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August 15, 2016

Did I tell you how comfortable your exclusive bedroom is?

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If you book our exclusive bedroom at Catsheys, you'll find that you don't have to share the house with anyone else but us! No other guests to distract us from what we do best - making sure that you are as comfortable as you possibly can be.

You've had a busy week at work in the city and need to recuperate big time. Arrive to a warm welcome with tea and home made cake on the patio. With only birdsong to disturb your thoughts, you'll find yourself winding down very quickly in preparation for a good night's sleep.

After a tasty dinner at the local pub, come home to a deeply comfortable bed and sink into oblivion!

In the morning you'll wake to more birdsong and no other sounds to disturb a cosy lie in with your beloved. Come down to breakfast in the dining room with fabulous views over the valley.

And the best thing about it? You don't have to share all this with anyone else!

COME AND STAY - YOU'LL LOVE IT

June 15, 2016

Need a quiet place to write your latest novel?

You're planning to write your latest novel, got the plot worked out and your publisher is pushing you for a completion date but you just can't focus.

There's too much going on around you, the city is too busy and noisy and you're feeling under pressure.

We've got the perfect place for you! Our writer's hut ...

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The hut is tucked away at the bottom of the garden, with a spectacular view over the valley - although that may be distraction!

Have a delicious breakfast of organic cereal, fresh laid eggs, home made bread or toast, organic home made marmalade and steamy hot coffee or tea, then head down the hill to your hut and find your inspiration.

Pop out for a long walk across the hills and come home to tea and home made cake.

What's not to like?

January 15, 2016

SPECIAL OFFER: Book for three nights in February 2016 and get 1/3 off night 3!

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Fancy a short winter break? Refresh your senses.

Thinking of Valentines? Spoil your partner with a 3 night break at Catsheys!

Celebrate the Spring Equinox. Welcome in the new season in North Devon.

We're offering one third off your third night if you book three nights at Catsheys during February and March!

ELIGIBLE DATES:
Nights of Monday 15th February to Monday 21st March inclusive.

Give me a ring on 01769 550580 or email rooms@catsheys.co.uk

October 18, 2014

Christmas 2014 and New Year 2015

I'm really sorry but we will be closed over the period Christmas 2014 and New Year 2015.

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See you in 2015!

July 08, 2014

Make a big splash with a late summer break in Romansleigh!

Catsheys, aka Romansleigh, is still available for a super late summer holiday at the beginning of September. Hesitate for too long and you'll miss out on our very special late summer offer...

Book the weeks of 30th August to 6th September or 6th to 13th September and a small party of 4 people can stay for a REDUCED RATE of 30% off, or a party of 8 can stay for a reduced rate of 10% off the weekly rate. Of course you could book both weeks and enjoy the fabulous North Devon countryside in late summer - one of the best times to be there!

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Book now and look forward to a fabulous late summer week away in North Devon, after the kids have gone back to school! Enjoy exclusive use of the swimming pool, 2 acres of gardens, woodland and fabulous peace and quiet.

For more information and to book this very special place to stay go to our page on the Unique Home Stays website.

March 25, 2014

Fresh laid egg machines

From left to right - Shadow, Ruby, Abelene, Blackie and Tuftie - our army of egg machines having a well earned rest in the back porch.

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They seem to think they're part of the family and like to get up close and personal. When I'm digging in the garden they're right there waiting for the main chance. The saying 'the early bird catches the worm' is a real truism. Poor worms don't stand a chance when the chooks are out!

Come and stay at #catsheys and have our fresh laid eggs for breakfast, any way you like - poached, fried, scrambled (we have a reputation for really good scrambled eggs), boiled - they're all delicious!

Follow us on Facebook for up to the minute goings on at Catsheys.

March 24, 2014

Beautiful hellebores

I think one of my all time favourite flowers is the hellebore and this year we have an absolute mass of them in our spring garden.

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We have plenty of dates available if you fancy booking a quick weekend break in the next couple of weeks. Come and enjoy our delightful Devon spring garden and fresh air! It will energize you in no time and you'll go home totally relaxed and refreshed.

See you soon...

December 13, 2013

Holiday letting dates for 2014

We're absolutely delighted to let you know that Catsheys will again be available for self catering holidays next summer 2014! Families who stayed here this summer had an absolute ball, enjoyed the seclusion, the pool and the wide open space.

You can choose any week (or two or three!) from Saturday 12th July to Saturday 6th September.

Hurry and book your stay in our gorgeous luxury home-from-home before the best weeks go!

