Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Briar Birthday, Summer House, Sloe Gin and Scotland Hour news from Lochearnhead

Set for Dinner in Briar Steading
Christmas Tree, Briar Cottages loch garden
Happy Birthday: Briar Steading is already one as we approach the Christmas Holidays. The luxury cottage's first guests have re booked to celebrate New Year. Both cottages are booked for Hogmanay. Just as well I got everyone tickets for the Lochearnhead village party in the hall as they sold out in 4 hours. There is an excellent prize raffle with gifts donated by local businesses like St Fillans Golf Club, The Lochearnhead Hotel, Lix Toll petrol Station, Glenample Estates Venison and more. I should know as I am the volunteer fund raiser for the event.

Pet Friendly Christmas: We still have  pet friendly cottage availability for Christmas week if anyone wants a festive break in Little  Briar. Cosy up in our cottage for 2-4. We put a tree and lights into the cottage with some festive wine and smackery.      

Summer House in Winter:The garden on the banks of  Loch Earn gives a lot of pleasure. We improved the summer house this year with a dining table and chairs new games and pictures on the wall. Guests love the area to; watch wildlife and Loch Earn, listen to iPods using the docking station, read and generally relax.
Fishing Loch Earn by Paul Patchett
One fishing guest sticks his rod into a pole on the jetty then reads his paper in the summer house.  Not everyone's idea of fishing but it suits him. He dozes off and occasionally stirs to share lunch with the friendly mallards (and their ducklings in spring).
Ducklings eat oats at Briar Cottages

Some of you have met neighbouring villagers in our summer house. When Fraser puts the cocktail flag up it means "visitors welcome" for a glass or two or three or more!

Sloe Gin: Anyone staying here is welcome to pick our berries in different seasons.  There are 3 blackcurrant bushes behind Little Briar, a cherry tree, gooseberry bush, brambles lining the boundary fences and sloe berry trees in the rear paddock. Aside from fruit crumbles I have laid down fruit gin, vodka and Bacardi.  All you do is add one third spirit, one third sugar and one third berries (prick or squeeze the berries first) in a bottle. Shake the bottle once a day for about a week until the sugar dissolves then let the alcohol turn into berry coloured nectar before your eyes. They make delicious liqueurs if left  3-6 months or more. A great Christmas present idea too. We already tried the blackcurrant gin made early August. Decant the alcohol first and then use any edible berries like blackcurrants to accompany a pudding. 

Social Media Have you seen my facebook business page?  I also have a presence on Twitter @Briar Cottages if you want to follow what’s on around Briar Cottages and Lochearnhead. If you like our website please click the +1 button on our homepage as every vote helps us to be found amidst a sea of a million other self catering holiday cottage accommodation sites in the world. Thank you for all the delightful feedback and photos on TripAdvisor which is really useful for us and helpful for new guests.  It is never too late to provide feedback. If you use a mobile phone to search for accommodation, our website is adapted for mobile use with an app from lovetoescape and we can easily be found on Google Maps under Holiday Cottages Scotland.   

Loch Earn by Briar Cottages guests Alex and  Brenda Geddes

#Scotlandhour:  If you want to follow Scottish tourism in general, get on to Twitter during #Scotlandhour between 9-10pm on the last Wednesday of every month.  How appropriate that it lands on St Andrews Day, 30th November this month.  Join Scotland’s travel writers, accommodation providers, outdoor sports businesses, photographers, social media gurus, tourism associations, tour operators,  food and drink specialists, Visit Scotland and more. Whether you live and work in Scotland, enjoy travelling, are planning to visit in the near future or just have a burning question relating to Scotland you can ask questions live on Twitter or follow the tweets and images about all things Scottish.  I will be on line to promote Lochearnhead and its neighbouring villages around Loch Earn. 

It has been raining more than a bit of late, making this the perfect time  to come and see The Falls of Dochart, Edinample Falls and the incredible burn (stream) that Fraser has landscaped which runs the length of our  garden.

Look out for late availability offers if you want to experience Briar Cottages for a short break in December and please note that we are offering £50 vouchers for petrol to spend in our local garage Lix Toll when you book a week in Briar Steading for 2012 before the end of 2011 (Does not apply to existing bookings and can not be taken in conjunction with other offers).   
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