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THE TRIMSTONE TYMES - 2011/12 Edition -
“Well trained staff, clean & tidy Hotel, excellent Reception, housekeeping, staff helpfulness – always on hand. Very comfortable stay, excellent breakfast. Great food and service. Overall impression excellent and we will tell all our friends about you and recommend they try it for themselves. The best features are location for visiting the area, ease of finding, tranquility, countryside, gardens and grounds, swimming pool and historic connections.”
Mr & Mrs U, Basingstoke ( June 2011)
Recently awarded VisitBritain ««« Rating for our Hotel and Self-Catering Cottages.
We have decided to try a new initiative to tell you what’s going on here at trimstone Manor Country House Hotel and Cottages and tyme Restaurant. We have some really special offers for you within (in red), either for you to come and stay in this lovely part of the Country or to sample our Chef ’s excellent fare. There is no small print with these offers other than you can’t use more than one offer at the same time and that they are subject to availability.* For over twenty-five years, we have also been compiling unique newsletters for our sister business, Philip J Milton & Company Plc, and they seem to be well received as they are not ‘selling stuff ’ all the time. That’s a recipe we hope to emulate with a new style newsletter for trimstone Manor and tyme Restaurant. We hope you’ll enjoy it and whilst naturally there’s no obligation to come and see us, that it might encourage you to do so and we’d love to see you. of course, newsletters are a very expensive exercise too and we’ll need the support to warrant future editions. Do also sign-up to www.trimstoneevents.co.uk for details of the future events we have in store! our WWii-themed Murder Mystery Dinner with a professional acting troupe is on 15 July and this promises to be a great night, at £55 including a sumptuous meal. Please ring immediately to book your spaces! We have a fantastic array of foodie events and other activities and we need your support to help make these a success and to enable us to continue a programme. if you have ideas for other events or want to organize a group or charity do then we’d be pleased to hear and indeed, help you with all the planning! We do send out last minute offers by email and if we don’t have your contact details, please send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org as often we can’t justify sending these by post because of the cost or it’s a very limited offer. We’d much prefer if you used these offers rather than some strangers! also, if you have any friends or family who you think would appreciate an ad hoc update, do let us have their email details. also have a look on our website www.trimstone.co.uk for special offers we run from time to time. occasionally last minute availability is there on really keen terms. our very best wishes and looking forward to seeing you soon.
Philip & Helen Milton
What a beautiful Spring we had! Some fortunate guests chose the time to have lovely breaks with us, enjoying themselves in the gardens as well as around our beautiful North Devon. Whilst the azeleas are over, Trimstone is looking lovely. In fact, we were really pleased to receive the second prize for the Ilfracombe In Bloom Gardens’ competition for our category (Best Garden for a Larger Hotel) at the awards this Spring. Next year we’re going for first! A lovely Spring was interspersed by a good Valentine’s weekend, though by asking around, fewer couples were sharing their affections over the dinner table generally this year. Still, Helen and I didn’t mind - we dined next door and there were still a few fresh oysters to enjoy the next Day. Well done to our Head Chef Darren! Half terms, Mother’s Day and Easter have come and gone as well – the cottages have rented well over the period which is very good, with positive comments and promises of return trips. We’ve just had our ‘VisitBritain’ Cottage starring inspection again and also our first ‘VisitBritain’ Hotel Starring and have passed 3« with flying colours in both cases. Since last year we have undertaken a few more improvements to the cottages as well and there are always more in store. We were very pleased to acquire two rare Joseph Kennedy (1861-1888) Barnstaple paintings at Whitton and Laing’s April auction remarkably reasonably indeed and which will soon be proudly displayed. Apparently these two and another scene of the Rolle Quay in Barnstaple with ships moored-up had been in a local builder’s merchants for years but were being sold by a private vendor. The two are seventeenth century scenes of the old North Gate and the Guildhall and were painted by Kennedy from previous images. Whilst his paintings are often on poor paper and difficult to clean as a result, these two are in good condition and appear to have been professionally commissioned as opposed to undertaken for the next drink, which was apparently young Mr Kennedy’s affliction - he died aged just 27!
We were also very pleased to acquire a Barnstaple 1805 Grandfather Clock for the Hall too – a lovely addition yet as with so many old pieces of furniture, not anything like as much to buy as it would have cost just a few years ago. Do come and have a look at it. The North Devon Gazette did a lovely piece on it. Dare we admit to finding this on Ebay!