For dates, availability and more information please go to the UHS website.

September 30, 2013

Delightful Dahlias

Don't you just love the intensity of autumn?

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Just like this gorgeous dahlia, the hues in the garden are beautiful and now that the leaves are beginning to turn, the layers of colour gather momentum...

September 24, 2013

Four Acre Wood - a journal of regeneration

After living here for fifteen years we are finally getting to work on our view from the back of the house. We're taking down the Sitka Spruce that blocks the beautiful view across the valley and beginning the task of replanting the area with indigenous broad-leaf trees common to North Devon such as oaks, beeches, ash, hazel, cherry, holly etc.

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Now's the time to collect acorns, beech nuts, hazel nuts, ash seeds, rowan berries and sloes. We're going to plant these seeds in a holding bed in the veg patch and then, when they are year old whips, we'll transplant them into the woodland area in the winter 2014.

We'll never see the trees grow to maturity but we feel its our contribution to this beautiful spot where we live and for generations to come.

Can't wait!

September 23, 2013

Back for bed and breakfast - perfect for autumn breaks

Now we're back and raring to go, welcoming our autumn bed and breakfast guests.

The sun is still shining and the leaves are turning with those lovely misty autumn mornings. We're harvesting a bumper apple crop, picking blackberries in the hedges and making delicious breakfast compotes from our victoria plums. We're baking bread, making our famous breakfast granola and gathering in the logs for cosy autumn fires.

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Our first guests of the season "have enjoyed a delightful stay - perfect in every aspect. The hospitality is second to none."

Its a lovely time to come down to Devon for a long weekend of pampered luxury , so get in touch to make a date, we're filling up fast...

September 09, 2013

Fantastic summer season!

This summer was fantastic, the weather was kind, and everyone who rented Catsheys on a self catering basis between July and September had a fantastic time!

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Here are some of the comments that guests so generously left in our book:

"We really enjoyed our time here and I loved going in the pool and walks in the woods. We loved all the space and the red deer spotting" Phoebe aged 8

"What beauty both indoors and outdoors. Such a wonderful welcome and attention to detail throughout the house. We will be back!" Bartholomew family

"We loved staying in your beautiful house and were really spoiled with aesthetic beauty, simplicity and comfort. Your fruit and vegetable garden have provided an enchanting change to our busy life in the city." Lamb family

The solar heated swimming pool reached record temperatures of 28C at times, though sadly sometimes is wasn't warm enough (its very weather dependent). The veg patch produced bumper crops and the house loved every minute of its busy summer season!

June 03, 2013

Only 2 weeks left of summer 2013!

The summer is finally here, the sun is out, the garden is gorgeous and the swimming pool is warming up. Tempting?

We have only 2 weeks still available in our summer holiday self catering calendar, so if you were wondering whether to make that all important booking, don't delay!

The weeks of 27th July to 3rd August 2013 and 31st August to 7th September 2013 are still free to book.

To find out more, please go to Unique Home Stays, phone them on 01637 882012 or email info@uniquehomestays.com

PLEASE NOTE: The house is called Romansleigh when you view it on the Unique Home Stays website.

March 07, 2013

Quintessential British breakfasts require marmalade

Marmalade is absolutely essential for a truly British breakfast and we only serve the very best home made organic Seville Orange Marmalade at Catsheys.

I can think of no better way to chase away a dull winter day than to spend a few steamy hours in the kitchen turning a pan full of oranges into pots of sticky, bittersweet Seville orange marmalade for those lazy summer breakfasts. I so love filling the house with that bright, clean, fresh citrusy smell of orange blossom which slowly turns to warm honey as the jewel-like mixture transforms into golden pots of happiness.

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If you're thinking of trying your hand at making a batch of the golden shreds so beloved of our Devon bed and breakfast guests, who always ask if they can buy and jar of the sunny stuff to take home, I hesitantly offer up my own recipe for you to try. It originates from the Kenya Cookery Book, handed down to me by my mother and grandmother.

Don’t delay though, the Seville Orange season is short and sweet - buy them when you see them. And even if you're a marmalade novice, there's a lot to be said for beginners luck and there's nothing more satisfying than getting out the preserving pan and potting up some winter sunshine.


Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe

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You will need 9 Seville oranges, 2 sweet oranges and 2 lemons, Unbleached granulated sugar, a preserving pan or large heavy bottom pan, a piece of muslin, seven to nine 500 ml capacity sterilised jam jars and a preserving funnel.

