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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Happy Christmas

As I write this blog there are only 3 more days left until Christmas day, like myself I'm sure you are wondering where this year has gone? Maybe it's because we have been so busy at the Cloud Hotel that the time has just flown by or is it a sign that I'm getting older? Whatever is the reason I'm delighted to report that the Cloud Hotel has been very busy with accommodation, lunches, morning coffees and afternoon teas. We have welcomed many or our regular customers back as well as having the pleasure of meeting new customers during the year.

The main highlights of the year were being awarded 3 stars by the AA and being a finalist in Business South Excellence Awards 'small hotel of the year' category. Nine members of staff attended the award ceremony and we were delighted to receive the Highly Commended award.

On Friday December 13th we held our annual Christmas dinner in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and raised £1160-00. We have raised well over £30,000-00 over the last 30 years when I first started the event.  A few members of the Highcliffe Junior Choir started the evening with Christmas carols and a good time was had by everyone.

Our pre-Christmas lunches and dinners have been very busy and my staff have worked really hard to make every day a success and create a happy and festive atmosphere.

Our Christmas guests arrive on Monday to enjoy a traditional 4 day  Christmas break and eat, drink and be merry!

The hotel closes on Friday 27th December and re-opens on Sunday 12th January 2014. The staff have a 2 week well deserved holiday and I stay and supervise the decorating, maintenance and refurbishment.

My staff join me in wishing you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Cloud Hotel next year.


Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Beautiful Autumn Day!

I woke up this morning to see ice on the car windows and a beautiful blue sky to remind me that winter is just around the corner. The autumn colours are later this year and the trees are just at their best with the sun shimmering on their golden leaves today. A perfect day for a walk in the New Forest and then to return to the Cloud Hotel to warm up by our roaring log fire with a hot chocolate, one of our delicious cream teas or just to relax.

Christmas starts on December 1st at the Cloud Hotel and I do wonder where this year has gone? Mike Dacombe of Inspiration New Milton decorates the hotel every year and the decorations are always stunning. There are still a few places left on certain days for pre-Christmas lunch or dinner when you can enjoy a traditional Christmas meal and soak up the festive atmosphere at the Cloud Hotel with friends or family.

On November 27th I will be taking nine of my staff to the Felbridge Hotel, East Grinstead to attend the Beautiful South Excellence Awards as the Cloud Hotel is a finalist in the 'small hotel of the year' category. This is a great achievement and it's thanks to my hardworking and loyal team that we have achieved this so fingers crossed for the 27th.

The Wessex Women's Network will be celebrating it's tenth anniversary on November 19th with a celebratory dinner and entertainment. I founded the Wessex Women's Network in 2003 for the women in the New Forest and surrounding areas to get together, share ideas and have fun. Ten years later it is still thriving and several members have developed their businesses thanks to the support of Wessex Women's Network and many have made friends.

I look forward to having the pleasure of your company over the Christmas period and if you are stuck for what to give an elderly relative for Christmas a Cloud Hotel gift voucher may solve your problem. You can buy them for either a certain amount or for a cream tea, lunch, dinner or a stay the choice is yours.

Keep warm!


Monday, 30 September 2013

New Website

The Cloud Hotel's new website designed by Karl Jones of knmedia went live on 27th September. I am delighted with the final result and I hope you will enjoy viewing it and the site will provide you with the information you require. However we also like talking to our customers so please give us a call on 01590 622165 for any further information you require and my friendly receptionists will help you.

The Cloud Hotel took part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday September 27th and we raised £500-00 for Macmillan Cancer Support. It was a lovely day and not only is it a wonderful way of raising money for a very worthy cause but it is a great way to keep in touch with friends who you haven't seen for a while. A thoroughly enjoyable day and thank you to everyone who came and gave so generously.  My Head Chef Steve Gates made the moorish chocolate brownies that we provide each year but thanks must also go to Rachel of Rosie Lea Tea Shop who donated cakes for everyone to enjoy with their coffee.

Autumn is here and it's the time of year you can spot the pigs roaming freely in the New Forest. During the annual Pannage Season the pigs are put out on the forest to eat the acorns as they are poisonous to the ponies and cattle. The pigs provide a valuable service by hoovering up the acorns as they do not harm the pigs. Autumn is a lovely time of year to visit the New Forest when the trees turn to a beautiful gold and crimson before winter sets in.

