We live and work at the house ourselves in The Jovial Colliers Apartment and Lower Stores during the week, constantly maintaining, up-dating and improving the property, the cleaners come in on Mondays and Fridays and our little boy is at school locally, so we don’t get packed up and gone until a little before 5.00pm ourselves, so please don’t be tempted to ask to arrive earlier. Thank you!
A copy of the information below is e-mailed to you prior to your stay, which you can send on to your party guests or direct them to this page. It is also available in a folder for you to refer to during your stay at the General Stores. It is a bit long and dull but should contain all the information you might need when staying at the house.
You can choose to ignore this, but if issues arise during or after your stay that have been explained in advance, then we can’t be held responsible. Thanks.
Hello and Welcome to the General Stores!
Thank you for choosing to stay at The General Stores, Mill End, Mitcheldean.
The General Stores is an old pub, joined to a medieval long hall, more recently the village shop, and a two storey malt house, forming three sides to a courtyard garden. Please have a good look at the floor plans and details of rooms and where they are to make sure that you are happy with what the house has to offer your group – it does not have a conventional lay-out.
ARRIVAL AT THE GENERAL STORES
Arrival time is AFTER 5.00pm on Friday. We live and work on site as a family until then.
Coming along Mill End, with the church to your right, with the half timbered house on your left and KCL salon on the right, either turn left into the bottom of New St and left into the car park with a three-point-turn, or continue up Mill End, take the second left into Baynham Road and first left into the top of New St – by taking the second option you approach our gates head on and avoid excessive three point turns.
The car park is a tight fit, but if three cars pull in side by side at the bottom, then four behind, then the rest straight in at the top, we can fit 11 cars in the car park. First in are last out.
Walk through the set of wooden gates into the courtyard and the main entrance is through the French doors down on the left. The key is in a coded security box on the staircase newel post.
It seems illogical I’m sure, but the doors from both the Upper and Lower Malt House dining/party spaces leading directly to the car park are kept locked. This is to avoid the party, smokers and noise carrying to all neighbouring houses, and also to stop small children and pets from escaping un-detected. When the large wooden gates by the BBQ area are bolted it is impossible for children or dogs to escape the walled garden.
Please e-mail me on email@example.com for the entry code prior to your arrival, or you can contact me with any advance problems or queries, and I will do my best to help.
Departure time is 10.00am on Monday for long weekend lets, or 10.00am on Friday if booked for a mid-week stay, and 2.00pm on a Sunday for a usual weekend break. Late departure can be arranged in advance.
Please return the keys to the combination safe, and scramble the combination code on departure.
FACILITIES AT THE GENERAL STORES
There are details of local attractions, the facilities and the terms of hire on www.millendmitcheldean.co.uk and there are leaflets and maps in the downstairs hall of the house. And one of the best websites to visit for advance information is www.wyedeantourism.co.uk.
We have provided a lot of facilities, toys and equipment over and above what is expected and we hope that you both enjoy and respect these.
There is a 6-seater hot tub in the garden. There is a sand-pit for the smaller members of the party, and a massive activity play area on the top lawn for children of all ages.
There is also wireless internet access for the larger members of the party taking laptops – the net work key is on a card fixed to a beam in The Upper Malt House.
In the Lower Malt House, there are books and bar equipment for making cocktails for rainy day fun for adults, along with the pool table! Not forgetting the foot spa and facial steamer up in the mini gym, and the spa with two sauna cabins in the Upper Malt House.
There are lots of CDs, DVDs, books, maps, local attractions leaflets, board games, a murder mystery set and indoor toys in various cupboards.
And for families with small children, there is a cot in the Chinese room, two travel cots in the cupboard in the butterfly room, a set of bathroom step, potty and loo seat in the family bathroom in the Lower Malt House, four high chairs, lots of wooden toys for toddlers and soft toys for babies.
There are dolls houses and rocking horses in three different areas of the house to keep your children entertained whilst you relax – and masses of music making toys, a keyboard and a guitar in the downstairs hall – possibly less relaxing!
HEATING AND WATER
The property is 600 years old – older according to some villagers – who have said that there is a Roman well lined with curved tiles concealed somewhere in the garden.
General Stores Main House including downstairs sitting room, butterfly room and all bedrooms along the front of the house – trip switches are behind the left hand curtains in the downstairs red sitting room window – or text 07971 249 726 if you have problems.
Upper and Lower Malt House – trip switches are in the kitchen downstairs in the Lower Malt House in the wooden cabinet to the right of the cooker.
Jovial Colliers and Four Poster Room above – trip switches are in the small cupboard downstairs in the jovial colliers playroom.
Most of the bedrooms upstairs have individual radiators which can be controlled independently. If they do not come on, check the panel radiator fuse board behind the curtain by the window in the downstairs sitting room.
