New, But Old, Sitting Room

When you’re staying away overnight, and you only have space in your bedroom for sleeping and watching TV, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of space to relax, bring in a drink, read a book, a magazine or newspaper, in a comfortable room with plenty of space. Maybe you’d like to have a chat with another guest, or just sit with your laptop and catch up on emails, video links and Skype with your family back home, without having to prop yourself up on your elbow on the bed.

Well, now at The Old House, you can have plenty of space for all of these things, as we open the sitting room for guests to relax.

You may know that the house is dated at around 1580. It’s not the oldest house in Market Square or the town, but it’s in the Top 2! As you look around the sitting room, this is the oldest part of the house, and the area that has been least tampered with over the last 440 years. Around the fireplace, you will be able to see original Tudor carved rose and shield with a falcon, and how the stone work has been shaped to match the designs on the wood – or is it the other way round?

Only about 40 years ago, the timber of the ancient beam caught light with a wayward spark, and it was some time before being noticed, but by then, it was too late as the damage had been done. Some fairly clever splicing and carving has left the mantelpiece in the same style as it was, although it is pretty evident that the wood on the right side, is the newest.

The Old House Sitting Room 2

There’s a bit of a question over whether the house was in two parts originally, with a central access point through the very old oak front door (which is original). It is documented that the house was intended for use by the Merchant who managed the Market Square. Traders would come from all over to trade in the Square which was on the busy cross roads that travelled North and South (what became the A6) and East and West (what became the A45).

However the house was laid out at the time, what is evident is that the sitting room is part of the original building with the huge inglenook fireplace and the stone walls. The great part about this room, apart from its comfort, is that it doesn’t need much painting or decorating!

Next time you are visiting The Old House, please do take time to enjoy the comfort of the sumptuous sofas and chairs, relax with a drink and a magazine, or just pop in for a chat. Your WiFi code works in the sitting room too. The sitting room is open for guests registered at The Old House, from early morning until 10.00 in the evening every day.


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The irony is that now that the weather is heading towards Springtime, most of the work has to be done inside – plastering, flooring and decorating. The scaffolding came down at the end of January, and the weather boarding is going up to complete the external finishes of the walls. Still quite a bit of work to do with landscaping and decorating, but the Jenkinsons’ team are cracking on making the place look fantastic. Then, it’s our turn, with the furnishings and finishes to make the place welcoming, stylish and your ‘home from home’.

Exclusively for previous guests to The Old House, the January launch offer was well received and bookings have been booked. Bookings are all made online and the website is changing regularly as the house becomes developed and new photos become available. Please do keep an eye on how it is changing, and we will always welcome constructive feedback on the building, the holiday facilities or the website.

www.mistletoecottagekinnersley.co.uk

Mistletoe Cottage takes shape

Mistletoe Cottage, Kinnersley, with scaffolding removed and the
start of the weather boarding. The front door faces West, and the driveway from the right side of this picture will be built up to the level of the bottom of the door, prior to landscaping.

One of the unspoiled counties of England, Herefordshire is such a beautiful and rural part of England. Around Hereford itself, there’s so much for everyone –walking, music and arts, gardens, houses and museums, as well as shopping and many other local attractions. Hay-on-Wye is just nine miles away. The town is on the border of England and Wales, but is actually in the county of Brecknockshire in Wales, part of the Powys area. Although it is often described as the ‘Town of Books’, it has many other areas of interest and national beauty. To learn more, go to: http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk

 


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February

From Thursday 8th – Rushden Lakes Pizza Express opens. More info from: www.rushdenlakes.com/whats-happening/

Saturday 10th 7.00 p.m. – The Mayor of Higham Ferrers presents “Ferret Racing”. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers. More information from: www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk

Saturday and Sunday 17/18th 11.00 until 4.00 p.m. daily – Snowdrop Weekend St. John’s Church, Chelveston. Free admission; refreshments all day. Over 2 million snowdrops with Chelveston Chorus on Sunday afternoon. More information from www.stmaryhighamferrers.org/events

Saturday 17th from 10.30 a.m. – Fireworks Frenzy Santa Pod Raceway, Santa Pod, NN29 7XA. More information from: www.santapod.co.uk

Friday 23rd 09:30 a.m. – The History of the Music Hall Presented by Higham Chichele Society. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – £3.00 non-members. More information from: www.highamchichelesociety.org.uk

Friday 23rd 7.00 p.m. – “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – £10 including Fish and Chips. For details, click on www.highamferrerstourism.org.uk

Saturday 24th 9.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. – Farmer’s Market, Market Square, Higham Ferrers. More info from: http://www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk/local-events.html

