Thursday, December 27, 2007

I hope you have had a good Christmas.

If you are thinking about coming to Cornwall for New Year, we will be open and have availability. The rooms will be at the normal rate, ie £30 per person per night for an en-suite room, bed and breakfast, or £25 for the standard room. We will be offering a four course evening meal on 31st Dec. for a cost of £25 per person. The weather forecast doesn't look too bad, we have had very good weather over the Christmas period.

Maybe see you soon.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Christmas

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Storm watching.

If you like watching big waves, enjoy a good blast and heavy downpour, this is not the place to be!

I can't believe the change since my last blog. The weather is now calm, clear, there is a sliver of moon tonight, it is so peaceful. The sun was even warming earlier. The wind of a few days ago has taken it's toll however. Many of the leaves on the privet hedges have shrivelled and gone in the onslaught of the wind and there are now some gaps appearing in the hedges. I think they are rather ugly and oppressive, but they are absolutely essential in the climate we have here. Some of ours must be 5 - 6 feet thick and 10 foot tall, but the worst winds still get through to the other side.
The picture above is a cheat, taken in the summer, when the hedges are looking much nicer, and this is anyway a sheltered part of the garden, and the echiums, for which the picture was taken, dwarf the hedge as well!

I'm sure the weather I described in my last entry will return, but for now, the gentle conditions are here to enjoy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Storm watching

If you like watching high waves, hearing the sea hurl itself at the rocks, feel the wind change the shape of your face as you battle to get along the path, north Cornwall is the place for you to be right now!

Why not pop down for a day or two of wild weather, a hot meal and a bottle of wine by the fireside?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hi to all,

If anyone is considering getting away over Christmas, we still have some availability. It should be fun, being looked after and lots of food.

I have decided to do away with the winter rate, as we now have the special 'three for two' offer for several months of the year. So, the rates will be £30 per person per night for the en-suite room, bed and breakfast, and £25 for the standard room throughout the year, but see the special offers section of the website (the winter rates bit may not yet have gone, please ignore it!)

If you happen to be in the area this weekend, 1st and 2nd December, do pop in for our craft event. It will run from 10.30 - 5 pm each day. There will be a free glass of mulled wine for everyone or mulled apple juice and no entry charge. We will have a selection of things for sale, all hand made locally, including:

turned wood
card making kits
hand made felt brooches and pictures
stained glass
jams and chutneys
hand made bunting

Hope to see you.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Into the 21st century.

I have finally joined the 21st century and succumbed to the pressure to have a mobile phone! It has come to feel almost irresponsible to drive around without one, especcially with my car in the poor state it has been in recently.

So, my mobile number is 07779 231 964. It will take me some time to learn this, and i will stumble on how many 7s there are!

The 3 for 2 offer is still available, until the end of November, and we still have some availability for the special Christmas breaks. See the website for more details.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Identity crisis, what identity crisis?

At the end of this week, my registration as an Occupational Therapist expires. When we were first here, I referred to my previous role quite frequently, now I hardly ever do. I felt a bit of a fraud being a guest house proprietor, I hadn't had three years training! Now I don't think of myself as an OT, but I am happy that that is what I did for all those years. And I am happier still that I made the move to guest house proprietor, and I rarely feel fraudulent nowadays, I have now had three and a half years self training.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Perfect Moment

I just had one of those rare perfect moments, and decided I would share it with anyone who happens to read this. I took the dogs down to Trebarwith Strand and we walked back up the cliff route. I stopped on the lower slopes, and had a sit for a while. What made it even more magical than it always is, was a combination of perfect, calm and warm weather and the sound coming from the balcony of a holiday apartment across the valley. Two people were playing a recorder and guitar. I think they were practicing and kept going over the same section again and again, I was willing them to move on after a bit, but it was just so lovely to hear the sound wafting across. Even the dogs behaved well.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Thanks to Jonathan!

The website has now been updated, super fast after my email to him. he does a brilliant job, see the link on the links page of the website if you need a website to be designed!

Friday, August 31, 2007


My website is now rather out of date, for which, many apologies. Hopefully it will soon be correct, as I have just emailed the new details to the person who manages it.

Following the success of the spring offers, we are again offering three nights for the price of two, as long as evening meals are taken each night at the normal price of £17.50. This will run between the beginning of October and the end of November. Between December and the end of March 2008, our winter prices will apply, ie. £27 pppn for bed and breakfast for the en-suite rooms and £22 for the standard room, except for during the Christmas period, see below.