Everything works perfectly well if not over-stretched, but please be patient with some of the ancient heating and water pipes, which can be eccentric!
Hot water is provided by a gas central heating system (four poster room upstairs and jovial colliers apartment downstairs), electric immersion heater (all upstairs bathrooms and main kitchen in the stores), a second gas central heating and boiler system (upper and lower malt house) and two independent electric showers – so it is highly unlikely that you would ever be left without hot water if one of the systems failed.
We hope that where our house lacks in mod cons, it makes up for with character and charm, and we have tried to provide as many things as possible to make your stay interesting and enjoyable!
FINANCIAL STUFF ABOUT THE GENERAL STORES
Please be aware that we do not offer full refunds or transfers if you change your mind about your booking, or if the weather is inclement or your circumstances change. We offer full transfer of funds to a different weekend no less than 28 days of your intended stay date. We offer 50% up to 14 days prior to your stay, and less than 14 days we do not offer transfer of any funds. We would recommend that you take out independent holiday insurance yourselves if you have concerns about this.
Please BACS your security deposit bond for £1250.00 Elizabeth Ann Lewitt T/A Aprea Properties, into my client holding bank account no less than four weeks prior to your stay, which will be returned by cheque, no less than two weeks after your stay, should there be no damage to or miss-use of the property and/or noise complaints from neighbours or disturbance to ourselves in George Cottage. We also need lead time for laundry to be returned from the contract cleaners before the bond is refunded.
By making this security deposit payment you accept the terms that
a) we employ cleaners for 20 hours to turn around and prepare the house for incoming guests, not to clear up after outgoing guests – any hours work required over and above that for stripping beds, cleaning, sorting or re-cycling will be deducted from your security deposit at a rate of £20.00 per hour
b) anything that needs repairing will be charged for at a rate of £20.00 per hour
c) any expenses incurred due to damage or miss-use over and above the security deposit paid, will be billed for.
Please remember that the house is self-catering and therefore we expect guests to empty all the bins and strip all their own beds and put all sheets, bathmats and towels in the Upper Malt House in the spa. Thank you!
Unfortunately this security deposit bond has arisen out of necessity, and is a precaution for us, the owners. The General Stores is a large, very old property, sleeping a lot of guests and sadly has been prone to occasional miss-use by some guests.
It is very rare for us to keep any of the deposit, but if significant damage, breakage, loss or noise nuisance occurs, we will retain the necessary monies for repair, replacement or peace offerings to neighbours.
We are in a village location, and NOT suitable for emulating an un-licenced night club environment so if you are a mixed adult group and/or celebrating a 21st or 30th, we would suggest that you book somewhere else. Playing music in the garden during the day, then cranking it up until dawn is not an option for this house.
Please take time to look at the site plan at the end of this information showing the house in relation to our neighbours.
BORING STUFF ABOUT THE GENERAL STORES
Two of the seven toilets flush using ‘sani-flows’, as it is such an old property. These are in the downstairs wet-room and the upstairs family shower room. If respected, these will work well and never cause any problems. However, please do not throw padded loo roll, cotton wool, sanitary items, condoms, baby wipes etc down them as these are likely to catch in the blades and block the systems. If they need to be stripped down or replaced, your deposit will be withheld – they cost £250.00 plus VAT to replace.
Although there is a bedroom next to the wet-room downstairs, with a grab rail and seat in the shower, the property is tricky for disabled access, as it has so many different floor levels. There are small steps up and down from many rooms on the ground floor, and guests need to be aware of this if there is a disabled member of the party. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
The hot tub is a 6-seater, and more people in at any one time will cause a displacement of water. If the water level drops too much, there will not be enough water to circulate and the heating element can burn out. Also – please do not lift the grey plastic floating filter up above water level as this too will mean that water is not circulating. Please add more water from the hose pipe if it drops below 4” from the top.
Please be aware that in extremely hot weather the chemicals will evaporate more quickly, so it is advisable to cover the tub when it is not in use.
Please shower before you use the tub: body, hair and make-up products will contaminate the water. And please do not change any of the settings, other than switching the jets on and off, with the rotating dials. The tub is always emptied, cleaned, re-filled and the levels checked between guests. The hot tub is on an 8.30pm timer, and we would ask you politely to cease use at 10.00 pm and respect our neighbours’ rights to a good night’s sleep! Excitable alcohol fuelled voices can travel a long way in the dead of night!
Hot Tub Care and Use
• Please do not use the hot tub if you have been drinking alcohol, and please eat at the table and not in the tub.
