Whilst the sun is shining here at shining and it’s so warm here at the Farm we have been getting on with some outside jobs – the garden is looking better than ever (if we may say) and Alasdair has made a panel for the window of his sculpture workshop. All in lovely Farrow & Ball retro colours:
Red Earth, Blazer, Brinjal, Cooking Apple & Minster Green
This year we are celebrating Andrea’s 20 years of garden photography. Sort of good news and bad news though!
Good news that she currently has an exhibition at the super venue in Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway called ‘Mill on the Fleet’. It’s called ‘The Golden Hour’ http://www.millonthefleet.co.uk/index.php/exhibitions/programme/44-the-golden-hour. The selection of photographs were chosen to represent the gloriously luminous time at the crack of dawn and in the long shadows of early evening when she has captured the glowing light in inspiring gardens, in Britain and around the world.
The bad news is that until the exhibition is over our walls are rather bare – sorry about that. Back to normal after the exhibition closes on May 19th. In the meantime here’s a preview.
With or without Andrea’s pictures the Mill on the Fleet is a great place to visit. A working watermill with a super riverside cafe (great coffee and cakes) and a wonderful secondhand book shop. Great place for a pit stop if you are coming to stay with us!
Spring is a bit slow to arrive this year and it’s still mighty chilly but according to our favourite weather forecast we’re going to have a sunny weekend – perhaps with the exception of Sunday morning.
Also rather delayed is the opening of Andrea’s exhibition of photography at Mill on the Fleet – it now opens on Easter Sunday. She tells me that the name ‘The Golden Hour’ refers to the glow of the light first thing in the morning and the golden rays of the early evening – which is when she is most busy at work photographing gardens.
Back at home we are very happy that our little ( borrowed) flock of lambs and ewes is still with us albeit in our field. We now have a new flock of new borns which includes little black twins. A bit shy at the moment but becoming accustomed to human visitors.
We’re looking forward to welcoming our weekend guests who are arriving from Bath, New York and Cambridgeshire ! The log fire will be burning in the grate and the hot cross buns and tea ready when you get here! Happy Easter to all.
We were expecting guests to arrive to show around my studio and Alasdair’s workshop – but instead we got a barn full of new born lambs and their mothers! We were delighted to be able to help give them some shelter from the icy wind and blizzards that have been howling through the countryside in recent days and nights.
Visitors still welcome to visitor and see our exhibits – with the added bonus of a trip to the barn to take a glimpse of the lambs – very cute!
Open Studios Ayrshire
At Alton Albany Farm, Andrea and Alasdair both took part in the Open Studios Ayrshire event from 22nd – 24th March. Both studios and a selection of work were open to visitors. Prints available to purchase – tea and coffee complimentary! The weather was not helpful but all the same we were delighted to welcome some intrepid visitors.
There was a fabulous seasonal atmosphere yesterday when we arrived at the Lochinch Castle Victorian Charity Christmas Fair. The Victorian Stables and Christmas Marquee were filled with stalls of arts, crafts and produce many of which were manned by ladies and gentleman dressed in their period finery. We brought a small gang from Barr and despite our (usual) rather late arrival, managed to navigate our way around most of the exhibits and some of the scrumptious local produce.
Lochinch Castle, home of The Earl and Countess of Stair.
We were particularly impressed by Galloway Lodge Preserves and sampled a number of their products. Mary Lou’s favourite was the Hot Tomato Pickle. The Mango and Chilli Chutney was good too – (not too sweet with a bit of a kick!). The Beetroot Chutney we thought sounded a strange idea but tasted delicious. The Strawberry Jam was very tasty and not too sweet. The Poachers pickle we all agreed would be super with a ploughman’s lunch. Alasdair loved the Cranberry & Post jelly and promises we’ll try it with crumbed ham. Sounds good to me!
Next were the delicious home-made chocolates of Russell Ingham. Definitely my favourite, melt in the mouth truffles. Russell sells his chocolates by mail order and also at the Wigtown Market.
Less edible but equally desirable were the fine italian leather bags displayed by Mimu. I’m definitely adding this reversible shoulder bag to my Christmas wish list. I thought for such good quality they were extremely well priced.
Of course we should be thinking of others first when looking at Christmas gifts (blushing) … I’m going to revisit The Silk Journey when it comes to buying for one of my stylish friends. Apparently their opulent, oriental looking reversible silk -look jackets are fully machine washable. Would probably need to accompanied by some of the colourful beads from Brunty Beads .
Mary Lou and I were both very tempted by the faux fur and waterproof hats (which you tweak inside to fit your head size perfectly) at The Saucy Stag , (Penny the stall holder came all the way from Suffolk).
It was very good way to spend a Saturday afternoon in November and it would be heavenly to get home, collapse in a heap and cuddle up with a soft and cuddly cushion from Vintage & Green Crafts (see their facebook page).
So our final recommendation would be that if you missed this year’s event – don’t miss next!
The winter months are the best. Long walks through the scenic trails with the incentive of a cosy lounge with log fire to return to – there’s nothing to beat it! There’s a great pub in the village too (within easy walking distance) and on a clear night the sky is incredible here – the Milky Way stretches clearly above the farmhouse.
What’s more we are offering a very special rate to entice families and friends from mid November until the end of February. We are offering:
6 people Bed & Breakfast for only £375 for 3 consecutive nights (excluding Christmas and New year). That gives your group 1 x double bedroom with ensuite, 1x double and 1 x twin bedroom with a spacious shared bathroom. Exclusive use of the dining room / lounge in the evenings for games, reading or watching films on DVD by the fireside.
4 people Bed & Breakfast for only £250 for 3 consecutive nights (excluding Christmas and New year). That gives your group 1x double and 1 x twin bedroom with a spacious shared bathroom. Use of the dining room / lounge in the evenings for games, reading or watching films on DVD by the fireside.
Perfect for a family break or a get away for a group of friends. And don’t forget children are very welcome and also well behaved dogs !
Here’s a glimpse of the view from our deck – the light this week was magical.
The light this week has been magical at Alton Albany Farm. Our beech trees still have some of their golden leaves and the autumn colour has been glowing through the early morning mists.
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