To sterilise the jars, wash them in warm soapy water, rinse and dry them and place in a medium oven for five minutes.

Wipe fruit carefully with a damp cloth.

With a sharp knife, cut fruit, saving all the pips (which are important in helping the marmalade to jell), into very thin slices and put into a large basin.

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Put the pips into a piece of muslin, tie into a bag and add to the basin. Cover the fruit and pip bag with cold water and leave to soak for 24 hours.

Next, bring the mixture to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently until you can squeeze the peel to a pulp between your fingers. This could take up to one and a half hours. Leave the cooked mixture to stand overnight.

Next day add the sugar at a ratio of 600g to 550ml of pulp.

Slowly heat the mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar has dissolved - you can check this by looking at the back of the spoon, when there are no crystals the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, bring the mixture up to the boil, skim froth off the top and continue to let it boil gently for as long as it take to get a set.

Then to test for a set, take the pan off the heat and spoon a teaspoonful of marmalade on to a plate that has been chilled in the freezer. Allow it to cool for a minute back in the freezer, then push it with your finger – if a crinkly skin forms, it has reached setting point. If not, return the pan to the heat and continue cooking - do more testing every 15 minutes or so.

When the marmalade has set, leave it to cool for 30 minutes – this prevents the fruit rising to the top of the jar – then ladle (using a preserving funnel) into the warm sterilised jars. Seal the jars while they are hot, label when cold. Store in a cool, dry place.

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June 07, 2012

Last chance to spend an idyllic summer week at Catsheys

Did you know that Catsheys is available to book as a self catering holiday home from home during the summer?

What are you waiting for? Book your summer holiday now!

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If you're planning a staycation this year and haven't already found the right self catering accommodation for your summer holiday, then you might like to come to Catsheys! We have just a few weeks still available between July and September, and there's a lot on offer here:

With oodles of space both inside and out, the house sleeps 8 with two king size en suite bedrooms, one king size/twin room and one twin room both sharing a bathroom.

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Acres of garden with a productive veggie patch and solar heated swimming pool.

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Woodlands and fields for the kids to explore close to home and close enough to the beach for surf days out, or the moors for long leisurely walks on the wild side.

The house has all the usual mod cons like flat screen TV with DVD player, wi-fi access and a fully equipped kitchen with range cooker and freezer. Comfortable beds, kids playroom for rainy days, travel cot and high chair. Even your dogs are welcome to join your holiday fun - they will have some of their own hunting badgers and rabbits.

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Your own private space with no near neighbours - the kids can make as much noise as they like since there is no one to disturb, but there's a chance to have total peace and quiet if you're looking to escape the madness of city life.

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For more information on availability you can call us on 01769 550580 or go straight to our booking agent where you'll find the house is called Romansleigh.

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May 07, 2012

Brand new bedroom

To celebrate Spring and encourage the sunshine to come out and warm us all up, we've redecorated the Garden Room from top to bottom.

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We've painted the walls in shades of Violet, a very spiritual colour which encourages creativity and offers serenity. Violet has also always had strong connections to royalty and riches - our nod to the Jubilee.

The windows are dressed with Swedish linen blinds and voiles, and the whole room is enlivened with colourful textiles. Retaining the French cherry wood sleigh bed, 100% cotton bedlinen and pure wool carpet has meant that we've created a feeling of sheer romantic luxury.

We've turned the bed around to make the most of the garden views, so you can sit up in bed in the morning with a cup of tea and gaze out of the window over the garden, watch the birds and appreciate the clouds. Or lie in bed on a crystal clear night and count the stars. The transformation has taken our breath away.

The best news is that we haven't increased the room rate which stays at £110.00 per night including breakfast.

Come and try it for yourself!

May 03, 2012

Come and see our bluebells

Even though the weather has turned nasty again (and the drought pundits must be questioned after 4 inches of rain!), the bluebells are blooming their hearts out in the woods and the garden.

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We always get an easterley wind at this time of the year which is a mixed blessing - it can be chilly but it wafts the bluebells' scent across the garden and through the house, swathing us in perfume. Now we're just hoping for more warm sunny days to intensify the experience!

Come see the woods and smell the bluebells for yourself! We have availability over the next couple of weeks while the bluebells are in their prime. Just get in touch.

February 21, 2012

Welcome spring with open arms

There's a definite touch of spring in the air...

