Location: East Ruston, Norfolk, United Kingdom

About us, Dermot and Sue Allen and our dog friendly holiday cottages. We started with the Old Forge running it for friends in 2005. In 2007/8 we were able to develop our own holiday accommodation, The Old Piggery. The Garden Room was added, belonging to another friend and the success of these prompted a further request to add Red Roofs at Hickling which has been doing very well. In 2012 we are embarking on our next project, New Barn. It isn't new at all (approx 180 years old) but it will be a fabulous new addition to our dog friendly holiday accommodation. Keep watching this space....!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This year's lamb...

Derm took the lambs into Howells on 10th October and we picked them up on 16th. The biggest came in at 24.5kg! and the two smallest at 17kg with most of the others being 20kg and above. Delivered one straight to a friend at Blickling - will collect some of her beef in return later in the year. Three more whole ones were collected the next day. Fiona had the joints she asked for and some put aside for more friends who just want a few bits chops/offal. Still got lots of chops and liver left so will see if any of the holiday cottage guests would like to buy some. Had chops for tea that night and they were, unsurprisingly, delicious!! Left long enough to develop a decent flavour but still tender and not at all fatty. Yum! A really good batch this year.

We made the most of the day out to do lunch and go shopping! The lunch was purely in the interests of research you understand! Going to try to go to as many places as possible that we are recommending for our holiday cottage guests to visit. So first choice was Wroxham Barns. We already know what a fab place it is with all the amazing craft shops, the petting farm and the old fashioned fun fair. A great place to go to find presents for people. But I was interested in the restaurant. Heard that they have a new chef and a good new reputation. Beef and apple pie with freshly cooked veg was lovely and the pesto and mushroom risotto was generous and tasty. Rest of the menu looked pretty good too. Light lunches as well as proper meals. Very reasonably priced. We'll be recommending it and going back again. Next time for afternoon tea - the cakes and scones looked amazing!

The shopping was not as much fun as lunch - no clothes or shoes or anything remotely like it. Pamments. For the Piggery floor. We went straight to our favourite reclaim yard - Womacks. SOOOOO much stuff there, a real Aladdin's cave. I have no idea how the guys that work there can remember where everything is, how much it costs etc but they do. Their 'office' is the most amazing little clay walled hut with a stove at one end and racks of small reclaim bits in the middle. Love it. How Health and Safety let them get away with a lot of stuff I'll never know but long may they do it.

So, we looked at red, buff, pink, brown pamments in about 4 different sizes and couldn't make our mind up so took home a selection of each (above) to see what they looked like in situ. The colour we chose? Why not come and see?!. At least we have a proper floor to lay them on now!

The lovely Hoseasons rep, Jenny, came to see how we were getting on today (we are with them as well as using our own website and links to get bookings - see here) and was amazed by how nice it is looking and how tidy the building site is! She loved the big open space that will be the lounge/dining/kitchen area with the fireplace, wood burning stove and doors opening out onto the yard. Friends who came to collect lamb were also impressed by how things are progressing. It's easy to forget how far we have come when you see it every day.

Ended this day with a gig at the Waterfront, Norwich. To see Seth Lakeman. Loved it. Such an amazing sound - really ramped up, rocky folk/ballards. Check him out at

Lots going on at the Waterfront - see in Norwich. Plenty more at the Arts Centre, Theatre Royal, Playhouse and the Forum. And the newly re-opened Cinema City is a cut above the usual multiplexes - two at last count in Norwich.


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