Wessex Women's Network met at the Cloud Hotel on Tuesday 24th September to hear Jill Daniels give a talk entitled 'Romanovs to the Revolution'. It was a fascinating talk about the Romanov family with some superb slides of St Petersburg and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

A reminder that we are now taking bookings for our pre-Christmas lunches and dinners from December 1st-24th and some days are already fully booked. If you would like a copy of the pre-Christmas menus call 01590 622165 and we can send you one or look on our new website.

Afternoon tea is still very popular at the Cloud Hotel and a lovely way to spend time with friends and family so although it's not warm enough to enjoy tea in the garden now you can relax in one of our cosy lounges or the conservatory.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel


Friday, 30 August 2013

Summer is turning to Autumn

It's been a busy summer for us, the weather has been lovely and guests have been able to sit in our secluded garden and relax with a glass of wine or enjoy a clotted cream tea served with our homemade delicious warm scones. What a difference the weather makes, when the sun shines everyone seems to smile. Summer is turning to autumn and I can't believe it's September, it's one of my favourite months and the weather is continuing to be warm and sunny. The children have gone back to school and there seems to be a certain calm in the New Forest before winter sets in!

We were all delighted to be upgraded to an AA 3 star hotel following our last inspection and praise must go to my loyal and hardworking staff many who have been working at the Cloud Hotel between 10 and 20 years. I'm lucky to have such a great team supporting me. The new AA 3 star sign was erected last week alongside our new Cloud Hotel sign and logo.

I would like to make a comment about Tripadvisor and the damage it can do to a business. Anyone can put a review on to Tripadvisor anonymously and to me it is a very cowardly way of complaining to a  business. At the Cloud Hotel we value genuine feedback that is how a business can improve but it would be much better if we were told of any problems at the time they occur so we could have the chance to rectify them. The Cloud Hotel has 99 reviews over a number of years most of which are very good but just to put it into perspective we serve at least double that number of people in a week. We have a very loyal customer base who return regularly and don't even think of putting a comment on Tripadvisor but you just need one customer who is not happy to give you a negative review and the world knows about it and it certainly does not give a true picture of the business being reviewed.

My head chef Steve supported by Tim and Dan have created new menus using the very finest ingredients locally sourced when possible. Traditional English food with a flair.

We are taking bookings for our pre Christmas lunches and dinners and some days are fully booked already so don't leave it too late to book your event and be disappointed. To book your festive party contact the hotel on 01590 622165

Every year we take part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and this year is no exception. It takes place on Friday September 27th at the Cloud Hotel between
10-15am and 11-30am, please come along and help us raise lots of money for a worthy charity.

I am delighted to have been invited to be on the panel of the TSE Annual Tourism Conference to be held on 19th September at Surrey University. I am looking forward to taking part in the discussion regarding the future of tourism in this country a subject I am quite passionate about.

Our garden is still a mass of colour so do come along and enjoy morning coffee [cappuccino, latte, espresso or filter coffee] or afternoon tea in the garden and take advantage of this Indian Summer before the days get cooler.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel


new chefs and menus 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Charity Cream Tea, Summer and Christmas!

A Charity Cream Tea was held at the Cloud Hotel on Sunday 14th July as part of the Hampshire Fare Food Festival and we raised £958-00 to be shared between Jacks Place at Naomi House Children's Hospice and the Variety Club Children's Charity both very worthwhile charities. Over 80 people came to enjoy a clotted cream tea and the weather was so lovely many of them were able to sit and relax in our secluded garden while enjoying their tea. The scones were donated by Linzi Luker of Linzi's of Lymington, Wrights Dairies donated the clotted cream and 3663 donated the jam.  A successful raffle was held and raised £211-00 of the total amount thanks to the hard work of Barry Rickman and Linzi Luker. A number of local businesses donated prizes and the star prize was a beautiful cushion donated by Judy Goodlet from Radio Solent who is making 60 cushions for charity to celebrate her 60th birthday.

It's been along time since our guests have been able to enjoy breakfast and dinner outside on the patio but with this glorious weather many of our guests have taken advantage of this warm spell and enjoyed their meals alfresco, long may it continue the sun makes everyone smile! August is a quiet month at the Cloud because we don't accommodate children under 12 years old and being the school holidays many of our guests avoid August thinking it will be full of young children so it's a good time to come. If you stay 3, 4, or 5 nights you can have one night free any time during August and not just mid-week, this applies to dinner bed and breakfast only.

