Sunday, 19 December 2010

Today at Whitethorn Cottages

The sun is shining and the place is white with snow. There is nothing nicer than a walk round the roads taking in the scenery. Here are some photos of our walk this morning.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Whitethorn Cottages, luxury accommodation just 10 miles from Belfast City Centre

Belfast is buzzing with a whole catalogue of festive events to entertain you this Christmas, including Christmas pantomimes at Grand Opera House and Belfast Waterfront, the Continental Market at City Hall, Christmas fair and market at St George’s Market, festive discovery at W5, concerts, musicals, winter wonderland workshops, tours and much more.
In recent years Belfast and the surrounding areas have become a colony attracting and encouraging artists and entertainers in all aspects of the performing arts.

A creative community spirit has cultivated a year round programme of festivals, live entertainment, music, exhibitions, film and sport to rival that of cities long established in this diverse area of the arts. And the social life of Belfast has been the direct beneficiary. Belfast is a lively, year-round festival city with plenty to see and do.

Enjoy fun with friends and family in a host of award winning restaurants, bars and cafes throughout the city and experience the Belfast craic and welcome in the City’s eclectic range of pubs, clubs and entertainment venues.

Whitethorn Cottages are just 10 miles from Belfast City Centre, just 15 minutes in the car. Enjoy the privacy and peace of the cottages and the sights and sounds of Belfast.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

With snow for a week now it is so different from our usual view from the cottages.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snow at Whitethorn

As promised we have got snow. There is nothing nicer than a fall of snow to make it seem like Christmas. With the logs on the fire and the snow outside there is no more cosy feeling.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Snow is forecast for the week and Christmas is on its way, so why not visit Whitethorn Cottages.
We provide luxury accommodation, everything you could possibly need to celebrate Christmas with your friends and family. We decorate the cottages to make it seem like home from home. There is a wood burning stove and oil fired central heating. When you arrive there is a welcome pack to get you started. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need to make your Christmas dinner. The table can seat 8 comfortably and we can provide more chairs if you should have visitors.
The cottages are two bedroom with ensuite facilites. Each bedroom is big enough to take a kingsize bed and single. Your bedlinen and towels are provided.
We charge £45 pps, so 4 people for 4 nights works out at £640
We have a library of books,videos,cd's and games to keep you entertained. We are situated in a beautiful location, 10 miles from Belfast city centre, lovely for walks and we have bikes for those who want to cycle. The cottages are just 5mins from Tesco's for food and drink.
If you need any other information, please just ask, email or phone us.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Improving our photos

A new camera to try and help me give you better images of what we have to offer. More pixels means you can see everything in more detail. Let me know what you think.

New guests at Whitethorn

Bert and his mate have come to holiday with us over the winter. They are enjoying the facilities and the views across the fields to the Mountains of Mourne and Scarbo Tower. Although is was lovely and sunny today they both have their rugs on to keep them cosy. This is a photo of the pink skyline tonight which is usuallya sign of a nice bright day tomorrow.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Making sure we are doing our best

We are always trying to make sure we are doing our best. Our latest effort is trying to improve our website. So we have been redoing some pictures. However maybe it is Father Christmas wo we need to ask for new camera.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Outdoor gym at Whitethorn

This is the result of our work in the garden. It seems that we could cut back everyday and you still might not even notice. We never seem to be planting things, just cutting things. There is always so much work that needs doing no matter which direction you look.
The good days we have had lately just make you want to get outside.
However if we spend too long gardening we aren't fit to work the next day, we can't move.
If only we could run gardening weekend workshops and everyone could come and try gardening, cutting back our garden!! Good idea. A gum outdoors at Whitethorn.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

When the sun is out you couldn't wish to be anywhere else. Yesterday we spent most of the day in the garden. There is lots of work needs done in the garden but it is such a pleasure to be there when the sun is shining, as it was.
Please come up and see round the cottages anytime so that you know where we are and what the cottages look like inside. Then if you know anyone wanting to visit Northern Ireland and are looking for a holiday cottage hopefully we can accommodate you.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

This weekend in Bangor, the sun was shining and everyone was out taking in the fresh air. There were lots of people out enjoying Bangor sea front , but as you can see from my photos not too many that couldn't enjoy the scenery to yourself. Lots of fun and food for children. A lovely place to go for a walk right round on the seafront.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

What's happening?

