Wedding Licence

Is it really that long!  Our renewal of our Licence to perform ceremonies here has arrived – another three years banked.  It is likely to be more attractive now too as the opportunities for Registry Office weddings have dropped dramatically.  Our new outside area for your ceremony is ready too – it will present an unrivalled area for a beautiful vista for your special day.  Perhaps the best weddings are those which book the whole property exclusively for themselves for a couple of days – they have all the rooms to stay over, a great Restaurant and Bar and facilities just for them and their guests and it is remarkably good value too compared to some other local venues, many of which don’t have much else there for your guests to enjoy.  Here’s a photograph – what do you think!  Oh yes, I am also attaching two pictures I stopped to take last Sunday – a beautiful day.  This is Saunton Sands and also looking out towards Hartland Point, just a few miles down the road from us.

Companion Dog Show – 21 May! 11.00am till 4pm – This Saturday

We are pleased to be hosting a Companion Dog Show for charity.  There are open classes for pedigree and novelty/fun entrants and it is Kennel Club affiliated as well!  Come on down!  All welcome, stalls, cream teas, barbeque, refreshments, ice cream.  EVERYTHING is for the Charity and is being organised and arranged by South Street Church in Braunton to take a group of youngsters out to Swaziland to help Challenge Ministries over there.  Each youngster has to raise a considerable sum for themselves too to cover the costs of the journey.  No revenue is coming to the Hotel at all.

It promises to be a fun time – and don’t forget – if you want to stay over we do have some dog-friendly rooms and self-catering cottages as well so what are you waiting for! 

For more details, see the Facebook page and  Please do come and support it - and all the hard work the organisers and all the children are putting into the event!  And no, you don’t have to have a dog – just come along and see what’s going on!  Please pass the word to your friends too and share on Social Media etc., it is on the Hotel Facebook Page too.

Petroc College Barnstaple – The EU – In or Out?

Not really related but I am on the panel on Thursday at 4.30pm at Petroc College.  There is a debate and I shall hope to provide some clarity to the facts of the matter and sure, share some opinions too.  It is free and open to the public so come along – add your Q&As as well.


We have always been pleased to support charity but do you know, sometimes it is hard, not because we don’t want to be generous but there is a perception that if you are ‘in business’ you must be doing well financially in that business and have plenty of surpluses to keep giving away.  Yes, there are some scams around as well but I am talking about the innocuous requests to donate a free cream tea, evening meal, weekend away or whatever, something for a raffle prize, advertise in our publication to help disabled xyzs and so on sort of approach.

Now of course, there are countless most deserving causes but what is sad is that despite most costs of these charities being salaries and staffing costs, pensions and such like (including paying generous salaries to fund raisers and their salary-related pensions….) that even if you, the business, is generous, there never seems to be a great deal of reciprocity (or any at all).

I don’t mean to sound so negative but it would seem appropriate if the staff, trustees, friends, beneficiaries or whatever might just think that it would be nice to support the very businesses which support their beloved causes but they don’t seem to think like that – they just want a ‘cheque’…. And no I don’t mean ‘quid pro quo’ either but just recognising that businesses have costs and pay salaries to help keep people in jobs and it would be nice to say thank you should the occasion arise, rather than going somewhere else for their trade which doesn’t support them.

The other Sunday for example, a beautiful day and we were very happy to be open to offer cream teas in our delightful gardens but we had not a single customer….. well, that’s not quite true – we had one couple, very deserving and nice and they came clutching their ‘free cream tea’ vouchers we had donated to support a local charity’s fund raising appeal event which had happened at a competing hostelry (which enjoyed the spend on drinks and food).  In fact, we had bothered to give them two separate raffle prizes as that was what they requested – two separate free cream teas so that at least there was a chance they may bring someone else to buy a second one on each voucher but the cause decided to offer them as a single prize and no doubt for a 10p Draw Ticket!  We should have saved money donating a fiver instead rather than giving away £12’s worth of cream teas and paying the employment costs of our staff etc., as well.

It is a funny old world but for the life of me I can’t work-out why charities cannot consider that it may be in their selfish interests to approach those businesses which their friends support and see some symbiotic relationship evolving, whereby it makes sense to support those which support them as otherwise, the very businesses they imagine are ripe for their future donations are those which won’t be there as they don’t support them themselves.  What do you think?

Here at Trimstone we are always happy to work with charities we support to organise functions etc. at very special rates (or sometimes complimentary) as well and in our sister business we have created charitable partnerships and an endowment fund.  We have a history of generous donations to deserving causes and especially those connected to our clients and their interests and concerns too but one-way requests for ‘prizes’ and ‘money’ do stop to make us think, I can tell you!

Search Rankings

Now I know I have said it before but you might not have believed me….  When you use one of those ‘independent’ online travel agencies or review sites, you assumed the top of the pile was the best didn’t you?  Well, er, no, they pay for the privilege of being pushed at you more forcibly.  Isn’t it about time the whole industry had a big shake-up by someone?  It is disgraceful really.  The bigger the commission the higher-up the rankings you go.  This was one of the latest offer to us:-

Move higher up our Search Results listings

Enjoy increased visibility over your competitors

Get more customers viewing your property which will increase your chance of capturing more bookings

How do I set up a Search Boost?


Go to Promotion > Create Search Boost

Choose a date range and enhanced commission rate from just 1% extra – et voilà!

Now don’t forget – book direct with us and now we can offer you preferential terms as the courts have said we can!  We much prefer to give something back to you as opposed to the 23% commission one OTA charges…

Business Breakfast at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel

Thursdays, 7.15am, we discuss business topics.  Open to all and only £9, please ring 01271 862841 or email.  Those in business or retired are welcome for business themed breakfasts including learning and counselling.  It’s VAT and Tax deductible.  We finish at 9.00am, to ensure your day isn’t interrupted. 
If you exercise fifteen minutes every day by the year end you will feel healthier and fitter. If you invest your time in the Business Breakfast, by the end of the year your business will be stronger too, with improved sales, efficiency and costs saved.  Why not try – but beware, its habit forming!  If you are a Hotel guest, you can attend without extra charge!  I mean, apart from sleeping, what else are you doing at 7.15am on a Thursday!

Our very best wishes

Philip & Helen Milton