Saturday 24th 11.30 a.m. – Paul Harris’ Organ Recital. St. Mary’s Parish Church – Free admission with retiring collection. For details, click on www.stmaryhighamferrers.org/events

March

Tuesday 20th 12 noon until 2.30 p.m. – Church Lunch with Soup and a Roll, or Tea and Cakes. St. Johns Church, Chelveston. More information from: www.stmaryhighamferrers.org/events

Friday 30th 09:30 a.m. – John of Gaunt: Architect of the War of the Roses Presented by Higham Chichele Society. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – £3.00 non-members. More information from: www.highamchichelesociety.org.uk

Saturday 31st 9.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. – Farmer’s Market, Market Square, Higham Ferrers. More info from: http://www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk/local-events.html

April

Friday 6th 7.00 p.m. – “South Pacific”. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – £10 including Fish and Chips. For details, click on www.highamferrerstourism.org.uk

Friday 27th 9:30 a.m. – Willybrook Hundred Presented by Higham Chichele Society. Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – £3.00 non-members. More information from: www.highamchichelesociety.org.uk

May

Sunday 13th Afternoon – Afternoon High Tea. St. Johns Church, Chelveston. More information from: www.stmaryhighamferrers.org/events

 


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Plans are afoot…

This month, we have been fortunate enough to be contacted by one of London’s eminent fashion photographers (Terrence Leah) who wanted to use the setting of The Old House as the back drop for a fashion shoot he was working on.

So, on a Sunday in November, along came three models, dressers, make-up artists, hair stylists, the photographer and assistant, who took over the house for the day to produce their photos.

The Old House Living Room

One of the great enjoyments about being hosts at The Old House, is meeting and welcoming the diverse number of guests who stay from day to day. From our regular guests, who are working in the area week to week, to guests we see two or three or more times a year, together with many new people who we have never met before, it provides us with a good insight into why people are visiting Higham Ferrers.

One of the facilities that many people tell us they would like to see, is to spend part of the day, relaxing in a lounge, away from their bedroom, but a little more comfortably than at a breakfast room table.

So, our plans for 2018 are to introduce a guest lounge at The Old House – you can see an image of how it might look (but without the model!).

In addition, we are working on a study area, where people can sit comfortably to work (as opposed to leaning on one elbow on the bed!), and if the report for tomorrow has to be finished, or you want to catch up with a film or news, your personal computer can be set up using the free wifi within the house to get up to speed.

At The Old House, we have a broadband speed of over 20 Megabits per second (which I understand is pretty good!!).

 

 


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The timber structure has arrived and was put up in just over a couple of days, and the roof trusses were put up in 2 days afterwards. Now, the tiles are going on the roof, and by the time of the Christmas break, the house will be watertight.

Mistletoe Cottage Interior

Showing the first floor, with a bedroom at either end, and the landing in the middle.

At the same time, work is going on in the garden and driveway, and the external areas are taking shape to accommodate the eco-waste system, the area for car parking and the dividing wall to lead up to the raised garden area.

We are working to a project completion deadline of mid-March (weather permitting), and that’s when the work starts on furnishing and equipping the holiday home, so that there’s everything you need for a great break.

Herefordshire is such a beautiful and rural part of England, and we’re looking forward to providing guests with a holiday home full of quirky comforts, but in an area that has so much for everyone – shopping, walking, music and arts, gardens, houses and museums, as well as many local attractions, including Hay-on-Wye – just eleven miles away.

Our first holiday bookings will take place in May, once everything has been checked and tested, and in a couple of weeks time the website will be up and running, and bookings can be done online, making the process easy and pain-free.

We will be offering a discounted introductory rate. You can sign up to be notified when we open for bookings by visiting: www.mistletoecottagekinnersley.co.uk

 


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Profumo Coffee

Where does the company name originate and is there a connection to the infamous MP of similar ilk (mischievously or not)?

In reality, the name reflects the first thing you notice about our new coffee – that is the beautiful aroma you experience before it has hit your taste buds!

With the way words always sound so much more romantic in Italian, the company settled for the descriptive translation of “aroma”, which in Italian is “Profumo”

Great Coffee

What appeals to you about coffee? With coffee shops popping up everywhere in every town and city (and places in between), coffee consumption has never been greater.

And so, in our opinion, it’s essential to have a great-tasting coffee to start your morning, if that’s your tipple. At The Old House, our guests choose about 50/50 for coffee or tea, and we believe that whatever your choice, it should be about the excellent quality.

Whether it is coffee from a percolator, a cafetiere, or an espresso machine, it is all about the bean, and the delicious ‘profumo’ as you open the pack of beans.

The team at Profumo Coffee have a passion for the drink which means that sampling and drinking various single origin and blends of beans come together to create beautiful rounded bean. The principal players have learned the basics from the London School of Coffee and since there, they have been experimenting with various roasting levels to deliver the optimum flavour.  For the past three years, they have been sharing this passion with their customers.