We have had a buzy time and my laptop crashed so I have been unable to do our blog. We have had "William" and his family in from America to celebrate the 12th with us at Whitethorn Cottages. I think the highlight was the cows passing. I don't think the cows knew what was happening, it was their turn to be in the frame. It was the American flag flying at the cottages. The weather wasn't great but the Americans never let that slow them down in any way, they seemed to pack so much into their time with us. Not just the 12th celebrations up in Belfast, but Portaferry Gala Week, Giants Causeway and Bushmills were some of the outings on the agenda.

Once again the cows took to the limelight when our visitors arrived from Phoenix, Arizona. Sadly the nettles became a topic of conversation as this is something some Americans don't seem to know about. Be warned they sting!! If you ever visit us and you don't know what this plant is let us show you before you get stung!!!

"Cook Out" All these Amercians kept having cook outs, our equivalent to a barbeque. It is lovely to see everyone enjoying the facilities and we loved hearing the children out playing in our garden. Recently we bought "Swing Ball" an ideal game to keep everyone entertained.

From "Swing Ball" to Golf Balls. The Royal Belfast Golf Club, which was founded in Nov 1881 when it marked the birth of the game of golf in Ireland , last week hosted the Girls British Open Championsips. 114 of the best girl golfers from around the world came to compete and show us their talent.
We had the pleasure of having Kelly Tidy and her family stay at Whitethorn Cottages. Kelly is the present Ladies British Open Amateur Champion and was here to try and become only the third player in history to win both the Ladies' and the Girls'.
We had hoped that with a good comfortable bed, peaceful surroundings and luxury of the jacuzzi after a days 36 holes that we could help Kelly towards her double. However it wasn't to be, you can't win them all, so you will all have to come back and try again.
With 14 golf courses within a ten mile radius there are lots of differnt courses to play. Once sadly Kelly was knocked out of the competition she was able to go around some of the other courses, every cloud has a silver lining. Her favourite seemed to be Clandeboye Golf Course. So hopefully that round of golf, where Kelly beat the pro , will put Tidy on course to do well at Tenby.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Life can be tough in the country!

When we were at Chelsea Flower show we brought home a little bird for the garden. When we put him out in the garden at Whitethorn House he found life can be tough. As fast as he found somewhere nice to perch, sadly someone came and knocked him over. It seems there is a definite pecking order in the bird world. I think he would have had a better chance if we had brought home two birds. It seems other birds just come and knock him off his perch.
We have noticed even amongest the hens in our garden there always seems to be a dominment one that keeps charge of the pecking order.

We fear we are going to have to bring in our bird from Chelsea as it seems it hasn't got a chance.
We have tried lots of different parts of the garden, but repeatedly we have to rescue the small bird off the ground.
We have guests from Boston at present and sadly the weather isn't that good but it doesn't seem to annoy them. There favourite entertainment is when the neighbouring farmer brings his cows past the cottages. As well as this they have had fun visiting the Portaferry Gala events and also seeing round Bushmills and the Giants Causeway.
While the weather has been wet it is warm and the plants in the garden have been growing like mad and the weeds too.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The weekend's fun

The sun was out so the barbeque got put to good use. Our New York guests were excellent chefs and the food was in plentiful supply. The energetic tried their hand at swing ball and once it got too cool everyone went inside for another game this time Jenga. A lovely evening was had by all.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Tears of joy and tears of sadness Part 2