We will once more be offering a Christmas special. This will be for four nights, arrivng on Sunday 23rd December and it will be part full board and include a bottle of wine per room. The cost will remain the same, at just £275 per person. A single supplement applies and there will be a reduction for the standard room.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lovely stained glass window on the stairs at Michael House

Tintagel Parish church at Glebe Cliff

Sunset at Trebarwith Strand

On the way to Trebarwith Strand, the magnificent beach some 10 - 15 minutes walk from Michael House.

A filled yellow pepper, braised fennel, sweet potato, mange tout, brocolli and mushroom sauce, a vegan evening meal at Michael House

Onion tart and vegetables, a vegetarian evening meal at Michael House.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pictures of room 3 at Michael House

This is a double room, with private bathroom. there is a cloakroom next to the room, and the private bathroom is up another flight of stairs.

View from the bathroom

Pictures of room 2 at Michael House

Room two is a double, en-suite room, with a standard sized double bed and a huge bathroom. The room and bathroom have views views in three directions between them.

View from the bathroom to the back.

View across the bed and out of the window to the front

View from the back of the bathroom.

View to the side, over Treknow.

View from the front, towards the valley leading down to Trebarwith Strand.

view from the bed, room 1.
Photos of the bedrooms at Michael House

People often ask for more details of the rooms at Michael House. This is something I must address on the website proper. Meanwhile, here are some photos of room 1 and views from it. It is a double en-suite room, with a super kingsize bed, or it can have two single beds. The bathroom is fairly small, but has a full size bath, from which you can have a glimpse of the sea in the distance!

I will do a separate blog entry for each room, plus an extra of other bits and bobs.

The bathroom, with views from the bath!

View to the front from room 1

August in Cornwall

If you are wondering about coming to Cornwall this month and staying at Michael House, do give me a ring or email me. There are a few gaps here and there and the weather doesn't look too bad for the next few weeks - no promises of 80 degrees though!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I am getting obsessed with reading blogs. There are some fascinating blogs to read, and each one I look at leads me to others. I particularly like those which are art and craft related, and blogs lend themselves brilliantly to displaying work people have done. So, instead of creating the things I should be making for the fete we have in Treknow in a few weeks, or weeding the garden, I am reading what other people have been doing! There are great ideas out there, such as the Etsy shop online, and people set card making challenges, using a particular theme. I would love to get into that, but am too busy reading the blogs. Oh, and running the guest house.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Round yellow things.

On the BBC weather forecast chart for next week for the Tintagel area there are unfamiliar round orangey yellow shapes depicted. Not sure what they are, haven't seen such symbols for a while.

Trying not to get too excited, but do hope it is right!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


We have had a bit of a move round of stuff at Michael House.

Simon and I now sleep in the little cottage behind the house. This means that the top bathroom is now a private bathroom for guests sleeping in room three, the standard room. It has also allowed me to remove all my craft materials from the back of the sitting room to the room at the top, where we used to sleep. They are currently mainly in a big heap on the floor, but it will be very exciting once I get things sorted out. The sitting room is much nicer and guests will have the top bathroom entirely to themselves.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The real price of milk.

I hope you will spare a few moments to read the excellent blog by Richard, who runs a vegetarian guest house in the New Forest, about the way in which most milk and dairy products are produced by cows kept in vast sheds throughout their lives. 'Zero Grazing'. Click on the link to Richard's blog. This site also gives a useful list of vegetarian resources, and invites feedback on places you have visited.

Whilst I hope organic produce is healthier and I know a lot is tastier, the fact that the welfare of the animals is better is a far more compelling argument for it's use. Where I have long bought only free range eggs, and mainly organic ones, I have only more recently made an effort to source organic milk, yogurt and cream whenever possible. Most of ours comes from Riverford, see earlier blog for praise heaped on them! Cheese will be a whole further challenge, and I doubt I will achieve this in the short term.

Monday, July 16, 2007

hallow, Ted The kat here.

wi, o wi, just wen i am settled in the big kervd plastik hows i hav with funi plants in, maybe sleping a bit, dus Vanesser hav to start spraying worta everiwere. It menes i hav to muve or get wet. i thinc she dus it just to annoi me. she is jelus of me, resting. she corls it a politunnle or sumthing. Hu is Poly? it is my tunnle, not Poly's.
Rules of running a guest house

Number One

Never throw snails at your guests.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Prize winning courgettes etc.