Do come and have a look at the paintings and any of the additional local art and scenes which we have been keen to locate to display in the Hotel as well.
Events at Trimstone
We now have a great Events’ Programme and we are determined to make Tyme Restaurant and Trimstone the place to be! We are really enthusiastic about the activities we have planned.
Successful Charity Event
In June, we hosted a very special Charity event. Local young lady Stacy Greenwood approached us for a donation to help her charity choice this year. However, we delved a little deeper to find a wonderful young person who has been raising funds for different charitable causes for the last five years, with the full support of her employer, Homebase in Barnstaple. This year, Stacy was supporting the Teenage Cancer Trust and Motor Neurone Disease. Instead of a small prize, we offered to help Stacy and so she had a great venue, a super excuse for a lovely night-out, with live music (The Sorrelli Strings played), her draw and a silent auction to boot. We provided a sumptuous buffet on special terms so that the Charity made more from the ticket prices and we also donated a grand prize for the auction as well. The event raised a fantastic £1,208 for the Charity so well done to Stacy and all involved who made the evening such a success. We were really pleased to work with Stacy and indeed with any local charity on such an event or with any other ideas, so do contact us if we can help you.
The Atlantic Watersports Games
The Atlantic Watersports Games take place from 23-28 July 2011. Entrants who have competed at World and National level from thirty-three regions across five countries are coming, with over 300 having registered so far. Events will be taking place in Croyde and Saunton too. Don’t delay booking your stay with us to make sure you’re not disappointed!
Future Events and Foodie Evenings at Trimstone and Tyme
We have planned a wide range of different activities here over the coming months, from a Murder Mystery Dinner, Business Shows, Charity Dinners, Singles’ Events, Art Retreats… the list goes on! Read on for details of some of the Events planned for the rest of 2011. Please support us to ensure we run more!
To be kept fully up to date with future events, please register your details on www.trimstoneevents.co.uk. There’s no cost or obligation and if you have some ideas we can run with, it would be great to work with you!
Future Events at Trimstone
Please see below some dates for your diary: Friday 15 July: World War 2 Themed Murder Mystery Evening Saturday 16 July: ‘The Americas’ Food Themed Evening Saturday 23 July: Buffet Garden Party with Music Saturday 30 July: Italian Food Themed Evening Friday 5 August: ‘From Durham to Devon’ Food Theme Evening Saturday 6 August: Champagne & Strawberry Garden Party Thursday 11 August: Asian Food Themed Evening Thursday 18 August: Over 50s’ Themed Evening Saturday 20 August: Buffet Garden Party with Entertainment Monday 29 August (Bank Holiday): Charity Cream Tea Afternoon
Friday 2 September: ‘Polish’ Themed Food Evening Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 September: Heritage Open Days Friday 16 September: Asian Food Themed Evening Wednesday 21 September: ‘The Best of British’ Food Themed Evening Saturday 24 September: Charity Casino Night Saturday 1 October: ‘Mediterranean’ Food Themed Evening Saturday 8 October: Murder Mystery Dinner Saturday 15 October: James Bond Themed Evening Saturday 22 October: ‘Fruits de Mer’ Food Themed Evening Saturday 5 November: Charity Fireworks and Buffet Evening Thursday 10 – Friday 11 November: Business Show Saturday 19 November: Black Tie Jazz Evening Saturday 26 November: Charity Money Tree Day Saturday 3 December: Charity Christmas Masked Dinner Party
Visit www.trimstoneevents.co.uk for further details. More Events coming soon – Half-priced Cream Tea Sundays for Cyclists, for example - keep checking the website and email alerts!
Special Offer #1: Self-Catering Cottages 2011 Any cottages on last minute availability right until the end of the Summer are available now with a 20% discount to past Hotel or Cottage customers if booked direct with us before 20 July 2011! Sorry we can’t extend this offer to existing bookings. Mention “Cheeky Cottage Offer” when booking.*
North Devon Lunching
On a dull Wednesday in mid-February, Helen and I tried to go out to lunch. We rang one isolated Country House Hotel on the way back from Ivybridge and “we’re full” came the retort – the second spontaneous time we’d tried there. Then we popped into another just outside Tavistock but were told “I am sorry but we have no more space” and so we stopped at a roadside Inn where it wasn’t anything like as good.