We (Simon and William) discovered Profumo Coffee at the Farmers Market in Higham Ferrers on the last Saturday of every month. But, you don’t have to wait to attend the market, as you can buy the coffee on-line and have it delivered directly to you.

Quirky facts about coffee beans:

The coffee bean isn’t actually a bean – it is a seed of a coffee cherry that grows on a small coffee shrub or tree.

The caffeine found in coffee beans is actually the plant’s natural chemical defence against being consumed by insects.

It takes 42 beans to make a cup of espresso.

Dark roasted coffees actually have LESS caffeine than medium roasts. The longer a coffee is roasted, the more caffeine burns off during the process.

For more information and placing orders: www.profumocoffee.co.uk

 


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DECEMBER

Saturday 16th – Outdoor Cinema Experience “Alien” (18) – Tribute to John Hurt, Stanwick Lakes. Doors 9.45 pm; Film Starts 10.10 p.m. Tickets £11.50 from www.lunaflix.co.uk Bring a torch, chair, blanket and own refreshments! Free Parking.

Sunday 3rd 6.30 p.m. – St. Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers – Service of Advent Carols and Readings

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 8th, 9th and 10th December – 12.00 until 9.00 p.m. – Irchester Country Park Visitor Centre, Gipsy Lane, Irchester. NN29 7DL – African Christmas Market, with food, craft, fashion and gifts. Free Admission

Saturday 23rd 9.00 until 1.00 p.m. – Market Square, Higham Ferrers – Christmas Farmer’s Market with Santa, and lots of Christmas Surprises. Brass Band playing Christmas Carols. Over 20 local suppliers providing food for the season.

Saturday 23rd 11.30 a.m. – St. Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers – Christmas Recital with refreshments in Bede House from 9.00 a.m.

Sunday 24th 11.00 p.m. – St. Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers. – Midnight Mass

Sunday 31st 8.30 p.m. until 12.30 a.m. – New Year’s Eve Barn Dance at the Bede House – Dancing to ‘Ock ‘N Dough’ a super Ceilidh Band. Tickets £20 with Ploughman’s Supper. Contact www.stmaryshighamferrers.org

 

JANUARY 2018

Saturday 20th 7.30 p.m. – Rushden Athletic Club, 61 Newton Road, Rushden. NN10 6AF. The Jam’d. Admission £16.50 from www.skiddle.com

Thursday 25th 7.30 p.m. – The Castle Theatre, 10 Castle Way, Wellingborough. NN8 1XA. ‘The Circus of Horrors, The Never-ending Nightmare’. Tickets £25.00 from www.castletheatre.co.uk

Friday 26th – New season of Classic Films in the Bede House. For details, click on www.highamferrerstourism.org.uk

Saturday 27th 9.00 until 1.00 p.m. – Market Square, Higham Ferrers. Farmer’s Market with over 20 local suppliers providing locally-produced food

Saturday 27th 11.30 a.m. – St. Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers – Farmer’s Market Concert, with Refreshments in Bede House from 9.00 a.m.

 

FEBRUARY

Saturday 3rd 7.00 p.m. – Bede House, Church Grounds, Higham Ferrers – The Mayor of Higham Ferrers presents “Ferret Racing”. More information from: www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk

Saturday 17th From 10.30 a.m. – Santa Pod Raceway, Santa Pod, NN29 7XA. Fireworks Frenzy. More information from: www.santapod.co.uk

Friday 23rd – New season of Classic Films in the Bede House. For details, click on www.highamferrerstourism.org.uk

 


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Works starts on Mistletoe Cottage

The work has started! The stable block building is now demolished and we are at the point of no return, and the view from William’s parents’ front door is a much bigger vista than it was at the end of August.

Jenkinson’s Team are working quickly, cleanly and tidily, and William’s Dad, Gwilym, is keeping a close eye on standards and their progress.

Co-ordinating the utility companies has been quite a challenge, but with Toby from Jenkinsons bringing the work together, the poles are down, trenches are dug, and it appears as though we will have water and electricity with which to function.

The rubble from the building is to be used as a hardcore base for the driveway at the front of the house, and that too, has been dug out, to be level with the road, for easy access.

Next step – foundations and water treatment plants. As an almost completely eco-house, we’ll bring you more information on that as the work develops.

Mistletoe Cottage

On the way to oblivion. This part will be the rear of the new building.

Mistletoe Cottage Starts

Almost completely removed!

If you are keen to find out more, please see our new website: www.mistletoecottagekinnersley.co.uk

Easter 2018 is our target date for opening, so if you ever find yourself thinking about a relaxing time away in deepest Herefordshire, you may have already found the ideal location!