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Of course the snowdrops are out in force now - though for some time it seemed touch and go whether the daffodils would beat them to it! Even so, the daffodils are hard on their heels in our little patch of the North Devon countryside. Soon even the primroses will be blossoming but, for the time being, it's the hellebores that steal the show in our woodland garden close to the house. And they are absolutely beautiful in their sultry glory. I think hellebores really are one of my top ten favourite blooms.

Enjoy the sunshine!


December 23, 2011

Keep warm this Christmas

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We wish all our friends peace, happiness and prosperity for 2012.

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September 30, 2011

A change of pace ...

When the lovely people from Homes & Antiques came to see us and photograph the house we never imagined that the images would look so fantastic!

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Thanks to Katie Hallett and photographer Rachel Whiting for showing off Catsheys in such a lovely light!

The article was in the September issue of Homes and Antiques.

September 12, 2011

Linda Moss: Eco Hero

organic_honeymoons.jpgCongratulations to our great friend Linda Moss - author of Organic Places to Stay, who has been nominated by Greenhouse PR as their Eco-Hero for September.

"The reason why we love Linda is that she has been passionate about organic holidays for the last 12 years - working her socks off to produce a wonderful guide and website and never giving up - despite difficulties along the way. The outcome is a wonderful guide with truly wonderful organic places to stay" say the people at Greenhouse PR.

We wholeheartely agree with this statement and are delighted to see her efforts being recognised.

Check out her website which lists hundreds of fantastic places to stay in the UK and further afield, ranging from putting your own tent up in a field on a certified organic permaculture farm to a boutique hotel with an organic restaurant, the many options in between include an amazing variety of bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation too.

We're proud to be listed on Organic Holidays' website.

March 11, 2011

Blossom bursts in the countryside

The nectarine is already blossoming in the greenhouse attracting the local bumble bees who love it - and thank goodness they do as it saves me climbing the ladder every morning to pollinate the tree with my trusty paintbrush.

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The fruit will be ripe at the end of July so if you book the whole house for your summer holidays you will have the intense pleasure of sampling the sweet warm nectarines straight off the tree.

If you would like more information about our self catering accommodation, or to find out our summer house letting rates, please go to our agent Unique Home Stays website, phone Bethany on 01637 882012 or email her at bethanylewis@uniquehomestays.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The house is called Romansleigh when you view it on the Unique Home Stays website.

Spring in Devon is divine

Come and see it for yourself!!

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The buds are bursting, the chickens are laying, the snowdrops are almost over but we have daffodils galore and the bluebells and tulips won't be long. We already have chives to liven up our lunch and mint for the freshest mint tea.

Walking on the beach by the sea in the glorious sunshine has to be experienced to be believed and the wind doesn't blow over Exmoor quite so boisterously. Book a long weekend of three nights in spring and you'll get the third night at half price - why wait?

See you soon...

February 23, 2011

Rent the whole house for the summer ...

We've got some weddings to go to in Australia later this year so, instead of depriving you of enjoying our beautiful home during the holidays, we thought it would be a great idea to offer you the whole house for self catering accommodation all summer!

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The house and all its facilities, including your own exclusive swimming pool, woodland, veg patch and flower garden can be exclusively yours for you and your family - children will be welcome too.

The house sleeps eight people so there's plenty of room for you, the kids and the dog. There are two king size bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms, one with a bath and one with a large shower; two twin bedrooms, a separate bathroom with large shower and another separate toilet.

There's a huge kitchen with all mod cons so you can take advantage of all the lovely Devon produce and rustle up some feasts or just kick back and BBQ on the the sunny patio. The utility/boot room has a washing machine and tumble dryer plus loads of room for muddy boots and coats if the weather is wet.

There's plenty of room for you and your extended family to spread out, kick back and enjoy some lazy summer days by the pool or walking in the woods and enjoying the deep Devon countryside with no near neighbours.

If you would like more information about our self catering accommodation, or to find out our summer house letting rates, please go to our agent Unique Home Stays website, phone Bethany on 01637 882012 or email her at bethanylewis@uniquehomestays.com

PLEASE NOTE: The house is called Romansleigh when you view it on the Unique Home Stays website.

January 17, 2011

Spread the word ...

marmalade.jpgFollowing on from my last blog on making marmalade, we hear there has been talk of us Brits losing our passion for the golden stuff.

But we would like to think that, far from loosing our passion, we are all discovering a new passion for making the stuff for ourselves causing the noticeable decline in sales of that commercial stuff you get in supermarkets. It's really an indication that we're all rolling our up sleeves and cooking up the real thing in our own kitchens!