Come and have a Cream Tea! Bookings
So how do they do it? Up here in North Devon I can’t name one good quality eatery which is regularly ‘full’ mid-week and which has to turn people away – is it because the people of North Devon haven’t discovered the art of enjoying a good quality, reasonably priced, freshly prepared lunch out with friends or family sometimes? I could list a range of excellent places to go for a mid-week lunch and at very good prices (including our own Tyme Restaurant of course, offering £14.95 for two courses at the time of printing) and whilst booking is always recommended, if we don’t support them they won’t be there forever.
The summer bookings are looking better than last year generally. Cottage enquiries and reservations are coming through thick and fast, we’re pleased to say and whilst we all have austerity as a cloud over us, the need for a break or two is as evident as ever and our helpful response in relation to pricing and encouraging longer breaks by lower tariffs for these is certainly being appreciated by guests. If you’re thinking of booking a cottage, I shouldn’t leave it too late as you may otherwise be disappointed. Come and see us and relax!
If you are involved with a charity and would like to organise something, do come and have a chat with us as it’s a lovely place for an event of any size. Indeed, we provide a venue for conferences as well, with South West Gideons coming to stay for a day recently and we also had a very successful event with a leading recruitment agency and its staff from across the area. It’ll be good to see the regular church groups coming again as a few have already – the Hotel had a good reputation for those in the past.
We’re been running all sorts of last minute email special offers, such as a thirdoff Hotel accommodation, cottages at half price and other initiatives – as much as a reward for customers as a way of ensuring we remain as full as possible. In May we held a totally free of charge Patrons’ night with live music and complimentary buffet and wine, just to say “thank you” to all our supporters and guests (photographs of the event have been posted on our website under Gallery). So please do register your email address with us and you’ll be in line for future offers!
The Victorian Tunnels’ Beach Wedding Venue in nearby Ilfracombe has caught the national media’s attention, with bookings now flowing and like nearby Pickwell Manor, we’ve been helping some guests with accommodation. We wish them all success and whilst we’re not on the beach (so no sand in your food here!), we do provide a great Wedding venue, offering a variety of accommodation for your guests, far easier access to all of North Devon and locally sourced, reasonably priced food. Closer to us, Woolacombe (two miles away) has been rated the seventh most popular beach in the whole Country by TripAdvisor’s users – wow!
Helen and I went to London for a night recently and booked into a 4* Hotel. To be frank, it didn’t ‘feel’ 4* at all, apart from the price which was £232 for one night! They also followed the trend of not providing tea/coffee facilities in the rooms so you had to pay for Room Service. To think, Trimstone would have been £99 including better facilities and a tastier Full English breakfast as well…!
‘Croyde’: Prestige Room
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel For those of you who aren’t aware, our stunning Country House Hotel is set in 44 acres of landscaped gardens and beautiful North Devon countryside. It is located within minutes of fine sandy beaches, such as Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton, yet so accessible to the A361, too. It is also within easy reach of Ilfracombe, Exmoor and the famous North Devon coastal path offering spectacular views. Many of the local beaches are popular for surfing and wind-surfing and lessons are available for those who are new to the sport. Nearby you may like to try your hand at fishing either on
local well-stocked lakes or maybe take a boat trip sea fishing from Ilfracombe Harbour. For families, there are many attractions nearby including The Milky Way Adventure Park, Watermouth Castle Theme Park, Kilarney Fun Water Park and Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park to name a few. National Trust properties, gardens and many walking and cycling opportunities are all situated within easy reach of the Hotel, as well as many free sites to visit as well. In addition to our Tyme Restaurant and public Lounge Bar where you can order bar snacks, the Hotel boasts lovely facilities including an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym and games room which mean that you have everything you need to relax and enjoy your stay and a few wet weather distractions which can be very helpful, especially if travelling with children.
Hotel All Stars
Hot on the heels of our starring for our Cottages, we have done same for the Hotel - it is quite a mammoth task to meet the rigorous universal standards imposed by VisitBritain. We were delighted to achieve 3«, especially considering that a 5« “guest house” or “guest accommodation” have to fulfil very much more limited requirements than even a 2« hotel! However, we are thrilled to be the first new 3« Hotel in the area for rather too long a time and the first and only 3« Hotel in the whole Ilfracombe postal district too - wow! And no, prices won’t go up as a result, either!
