About Your Hosts, Mike and Lesley Hardy (please scroll down for newsletter !)
Lesley and Mike met while they were both working out in the United Arab Emirates in 1978. Lesley was there as a nurse and midwife and Mike was an air traffic controller (ATC) at Abu Dhabi, (5 years) , moving on to Doha (another 5 years) and ending up in Ras Al Khaimah during the period of the first Gulf War.
After 18 years in ATC, Mike was looking for a change of direction and we embarked on a Catering and Hotel Management correspondence course, followed by various City and Guilds courses back here in the UK followed by 4 months practical experience in a privately run 42 bedroom hotel in Bournemouth. Then a period of intensive searching for a business throughout the country during which we both returned to work in our former professions.
An empty and forlorn Lambsquay Country House Hotel, in desperate need of `TLC`, captured our affections and we moved here in September 1993. We began a massive spring cleaning and reorganisation programme starting with the commercial kitchen, restaurant, and
3 bedrooms on the top floor, taking our first guests in just three weeks, with no alcohol, no TVs and grounds resembling a wild woodland – but offering spotless rooms and a hearty breakfast !!
During the years since, we have worked to sort out the problems that come with a 300 year old property, a new central heating system, new electrics, restoring the actual fabric of the building. In the restaurant and bar lounge, dry lounge and bedrooms etc we have chosen decor in keeping with a country house and we continue to develope the vegetable garden, small orchard and grounds.
Mike`s hobbies include the Model Railway club, and exhibiting his snow covered Canadian Pacific layout at shows. He also works as a volunteer at Norchard Preserved Steam Railway, as part of the track laying gang. Lesley likes reading, weeding and harvesting vegetables and fruit!
Welcome to another New Year, 2015, after the Christmas functions and 24 scouts from Wales for a sunday lunch, we`re ready for the spring!
The Restaurant - Bookings are coming in for more of those `significant` birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other special occasions where guests can have exclusive use of the restaurant and bar.
The Vegetable Garden - We put in more robust fencing to expand the growing area out to the pathway, to include what we now call the `allotment` area, having treated all the small plots and fruit trees to a good dose of country manure! Now we have more room for the fresh produce we need for the restaurant, and are planning what we are going to grow this year. The 2nd of two long fruit cages have been built and the new Rhubarb plants seem to be settling in well. The mega shed is on order as are the railway sleepers needed to create a discreet composting and incinerater area
We make our own soups, pies and use a local butcher for our roast meats etc. We make our own hot desserts, harvest our vegetables and fruit as they become ready and we will tell you what and when our own produce is being used.
The Visitor area to the rear of the restaurant with its large scale wall map, brochures and refurbished adjoining toilets now has new wood flooring and a happy rubber plant in a new modern pot! On the bar lounge and restaurant walls paintings of local artist Sarah King who specialises in scenes of the Royal Forest of Dean, which make ideal gifts, continue to sell well, giving us an ever changing exhibition.
Grounds and Garden - the work on the car park borders started late this year due to soggy ground, but tidying up the grounds took place just before winter. Sadly we have lost some of the really old spectacular heather plants up on the bank so plan to make it more of a varied shrubbery. The front of hotel borders and pots are providing us with some beautiful colour again.
We look forward to welcoming you here at the Lambsquay.
Lesley and Mike