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.