For those of you wanting to avoid the traffic jams there is an Intercity train service from London Waterloo to Brockenhurst and only takes one hour and thirty five minutes if you get a fast train. Booking in advance on-line saves you money and if you want to bring your bikes we have a secure covered bike shed for you to store your bikes overnight or you can hire bikes from Cycle Experience who are situated at the end of the station approach.

July does not seem to be the right time to talk about Christmas but unless you book early for Christmas you may be disappointed and find we are fully booked. It is only due to cancellations that we have a couple of double rooms and a single room available for our 4 night Christmas break. If you are interested in spending a traditional relaxing Christmas at the Cloud Hotel please call reception on 01590 622165 for further details.

Enjoy the sun but also take care


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Summer at last

Summer has arrived at last and most people enjoyed their breakfast outside on the patio today! If we could always enjoy weather like this we wouldn't need to go abroad for the sunshine. The garden is a mass of colour and our hanging baskets are stunning this year thanks to Debbie of Blooming Lovely Hanging Baskets

There is so much to do in the New Forest and the sea is only a 20 minute drive away. If you bring your bikes we can store them overnight in our secure covered bike shed as well as provide you with maps of the New Forest cycling paths. The hotel location is superb as you only step outside the front door, cross the road and you are in 90,000 acres of open heathland where you can walk for miles, picnic and see the new forest ponies grazing freely.

The Cloud Hotel caters for all ages other than small children and I would like to make it clear that in spite of the occasional Tripadvisor comment regarding it is a place for the over 65's I can assure you we have many young people who stay and love the relaxing and friendly atmosphere of the Cloud Hotel.
One has to remember when reading these reviews that about 1% of the people who stay at the Cloud put a review on Tripadvisor but many write glowing reviews in our visitors book.

The Hampshire Food Festival a celebration of local food and farming takes place from 1st July-4th August. There are 75 events taking place in Hampshire and a full programme is available either at the hotel or on line at The Cloud Hotel is holding a charity cream tea on Sunday July 14th and all proceeds will be shared by the Variety Club Children's charity and Jacks Place at Naomi House children's hospice. We hope to raise alot of money for these two worthy charities.

For anyone wanting a quiet relaxing holiday August is a good month to visit the Cloud Hotel because we don't accommodate children under 12 years.  Our special offer of stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free is normally only available during the week but in August we are extending the offer so you can come at any time and still get your free night.

Hopefully this glorious weather will continue throughout August and I look forward to having the pleasure of your company. For more details please call 01590 622165 and one of my receptionists will be only too happy to answer any queries you may have.


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Cyclists welcome

It's June 1st the sun is shining and I am hoping that summer is here at last but whatever the weather the New Forest is a beautiful area to visit and explore either by foot, bicycle or enjoy a minibus tour with Harry Oram who is a retired head forester and knows the forest like the back of his hand. This is an ideal way to explore the forest if the weather is not so good and we have had excellent feedback from our customers. One group were lucky enough to even see a herd of Red Deer.

The New Forest is a fabulous place to cycle with quiet country roads and cycling routes across the forest. It is the perfect way to experience the open heathland and sheltered woods and see the wildlife. We welcome cyclists and have a secure covered bike shed where you can store your bikes overnight or alternatively you can hire a bike from

We are delighted to have been included in the June edition of Hampshire Life magazine as one of the 10 best places to have tea in Brockenhurst. Just step outside the Cloud Hotel and you are in the New Forest where you can walk for miles before returning to to the Cloud Hotel for a delicious clotted cream tea or homemade chocolate cake that can be enjoyed in our conservatory, one of our cosy lounges or  our secluded garden on a summers day. There are endless walking routes in the193,000 acres of unspoilt heath and ancient woodland where the New Forest ponies, donkeys and even highland cattle roam freely. A word of warning though, the New Forest ponies are wild and should not be approached even though they look docile they have a nasty bite and kick!

Exbury Gardens are at their best this week so if you want to see the world famous collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias in full bloom don't leave it too late as we only have one room available for this coming week.

The New Forest Hampshire County Show is being held from 30th July - 1st August. This is a very popular event so don't miss the County's biggest show and book now because we only have a few rooms left. For more details of the Show and to book visit

Just a reminder that our Charity Cream Tea will be held at the Cloud Hotel on Sunday 14th July from 4pm -5-30pm and all proceeds will be shared between the Variety Club Children's Charity and Jack's Place at Naomi House. To book your place call 01590 622165.