Centrally placed for Hay-on-Wye, Leominster, Ludlow, Hereford and the surrounding market towns, it really is a beautiful part of the world.

More information and photos as the site develops.


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SEPTEMBER

Saturday 16th – Outdoor Cinema Experience “Alien” (18) – Tribute to John Hurt, Stanwick Lakes. Doors 9.45 pm; Film Starts 10.10 p.m. Tickets £11.50 from www.lunaflix.co.uk Bring a torch, chair, blanket and own refreshments! Free Parking.

Friday 22nd – An evening of Local Entertainment. Bede House 7.00 p.m. Tickets £5.00 each from Town Hall – 01933 312075

Saturday 30th – Farmer’s Market. Market Square 9.00 until 1.00 p.m.

Saturday 30th – Concert by Paul Harris on the Organ. St. Mary’s Church 11.00 until 12.00 p.m.

Saturday 30th – Outdoor Experience “80’s Party – Movie and Live Band”. Stanwick Lakes Doors 5.00 pm; Film Starts 7.30 p.m. Tickets £8.50 from www.lunaflix.co.uk Bring a torch, chair, blanket and own refreshments! Free Parking.

OCTOBER

Saturday 7th – Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan. Bede House 9.00 until 12.00 noon. Hosted by The Dragon Seekers

Friday 20th – Cheese and Wine Tasting Evening. Bede House. www.highamferrerstourism.org.uk for details.

13th to 31st  – Dr Fright’s Spooky Halloween Nights. Earls Barton (not 16th or 23rd). Suitable for 12+. Tickets between £17 and £25 per head. www.drfrights.com

Saturday 28th – Coffee Morning. Bede House. In aid of Friends of St. Mary’s Church 9.00 until 1.00 p.m.

Saturday 28th – Farmer’s Market. Market Square 9.00 until 1.00 p.m.

Saturday 28th – Recital by Ian Runnells on the Organ. St. Mary’s Church 11.00 until 12.00 p.m.

NOVEMBER

Saturday 4th – Fireworks Spectacular. Rushden Hall. Gates open at 6.00 p.m., Show starts at 6.30 p.m. Tickets £5.00 adult / £3.00 Child, in advance. Tickets £6.00 adult / £4.00 Child, on the day. www.rushdenfireworks.co.uk

Saturday 18th – Christmas Sparkle. Market Square. The Town’s Biggest Event. Father Christmas – FunFair – Refreshments – Crafts. 11.00 until 6.00 p.m. www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk

Saturday 25th – Farmer’s Market. Market Square 9.00 until 1.00 p.m.

DECEMBER

Friday 1st December – Film Night Season starts in the Bede House, with ‘Elf (PG)’. Starts at 7.00. Tickets from www.highamferrerstourism.org. uk

Saturday 23rd – Farmer’s Christmas Market. Market Square 9.00 until 1.00 p.m.


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Who was Hatton anyway!?

Sir Christopher Hatton KG (1540 – 1591) represented Higham Ferrers in Parliament at the throne of Queen Elizabeth I, in 1571.

Recognising his achievements and ability, and his relationship to Higham Ferrers, we have named a room after him, and we are proud to have refurbished it to a brand new standard. Featuring all the comforts that The Old House is renowned for – a comfortable bed you can climb into, working space, en-suite shower room, Freeview television, and free wifi around the house, this room has an attractive view overlooking the Market Square and welcomes the bright sunshine every morning.

Sir Christopher Hatton was a favourite of the Queen, and became Lord Chancellor of England in 1587. Born at Holdenby House, he moved on to Oxford around 1555 and left without a degree before going straight to the Inner Temple in 1560.

Handsome and accomplished, and reputedly an excellent dancer, he caught the eye of Elizabeth and was taken into her favour.

Hatton Room Ensuite

By 1572, he was the Member for Northamptonshire and became Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. Five years later, he was appointed as vice-chancellor for the royal palace and was knighted. Hatton’s loyalty to his sovereign appears to have been unquestioned and in 1584, he led over 400 kneeling members of the House of Commons in a prayer for the Queen’s safety.

As one of the commissioners who found Mary, Queen of Scots guilty of treason in 1585, he vigorously denounced her in Parliament and advised that the warrant for her execution be forwarded to Fotheringhay. Read more by visiting: http://www.marie-stuart.co.uk/Castles/Fotheringhay.htm

The pinnacle of his success was as a Knight of the Garter, Lord Chancellor of England and a chancellor of the University of Oxford. He never married.

Hatton Garden, the jewellery quarter in London, is named after him, and in 1983, the Sir Christopher Hatton School in Wellingborough was opened in his name.


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