We officially have prize winning courgettes at Michael House.

OK, so they only came second.

OK, there were only three entries.

Oh, and it was only a tiny village show.

But, still they are prize winning. We ate them this evening, there is nothing like the first courgettes. They tasted like winners.

There is something lovely about the village garden show. Everyone gathering things together they have grown, making beautiful pies and flower arrangements, and the children producing amazing creations on plates, making masks and cup cake creations. Fierce competition, yet also willing each other to do well, bringing us all together.

Oh, I also won third prize for the strangest shaped vegetable. There were only three entries to this. So, not many strange shaped vegetables in Treknow then, or no-one wished to admit they had created something other than perfect specimens. Mind you, there was only one entry in the radish class. Fortunatley, it won first prize. I heard of a cucumber, the only entry in its class, which only won second prize somewhere.
Surprising, really, that there was anything at the show, after the last entry I made, moaning about the effect of the weather on our gardens.
The picture at the top of the page, which I cannot get to move down here, won second prize, out of quite a lot. I'm not competetive a bit (??), but it would be nice to win a first prize sometime. Oh well, next year. Perhaps they will introduce a class for largest snail. Then I'd be in with a chance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vegetables - or not.

The vegetable garden is very depressing this year. The main things doing well are those in the polytunnel, where there are lots of courgettes coming along, cucumbers galore, chillies, peppers, and tomatoes shortly. We have had lettuce in the polytunnel too, and have some strawberries as well. It is great to be able to make salads with most things being home grown. We also have cornflowers and calendula for cutting and start off the herbs etc.
The image on the right was probably taken last year or the year before, but it looks similar this year, although my experiment of sweetcorn in the polytunnel did not really work!

But, outside, the story is rather bleak and windswept. The soft fruit is doing fine, there are lots of raspberries, although I do not think they are the yummiest variety, so may need to be replaced. Black-, white- and red currants are all doing well, adding a sharpness and colour to the breakfast fruit salads, and I may have enough to make a few pies etc. The rhubarb is lovely. The strawberries have looked good, but, where do they vanish to? They are in a fruit cage, but seem to have mostly disappeared!

Otherwise, a sorry state. Simon spent hours preparing the soil, adding compost etc. and then planting seeds. Of the carrots we have one. That will be a precious carrot indeed, if nothing has eaten it underground already! The fennel never showed at all. The beetroot should be OK eventually, and the broad beans have done a bit. The sweetcorn may be OK. The peas were hopeless, and my favourite, runner beans, have been eaten or blown away, i have tried about three times, using seeds and bought in plants. The winds, rain, salty air, seem to have had a dramatic effect this year. And as for the slugs and snails, they have feasted and reproduced and feasted again...

I only feel comfortable confessing all this because I know others have had a similar time locally in their gardens and because we have had far more success in previous years! We are still novices and have little time to devote to the garden, but it is very exciting to bring the produce in and use it in the kitchen for our guests, and there is enough to still get some satisfaction and not give up, and the pain will be all forgotten by next spring!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Echium pininana

These are plants which people love or hate. I love them, I would probably not be blogging about them if I didn't! They are a talking point, the stems reaching up to 4 metres, with a mass of blue flowers in early summer. We have two this year, there were more last year, I think the picture was taken the year before last. Next year, we should have many more, as we have lots of plants at the stage where they are a rosette of bristly leaves, and we have many tiny plants, which we sell for the Home of Hope in Zambia or give away, as well as building up our collection of the plants for the future. Sadly, one of them this year has taken a bashing in the recent winds. Simon fixed it carefully to the posts in the hedge with a couple of pairs of tights. His request for tights was scrutinised of course! The stems of flowers are much thicker than in the picture this year. One interesting but obvious fact once you know it, is that they are related to the borage plant. Similar colour flowers, and rough, feathery feel to leaves. Makes sense when you know!

Some facts about the echium, adapted from the internet:
'Half-hardy biennial/triennial, native to the Canary Islands. In its first year, Echium pininana does little more than put out a large rosette of bristly leaves. In its second, or third, year, however, it sends up a thick, fast growing, tapering stem, up to 4m (just over 13 feet) high, thickly clothed with green leaves and thousands of small blue flowers. If it has support and shelter, it can be very impressive, the talk of the neighbourhood even.