Hopefully the lovely weather we are enjoying today will last and we can all enjoy a warm summer. I hope I shall have the pleasure of welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel sometime during the year.


Monday, 13 May 2013

An Inspector Calls

Hotel Inspectors visit each establishment once a year and stay as a guest unrecognised until the following morning when they announce themselves and request a meeting to discuss their stay. So it was on May 2nd I was summoned to reception to meet the AA inspector and hear her report on her stay. She told me how much she had enjoyed her visit and how welcoming and friendly everyone was as well as professional. She praised my staff for their excellent hospitality and raised our merit score to 85% which I believe is the highest in the area. Which brings me on to my rant about the hotel grading system. As I have written in a previous blog stars are awarded on facilities and I am always being asked by customers why are we only 2 stars as we deserve to be more! It is the merit score that determines the quality of the hotel and the service as well as the 2 red stars that the Cloud Hotel was awarded in 2011 but not many people understand this. I am lucky to have very loyal, hard working and trained staff who are professional and have supported me over many years to create a red star hotel. They are a great team, I can even go on holiday and know that the hotel will run just as efficiently when I am not there and I never worry.

That is why I get so disappointed when we get a negative review from one of our customers. I recognise we can't please everyone but Tripadvisor allows anyone to put a review on the website anonymously. We have so many happy customers who return to the Cloud Hotel year after year and write lovely comments in our visitors book but of course these comments are not seen by the world! Tripadvisor can be so damaging to businesses which is not appreciated in these tough economic times.

We are holding our annual charity cream tea on Sunday 14th July at 4-5-30pm and all proceeds will be shared between the Variety Club Children's Charity and Jack's Place at Naomi House Children's Hospice. Two very worthy charities so do come along and help us raise as much money as possible. Linzi Luker of Linzi's of Lymington will once again be donating the scones so if you would like to
come the cost is £7-00 per person to book call 01590 622165.

The New Forest is coming alive again after a long gloomy winter . The foals are arriving, the gorse is in full flower and the fresh green leaves on the trees is a sign that summer is on the way. If you would like to learn more about the New Forest it's wildlife, the ponies and the history and traditions of the New Forest why not book a Minibus Tour guided by a former Chief Forester. This service provides an enjoyable and informative tour of the Forest and you can be picked up from the hotel.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel so you can see for yourself what a beautiful area it is.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Getting Warmer at Last

April has been a busy month at The Cloud Hotel and we have been delighted to welcome so many of our regular customers back to the Cloud. Many of them have been coming for a number of years and of course know my staff which creates a lovely relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
We have had some warm and sunny days and for a couple of days it was even warm enough for the customers to sit in the secluded  garden and enjoy afternoon tea or just relax in the sunshine. The Spring flowers are in full bloom bringing colour to the garden but they are flowering very late this year making it difficult to plant the summer flowers!

I love this time of the year when the New Forest springs into life again, the leaves on the trees are turning a fresh green, the gorse is out and the foals should be appearing although I haven't spotted one yet! The donkeys have been put out to graze and are seen most days walking passed the hotel.

The New Forest is now dry after all the rain we have had and is ideal for walking. Just step outside the Cloud Hotel and you are in the heart of the New Forest. Information about walks are available from reception and there are many cycle paths for you to enjoy if you bring your own bikes or hire one from the cycle shops that are in the area. We welcome cyclists and have a secure covered bike shed for you to store your bikes.

For those of you who would like to learn more about the New Forest National Park you can take a Minibus Tour with Harry Oram. For the last 20 years of his career he was Chief Forester at the New Forest where his responsibilities included planning and managing the seasonal work programmes both within the the forest timber enclosures and over the open forest. He has a great knowledge of the working of the forest and the wildlife. For further information and to book contact the Cloud Hotel on 01590 622165.

The Cloud Hotel is now a member of Hampshire Fare. To become a member of Hampshire Fare 30% of our supplies have to be from the local area. I am pleased to say that we support Beaulieu Chocolates [they are delicious], New Forest Wine from Setleyridge Vineyard, Owton's butchers [spot the name!] and whenever possible source other local produce.

Members of the Wessex Women's Network met last Tuesday at the Cloud Hotel to hear David Sullivan give an entertaining  talk on 'Life as a  Shepherd'. I founded the Wessex Women's Network 10 years ago for women in the New Forest and surrounding areas to get together exchange ideas, have fun and support each other. We meet every month at the Cloud Hotel to hear speakers from all walks of life on  a range of diverse subjects followed by a three course dinner and wine. Read the Wessex Women's Network Blog!

