Sun 24 January 2016
Ensuring that our rooms are just right for guests and that good (and plentiful) food arrives on the tables is at the heart of what we do at Sheldon but have you ever wondered how we manage it?
Tucked away in the Farmhouse is the office that is the administrative base for the Housekeeping and Cellarer teams. As well as trying to provide working space for four people, the office is a store for the million and one spare ‘bits’ that are needed to keep Sheldon running – a plethora of light bulbs, shower hoses, aerial leads, tubes of mastic, etc. However, we had reached a point where we had outgrown the storage shelves and worn out the furniture and a make-over was long overdue. At the end of December, Hillary, Jan, Deborah and Rhian decamped from the office into temporary quarters in the Conservatory and the Community Kitchen. During January we have completely refurbished the Farmhouse Office by stripping it out, rewiring, redecorating, and refurnishing the room to provide a brighter, better and more organised working environment. We uncovered some interesting former decorative schemes in the process – who remembers Laura Ashley wallpaper from the 1980s?!
The care and attention that goes into ensuring our guests are comfortable is something that is regularly praised in the feedback that we receive from visitors. Every aspect of the provision of comfortable and clean rooms - from washing mountains of laundry to stocking larders - is looked after by Jan, ably assisted by Deborah and our team of part-time cleaners. Hillary and Rhian plan menus, research special diets, juggle lists of volunteers who help in the kitchen - and cook! In between all that, there are preserves and chutneys to make, vegetables to grow, massages to give, sheep to tend - the list goes on!
We welcome guests back at the end of this week to one of Sheldon’s trademark 12,000-mile Service weeks and then on through our celebration of Candlemas and into the busy programme for the year. There’s lots to look forward to in 2016!