So now that you've gone out and bought those lovely golden Seville oranges, and even if you are a marmalade novice, with the 2011 Marmalade Festival fast approaching this is the perfect time for you to get out the preserving pan and pot up some winter sunshine. I've made my first batch of 12 jars and on to the second batch, just to make sure that we won't disappoint any of our bed and breakfast guests during the year - there'll be enough for breakfasts galore and some left over to sell to guests!

And if you're particularly proud of your batch of wonderful breakfast marmalade then you could even take a crack at the The World's Original Marmalade Awards.

Everyone's in with a fighting chance to win!!

January 16, 2011

Quintessential bed & breakfasts

The other day I was very excited to find a new website Quintessential Bed and Breakfast willing to showcase our sort of establishment to the world and was delighted that they were so keen to have us join their growing list of luxury bed and breakfast establishments.

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This new website aims to find the best places to stay throughout the UK, places that offer not only great comfort in beautiful surroundings but also personality and a genuinely warm welcome. Quintessentially British bed and breakfasts. The internet provides a wealth of choice but we, and many of our guests, have found that there is often a lack of consistency of quality, and ‘character’ does not always denote comfort.

Our standards are high and we know our guests love what we do so we are delighted to discover that, at last, there is a website whose sole aim is to showcase only the very best of luxury bed and breakfasts which are still that - bed and breakfast establishments personally run by the property owners. A far cry from those B & B's that are run by housekeepers and lack any personality, or the bed and breakfasts that are really boutique hotels and run by hired help with no owner in sight.

We are excited to be recognised by and be a part of this new luxury market.

January 13, 2011

It's marmalade time again!

We wish everyone a very belated Happy New Year! May 2011 bring you Joy and Happiness.

And we can think of no better way to chase away the snow and embrace the short, cold days of January than to spend a few steamy hours in the kitchen turning a pan full of oranges into pots of sticky, bittersweet Seville orange marmalade for those lazy summer breakfasts. We so can't wait to fill the house with that bright, clean, fresh smell of orange blossom which slowly turns to warm honey as the jewel-like mixture transforms into golden pots of happiness.

marmalade-recipe.jpg

If you're thinking of trying your hand at making a batch of the golden shreds so beloved of our Devon bed and breakfast guests, who always ask if they can buy and jar of the sunny stuff to take home, I hesitantly offer up my own recipe for you to try. It originates from the Kenya Cookery Book, handed down to me by my mother and grandmother.

Don’t delay though, the Seville Orange season is short and sweet - buy them when you see them. And even if you're a marmalade novice, there's a lot to be said for beginners luck and there's nothing more satisfying than getting out the preserving pan and potting up some winter sunshine.


Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe

You will need 9 Seville oranges, 2 sweet oranges and 2 lemons, Unbleached granulated sugar, a preserving pan or large heavy bottom pan, a piece of muslin, seven to nine 500 ml capacity sterilised jam jars and a preserving funnel.

To sterilise the jars, wash them in warm soapy water, rinse and dry them and place in a medium oven for five minutes.

Wipe fruit carefully with a damp cloth.

With a sharp knife, cut fruit, saving all the pips (which are important in helping the marmalade to jell), into very thin slices and put into a large basin.

Put the pips into a piece of muslin, tie into a bag and add to the basin. Cover the fruit and pip bag with cold water and leave to soak for 24 hours.

Next, bring the mixture to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently until you can squeeze the peel to a pulp between your fingers. This could take up to one and a half hours. Leave the cooked mixture to stand overnight.

Next day add the sugar at a ratio of 600g to 550ml of pulp.

Slowly heat the mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar has dissolved - you can check this by looking at the back of the spoon, when there are no crystals the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, bring the mixture up to the boil, skim froth off the top and continue to let it boil gently for as long as it take to get a set.

Then to test for a set, take the pan off the heat and spoon a teaspoonful of marmalade on to a plate that has been chilled in the freezer. Allow it to cool for a minute back in the freezer, then push it with your finger – if a crinkly skin forms, it has reached setting point. If not, return the pan to the heat and continue cooking - do more testing every 15 minutes or so.

When the marmalade has set, leave it to cool for 30 minutes – this prevents the fruit rising to the top of the jar – then ladle (using a preserving funnel) into the warm sterilised jars. Seal the jars while they are hot, label when cold. Store in a cool, dry place.

December 17, 2010

Frosted Devon apple pie...

The deep frost and snow continues here in North Devon.
Even our apples are frosted!

