Well what a week this has been! We were offered the opportunity of putting Winder Hall and the area of the Lake District we are lucky enough to be in (near Cockermouth) a little bit more firmly “On the map”, when Cumbria Tourism pointed Channel 4 our way for “Four in a Bed”.
Nick Lawler and Caroline (the lovely producer from Channel 4) won me over after my initial concerns – I was worried about the impact (but then again, I always like to have something to worry about!) But d’you know what? I think I’m really glad we went for it!
It was a real eye opener to be behind the scenes and involved in the filming process, and it’s been an education to see the final cut of the show. I managed not to drop the microphone down the toilet when going for a pee (one of my fears!) and the crew were great fun, so as a “do something scary every day” experience, it was great fun. And let’s face it, hospitality like most businesses is going through tough times, so hopefully the publicity won’t do us any harm – in fact, it’s already brought in some new guests. Can’t wait for the first arrivals tomorrow night – they will experience us in stereo – watch us on TV, then pop down for a drink – rather surreal I should think!!
To be sure there are a few uncomfortable moments. We made some mistakes, and I’m still not sure we quite got the hang of the scoring system, but we’ve had amazing feedback from people so far. Mainly on good old Facebook where we’re lucky enough to enjoy keeping in touch with friends, guests and those who we hope will visit us soon. There has also been plenty from people texting us and phoning Winder Hall to have a giggle with us about it.
Good grief, we haven’t even got to Winder Hall’s episode yet and Nick and I are feeling a little apprehensive. But our 15 minutes of fame will soon be yesterday’s news. In the meantime, I hope that those who know us well realise that we’re doing our best and putting ourselves out there to bring some extra interest in our beautiful Country House AND The Lake District and Cumbria in general.
We work with great organisations like Cumbria Tourism, My Cumbria and Western Lake District & Coast amongst others, and all of us are fiercely proud of where we are. Disappointed that we didn’t get chance to show off more of The Lakes during the programme, but hey, they have to make entertaining TV and I think with all the characters involved it certainly isn’t dull! Just hope that some who see the show think it would be fun to come and give us a try! Just as I’m sure many will want to go and see the lovely Wendy and John at Packhorse and Smokey Joe’s in Louth – what a cracking place and fantastic people. We had good fun!
Oh, and despite the angle shown so far, The “So you think you want to run a B&B?” course is about diving in to the realities, and the real ups and downs not a masterclass in perfection! We reckon we could have saved many, many thousands of pounds if we knew when we started what we know now! Really pleased that so many people have expressed an interest, and will hopefully join us for a fun couple of days.
In the spirit of making the most of the hay while the sun shines, if any of you would like to receive our great Four in a Bed offer or would like info on the B&B eye opener course, pop your details in here and we’ll be in touch! Meanwhile, off to watch tonight’s episode now I’ve got my lovely daughter to bed, washing done, dishwasher emptied, dog walked… oh the glamorous life of a Four in a Bed contestant!