East Ruston Cottages

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....!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wildlife photography is not my strong point....

Honestly. There are about 11 or 12 deer in the dark line in the middle of this picture. The camera is actully worse than the naked eye! Even with the zoom on. Never mind. I will try cropping etc when I get some time to mess about with the pics. Double click on it and you should be able to see them a bit better.

They wandered around the middle of the field all afternoon and when I went off to feed the horse later in the evening they were still there, settled down for the night. When they were agitated the main group stayed close together and the stag came forward to confront/face off what they were bothered by. (probably only somebody like me stopping to look at them)

Other wildlife is letting us know that it is spring (in name only at the moment!) The collared doves (the DFAs - Doves From Above) have already had one baby in the holly tree just outside our house and ma is sat again.

The frog spawn has now mostly released its tadpoles and I am just waiting for the swallows to show up. Lots of bird activity in the garden - there always is.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Piggery pics

You'll be sick of them soon but it is so lovely in there I just wanted to take a few more and some better ones of the outside. Just in from getting it ready for the next guests, on their way down from Doncaster.

Here is the breakfast bar with the new beech stools that arrived yesterday. They have a lovely finish on them. I can see them being well used.

The tv area of the lounge.

The lovely old fashioned toilet in the main bath/shower room and the shower and screen.
Sorry, it's all getting a bit tedious now...... but just a couple more.

The trundle room with just the single bed made up with the pretty bed linen.

Space for coats outside in the porch. And the children's wellie collection!

While I've been editing this the first herd of red deer this year has arrived in the big field. I've taken some pics so that'll be the topic of the next post..... I'm on a roll now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pics of the Old Piggery

So, as promised some pictures of the Old Piggery. Hopefully these will be helpful for potential guests wanting to take a good look before they book and for family and friends who want to see what we are on about (and why we have been sooooo busy for so long!)

On the left, the kitchen/dining area. Fully fitted with marvellous new, low energy rated fridge, freezer, dishwasher and washer/drier. So much better than what we have in our cottage! A good electric fan oven, ceramic hob and extractor and a microwave with oven. Toaster and electric kettle of course. Lots of pots, pans, serving dishes, utensils, glasses , cutlery etc etc. I think I have thought of most things! Even stuff specially for children. The breakfast bar is a real central point with stools to sit at it. Dining table is pine with some lovely cloths to go on it. The doors to the right of the units open out onto the rear patio and grass area.

Love this view. From the corridor into the main area. Hamper has the dressing up stuff in it! Fireplace can be seen, the end of the breakfast bar and the armchair on the left is the start of the sitting area.

And on the right, the view out of the main doors, under the porch and out into the yard with the big, chunky furniture and pots. A bit dark but you get the idea.

Main en suite bedroom. Zip and link divan bed means that this can be a twin or a king size double. No I don't know why those cushions are up there either!

View from other end of room towards door into hall and the shower room.

This room bought out the inner 'girlie' in me! Just had to have lacy hangings to go with the patchwork quilt. Floral prints on the walls and a specially built pine wardrobe. This room is rather small but it is perfectly formed!

The view out of this bedroom window up the loke (bridle way) The start of some good long walks or just a stroll round the 'circuit' - a walk taking approximately 30 minutes, never taking you very far from the Piggery and nearly all on tracks and paths.

I can't seem to take a good picture of this room. It has a trundle bed which is a single with another stored underneath. This can come out to make another single or put them together for a double! King size width, just a bit shorter than normal.

We opted for this lovely iron hanging shelf and hooks rather than a wardrobe. I should have taken a picture when my friends' children came to stay - they filled it, within minutes of arriving, with all their toys and clothes. It looked wonderful! Got some rather lovely Cath Kidson floral bed linen for one of the beds. But don't worry if you are not in touch with your feminine side - the rest of the linen is plain!

And the main bathroom. Had this unit specially made so folk can fill it full of all their bathroom bits and tuck them away. You can see the shower in the mirror. Both showers are 8" heads and it is like standing under a waterfall! Heaven!

Smokers corner!! No, not really - we don't allow smoking in the Piggery but this is a pleasant enough place to sit out in the porch if you do want a puff. When we get better weather, this might even be a welcome bit of shade!!

Left this one until last as it's not the most impressive part of the place. The building itself looks great but the garden is rather new. Grass is a bit patchy and the hedge hasn't even sprouted yet. Still, the grass should improve, the hedge will grow and I will add more plants to make it all look better. There is a fence separating the loke from the patio and there will be one at about the point where this picture is taken too. The concrete bit in the bottom right hand corner is the car parking. Plenty of room.

Anyway, that's it for now. There are a few other views still to take so I'll post them another time.

April - We're back and up and running

Gawd! It's been a long time since I last posted on this. But finally a teensy weensy window of time to get back and post a bit about what we have been doing. The Old Piggery is finally finished. Hoorah!!! Such a lot of hard work but it is worth it. We have had our first paying guests and are booked right through now until the beginning of October!! It is really lovely and we are so pleased with how it has turned out. I will post pics in the next blog entry. Hopefully then I can keep up to date a bit more.

And, almost as exciting, is our first litter of pigs! We bought a couple of Tamworth sows from a friend. Both meant to be in pig to an Iron Age boar (Tamworth x Wild boar) but only one was. Never mind. Bertha farrowed back in March and produced 5 piglets - her first time as well as ours so we were all a bit nervous! There was a runt who suffered a few health problems. We nursed her through the first couple of weeks but she didn't make it sadly. However, the other 4 are doing really well. The builders were diverted from the Piggery to make the maternity unit in the end of the horse's stable. He might have something to say about that when he comes home but he is doing ok up the road at the moment. At 5 weeks the babies are already stealing mum's food as well as filling their bellies from the milk bar. In 3 weeks time we will have to get them out on their own in the field then consider the best way of getting the sows in pig again. Do we bring a boar in or do they travel out to one. Or AI? Decisions, decisions!