Echium pininana is said to grow best in the UK in a southern maritime situation, but plants have been known to thrive as far north as Yorkshire. If you have free draining soil, and somewhere sunny and sheltered to grow it, it's worth a go. '

Very attractive to bees and hoverflies. Sun and shelter are essential. Well drained, light soil. Dislikes wet clay. Half hardy in the UK - needs all the sun and shelter it can get.
Maintenance - little needed, as this plant traditionally grows in poor soil, though you may need to dig in grit if you are on a clay soil. Will probably need support. Protect the crown from excess wet in winter or it may rot off.

The stems and leaves are quite bristly, so you may want to wear gloves if you handle it, especially when removing the plant once it has died and dried out a bit.
Propagation - Collect seed in autumn after flowering and sow indoors from late winter to spring. Will self-seed. '

Monday, June 11, 2007


The hedges are looking lovely, full of sweet smelling honeysuckle and foxgloves everywhere. The thrift has nearly gone now, which is my favourite, so I always feel a little sad when it finishes, but there is always something of interest.

Our spring offers, three nights for two with suppers at the normal price, have been a huge success. The offer (check the specials page for full details), is available until the end of June, and there is some availability, so do give me a ring or email if you are considering a break in Cornwall.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Hello, this is Ted, The Kat riting. I hav bene ewesd to having starf to arsk for mi fud. i am akkustomd to getting owt ov bed wen the uthers hav finerlli got the fud arranjed, and pushing them owt ov the way and eting as much as i wont. sinse Tibbi and Sidnee dide, i hav no won to arsk for the meles i nede, and fined miself hewmeoliated tu hav to arsk miself. this is not satisfaktori. i nede starf. dus eniwun hav eni iders wot i kan du?

thanc ewe.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Pets as Therapy

Many people lose contact with cats and dogs when they move into a care home or go into hospital or other institutional setting for whatever reason. Contact with animals is known to have many health benefits and research is increasingly showing these benefits. Pets as Therapy is an organisation which matches up people and organisations with animals assessed as having suitable temperaments to provide a taster of that contact once more. They provide insureance for visits and also offer more specific therapeutic input for eg. people with phobias of cats or dogs.

I visit a care home in Bodmin, approximately once a fortnight. Sky, our border collie, loves these visits, she knows where we are going and gets very excited as we approach. The residents love to see her, many talk of pets they have lived with, some get a little exercise playing with Sky, and the smiles and laughter increase through the visit. If anyone is fearful of her, we just pass by gently. The staff love her too, and I enjoy the visits. So, smiles and joy all round. and, as I am a volunteer, I do not have to fill in any forms, go to meetings or supervise anyone, as I used to when i worked in the NHS!

Link to PAT -

Monday, May 21, 2007


The English asparagus season is so short that I am using as much of it while it is around as possible! Fantastic stuff, I have presented it with butter as a starter, in a risotto, as a centre in sushi and alongside other food as a vegetable. I have eaten it in a restaurant in a tempura style thin batter, deep fried. Delicious.

Then there are the Cornish new potatoes and the first broad beans will be along soon... And all those lovely summer veg, hopefully from the garden, to look forward to. Great time of year for food and thinking about future meals!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pudding week!

Last week somehow focused on puddings - rhubarb crumble with coconut, banoffee pie the next night, then bread and butter pudding, then bread and butter pudding again by request, then very chocolatey chocolate pecan brownies! Oh, and meringues with fruit, not forgetting chocolate sorbet...

I must sing the praises of Riverford Organics, they are just fantastic. Quality fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, yogurt and other non-perishables such as marmalade and some drinks arrive reliably every week, via the friendly local franchisee. As well as the vegetable and fruit boxes, Riverford offer many other items for sale, and you can just have these. During the summer when the garden is providing plentiful vegetables, we will cancel the veggie box. The website is superbly laid out, it is very simple to use, changing the order is a doddle. I also appreciate the manner in which the cooperative has managed to grow and become a successful large organisation, whilst maintaining the involvement of the customer via weekly newsletters and information, recipes and genuine questions to customers about dilemmas as they arise.

Being forced to use less familiar vegetables is fun when they turn up in the box, such as discovering Jeruasalem artichokes and making a delicious soup with carrots with them. It challenges me and moves me outside my safety zone, which I relish. Chopping copious amounts of wet garlic into a salad, thinking it was spring onions, was perhaps less clever!

