|The hotel in winter with snow on the Sueve mountains.|
Although we shut the hotel to guests for five months during the winter there is always plenty to do preparing for the coming season.
One of the biggest jobs we have contracted this winter is the painting of the outside of the hotel including all the woodwork. Over the years we have painted some sections of the hotel ourselves, those areas which have been easy to reach but there are other areas which haven’t seen a coat of paint in 18 years due to their difficult access! So this year we decided to hire a couple of local painters who our builder recommended to paint and treat all the wood on the outside of the hotel. They started painting in December and hopefully will be finished by early March.
|Treating the woodwork on the outside of the hotel|
Inside the hotel we (well mostly Joe) has been painting some of the walls as well as recovering the chairs in the dining room. Each year we send some of the sofas and bedroom chairs to be recovered by an upholsterer and this year is no exception. We also have had some of the wooden floors in the bedrooms filed and polished.
|Revising walking notes; at the Mirador de Ordiales in the Picos|
But the winter work isn’t only about decorating and maintenance within the hotel. It’s also a time when we can reflect on what we are doing. We can check and revise our walking notes and we can also visit some of our suppliers and check if there are any new products we should be incorporating in our menu. This year we have found an excellent Pale Ale made here in Asturias so that will be on offer alongside the organic beer we have always stocked.
|Asturian Pale Ale!!!!!|
There is also a lot of work on the farm in the winter; cutting down old trees, mending fences and removing any prickly growth such as brambles which might be starting to grow in the meadows. And the animals always need checking and feeding.
|Beetroot seedlings for fresh beetroot for late April onwards|
Then of course there is the vegetable garden and all the jobs which are necessary so we can have a great supply of fresh produce for the restaurant during the months we are open. Last season’s crops have to be cleared, beds weeded, mulching and sowing seeds, just to name a few of the jobs
|Mulching broad beans|
|Our sheep and the hotel with the Picos in the distance.|
Yes there is a lot to do over the winter but we do also get time to have some holidays ourselves and relax a bit and what a lovely envornment to relax in!