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But this won't stop us making sure that your Devon bed and breakfast experience isn't the very best. We grow our own fruit and these very apples are destined for your breakfast. If we can defrost them in time and if the blackbirds don't eat them first they will be part of a delicious breakfast feast - probably apple compote with sultanas and cinnamon to have with Devon clotted cream, if you're feeling indulgent, or the more healthy option of organic West Country yoghurt.

Our breakfast menu includes:

Homemade Granola and Meusli, Organic yoghurt, home grown (seasonal) fruit or fruit compote
Home laid eggs (scrambled, fried, poached or omelette)
Locally reared bacon and sausages
Organic mushrooms and home grown (seasonal) tomatoes
Toast (made with our homemade bread)
Homemade muffins
Homemade organic Seville Orange marmalade and jam made with our own fruit, local honey

Come and try it for yourself!

December 13, 2010

Snug & cozy Devon Bed & Breakfast

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The ground has hardly had time to defrost after our last bout of icy weather and now we hear there's more chilly weather on the way! But don't let that deter you, the Devon countryside is absolutely spectacular in the cold frost winter. And we will make your stay snug and cosy at our bed and breakfast in North Devon. Hot water bottle in your bed, down duvets and wooly rugs all make your room especially luxurious.

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After a delicious breakfast of home made cereals, local bacon and sausages and fresh laid eggs from our own chickens, you can take long walks in the frosty morning and come back for tea and homemade cake in the snug sitting room beside a roaring fire built with the logs in the picture above!

November 16, 2010

Real Jam Festival

It's not in Devon but we think this is a great idea!

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The Women's Institute, famous for cooking up an amazing array of preserves, is encouraging people to get into their kitchens and cook up their best jar of jam for the competition.

So if you have a fantastic jam recipe that you think is worth an outing, you could be the one to win the WI's highest accolade at their very first Real Jam Festival taking place later this month. Apparently there are jam jars arriving at Denman College from all over the British Isles as I write.

Not to be left behind, we are definitely going to give it a go and send in our gorgeously tasty blackcurrant and loganberry jams which we serve at the breakfast table for our guests every morning.

October 12, 2010

Apple cake recipe

Our guests arriving today will be sitting on the veranda in the gorgeous Autumn sunshine taking tea and munching on this absolutely delicious seasonal Apple Cake made from a very easy recipe given to me by my sister-in-law.

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Everyone loves it so much that I thought it would be nice to give you the recipe so here goes ...

JO'S DELICIOUS APPLE CAKE RECIPE

For cake:
1 lb - 1 1/2 lb cooking apples
4 1/2 oz butter
4 1/2 oz soft brown sugar
2 eggs
7 oz self raising flour

For topping:
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

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Heat oven to 180C and grease and line a square or round cake tin.
Peel and core the apples, cutting them into wedges - quarters or even eighths if they are huge.
Cream the butter and sugar together and beat in the eggs.
Sift the flour into the butter and eggs mixture and fold it in. You will end up with quite a stiff mixture. Don't be alarmed, this is because the apples will give more moisture to the cake when it is baked.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread it to the sides evenly.
Now push the apple wedges deep into the batter packing them in tightly.
For the topping, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle it over the top of the cake.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

Easy peasy and quite seasonally delicious!!

September 28, 2010

Two Moors Festival - 10th Anniversary

During October we have a fantastic classical music festival right here in Devon with many world class performances taking place in our area.

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The Two Moors Festival was originally set up 10 years ago in the wake of the Foot and Mouth crisis, which affected our area so profoundly. The need to bring cheer to people’s lives and to help regenerate the local economy provided the inspiration behind the festival. The organisers felt that a week of stunning music-making in churches across Exmoor and Dartmoor would be suitable for marking the end of this devastating outbreak.

Out of the ashes of Foot and Mouth Disease came the Two Moors Festival. Initially it was intended as a one-off classical music festival but it was so successful that it became an annual event bringing musicians at the highest level to these very rural communities. And boy have they done a good job!

To give you a taste of what's in store for this year's Festival, they have Paul Lewis and Mark Padmore enchanting with a delicious recital on 4th October, 7.30pm in Okehampton, a celebratory performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Exeter Cathedral on 30th September, the opportunity of walking up Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor's highest point, accompanied by bagpipes on 2nd October and much more besides. See their list of events for further concerts and information.