Don't forget our three for two offer - check out the website or previous blog entry for details.

Hope to see you soon.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Thinking of coming to north Cornwall this week or for Easter? We still have some availability, so give us a ring or email . The weather forecast is good for the week! Hope to see you soon. Vanessa

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Art at Michael House

We shall shortly be saying farewell to most of the work of Barbara Karn, which we will be replacing with some lovely watercolours of the local area. We have enjoyed having the fun and stylish pictures by Barbara on display, and will be sorry to see them leave the house, but have always wanted to keep our art work fresh and changing. You can still buy Barbara's work from us for the next few weeks, or go to her website, which is listed in our links page.

The new pictures will be original watercolours, mostly of familiar local scenes, all one offs and very affordable. They are painted by Wendy Parkyn, a local artist from Wadebridge.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Trebarwith Strand 19.03.07

Trebarwith Strand 19.03.07.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hi to anyone reading this!

We are offering some special Spring breaks.

Spring and early summer are beautiful in Cornwall. It tends to be peaceful before the summer, and the flowers along the cliff tops are lovely in spring. From the 21st April until the 30th June 2007, we will be offering a three night break with evening meals included for the reduced price of £225 per double/twin en-suite room or £205 for the standard room. This is the equivalent of three nights accommodation for the price of two, plus three course evening meals for two people each night.

This break can be taken on any days of the week, must be inclusive of evening meals and cannot be taken with any other offers, eg 6 for 5 or 10% reduction on five nights or over. Any additional nights will be charged at the normal rate.

Do contact me if you would like to book or have any further queries about these breaks.

best wishes,


Friday, March 02, 2007

More images of the walk from Rocky Valley to Boscastle, Cornwall.

Simon let the dogs through the special dog stile, then held it for me to get through. I wish!

The Devils Blow Hole above Boscastle. We stood looking for it when headed towards Boscastle, but, although we must have been standing right next to it, only saw it when we were coming back! You can just see the smoke-like vapour.


Yesterday we had beautiful weather, it was Simon's birthday, and we decided to go for another longish walk. We went from Rocky Valley, (between Tintagel and Boscastle) to Boscastle, had tea and cake and walked back again the same way. It was a wonderful walk, not nearly as arduous as the walk from Port Isaac, but plenty long enough for an afternoon, especially going both ways. The weather was perfect and, although we have had plenty of rain, the paths were not too wet, except in one extra muddy place, where the dogs were able to top up their muddy legs and tummies.
Boscastle is in the throes of work to the sewerage and flood defence systems and is quite busy with machinery once more.
We spotted the blow hole in the cliff top on the walk back, not far from the folly above Boscastle, which looks as though it is giving off smoke at high tide.
So, are the labyrinth images in the rock along Rocky Valley from the Bronze Age or created a couple of hundred years ago as some people believe?
I will show some more photos on a separate entry, as I seem to be rubbish at combining pictures and wording in any sensible order!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A rock pool at Trebarwith Strand

A view from the walk between Port Isaac and Trebarwith Strand.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hi All,

Are you Freecycling yet?

I have come to wonder, just as I did about the Filofax, then the Internet, how the world went round before Freecycling!

It is a fantastic way to move on Stuff which you might consider taking to the tip but which is really too good for it. We have sent beds, bedlinen, garden machinery and many other items off to new homes. The only rule is that all items are free. You can list things you want to shift and also ask for things you need. As it is rapidly taking off, you will get lots of emails if you join, but these can be fun, or you can request one list only per day, although you may then miss out on things, as items worth having go fast.

To find Freecycle, search Freecycle and then seek the UK link and then your local area. You can join several, if, eg like us, you are in a rural area. You will need to sign up to Yahoo.

Have fun and help keep things out of landfill.

The weather here is very variable at present - one day sunny, warm and bringing the birds out to consider nest sites, the next, wet, windy and cold.

We managed to find a gorgeous day last week to walk the coastal path from Port Isaac to Trebarwith and home. It was fantastic, a wonderful, scenic and strenuous walk. There were even more ups and downs than we expected, and we expected several! First spotting Michael House from afar was wonderful, and it was a very satisying thing to have done, having said we would since we arrived, three years ago! Hopefully it will inspire us to do lots of other long walks.

best wishes,


Monday, January 01, 2007