As I’m writing this blog it is blowing a gale and tipping down with rain outside – that glorious Indian summer disappeared pretty quickly and autumn is definitely here. Before it arrived though, I caught some early morning sunrises in the valley.
Progress at the Flint Barns is proceeding nicely and we are in the final stages with a few minor adjustments and also some outstanding snagging that needs to be finished off. Currently we are also working towards a major update with regards to the Flint Barns website and social media; it will include a large gallery of pictures so you can really see just how beautiful the Flint Barns are.
We’ve had the pleasure of meeting up with a few schools over the last few weeks and given them a grand tour of the Flint Barns. I have to say that all of them have been blown away with the quality of what we are offering – and I assume they are very pleased, as we have had bookings from the schools for 2015. It’s going to be such an awesome place for school children of all ages to come on an educational trip, a real home away from home to experience the countryside right in the middle of one of the UK’s largest Vineyards.
Last Sunday I spent the day working at the Gun Room, our retail outlet for Rathfinny Wine Estate and the Heritage Centre for Alfriston and the Cuckmere Valley. I was working with Kristina and it was a really enjoyable day. Kristina was fabulous with the customers giving every person an excellent level of customer service, exactly what I want the team in the Flint Barns to offer to all of our customers too. They have some scented candles (http://www.rewinedcandles.com/) in stock and the spiced cider was my favourite one – I’m definitely going to buy a couple of them for Christmas. Pop in to the Gun Room if you are in Alfriston and have a sniff of the spiced cider, you’ll love it for sure.
There are also some spaces left for our last Estate tours of 2014, well worth the visit as we have now completed our harvest and the Winery is starting to smell like a winery should do. You can book the tour ticket either online at www.rathfinnyestate.com or by visiting or calling the Gun Room on 01323 870022 – if you can’t make it for the end of this month then we are also selling Gift Vouchers for 2015, a perfect present for Christmas.
Adrian Lamb – Flint Barns Manager
It was a lovely sunny day back on August 19th; when we had the pleasure of welcoming our first group to stay here at the Flint Barns. Twenty prefects and teachers from Brighton College came to stay with us for the night. They arrived on site just after 1pm and after checking in they had some time to chill and look around the glorious Flint Barns. After the down time off they went for a guided walk around the Estate led by Richard James, our Landscape & Environment Officer. The students and teachers had a good 2 hour walk and this was followed with a tour of the vines and of our winery. All of this culminated in a wine tasting of Plumpton College’s “The Dean” English sparkling http://www.plumpton.ac.uk/news/high-praise-for-plumpton-sparkling-wine/47 Following this came a tasty barbeque, which had some very yummy local burgers and sausages from Sam, at Downland Butchers in East Dean. After the very enjoyable meal, the evening ended with a group game of charades in the spacious lounge.
The next morning a full English breakfast was called for and the students certainly enjoyed this and also the freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolate delivered by Jamie our COO (brought in from Brighton and not one missing – well done Jamie, not sure I could have achieved that!). After the breakfast the group met to discuss the visit and then departed shortly after 11am. The feedback from the group was fantastic, plenty of praise about the building, the food, the beds and also our service. They also gave us some welcome feedback on areas that had something missing. We always learn from feedback whether positive or not so positive, it will always help us in improving our product and service to the customers. Thanks to Steve (group leader), the other teachers and all the prefects of Brighton College, it was fantastic to have you come and stay at our “home away from home” Flint Barns.
The next couple of weeks are going to be a busy time for us – we have our snagging list to sort with the builders and also planning for an important barbeque we are hosting on Sunday 14th September. The Flint Barns at Rathfinny will be hosting the SEVA Summer Barbeque, fingers crossed that we are blessed with a great sunny day.
I have to tell you that we also received another booking for the Flint Barns in May 2015, a prep school from the Reading area is coming down to stay with us for 2 nights. Soon we will be actively marketing the Flint Barns for business and as Sarah says in her blog https://rathfinnyestate.com/estate-news/?p=1434 “We’re nearly there”.
Would you be interested in renting the Flint Barns for Christmas or New Year? If so then just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we can discuss a package to suit.
Adrian Lamb – Flint Barns Manager
From derelict barn…
On Monday 4th August I’m due to receive the keys from the construction company to our Flint Barn. It’s such an exciting time for us all here at Rathfinny. Firstly let me introduce myself, I’m Adrian and I’m the new manager of the Flint Barn, I’ve been in the hospitality trade all of my working career, lastly with the charity accommodation provider YHA whom I worked with for nearly 24 years. I started work on the Rathfinny Estate in mid-June and I’m so excited about my new job and my role in developing the barn business and what we are going to offer to all the lucky people who stay with us on the Estate. Watch this ‘blog space’ for regular updates and news about the Flint Barn.
The building is looking so beautiful both inside & out and we will soon welcome our first group of customers at the end of August. In the future we will be using the barn for the accommodation of our seasonal pickers and pruners, out of those times we will be welcoming school groups, local & special interest groups and possibly families during certain school holidays. The building has been restored to a very high standard, it will truly be a home away from home for all our guests staying. The Flint Barn is built over 3 floors with accommodation on all levels, there are 10 rooms, which are all ensuite, with a total of 48 beds. The ground floor is the location of the stunning dining room, very comfortable and warm lounge and the Snug Room. There is a fantastic courtyard and this will incorporate a small café where, in the future, walkers of our Rathfinny Trail will be able to pop in and eat light lunches and ‘tipsy’ cream teas.
Exciting times ahead, I’ll be back here soon with an update on the first visit and also with some new pictures of the finished interior. In the meantime if you want further information or have any questions then do drop me an email on email@example.com
Adrian Lamb, Flint Barn Manager