I have so many photos of our visit to Chelsea. We had the most fabulous day and would recommend it to anyone slightly interested in their garden. However as so often in life when you have a really exciting, uplifting experience sadly there is a downer. On our way home to the airport not only did our train break down but very sadly some unfortunate person had been killed by a train. Our hearts went out to the emergency people having to deal with the matter and to the family of the poor person who would no doubt be left questioning why. So my thought for today is to take time to enjoy ourselves as we never know when we don't have tomorrow. So have a weekend away and get your batteries recharged, come and stay at Whitethorn Cottages.
PS The last photo is inspired by Rhubarb and custard. Thanks to May Fox for all the lovely recipes she sent me using rhubarb. It was very kind of her to take the time and trouble to send them to me. Thanks

Friday, 28 May 2010

Chelsea Flower Show was the best thing I have ever been to, I just loved it and want to share some of the many photos with you. The man with the pin striped suit from my Tears of Joy part 1 found me inside the show. Well you couldn't miss me I had my flat shoes on, they are bright red, and because it was to be cooler I had my red tights on. He came up to me and asked me how I was enjoying it. He wasn't so scary and I had stop crying. I told him it was just "Brilliant". So I couldn't stop, things to see, places to go, I was running out of time. Ideas for the cottages everywhere. As you how visit us know I love having a go at flower arranging for you. One day when I get more time I have plans for our garden at Whitethorn House and at the Cottages.
I was seeing famous faces and recognising people but not always able to place them. Saw the lady that I just loved of Ruth Watson's " Rescuing Country Homes" but I didn't work that out till I was nearly home.
Then a lady came up to me as if she knew me!! She asked me how we were enjoying the show, it was the family that their poor granny was not with them. Thank you Granny!! We sat and chatted. I still don't know your names but I can't thank you enough for the chance of a life time. I really do hope that you will come over and stay with us. However don't expect too much of my garden, you can come and help me with it.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Thanks to the Girls of Comber Flower Club

Here is some photos of Barbara and Hilda's Silver Award Winning Arrangement.
I took so many photographs of everything I was seeing the battery on my camera got exhausted and ran out. I probably took about 400. The girls photos are number 330 something. So if you want to see more just ask.
I haven't finished there I have more to tell you and more people to thank. So I am away to put on more photos to inspire you. I have more to influence you to have a go before you run out of time.
I cannot wait to hear more from Barbara, Hilda and Anne about their experiences.
It must have been the experience of a life time!!

Tears of joy and tears of sadness Part 1

This is not like my usual blog with a few photos and ideas of where to go when you come to visit us. This is a thought for today and inspiration, I want you all to get out there and live life to the full. Take a day or two off it will do you good. I did and I feel great and I want to inspire you now.
I had wanted to go to Chelsea Flower Show sure it was always about the time of my birthday and it would be a fab birthday treat. Work had me over in London so I made sure I stayed one more day in the hope that I might get in to see Chelsea.
I rarely take time off work as I work for myself. I tried everything I could think of to get tickets but they were like hens teeth. So close and yet so far!!
Well it was only a walk from my hotel. So off I set. Loads of people, loads of excitement and then I was right outside Chelsea Hospital. There was a girl and fellow dressed as Adam and Eve with very little on I may add. The atmosphere was brilliant. One of the several Chelsea Boys, all dressed in their uniform, went off and got an apple to give to Eve, it was hilarious. What if I went and asked?? I thought I probably only had seconds before they would throw me out.
Thanks to the girls of Comber Flower Club I had the best reason for wanting in. I just had to see their exhibition before they had to take it down!! Thanks girls you gave me the courage to ask.
Then there was the man in the pin striped suit, he looked very intimadating. First three words had to be right so he wouldn't say no too fast!!! He was still listening and then came HOPE. "Just stand there"
At this a family came up to the desk and told how sadly their Grand Mother couldn't come and could they get a refund for their tickets. I looked and them and they looked at me and I went into floods of tears!! Yes tears, now you know how keen I must have been to get in. I had a ticket. I was on my way into Chelsea Flower Show 2010
Thanks to everyone.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Such beautiful weather would inspire you to get out and go and see round Hillsborough Castle, the grounds and the garden festival. Here are some photos of our day out there.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It is Balmoral Show in Belfast City