Carberbery Cottage Guest Lodge, in Durrus, near Bantry, Co Cork, recently won Georgina Campbell’s Ireland ‘B&B of the Year 2017.’ The lodge is owned by Mike Hegarty and Julia Clotworthy, and they have a rather impressive story to tell. Before getting into the B&B business, Mike was a Merchant Navy Captain and a volunteer lifeboat rescue crew member. Then he met Julia. Julia was Director of the Theatre Royal, Bath, where one of her many successes was Peter Ustinov’s one man show. They then enjoyed working in the music industry together and the pair now continue to show-off their creativity, with Mike cooking up wonderful dishes in the kitchen (as well as becoming a qualified dog trainer) and Julia focusing of her artwork, which is proudly displayed in the property.
These wonderful stories of their life and memorabilia of their musical adventures adorn the walls of their accommodation, telling their unique story. And stepping out of the property, their guests are treated to 5 acres of open pasture of the beautiful Sheep’s Head Peninsula. Guests can enjoy the views of Dunmanus Bay and Mizen Head or take in the rural atmosphere with ponies, ducks, goats and geese roaming the cottage’s land.
We thought it would be fun to find out what a day in the life of Mike and Julia looked like at this award-winning cottage, so they sent over their diary of a typical day:
7am The alarm goes off and it’s time for some coffee.
7.30am Time to start prepping for breakfast.
8.30am – 10am Cook and serve the breakfast options, which include free-range local produce, smoked salmon, smoked haddock served with our own free-range duck and chicken eggs, plus homemade breads and jams. We then play host to the guests by helping them plan their day. We will also help arrange dinner reservations either in-house or at some great local restaurants.
9am Mustn’t forget to let out the ducks and chickens and collect their newly laid eggs (ideal for poaching!)
Now to check-out the guests who are leaving, give advice on their journeys to their next destinations and check-in the new arrivals. Then it’s time to see what new bookings we have and catch up on our general admin.
10am -1pm This is when the hard work starts! Time to strip, clean and make up 3 or 4 rooms. Put the sheets in the washing machine… towels in the washing machine… breakfast linen in the washing machine. Then make and prepare our homemade loaves and soda breads. We need to check our stock and place orders with our local suppliers. Make our delicious jams, marmalade and jelly’s from our own fruit. Then it’s time to do the outside and inside maintenance as required, such as make up log fires and collect logs (with 5 acres of land there’s always something to do!)
At a suitable point, we need to find time to take our four dogs for a run.
1pm A big sigh of relief for a break! The two of us meet for lunch of a light snack and a management meeting…just the two of us.
1.30pm Try and retire for a siesta!
2.30pm Time to get started again, a quick shower and a change of clothes and we’re ready to greet guests.
Run the dogs again and feed them before guests arrive back.
3pm onwards Laundry time! Into the ironing room for ironing sheets, duvet covers, starching and ironing table cloths and napkins.
Then head over to the kitchen to bake breads and start prepping the pre-booked dinners.
4pm Welcome the new guests with teas, coffees and homemade cakes. Then we offer advice about the area and things to see and do.
5pm Say goodnight to the duck and chickens and put them to bed. Time to feed the ponies too!
6pm – 7pm Cook and serve the evening meals.
7.30pm – 8pm Finally, it’s our dinner time! Then we can catch up on a little TV.
To see more of eviivo customers big wins click here.