We’ve missed you!
It’s been a strange year, thanks to Covid-19. Shorland has never been so quiet. We do hope you have all managed to stay safe and well during this coronavirus crisis.
It’s been a stressful season so far, business-wise. We’re not alone as many sectors of the economy have been decimated by the lockdown. Wondering how we’re going to survive and trying to make plans when no one knows what’s round the next corner has been challenging, to say the least. We have very much appreciated the understanding of our guests. Thank you to those of you who have sent us kind messages of encouragement and support. it’s meant a lot to us in a difficult situation.
What’s been happening
As far as painting holidays go, not a lot! We were a couple of weeks away from the first course of the year when the lockdown hit. As a seasonal business just about to get going again after the winter, the timing was a hefty blow. We were determined to remain optimistic, but as the weeks went by, it became apparent we were likely to lose most of the season’s courses. We rescheduled as many as we could, but inevitably, there have been a number of disappointed individuals and art clubs. In the end, we have arranged for people to transfer onto equivalent courses in 2021. We realise this is going to limit availability for anyone who was hoping to visit next year who has not already booked, but there have been cancellations so there should be a number of places available if you were hoping to come on a particular course, or with a particular tutor, next year. Do get in touch if that’s the case. Even if we aren’t able to allot you a place immediately, we will do so as soon as a place becomes vacant.
July and August
In consultation with those booked to come, all tutored courses and art club bookings until 12 September have now been cancelled and we will be running equivalent courses in 2021. Sue Ford’s painting holiday at the beginning of September is the only course we’ve had to cancel entirely as we weren’t able to find a date next year that both we and Sue could do.
While the reduction of the 2m rule to a 1m plus has made it possible for many businesses to open up again, for us, trying to find a compromise between safety and social enjoyment factoring in the limitations of our building, has proved extremely difficult. Distancing people in the studio is not such a problem, but how to manage the dining arrangements presents all sorts of dilemmas. We have discussed every possibility we could think of, from hiring marquees to stripping out the dining room and living room and hiring in smaller tables, so that everyone could sit apart with their backs to each other. However, half of the joy of a painting holiday is the social aspect and that would be lost if we went down this route.
We are also aware that the majority of our guests fall into the older category and we certainly don’t want to put anyone at unnecessary risk. When we consulted the people booked to come in August, only a handful told us they would be happy to come with the Covid situation as it is. The overwhelming response was that people would prefer to wait until next year.
September and October
For the time being, we are still keeping our fingers crossed for courses scheduled from mid-September, but unless the Covid-19 situation improves, those might also have to be cancelled and equivalents planned for 2021. We will be in touch nearer the time if the current situation isn’t improving and being able to run courses satisfactorily looks in doubt.
We are delaying publication of the 2021 schedule until we know for certain which courses will not be running this year, as that will have a major impact on what we will be able to offer next year.
In an effort to make at least a little income this year, we have decided – initially for July and August only – to offer both the main farmhouse and the cottage as self-catering holiday accommodation. The main farmhouse sleeps 17 people, the cottage 3. We will be letting them separately or as a single unit. If you know of anyone looking for either a small or large place to get away, please do mention us to them.
There is now a self-catering page on our website and we are also advertising on groupaccommodation.com.