The builders were in early this morning to install a new lintel in the doorway alongside the bar. This is now in and the wall above is no longer at risk of collapse, which is a relief. Some minor repairs to a couple of rotten floor joists required a few floorboards to be pulled up, and it exposed a few more rotten boards, and a few more rotten joists. It very quickly became apparent that there was more rotten wood than good wood, and by the end of the afternoon there was nothing left but a full skip.

This is something of a set back, but all being well it won’t be long before the new joists are down and we are back in business. The electrician came again to strip out and isolate the rear store room before it is rebuilt next week. Things are moving forward, but you wouldn’t know by the state of the restaurant!

We grabbed a couple of hours yesterday at our friend’s place The Ethicurean at Barley Wood Walled Garden in the morning. We went to take some cuttings from their orchard to graft to make some new trees for phase two of the orchard project next winter. We bought some rhubarb crowns from the gardener there which will form our rhubarb bed at the garden, and hopefully we might be able to take a modest cut early this summer.

It is always inspiring taking a walk around the garden out there, and we are excited that Mark Cox who runs the gardens at Barley Wood will be supplying us with vegetables when we open. He is a creative gardener and at the moment is cutting flower heads from a range of brassicas – almost all the rooting/stemming brassicas will produce purple sprouting like flower heads in the spring if they are left to do their thing. Delicious and clever little crop at a lean time of year.