Talking of fun I had the honour of attending Lady Montagu of Beaulieu's 70th birthday celebrations last Saturday and it was a great evening attended by 400 guests and the champagne flowed!

The evenings are drawing out and the days are getting warmer, the Forest is waking up after a long winter an ideal time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and wildlife of the New Forest National Park. See our special mid-week breaks and give us a call on 01590 622165 for further information

I look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

It's Officially Summer Time and It's Snowing!

On Sunday it was officially summertime and the clocks went forward It's April 4th and it's snowing in the New Forest as I write this! I still have the log fire burning keeping everyone warm and cosy whilst relaxing in one of our cosy lounges or to warm them up after a walk in the forest. This time last year we were sitting in the garden in glorious sunshine! However the unpredictability of the weather gives us all something to talk about or even complain about!

Easter was so early and cold this year that many people stayed at home but that gave me the chance to enjoy the company of my family [all 12 of them with grandchildren and partners] and as it was also my birthday at the weekend I thoroughly enjoyed myself. At least it was dry giving us the opportunity to cross the road from the hotel and walk into the forest. The forest has dried out alot now after all the rain and whilst we were ambling along a deer ran right across in front of us. Even though I have lived in the New Forest for 38 years I always love the site of a deer.

One of the charities the Cloud Hotel supports is Vitalise a charity that gives essential breaks for disabled people and carers. Three times a year we give the carers of Alzeimer's sufferers who are staying at Netley Waterside House a night out. We treat them to dinner and wine and time away from their dependants so they can relax and enjoy each others company. Last week they had an added bonus when David Bonney a magician and member of the Magic Circle entertained them with some amazing card tricks. Alzeimers is a terrible disease that can last for a very long time and some of the carers have been coming to us for several years and we have got to know them.

This week Brockenhurst College hosted the Wessex Salon Culinaire for the second year running and once again the Cloud Hotel sponsored the Napkin Folding competition. I am passionate about encouraging the young people to go into hospitality, it is hard work but it can also be fun, it is never boring and it is the fastest growing industry in this country so there are plenty of jobs available. I was encouraged to see so many enthusiastic young people from several different catering colleges taking part in the different classes covering all aspects of catering. I was one of the judges for Napkin Folding class and was impressed with the standard and variety of designs. Napkin Folding is quite a skill and not easy to do correctly and with speed.

April is the time of year we start to see the foals appearing on the forest but if they have any sense they will hang on until the warmer weather comes although I do understand it is warming up next week! Let's hope they are right.

Our special weekend breaks, stay 2 nights and get 3rd night free are available until the end of April so if you need a break from the stresses of everyday life come and enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Cloud Hotel, take advantage of our special offer and let us look after you.

Keep warm


Sunday, 3 March 2013

AA Gradings

Now Valentine's Day is over it's time to show our love and gratitude to our Mums who are always there to give us love and support whatever our age. Once a Mum always a Mum as I have discovered and then you become a Grandmother! Why not give your Mum a treat and let us spoil her. Bring her away for a break at the Cloud Hotel where she can unwind and relax and be pampered by my attentive staff. The weather is getting better, the golden daffodils are in flower bringing colour to the gardens and  the evenings are drawing out. I think Spring is on the way at last!

I was recently asked to write an article on the hotel AA gradings as they are just not understood by the general public and as a 2 RED Star hotel I get disappointed at the way the public perceive the Cloud Hotel so I am putting a copy of my article here for all to read. I hope it will make it clear to you that a 2 star hotel can also give 5 star service with good food and comfortable clean rooms.

The number of stars a hotel has is what most people look for when trying to book a hotel and in Britain hotels are rated from one to five stars depending on the facilities a hotel can offer. Five stars being a luxury hotel. These grading schemes are operated by the AA [Automobile Association] and the National Tourist Boards. Hotels are independently assessed by a hotel inspector who will stay at the establishment unrecognised until he/she checks out the following morning and introduces himself/herself. He/she will then have a meeting with the owner or manager of the establishment and give his/her report on their stay and if necessary recommend some improvements. They have the power to award more stars or to reduce your star rating if they think it is necessary. These inspections are done annually.

Many people find these grading systems confusing and cannot understand how some smaller hotels with excellent service and food only have 2 stars when a large 5 star hotel does not always give the service expected of them. Sometimes it's just the lack of an item or facility such as a lift that can make all the difference between a hotel being awarded a 2 star rating instead of a 3 star rating.

