thank you to all our staff, and in particular Helen who, despite becoming a grandmother this year, continues to welcome guests with a warm smile and a tray of tea!.

Pan among the bluebells

Guiseppe biting the sea!

Next year will be a special one for us in that it will mark twenty years that we have been welcoming guests to Kilmichael. We do hope that many readers of this newsletter will be amongst them.

The tradesmen's emtrance!!

Rush hour!

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