Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Beer, Art, Pigs and TA

Well I'll start with the beer, it is once more time for the Boot Beer Festival, it kicks off on Thursday the 9th June with Curry and live music at Brook House Inn, the Band this year are called Diesel and are from the Ulverston area, they sound pretty lively so looking forward to that after a night cooking curry! We have some great beers to look forward to as usual, mainly from up north but a few from far flung places around the country.

The Eskdale Art Festival has just been held at which I am pleased to say I sold a couple of Photographs, bouyed up by the sales I have been out with my camera today, searching out some hidden waterfalls. I had a lovely walk up the valley to Wha House and then up the side of a pretty stream where I took the snap below.

Our three saddleback pigs are doing well, although not quite ready for the next step. I am amazed by how much feed they go through and find it hard to understand how pork can be sold so cheaply in the supermarkets, mind you in a supermarket you dont usually get to know the name of the pig! ( Hamilton, Podge and Soxy) We have also got a fair menagerie
with 20 odd hens and 3 ducks most of which are now laying, so along with Shirley and Claire we are supplying the pub with all its egg requirements.

Trip Advisor
Has TA changed the way we think about travel? Is nothing left to chance any more and do we believe everything we read?
Now I wrote this just after Easter but decided to let it sit on my desk for a while to kind of cool off. Trip Advisor (TA)  is a website which has reviews about peoples experiences at travel destinations such as Hotels and Inns and would appear to have become quite a popular form of media.
TA seems to have altered the way we book holidays, once upon a time deciding where to go consisted of choosing a destination then checking the beer guide or similar list of places to stay like the tourist board, maybe looking at a map ( also being phased out in the coming years) Then we would chance our luck and our own ability to make the best of whatever happens and enjoy the holiday. I am sure we are all still capable of the last bit but now we have TA along with the internet in general, we can research till we know every last detail. For instance a negative review is written about a spider in the corner of  room 8 at Incy Wincies BB. Maybe only 1 person saw the spider and decided to write a review out of hundreds of visitors, when the next guest arrives there may be a spider or maybe it will be gone, but if there are no good reviews arachnophobs would be put off!
I am not saying that TA is a bad thing, on the contary we have  had some great reviews over the past few years and propably gained a fair amount of trade from it. But as happens from time to time we fail to hit the right note for a customer or group of customers as happened over the Easter holiday this year. We served over 1000 meals to happy customers but it is the 4 unhappy ones we remember and also it is those 4 not the other 1000 that decide to post  reviews on TA.

Trip Advisor is there to be used but I always take the reviews with a pinch of salt, look out for reviews from people who have never posted before, these are often the bad ones and also any which seem too good to be true, that will be the owners Mother!
So Come on if you have had a good meal at Brook House Inn or anywhere else for that matter Please Please get on TA and reset the balance.
TA is not the only review site, we are also on icomparehotels, in fact you can find a review for just about anything. I am not sure if it is a good thing but it is here to stay so the more reviews, preferable positive the better.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have written lovely reviews for Brook House Inn.
The links below should take you to our pages on TA
Brook House Inn Trip Advisor
Brook House Inn Restaurant Trip Advisor
We also have a facebook page

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