Progress Report Number One
Posted by Stuart and Susannah Macpherson - 16:35 on 22 November 2004
Well, we have survived the first year, which “they” say is, the toughest and we certainly hope “they” are right. We have now been here for eighteen months and the to-do list seems to be getting longer, not shorter.
We started by attacking the rhododendrons, and, believe it or not, we have cleared well over an acre significantly reducing their numbers particularly around the pitch and putt. We had to bring in some heavy equipment to dig up the roots and replace them with 700 tons of topsoil. Next the drainage needs to be sorted out, and then in the spring we can plant the grass seed.
Our bedroom and ground floor refurbishment plans were delayed by the significant investment needed in the kitchen with new ovens, stovetops, dishwashers, mixers and slicer all needing to be replaced. We have however now finished our first en suite bathroom upgrade and painted 60 exterior window frames, repaired some guttering, painted and laid new carpets in several bedrooms. Our maintenance man Charlie Cleland is a true handy man - who has worked here for over 26 years. Without Charlie progress would be a lot slower. We also had to rewire and upgrade some of the electrical supply and replace many fuse boxes. We have had the driveway re-graded twice, the road sign replaced twice and now, after several months of wild goose chasing, we have the sign illuminated …….so the upgrades and refurbishment continues.
We have been working with local architects, who had to create blueprints for the house so that we could submit a listed building consent to Historic Scotland for refurbishment. Our plans include the refitting of the old public bar, the relocation and upgrade of the gent’s toilets and the reinstatement of the main central double doors into the octagonal room. This will involve removing the existing reception area and creating a new opening in the wall opposite the log fire in the main hall.
The girls have started play group, nursery and ballet so we have added taxi service to our list of daily duties.
The business has already shown early signs of success with many of our guests returning several times throughout the year. The restaurant is gaining a great reputation locally with more and more locals coming in to dine. This success is, of course, down to our friendly staff without who we would be lost.
Only thirteen and a half years to go and the mortgage will be paid off…………….
Stuart and Susannah Macpherson
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