Over the years, we have held a number of courses at Pool Cottage, including our Smoking and Curing Course and the Sausage Making Course. We have also hosted a number of local events such as the Poolhead Sausage Fest, Pie Fest and Showstopper Challenge. The main location for these events and courses has been our garage, which whilst okay isn't ideal, so we have long considered how we could improve the experience of both the courses and the events.
Phase 1 of the improvements was Nelly, which is our name for our multi-function prep room. Nelly is used for sausage making, bacon curing etc. and also acts as our brewery. In addition, Nelly was used to deliver the most recent Smoking and Curing course, to much praise.
Phase 2 of our improvements centred on the garage itself. Our ideas were many and varied and included the possibility of:
Re-building the clay oven as a brick oven.
Creating a bar with our own draught ales and cider.
Fitting a complete “outdoor kitchen”, with wood-burning stove.
In addition, we would seal and frame all the windows, seal and paint the floor and improve the lighting and roof insulation. All to make the space more attractive and functional.
However, these improvements were abruptly put on hold by Storm Doris, who kindly removed part of the roof as she crossed the country. Thus, the priority now became repairing or replacing the roof. Having assessed the damage, it was clear that a number of the wooden supports and rafters need repairs and in the end, we've decided to replace the old fibre cement roof with tile effect plastisol coated metal sheeting, sourced from our friends at ExcelClad. This will also entail the fitting of a waterproof membrane to prevent condensation and horizontal 2"x2" purlins to support the new sheets.
The garage has been cleared of as much stuff and clutter as possible, all the materials have been ordered and work on the replacement roof is set to begin on the 30th March 2017, the aim to fit the new roof over the Easter period. Once the roof is replaced we can then think about the upgrade proper.
Part 2 of this post will come as soon as some progress has been made!