Special Offer #2: New Hotel bookings of three nights or more Mention our “Happy Hotel Offer” and you will receive a 20% discount on your accommodation (subject to availability of course). Offer available on Hotel stays until 31 August 2011.*
Trimstone Self-Catering Cottages Trimstone Self-Catering Cottages were converted from what were originally a Mill and its ancillary buildings. Following recent refurbishment, the Cottages are fully furnished to a good standard and offer a variety of sleeping arrangements to suit most needs. We provide everything you need for your self-catering holiday.
Below are some comments from our recent VisitBritain inspection of our cottages:
Overall - These properties present well in general again this year, the Three Star ratings and appropriate individual sectional consistency scores for that quality level retained. Highlights - Well presented properties continuing to offer a practical standard of comfortably appointed self-catering accommodation, guests benefiting from the use of the adjoining hotel’s facilities. Cleanliness - Attention to detail clearly evident throughout. Public Areas - Mixed decorative finishes in generally good condition, original features adding character in some cottages. Bedrooms - Bed bases appear sturdy and supportive, mattresses comfortable; bedding presents well, high quality cotton bed-linen immaculately laundered and presented. Bedrooms efficiently furnished within the space available. Bathrooms - Sanitary ware/fittings appear well maintained and in good working order. Sufficient bathroom provision for the numbers accommodated. Kitchen - Ample work/storage provision. White goods well maintained and in good working order; tableware/cookware remain at a very good standard overall. Kitchens well equipped and laid out.
Special Offer #3: Parkland Caravan We have a refurbished Parkland Caravan which will sleep four plus 1. Naturally it’s not the same standard as the Hotel and cottages but all the Hotel facilities are there for you to enjoy and the prices are inclusive of everything (except towels). From only £265 for a whole week’s accommodation, it’s a bargain! This is the first promotion since being made available. This Offer gives you a 10% discount if you mention “Parkland Caravan Concession” when booking a stay before 31 October 2011.*
Tyme Restaurant serves quality cuisine that is fresh, seasonal and local. We are open for evening meals, Sunday and week-day lunches, coffee and cream teas. We are able to cater for larger functions, including weddings and private parties so whether you want a formal à la carte meal in our Restaurant or a marquee with a pig roast in our landscaped gardens, we can help design an event tailored to suit you. Having put down roots in North Devon, our Head Chef, Darren Smith (who started in the Royal Berkshire Hilton where he worked for six years) draws inspiration from Northern Italy (where he worked for five years) and France. We have a fantastic range of food producers and suppliers on our doorstep which he incorporates into his own take of the best quality of modern cuisine that is sourced from quality local produce wherever possible.
Special Offer #4: Four dine for the price of three Four non-resident diners enjoying acclaimed Tyme Restaurant’s fare will only pay for three diners’ meals and drinks if they mention ‘Tyme’s Tasty Treat’ when booking. Offer available until 30 November 2011.* At more hotels than expected, it seems the evening meal price for residents has been quietly increased to £32.50 or more (as we discovered as we booked a trip away recently). Now, I appreciate this is not the cheap-and-often-notso-cheerful places that we usually regret visiting when we’ve been ‘forced’ to go there as opposed to a rather better place with three nice courses, etc, we have kept our rates at a concessionary £23.50 for residents and cottage guests who pre-book prior to arrival (at the time of writing). Indeed, the incentive encourages quite a few local people to treat themselves to an overnight stay as a result. Remember, the Menu is revised every day too, with different choices according to the seasons and local produce availability. We also try to cater for special needs and desires too if we know in advance. We also have a wide-ranging wine list – not a piece of laminated card with peeling corners!
We look forward to seeing you soon and don’t forget, if there’s anything special you want then we are here to work with you on making a stay really special or arranging a meal to suit particular likes or needs. We’re very happy doing a special early breakfast if you need to be away swiftly the next morning (farmers, golfers and shooters note particularly!). You don’t get that often!
