Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How quickly the year seems to fly by; it doesn’t seem twelve months since we last posted a newsletter, but looking at the date of the last one, it certainly is.

Summer in the garden

And what a year it’s been - our twentieth here at Kilmichael! Both of us have survived life-threatening illnesses and the house has survived a falling tree. Anything after that is just asking for jam, isn’t it!

In the garden, Geoffrey continues to widen the borders and this year in particular saw some new acquisitions come into their own. The two months of glorious sunshine we enjoyed at the start of the season (while most other people were sheltering from the rain) seemed to particularly benefit the roses. And now, in October, we are seeing walnuts, figs and mulberries in abundance – or at least until the red squirrels discover them.

If there were any gratitude in the natural world the squirrels would spare our nuts and berries in thanks for the new sign we put up on the drive to warn guests that the squirrels were about. Indeed, they have taken to hanging around the sign as if they know that’s where it’s safest to be.

Miss Bling

Chickenopolis has seen the addition of two turkeys, Bubbly Jock and his partner, Miss Bling, who loves to peck at jewellery whenever she sees it (like anyone you know, perhaps?). Both are incredibly friendly and only our waiter, Rasti, is afraid of them.

Our other waiter, Imrich, has helped Geoffrey to build a Chinese Aviary, which is glorious in red and green and will boast gilded dragons and temple bells when it is finished. Quite what will be splendid enough to grace this superior residence has yet to be decided.

On the subject of superior residences, Kilmichael has once again been chosen as one of the AA’s ‘Inspectors’ Choice’ Hotels and we are hoping to keep our four gold stars with the STB. Visitors have written in glowing praise of Kilmichael, both in our visitors’ book, which you can see here at our website, and on Tripadvisor (see accolades!).

The changes we made to the menu, from a limited à la carte to a table d’hôte, have met with great approval. Guests appear to relish the opportunity to try something they might not have otherwise ordered and the feedback has been even more embarrassingly effusive than in previous years – just re-reading their comments brings a blush to our cheeks!

Tea in the garden How rare do you want your duck? The Chinese Aviary under construction

This winter we are planning to finish the last stage of our development, two more cottages to complete the project started with the construction of Finch and Bluebird Cottages. We are promised that they will be ready for the 2011 season and so we had better begin preparing for it ourselves. We have plenty of plans for remodeling the gardens and potager this winter, so watch this space!

The roses were particularly good

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Kilmichael Country House Hotel and Deluxe Cottages
Glen Cloy  •  By Brodick  •  Isle of Arran  •  KA27 8BY

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