many and varied reasons

Of all the many and varied reasons guests come to stay at Dry Paddocks I thought you would like to read about this one, as it is quite different from the usual weekend escape, celebration or time out stays, and it is topical at the moment with the world climate change conference taking place.

Our lovely guests who I am referring to, live in Singapore and they have recently booked their seventh visit with us for next year.
They love New Zealand and just keep returning.

        Why do they keep coming back to us? they come to run around our property……………….. yes really!!

They enjoy running on grass, there is no traffic, the air is clean and it is so peaceful. In Singapore they said there are 3 or 4 months of the year where they cannot run and being outside is a health risk the air quality is so poor. We were surprised, it had never occurred to us maybe we should include it in our advertising?  Air quality, something we take for granted where we live, but many others aren’t so fortunate.
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 Lichen, we have lots of it……… on tree trunks, fences and anything wooden. Lichen only grows where the air is clean, it is like the canary down the mine. It is extremely sensitive to any pollutants in the air, so if you are somewhere where it is growing, breathe deeply, for you are inhaling good clean air.


We go about our daily life blithely drinking clean water, breathing easy, pulling vegetables out of the garden, collecting free range organic eggs out of our letterbox from our neighbour………..this is our just how we live.
Sometimes it takes others from overseas to make us realise, that we have so much to be grateful for .


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the cottage effect

It’s happened again………………………….. we call it the cottage effect.


It is noticeable at check out , we can truthfully say time and time again we notice a
difference in guests between check in and check out. Is it  something in the  country air?


On arrival they can be, a little frazzled, tense even, and yes it is stressful organising
all the details in order to be able to get away, or travelling in a strange country, driving on
a different side of the road can be fraught. But once they settle in,  stop, slow down, have time
to read a book, savour a meal, have no list to tick off, walk around the garden taking their time,
or just sit with wine in hand listening to bird song, or sheep bleating, and watch a sunset .


Come checkout they are different, calmer, talkative and rested.
We often joke, we need to book ourselves into the cottage for a holiday,
and experience the cottage effect for ourselves.


We have lovely guests, but we always wonder how they will want to spend their time .
The psychology of trying to read guests, to find out what  they want from their stay is
interesting. Is it a foursome who have come to celebrate? or a couple who want a romantic
getaway? but increasingly we find, they want is an escape from busy lives, a time to
recharge, time away from children and work, quiet and peace, some down time.

cottage new 3

I hope that over Christmas and the holiday month of January (in NZ anyway), with the ”silly season” behind us,
we can find some time to recharge the batteries whether we are able to go somewhere different, or we are at
home. We have seen the difference it makes.




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feels like home

A friend asked me the other day as she was  chatting in the kitchen and watching me get ready for cottage
guests, don’t you get tired of preparing the cottage ? And I honestly could say no. That is the fun part putting
all the small touches together and matching them to whomever is coming.

PicMonkey Collage

I had the best compliment yesterday as our first ever Italian guests left. She said it was just like being at
home and I felt very flattered. She commented on the details, they had been travelling more than 10 days
she loves cooking and  did not want another  dinner reservation, where could they get some fresh food she
could cook? some good meat,  fresh vegetables, she wanted to be in the kitchen, so out we went to the
garden to pick some vegetables to accompany a simple barbecued steak .

PicMonkey Collage2

What we take for granted, can be a novelty for others, particularly if you live in Venice.

I love the story about Queen Victoria who was presiding over an important state dinner with visiting dignitaries
from many different countries when she observed one head of state drinking out of his finger bowl. Horrified?
No……………………..  Queen Victoria calmly  followed suit and preceeded to drink out of her finger bowl.


photo’s via pinterest

Making guests feel at home and comfortable.

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