• Please only use plastic beakers, found in the baskets in the kitchen, on and around the tub – both for your own safety and that of future guests in terms of broken glass
• Please shower before you enter the hot tub – this is for health and hygiene reasons – sun creams and body lotions alter the ph balance of the tub and make the water appear cloudy very quickly
• Please remove as much debris as possible from your feet before entering the hot tub
• For the safety of children, and also to slow down the evaporation of chemicals from the water, please replace the lid when not in use
• The only button you need to use is the jet on and off button – and turn the two grey dials each side to increase and decrease the jets
• Please do not alter the temperature buttons or touch the box on the wall
• The hot tub will switch on and off, of it’s own accord during the day, as this is it’s way of circulating water over the heater elements to maintain the desired temperature. If you find this too noisy when not in use, check that the two grey jet dials are off – one needs to be up and the other down
• Please do not stay in the tub for more than 30 minutes at one time
• The hot tub water is completely changed, the tub cleaned and re-filled and new chemicals put in and tested prior to each change of guests – therefore you will only ever be sharing water with your own house guests! Because of this, sometimes the water will not have had time to warm up to it’s optimum temperature in time for your arrival. Please be patient and do not touch the temperature button – it will not make it heat up any more quickly.
• Please be aware that you use the tub entirely at your own discretion and are requested to follow these instructions for use. The owners cannot be held responsible for accidents or misuse
• Please respect the rights of our nearest neighbours not to be disturbed in the small hours by loud and lively hot tub use!
• Please do not sit or lean on the cover, or let your small children climb on it – it is polystyrene and will not take much weight. The cover cost £350.00 so if damaged during your stay, your deposit will be withheld in full. To lift, stand in front of the tub and flip the half lid over towards the back. Then go to the side and lift both halves back using the arm.
Finally, please put all refuse in tied, sealed bin bags in the black bins in the car park before you leave, and re-cycling either in the green boxes in the car park or in the labelled black bins down in the courtyard under the gazebo.
If you have moved items from room to room within the house, please take the time to return them to their original places.
A big thank you in advance!
PUBS, RESTAURANTS, SHOPS AND CATERING
The village has a well-stocked Co-operative convenience store which is open till 10.00pm every day, a family run butcher (which closes at lunch time on a Saturday), a post-office, a fruit and vegetable shop, a few take-aways, a pub (doesn’t serve food sadly), a late petrol station/shop and a public library, so you do not have to bring all the provisions you might need for your stay! And it now boasts its own Bespoke Brewery too, open from 4.00pm to 7.00pm on a Friday evening – www.bespokebrewery.co.uk.
There is also a Lidl and a large Co-op in Cinderford, 4 miles away, and Waitrose in Monmouth, who deliver here, and Sainsburys and Morrisons in Ross – 8 miles away. There is a tall fridge/freezer in the Lower Malt House kitchen and two under counter fridges and a freezer in the Upper Malt House kitchen. There is tea/coffee/sugar etc for your first drink on arrival, and we supply tea towels bin bags, dishwasher tablets and loo roll etc.
We really hope that you have a fantastic time at The General Stores – and we would appreciate your comments on our questionnaire form which we will leave out for you in the Lower Malt House. We try and action any constructive criticism or comments or issues the same week.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS Liz : 07971 249 726, Zoff : 07984 894 039
HAVE A FANTASTIC STAY!
Please be aware that whilst every effort is made to ensure that all equipment, games and toys are in full working order, they are used at your discretion in terms of health and safety and the owners cannot be held responsible for the sometimes incomplete sets of toys or for any injury happening as a result of the use of any of the above items.
Please always ensure that the lid of the sand pit is put down after use – it stops the local cat population using it in a way that they shouldn’t!
Please also supervise your children using the extensive activity play area at the back of the garden.
And if your children climb on any walls or rockeries, they do so at their peril. The owners cannot be held responsible for any injury caused as a result of this.
(The rooms have very different levels of furnishing and facilities and are of very different sizes, so we can suggest a breakdown of room prices if you are a group of singles or couples staying or families with different numbers of children, and who might feel that some members of the group get a far better deal than others! It also gives the opportunity for some within the group who are less well off to have cheaper options).
Additional Services and information for staying at The Geneeral Stores
• There is a washing machine in the main kitchen of the Lower Malt House
• There is an iron and ironing board in the cupboard in Butterfly Room
• There are clothes airers under the stairs and a washing line in the garden and clothes pulley in the upper malt house
• For long stays, fresh linen can be provided for a fee, as can housekeeping services
Child Minding Services
• Claire at Pebbles Nursery on Plump Hill, Mitcheldean, provides an excellent part time service and could probably arrange baby sitting services if required – www.littlepebbles.org.uk, October Cottage, Plump Hill, Mitcheldean – 01594 541171
Linen, Laundry & Provisions
Toilet roll & cleaning materials and duvets, pillows & quilts are included in the price. Clean white cotton bed-linen and one towel per person are included. The house is cleaned before & after you visit, & the bed linen is washed professionally, but please remove any used bed-linen from your beds & leave it in the Upper Malt House on your departure.