Under the new common standards accommodation is assessed under 3 categories, hotel, guest accommodation and budget hotels which confuse the public even more. For instance a bed and breakfast establishment can be awarded 5 stars but the service and facilities a bed and breakfast establishment provides are assessed on are totally different to a 5 star hotel and this is not always made clear to the customer.

Red Star [as opposed to black star] hotels represent the most outstanding examples in each star category. These hotels [and I quote] 'stand out as the very best in the UK and the Republic of Ireland regardless of style' and are the Inspectors choice. For example the Chewton Glen Hotel has 5 red stars and the Cloud Hotel was awarded 2 Red Stars in 2011.

However there are a wide variety of rating schemes used by different organisations around the world and I have only touched on the rating schemes used in Britain. If you would like more information on the scheme and the requirements needed for each category log into AA hotel grading and all the information is there.

So many of my customers come back time and time again once they have experienced the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Cloud Hotel, we are not able to accommodate children under 12 years . I hope I will have the pleasure of welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air at the Cloud Hotel so why not treat your loved one to a few days at this romantic retreat in the heart of the New Forest National Park. Add a little sparkle to your life and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner in our intimate Encore Restaurant on Valentines Day. We are all so busy in our everyday lives that we sometimes forget to tell our partners how much we love them so here is your opportunity to take time out and spend some special time together. You can stay one, two or three nights but if you really want to make the most of it take up our special offer, stay 2 nights and get the 3rd night free. Let us spoil you! If you are un-able to stay the night you can still enjoy the 4 course candlelit dinner with a small gift for everyone and that's not just the ladies as we believe the men also deserve a treat.

I'm sure like me you are longing for some better weather but there are signs that Spring is just around the corner as the crocus and snowdrops are now in bloom and it won't be long before we see the golden daffodils brightening up the gardens. If you need to get away from the stresses of everyday life take advantage of our winter breaks and come and be looked after by my attentive staff and relax in front of the roaring log fire. Step into a world with traditional standards and traditional English food.

Our gift vouchers were very popular at Christmas time but they are available throughout the year if you would like to treat someone to lunch, dinner or a stay at the hotel. The vouchers are available for any value of your choice and make a welcome present for a birthday or anniversary.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all


Friday, 18 January 2013

A New Year

As I write this the New Forest is covered in snow and is like a picture post card. The guests who are staying at the moment are able to relax and keep warm by the glowing log fire in our cosy lounge. Luckily the snow is not meant to last long because although it looks picturesque it does create problems on the roads.

Christmas at the Cloud Hotel was very busy but also very enjoyable which is confirmed by the fact that every room except two were re-booked for next Christmas. Of course this can change in April when guests have to confirm and pay their deposit as we have such a big demand for our Christmas break so if you were hoping to come and stay with us this Christmas please call and put your name on the waiting list.

So here we are in a New Year with a fresh start and endless possibilities ahead of us. I am looking forward to another busy and successful year as I'm a great believer in staying positive in spite of all the doom and gloom around us. If you listened to the media you could lose the will to live!

Cheer yourself up and take advantage of our special mid-week and week-end winter breaks. Come and unwind and relax in the warm and friendly atmosphere of the Cloud Hotel. Take a step outside the front door, cross the road and you are in the New Forest National Park where the ponies, cows and donkeys wander freely and are often seen outside the hotel. If you like to cycle we have a secured covered bike shed where you can keep your bikes over night and there are a number of cycle hire shops in the area. You don't even need to bring the car as there is an Intercity rail link to Brockenhurst from London Waterloo and a fast train only takes one hour and thirty five minutes. Book on line with South West trains and you will get a much cheaper ticket. The Cloud Hotel is only 5 minutes away from the station by taxi and a 15 minute walk.

The next big event at the Cloud Hotel is Valentine's Day. Valentine's lunch for the Young at Heart is always a popular event so you do need to book early to avoid disappointment alternatively why not bring a little sparkle into your life and enjoy a romantic candlelit 4 course dinner in our intimate Encore Restaurant and stay the night to avoid driving home. To book please call 01590 622165 and my receptionist will be happy to help you with your booking.

I'm sure like me you are looking forward to Spring but the way the time seems to fly by these days it won't be long before we are enjoying the warmer weather and lighter evenings.

Take care and keep warm.