I hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas, whatever you were doing. Well we are coming to the end of our 14th season at Gilmore House Bed and Breakfast in Blairgowrie and look forward to going into our 15th season here and whatever 2011 may bring to us.
The year started pretty much started as it has ended with snow and severely cold temperatures although this week has seen a thaw going on with rain and melting snow at lower levels. We are fortunate here to be only a 35 minute drive to Glenshee Ski Centre and we did well at the start of the year with many guests taking the opportunity to ski in Scotland and they were not disappointed with the fabulous snow conditions we started and finished the year with. I have had a very good year in the B&B welcoming back many regular guests and meeting many new people from all over the world and all walks of life. We have had lot's of lovely comments this year on Trip Advisor and also many guests have e-mailed or sent cards to say they had enjoyed their stay, which is always lovely and keeps you in a positive frame of mind! It is also nice to be able to interact with guests who have 'liked' us on Facebook.
This year saw us taking part in the Pilot scheme for a Perthshire Breakfast and I have to say it has been a huge success not just with guests commenting on local produce but it has made me more aware of what is available on my doorstep and it has been great fun sourcing local bits and pieces. It was also this year that the local Love to Eat project was launched and I am thrilled to say they have the funding to continue again for next year and beyond and of course it was fantastic that I won the Love to Eat Best Breakfast for East Perthshire this year, a huge thank you to everyone that filled in the comment cards. We also won the Blair in Bloom Best garden award for tourist accommodation, received an eggcup award from the AA and made it through to the finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards. It has been an amazing year for the B&B getting some recognition, so that will probably be it for another 10 years or so!!!
This was the year that I finally got around to getting some chickens and they are great little layers and very sweet natured as well. I have great plans for more home grown produce, but much of the ground preparation has been on hold due to the weather, but I shall keep you updated with progress.
One thing I noticed this year more than ever was people taking breaks outwith the so called 'peak season' and May was exceptionally busy this year and I was also fortunate to get many 'long' stays instead of the one or two nights. Unfortunately because of where we are situated people do only tend to stay for one night as they are doing a 'grand tour' of Scotland, which is a shame as we are perfectly placed as a 'touring base'. Our local tourist association 'Bepta' continue to promote the East Perthshire area superbly, so take a look.
Wishing you all a Happy Hogmany and a super 2011.
Jill and family x