Also, the cleaning services included are for general bed linen and laundry, emptying bedroom bins and hoovering etc, but DO NOT cover excessive mess, animal mess, mess of a personal nature and excessive washing up/cleaning kitchens/emptying dishwashers.
The following basics are included – tea/coffee/sugar & cooking oils/herbs etc. Please replace anything you finish. There is also plenty of cooking and baking equipment, including a full length fish pan, asparagus steamers, chocolate fondue sets, bread maker, professional mixers,
Hoover and Brushes etc:
These are all in the hall cupboard of the Stores and in the loo in the Upper Malt House. Exterior brushes are in the porch. All cleaning materials are under the sink in the downstairs kitchen, under the sink in the black and white bathroom in Jovial Colliers and under the sinks in the Upper and Lower Malt House.
Bins go early on a Tuesday morning, every other week. There are green boxes in the car-park gate for re-cycling. There are re-cycling bins by the back door but please make sure that you take them to the bin store in the car-park before you leave. For those interested, there is a compost heap for fruit and veg only by the herbs, past the hot tub. Thank you.
Please do not smoke in the house. There are wall mounted ashtrays in the porch by the back door and on the wall outside the door to the garden from the upper Malt House.
Music and TV:
There is a TV and DVD players in the sitting room, the Upper Malt House and the Lower Malt House pool room. Please don’t play music in the garden and especially not in the evening as volumes tend to creep up.
Al Fresco Seating:
There is plenty of seating and tables in the courtyard garden, parts of which get the sun most of the day in summer. Please feel free to water the plants in tubs whilst you are staying, summer or winter!
There is parking space for 10 cars in the parking area. There is always free & safe parking in the quiet housing estate on Baynham Road, at the top of New St. Please park sensibly & respect local residents – please do not park in New St as it is fairly narrow. Thank you.
Dogs are allowed, though not upstairs, & definitely not on furniture. Any fouling or damage to furniture will be charged for and deducted from the security deposit. Please also do not leave any dog mess in the garden. Please make sure that dog mess is bagged up and then put into black bin bags in the car park black wheelie bins.
The quickest & nearest places to exercise dogs areout of the parking area, & up the lane in a loop repeatedly turning left, along the path round the primary school. There is a public right of way at the top of New St, at the back of the house, leading straight up onto the hill with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Also, if you turn right out of the car-park and cross the road, go through the church yard and turn left, then right, there is a path leading to the swings and playing field, and a woodland hill-top walk.
Walkers and Cyclists Welcome :
There are plenty of hooks in both the internal and external porches for coats and jackets, and three racks of boot pegs. There is also a boot scraper and an outdoor hosepipe for cleaning off excessively muddy walking boots. Cycles can be stored in the garden side of the second set of gates, which have a sliding bolt on the inside for overight security.
There are plenty of local maps & guide books in the hall display boxes and in a bowl in the downstairs dining room, and tourist information on display. The village library on the High St, carries a lot of local tourist information too.
Library & Wireless Internet Access:
The local library, on the High St, offers temporary visitor’s membership for loan of books & videos, & has free internet access & use of Microsoft Office programs. There is also a wireless internet hub in the house, with broadband connection BT Home Hub 2 9RM9 – the network key is on a card in The Upper Malt House.
Arts & Crafts:
Harts Barn is on the edge of the village, & has lots of craft workshops & a cafe, as does Taurus Crafts in Lydney. Dick Wittington’s is between Mitcheldean and Longhope, and Ruardean Pottery workshops are on the other side of Mitcheldean, towards Cinderford.
There is a Chinese Takeaway in Mitcheldean, which also does English dishes & chips, and a new Pizza and Kebab shop called Marco’s. For good food, we would recommend The Red Hart in Blaisdon (01452 830 477), the Farmer’s Boy in Longhope or The Ship Inn in Newnham on Severn.
Cinema and Theatre:
The nearest cinema is in Cinderford, 4 miles away or Coleford, 8 miles away. The library will probably have details of what is showing.
The nearest town with all the usual small, retailers, is Cinderford – 4 miles away. There are also the small local towns of Coleford and Ross-on-Wye, and slightly further afield, Gloucester & Cheltenham.
Emergency contact details for when at the house
If you respect The General Stores and leave it as you found it, your deposit will be returned in full no less than two weeks following your visit.
We really hope that you have a fantastic time at The General Stores.
Liz : 07971 249 726,
Zoff : 07984 894 039
Rachel : cleaners and emergency call out if you can’t get hold of Liz or Zoff : 07813 666 717