September 27, 2010

Celebrate Autumn with our latest special offer

blog_offers.jpgWe thought it was time to celebrate Autumn, Devon's Celebration of Food, hazy golden days, falling apples, crystal clear horizons, harvest and cosy evenings lounging by the fire with a good book. So we're making you a fantastic Autumn Offer:

Stay any two nights and get a third night at half the full room price. Offer applies to weekends as well as weekdays.


To find out more about our special weekend offer please contact Rosie by phoning 01769 550580 or email us at rooms@catsheys.co.uk.

Offer runs for bookings made from 1 October 'till 30 November 2010.

September 24, 2010

Take a Pew Exhibition at Dartington Cider Press

“Take a Pew” is an exhibition of fine furniture focused around seating, following the journey of traditional furniture through to the more modern.

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David has been invited, along with five other furniture makers; Lawrence Neal, Alun Heslop, James Otter, Nicholas Langan and Natasha Gowdy, to exhibit their work, each following their own journey into the past and future exploration of furniture making through their designs. For the exhibition David has made some new stools in the same design as his popular Rocket Stool and a brand new oak bench in his own signature style.

The exhibition organisers at Dartington have said that each maker strives to create superb and unique designs, often allowing the wood to speak for itself, the simple beauty of the timber leading the way. Functionality and durability of design always as important as the aesthetic.

The exhibition runs from tomorrow 24 September through to 07 November 2010. The Dartington Cider Press Centre is near Totnes in South Devon TQ9 6TQ. The Centre is open daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays.

Not to be missed!

For more information visit the Centre's own website www.dartington.org/cider-press-centre.

For more information about David's furniture and to find out how to commission a piece of unique furniture from him just visit his website www.davidamesstudio.co.uk.

September 21, 2010

Devon's celebrating food throughout October

October is what foodies have been waiting for! Devon's Celebration of Food kicks off soon.

Throughout the month, food and drink events are taking place from Bristol to the tip of Cornwall, making it the biggest food festival of its kind in the UK. But Devon is at the heart of the festival.

There's something for everyone, apple festivals, fine dining events in individual restaurants, foraging events and an eat out for £10 offer in many establishments. So if you're a serious foodie now's the time to come to Devon for a long weekend and enjoy the bounty of the West Country.

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Some events in our neighbourhood include:

Apple Day at RHS Rosemoor on Sun 10 October
Taste of Autumn Dinner at RHS Rosemoor on Friday 15 October
Fungi Foray at RHS Rosemoor on Tuesday 19 October
Pumpkin Day and Woodcrafts at RHS Rosemoor on Sunday 24 October
For more information on Rosemoor events go to RHS Rosemoor

North Devon Food Fest at Barnstaple Pannier Market on Sunday 17 October.

Exmoor Food Festival Food Walks - www.exmoorfoodfestival.co.uk

A Celebration of Local Game and Cheeses at the Hunters Inn on Tuesday 5 October - www.thehuntersinn.net

Knightshayes Court - Celebrate British Food fortnight in the stables, with home cooked food using seasonal produce from the kitchen gardens on Saturday and Sunday 2 and 3 October

Drogo in a different Light - See Castle Drogo as a guest of the Drewe family party would have in the 1930's. Supper in our new cafe, and a special evening tour and a sunset glass of bubbly on the castle roof. £20pp Booking essential on 01647 434144.

For more information and to find out what's one further afield go to www.celebrationoffood.co.uk then book a few nights at Catsheys to lay your weary head after a long day's foraging!

Oh by the way - the picture of the luscious squashes is taken right here in our own kitchen garden.

September 03, 2010

Devon Open Studios - artists throw open their doors!

pink_cosmos.jpgThis could almost be a painting but in fact it's a photo of pink cosmos, from the cutting garden, taken by our lovely B&B guests last weekend.

But it reminds me to tell you about the Devon Open Studios taking place all over Devon this month. Over 260 artists will be throwing open their doors to the public in over 130 venues throughout the county.

It's a unique opportunity to meet artists in their studios in some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of Devon. In addition to being able to buy art direct from the creator, many demonstrate, give talks or give you a chance to have a go yourself.

The range of work on show is fantastic encompassing painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, textiles, jewellery, collage, works in glass, metal, wood and paper, furniture making, installations and a variety of work utilising new media.

Devon Open Studios 2010 runs from September 4 - 19.

For further information about Devon Open Studios. who is exhibiting and events taking place in conjunction with DOS visit their website.

Big thank you to Rod Taite for the image!