Weddings at Trimstone Manor
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, set in landscaped gardens and 44 acres of rolling countryside just outside Woolacombe, is the perfect, tranquil setting for a wedding whatever the time of year in North Devon. We should be delighted to host your marriage ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception (or indeed any part). We have had a Wedding Licence since 2009. We encourage you to take the time to visit the picture gallery on our website www.trimstone.co.uk to give you an idea of the fabulous setting that Trimstone Manor enjoys. We’ll think you’ll agree it is hard to beat in North Devon! The Hotel offers en-suite bedrooms and suites, as well as several self-contained cottages - plenty to fit in all the family and even a dog or two in specially designated rooms. With a fully licensed Bar, Restaurant and Gardens, together with our indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym, we have everything you need to make your special day and stay memorable. If desired, we can offer the services of an experienced Wedding Planner who will work with you to create a personalised itinerary that suits you and your budget to help ease the stress of planning your special day. Whatever your requirements and budget, we are confident that we can help you to create the wedding of your dreams. We encourage you to contact the Hotel to discuss your requirements in more personalised detail. To request a Wedding Information Pack, written quotation or to arrange a visit, please contact us on 01271 862841 or email@example.com.
Come and join those who’ve already had great celebrations with us!
*Whilst we shall honour the special offers, we cannot hold them indefinitely and must retain the right to cease any particular initiatives at any time so don’t delay your booking!
Go onto our Website www.trimstone.co.uk and have a look at the pictures. Not only will you see a nest of lovely fluffy robins but you will see Darren’s special, traditional Easter cake. For a voucher for two free cream teas (the winner will be drawn from a hat), all you have to do is look at the picture and say what is ‘wrong’ with the cake! Do encourage your friends and family to enter – all they need do is send us an email. Competition closes on 30 September 2011.
Below is just a small selection of the recent testimonials we have received - to see more, simply visit the Guest Book on our website. Thank you very much for these! “Wedding reception: superb catering, well organised, responsive and friendly staff. Good memories for all.” (10/04/2010) “Good housekeeping, staff helpfulness and welcome. Excellent cleanliness, good breakfast and dinner – good overall impression and would recommend the Hotel to friends.” (04/05/2011) “Lovely location, great views and ambience. Menu was varied and focused on local and in season ingredients. Presentation was good. Wine selection was good and relatively inexpensive.” (26/03/2011) “Great place for a relaxing family holiday. Delicious food.” (29/05/11)
After Hours - Why? Why? Why?
Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up every two hours? Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat? Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet? Whose idea was it to put an “S” in the word “lisp”? If it’s true that we are here to help others, what are the others doing here? How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Special Offer #5: Available for Philip J Milton & Company Plc Clients only If you have some funds being looked after carefully by the Company, please enjoy a complimentary bottle of our finest house wine (or up to four soft drinks) when enjoying an evening dinner. There may not be many free lunches in the City but we’re grateful to our clients and like to say ‘thank you’ to them when we can. If you don’t already use us, does your adviser appreciate your custom?! (This offer entitles you to one bottle per booking and one booking per client. Offer expires 30 November 2011.)*
Are you looking for Independent Financial Advice?
Contact North Devon’s leading and most qualified Independent Financial Advisers and Investment Managers for a FREE, no obligation initial consultation on: Investment Management ~ Savings and Investments Mortgages ~ Income Protection ~ Pension Planning Life Insurance ~ Probate Administration Services* Share Dealing ~ Accountancy & Tax Planning* Will Writing & Executorship* (*Not regulated by the Financial Services Authority)
We now look after over £100 million on behalf of our clients, in ISAs, Portfolios, Pensions and Bonds, etc.
Do contact us to register to receive a copy of our Newsletters which help outline the comprehensive range of services we offer, together with a history on the Firm and our investment comment at that time. We also send occasional email circulars and you simply need to let us have your email address to start receiving these. Sterling House, 17 Joy Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1HE Tel: 01271 344300 Fax: 01271 342810 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.miltonpj.net Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Services Authority
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel with Self-Catering Cottages & Tyme Restaurant
with Self-Catering Cottages & Tyme Restaurant Trimstone, Nr Woolacombe, North Devon EX34 8NR Trimstone, Nr Woolacombe, North Devon EX34 8NR Hotel: Hotel: 0127101271 862841 Cottages: 01271 862841-- Cottages: 01271 868051868051 Restaurant: 01271 868050 Fax: Restaurant: 01271 868050 - -Fax: 0127101271 863808863808 Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.trimstone.co.uk Website: www.trimstone.co.uk