Gardens, Moths and Emus

Dear Trimstone Manor Friend


Included in this edition of our e-newsletter …



Afternoon Tea & Cream Tea

Cottage Availability

Moth Evening and Morning


The Collection

The Fastest Wifi in the West?

What do our visitors say about us?


Happy summer to you all!  The school holidays are soon upon us…


The gardens have been looking lovely this year.  I promised you a piccie of the echium – the tallest one I know at over seventeen feet!  That’s Esme who you might find on duty in the Hotel this summer.  The rambling rose has really been beautiful on the pergola too – it grows so rampantly but its blooms and the scent are worth it even if we have to trim-it-back so we can still use the path!  We also have a lovely new swing seat to while away a few hours with a glass of wine or a chilled beer…


We are doing more and more High Teas and Cream teas as our reputation is spreading!  Occasionally our guests treat themselves to a bottle of Prosecco as well but it isn’t obligatory!  Why not come and sample what we offer and see if you agree that our cream teas are amongst the finest in North Devon?  We are only charging £6.50 for a full cream tea and £5 for a half so take advantage before the prices go up as we really ought to increase them to better cover the costs but it won’t be £9 as I have seen somewhere not too far from us!  Do ring to reserve Afternoon Tea of course and if you wish to be sure about Cream Teas – it is amazing how many visitors can just appear about two minutes after the staff have gone home after a quiet afternoon but that is someone’s law and of course we’d be here for sure if we knew you were coming!  We shall always try our best to look after your needs, of course!


We have very little availability I am sorry to say.  However, there are some gaps for the first week of the holidays and to the early birds, we are pleased to offer you a 20% discount on those as we’d prefer to let you, our loyal eshot recipients, have that benefit!  Give us a quite call if you can use that!  Also, we have our Parkland View Caravan which can accommodate four plus two – it is not a cottage but it is a very cheaply priced opportunity for you to get away.  You enjoy all of our lovely facilities too of course – all in the price!


We had a really successful moth trapping event with Dr Phil Sterling of Butterfly Conservation.  He is such a knowledgeable and affable man and he wowed us all with his knowledge and in such a humble way.  We saw thirty-nine different species including Peppered Moth, Eyed Hawk, Poplar Hawk and Large Elephant Hawk.  It was an event not to be missed and a fantastic opportunity to switch-off from what else is going-on around about us and in the world, to connect with these beautiful creatures.  Thank you, Sara, too for providing a lovely evening meal for us to enjoy.  (We are always happy to do something around a theme so if you have a seed group – do get in touch!).  We put-out four traps in different parts of the Property to secure different local eco-systems and we were not disappointed despite the evening being quite chilly.  We all had a super time and it was lovely to catch-up with old acquaintances we had not seen for a very long time – as well as new ones!

Whilst it was a shame that the event was not as well supported as we should have liked, it was good for Butterfly Conservation and a donation ensued too but if anyone would like to take advantage of the special half-price subscription offer, drop me a line.  However, despite the interest in the environment at the moment it does sadden me that fewer and fewer people and especially children seem to know very much about the nature around about us – that has to be an integral part of caring for our Planet so why is that?  We did publicity too and contacted local schools for the morning trap-check but no responses.  Having the opportunity of a no or low-cost event to enjoy the benefit of such a specialist on the subject and to interact with these beautiful beasts it seems such a shame not to avail ourselves of that when the chances arise.  Some pictures are attached at the bottom of this email and yes, they are mainly on daughter Leonie’s dungarees!

Phil studied for his doctorate at Oxford University and is the world expert on the Brown Tail Moth about which you will have heard for the hairs and the health issues which can be created by them.


Nothing stops still for long does it!  The trampoline developed a split and so yes, we have replaced it with a brand-new mat ready for our younger visitors to explore and enjoy!


Our male emu ‘Squirt’ did something to its ankle recently and we were rather concerned for him.  After some pain relief from the vet, he is recovering but looks like he is feeling sorry for himself and is still displaying a limp but we give him some extra TLC…  We have some new additions too – four pea chicks which appeared one day with a proud mum in tow!  We have been keeping them inside to protect them till they are a little bigger but they will be enjoying the grounds soon.  Albert (Mr) has been enjoying interacting with all the guests – he is quite some character and has been feeding from guests’ hands too.  Terry the turkey and his two sons will talk back to you in their gobbling way as well if you dare!  Here’s a good question for you – where is an emu’s ankle?  If you pick some dock leaves and hold them tightly in your hand, they will take them from you, enjoying a tug!  They are surprisingly gentle and not as aggressive as Rod Hull’s… but we don’t encourage anyone to go into the run – the gander will leave his mark if nothing else!


We have the fastest holiday accommodation wifi in the whole North Devon and Exmoor area!   At considerable cost we were persuaded to upgrade to go fully fibre-optic and this will bring more trade and better business effectiveness, staff efficiency and responsiveness.   No, this is not ‘just’ a wired connection to the nearest roadside box but a super, unique fibre optic link direct to the local Exchange with the latest Ubiquity ‘Enterprise Grade’ equipment.

The Hotel and cottages had slower speeds than two-thirds of the Country but now faster speeds than 99% of the UK!  We have always believed in free wifi for guests – whether residents or the cream tea or coffee visitor.  In fact it makes me angry when we travel to find complicated access processes or extra fees.

People on holiday need reliable and speedy internet.  When I am on holiday, I need to work and many others do too.  For entertainment – or for their children, it is important and so there are no access restrictions on broadband width for guests either as they will experience everywhere else!

This is not only for tourists but we expect more business guests visiting North Devon.  The wifi and mobile signals nearby are pretty poor and not reliable so the frustration some must face when they do their work is something they will not experience here.  We are also open for conference facilities too so imagine what streaming presentations is like  – no interruptions or slow speeds – plus a reliable presentation and all of your delegates having great, free wifi.

The facility will encourage more guests (even out of season so those escaping for work projects can enjoy the surroundings too) but more morning coffees and afternoon teas as these guests will also be able to have direct access – and all free.

So come and stay a night and see what super-dooper wifi speed is about.  Average Broadband download speeds as of May 2018 in the UK were 46.2mbps and upload speeds of 6.2mbps. Trimstone’s speed is 300Mbps download and 30mbps upload.  Our internet means you can download an Ultra HD film (70gb) in 31 minutes compared to 3.24 hours on the average speed.

What do our visitors say about us?

“Excellent time had by my family loved the animals especially the emus. The flat was clean and well equipped and the games room and pool kept the boys busy along with the weights room and sauna. The place is close to a number of popular seaside resorts and is quiet and peaceful with some lovely walks. Would recommend to family and friends”

CL, July 2019


Our very best wishes,


Philip & Helen Milton