July 26, 2010

Eggs-centric

fresh_laid_eggs.jpg Our hens have been laying eggs as though they were going out of fashion - at least the blue ones! I recently heard that blue eggs are all the rage up in the big smoke and people have been known to pay an astonishing £2.00 for 6!!

If you come to stay at Catsheys bed and breakfast here in North Devon, we'll feed you lots of blue freshly laid organic free range eggs from our Legbar hens who lay one each every day.

When you break open a fresh boiled egg for breakfast you'll find its got the yellowest yolk you may have ever seen. And our Victoria Sandwich cake with home made Lemon Curd is the yellowest cake with bright yellow lemon curd - due to the gorgeous yellow yolks. That's because our hens eat lots of green grass while they browse about the garden.

If the thought of our delicious eggs has got you thinking of coming to stay, make it quick because sometime soon they will decide they've had enough of laying and demand a rest for a while!

July 21, 2010

Fantastic furniture at RHS Rosemoor

garden_chair.jpgThe Devon Furniture Makers Association, of which my husband David is a member, were invited by RHS Rosemoor to participate in the exhibition 'William Morris - Inspired by Nature' which runs through to August 30th.

The exhibition showcases the work and style of William Morris and features some of his original drawings and woodcuts together with beautiful fabric and wallpapers. The Devon Furniture Makers are exhibiting some pieces which complement the original Arts and Crafts work, in three groups, changing each month.

David's work is currently on display there plus the work of some other talented craftsmen. Don't miss it!

RHS Rosemoor is at Great Torrington in North Devon EX38 8PH. The exhibition and gardens are open every day 10am to 6pm.

For more information visit the RHS Rosemoor website www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor and the Devon Furniture Makers website www.devonfurnituremakers.org.uk.

For more information about David's furniture and to find out how to commission a piece of unique furniture from him just visit his website www.davidamesstudio.co.uk.

July 18, 2010

Talented art show - thegallery@360°

art_gallery.jpgThe Gallery @ 360° is currently hosting an exhibition curated by Taz Pollard featuring some of the best new talent emerging from art schools in the South West of England.

The exhibition includes works by painter Kim Bailey, sculptor John Crush, Elizabeth Early paintings, ceramics by Rosalind Ford and Katy Goldswain, paintings by Gill Jones, Michael Russell and ceramicist Sue Schmarsel.

The exhibition continues until Sunday 8th August and is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Well worth a visit if you're in the area.

For information about the gallery and to find out more about the artists featured go to thegallery@360° website or get in touch with jon@360trust.org or Tel: 01598 760658

July 09, 2010

Special Offer ...

blog_offers.jpgTo celebrate the launch of our new website, we're making you a fantastic offer:

Stay any two nights and get a third night at half the full room price. Offer applies to weekends as well as weekdays, but does not apply to bank holiday weekends.

To find out more about our special weekend offer please contact us on 01769 550580 or email us at rooms@catsheys.co.uk.

Offer ends 31 August 2010.

July 07, 2010

Fabulous reviews on Tripadvisor

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We're chuffed to bits with the reviews our guests post on Trip Advisor and we've just received another glowing review. So far we have a 100% satisfaction rating from all of our reviews, which we're really delighted about!

If you'd like to read the reviews just click here.

If you'd like to post a review yourself, please don't hesitate, we'd love you to - just click here!

July 06, 2010

Sweet peas

devon_sweet_peas.jpgThe sweet peas are in full bloom now and we can't pick them quick enough. If you have sweet peas in the garden don't hesitate to go out and pick as many as you can. The more you pick the more you'll get.

We put them in jugs and vases thoughout the house. The scent and colours add a sumptious luxury to the bed and breakfast rooms and the scent of sweet peas wafts about the place in waves as the summer breezes drift in and out of the house.

June 30, 2010

The Big Lunch

The Eden Project are sponsoring the Big Lunch on Sunday 18th July. Have your neighbourhood joined yet...?

Our new bed and breakfast website!

We have just spent the last few days updating our website. It tells you much more about us, what we offer in the way of luxury bed and breakfast accommodation with updated room rates, loads of pictures of the rooms and the house, which gives you a really good idea of what you get for your bucks when you visit us.

We've added a news page where we'll be telling you all about what's happening in North Devon. Things like the best restaurants and pubs to go to, what the weather looks like down our way, what's happening in the garden and if there's a special event that we think you would be interested to hear about.

And keep an eye out for important information on our special offers which we will post from time to time when we have something to celebrate.

Hope you like the result...

Romansleigh : South Molton : Devon : EX36 4JW : +44 (0) 1769 550580