News & Features

The latest happenings from in and around Belvedere House

COVID-19


KEEPING US ALL SAFE

Please read this document carefully as it sets out the steps we are taking to minimise the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and keep our guests as well as ourselves safe.

Notification. It is imperative that you inform us immediately if you develop any corona virus type symptoms during, or up to 7 days following your stay with us. Obviously, if you develop such symptoms prior to your visit you will need to cancel your stay.

Social Distancing. As a couple, it is our nature to be warm and friendly with those staying with us. Although this will not change, we find ourselves in a position where we must keep a safe distance from our guests. With this in mind, we respectfully ask you, where possible, to maintain a two metre distance from both us and also other guests. Where this is not reasonably possible, then the minimum distance should not be less that one metre. We thank you for your understanding with this. To help maintain social distancing, we are ensuring that only two of our three rooms are occupied by guests at any one time.

Breakfast. Under normal conditions guests from different rooms will often end up eating together which is always a great social time. However, as our breakfast room does not lend itself to maintaining social distancing, we will be serving breakfast in two locations. The dining room and the conservatory. For the most part, if the two rooms are booked out we will serve Room 1 breakfast in the Dining room, Room 2 breakfast in the conservatory. To further protect our guests, we are duplicating all our breakfast items to ensure that nothing is shared between guests and that all items will be sanitised before re-use or disposed of. Masks will be worn whilst serving your breakfast.

Room Service and Cleaning. It is our normal practice to service rooms everyday after the guests have left each morning. However, until further notice, we will not being doing this. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause. Instead we will leave a small cleaning kit to enable you to carry out any cleaning as necessary. Please inform us if you need assistance in this matter. We will leave sufficient tea/coffee etc in the room to cover your stay, however, again please inform us if you require any additional supplies.

In addition to normal cleaning products, all hard surfaces are cleaned with Suma Bac D10 (a professional cleaner and sanitiser) which is widely used in the hospitality industry. Clear acrylic sheet has been added to wooden surfaces to allow for thorough sanitising.

Other Measures. We have installed a hand sanitiser just inside our front door and request that you sanitise your hands thoroughly as you enter the house and on any other occasion as required. The conservatory, which usually serves as the guests lounge area, will be used as our second breakfast area or for takeaways.. We expect our guests to use their discretion for use of this area at other times.

Tourist literature will be available to guests in plastic pockets. These items will not have been handled for at least 72 hours. As this is only a small selection of what is available for the area, we recommend that you visit the Wye Dean Tourist website at www.wyedeantourism.co.uk

Magnificent Bluebells in the Forest of Dean


The Forest environment never ceases to amaze and bring joy, no matter what the season. Whether it’s the colour fantasia of the autumn leaves, or the crisp, clean beauty of the white frost covered trees. Spring is the time for deep emerald greens, topped with highlights of white that is the flowers from the abundant wild garlic. And right now, its bluebell time! There are many places in the forest that one can enjoy the abundance of bluebells, but Helen and myself have recently discovered somewhere rather special near the village of Staunton. This is the best show of bluebells we have ever seen and we have been very lucky to enjoy some lovely walks in bright sunshine. Though not a heavily scented flower, the air is stained with their scent, such is the abundance of them in this area. As an added bonus we were also able to watch a local herd of deer as it moved through the forest. Make a date in your diary for next year, come and stay at Belvedere House and we’ll tell you where this wonderful place can be found.

 

 

Best day yet!


Its forecast to be the best day of the year so far and it’s certainly started that way.

Our glorious view is even better since we had some of our trees pollarded. As this early morning panoramic shot shows, we now have pretty much a 180° uninterrupted view of this beautiful valley. This area is renowned for its wild garlic, which carpets much of the forest at this time of year and is a wonderful backdrop to the rich blue hues of the bluebells that are early this year.

Come and see and enjoy it for yourself!

The Force Awakens in the Forest of Dean


Yes, its true, the Forest of Dean really is out of this world!

So, many of you will have seen and enjoyed the new Star Wars film, but did you know that one of the locations was actually filmed right here in the FoD? The action took place at the fabulous Puzzlewood; a 14 acre ancient woodland that was once a Roman iron mine. It’s also reputed to have been visited by JRR Tolkien and to have inspired the fabled forests of Middle Earth. Numerous other films and TV shows have used this location, including Merlin, Doctor Who and Atlantis to mention just a few. This magical place is a favorite of ours and only a few miles from Belvedere! Why not book a stay with us and discover its beauty and mystery for yourself.

PUZZLEWOOD GULLEYc

What the Heck is Geocaching ?


Countyfile video about Geocaching

Geocaching is a world-wide activity and there are many caches in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, often at some of the most scenic and interesting places.  Visiting caches is a great way to learn about our area.  There are nearly 80 caches within 4 miles of The Speech House, often regarded as the centre of the Forest.  Within 10 miles of Monmouth there are over 200 caches up and down the Wye Valley.

 

The best way to have a go is to create a free account here, put in your area of interest and go discover. Why not tell us how you got on on our facebook page!

Medieval Banquet in a Castle anyone?


Now this is something that’s bound to appeal, even if you’re not particularly a foodie!

Book tickets for the Caldicote Castle Medieval Banquet and live it up like Lords and Ladies of a bygone era.

Held on dates at the end of November and early December, check out further details and sample menu here. Why not make a few days of it and stay at Belvedere House. You’ll sleep like a baby and eat breakfast like a King, or Queen!

Christmas at Puzzlewood


Helen and myself are great fans of Puzzlewood. It’s like entering a mystical world or maybe it’s Middle Earth! If you’ve never been, you must make the effort when in the area. Stay at Belvedere House one weekend in December and enjoy the added magic of Christmas, Hohoho!

In solidarity with our French brothers and sisters


 

I hope you won’t mind my posting this article, but I’m sure there is no one in the civilised world who has not been moved by the recent and tragic events in Paris. Addressing the terrorist group who claimed responsibility for the massacre, Mr Leiris wrote a heartfelt open letter on his Facebook page, which has now been shared more than two hundred thousand times.

This open letter so well sums up the futility of the action of a few and what must surely be our response to such people.

 

Here is the full text…

On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred.

I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know – you are dead souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.

So no, I don’t give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.

You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security.

You have lost.

I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago.

Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived.

I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.

We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world.

I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old.

He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.

 


If anyone has an interest in Christmas crafts/markets, they may want to consider the Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market. Click the following link to find out more. Or, better still, why not combine your visit with a stay at Belvedere House and discover what else this wonderful area has to offer!

Nature’s Fanfare


Autumn is a wonderful season, when all nature shows off its magnificence before it fades once more into its winter dormancy. Living in an area like this makes one appreciate the riot of colour that abounds as the leaves descend like an early gentle snow. Its a beautiful time of year, why not come and enjoy it with us?