Maaaan. I really wanted to open when we had everything totally ready to be shown off. But hey ho, it’s still a little building site-y. What canya do? So WE’RE OPEN! A few finishing touches outside – paving, a sign…… and we’re done/ The comments back so far have been incredible – all the staff have been so behind The Boot and we already have frequently returning customers. Sheep (2 Hebridean ewes and an Icelandic ram) are well at home in the wedding paddock and are saving me lawnmower petrol already. Grippe the raven has had a few adventures but is flying really well. And returning (most of the time). Chickens and ducks are all laying eggs like crazy and the scotch eggs they’re contributing to are super popular on the bar. Banana chilli ketchup is bottled and for sale. Cinema is installed – just gotta paint it up a bit and add some cool touches. It will be ready for the England/Belgium game on Thursday night. It’s free to book the seats and first come, first served for the Terraces (standing room at the back!)
We’re now on about the 6 week countdown to The Boot opening AAAAHHHHHHH!!!! So much to do still. But it’s looking pretty blummin’ good. I’ve whacked in loads of riven chestnut fencing, put some proper concrete posts in and slid the fence panels in between! And would you believe that nothing has fallen over yet?! Even in the light to moderate winds we’ve been suffering under.
We’ve got 12 beautiful Burford Brown hens (pullets) in – got two eggs yesterday with which I had a celebratory eggs-on-toast with. They’ll soon be gorging on gorgeous, rich leftovers from the kitchen. The Brahma cockerel didn’t know what had hit him… bless.
And we have a raven – apparently mum and dad have had something to do with the Harry Potter films.. Heard this morning from the Avian Bird Sex Testing Centre (yes, there is such a thing) that our Grippe is a girl! She’s only 6 weeks and has been following me around the kitchen garden, eating SO MUCH FOOD (liver and scrambled eggs. And now worms). Getting a proper flap-on now, so won’t be long before she’s flying – I have jesses, anklets, a leash and creance so will start her on short flights from a rail to my glove. Also gonna put in a proper aviary so she has a base (and not a perch next to my laptop).
Am doing a proper UK wide road trip this weekend – picking up an awesome greenhouse from up North – will fit a table of 20 so we can do groaning table buffets of all-awesome salads from our own garden. And, also super coolly, I have 10 gewurztraminer vines to plant – half to go around the greenhouse, half around the terrace & herb garden. Call me a heathen but that’s my fave wine – so will try my damndest to knock out some homebrew Gewurz in a coupla years!
Got loads more but will save it for another post…
It’s now early March and as promised, I’ve managed to do hardly any bloggy bits. The snow only managed to mildly disrupt progress at The Boot – the building has been roofed and watertight for a few weeks now – plasterers and electricians seem to be working well together and the upstairs is almost done. Chasing BT and other suppliers to see if we can’t boost the broadband to a little more than the equivalent of two tin cans and a ball of string.
20 tonnes of organic mushroom compost were delivered by Capel Mushrooms last Thursday, Peter & Dom started distributing it over the field and we’ve marked out the greenhouse & duck pond. Couple more days on the wheelbarrow & shovel and I’ll be rotavating it all in and marking out the beds. Our fab heritage pear & apple trees are heeled in and waiting for an espalier frame before moving to their permanent home. The hedging whips are arriving next week as, fingers crossed, are a lorry load of chestnut cleft rails & posts. Got a busy fortnight ahead and need to get cracking on it as there are only a few weeks left of not being able to do anything in the main building.
Cinema seats have arrived as well which I’m super excited about – 3 rows of 1930’s cinema seat so far – one from Southwold, one from Gt Yarmouth and one from Paris.
GM position has been advertised and I’m wading through a bunch of applicants this week. Ketchup labels are designed & printed already, bottles are waiting to be filled. Rocket pizza oven, hot smoker all in the design phase and am admiring some dang fine* coffee machines (*expensive).
Still looking for a May opening. If you haven’t already please subscribe to the newsletter – details of opening, the offering, menu, animals and so on will be mailed out in the not too distant future.
Mike, March 2018
First blog for The Boot – Keep checking back here for regular updates for The Boot at Freston, Suffolk. There’s some cool stuff happening and pre-opening events planned. If my tech abilities stretch to it I’ll even set up a database for mailouts…..