Adapting to a ‘new normal’


A Cornish self-catering business has commissioned a special ‘walk-through’ video to help show guests around the property.

Stephen Chidgey, owner of the Old Barn Tregonetha near Padstow, has always prided himself on welcoming guests in person and showing them around the property. Now that is no longer permitted, he commissioned Falmouth-based Bull & Wolf Film Co to produce a walk-through video that would do that job instead.

“I’ve always believed in providing personal touches that make every guest feel special,” said Chidgey, who runs the cottage with his partner Allen.

“Before the current pandemic, that meant greeting our visitors and giving them a brief tour to ensure they knew what was available to them in terms of appliances and facilities and, importantly, how everything worked.

“We are very careful not to be intrusive but, as our many five-star Trust Pilot reviews show, customers have always valued the warm welcome we provide. That’s not possible at the moment so I got in touch with Bull & Wolf who have re-created what we normally do on film. They have done an excellent job and, because I do the voice-over, it still feels very personal.”

Like all tourism providers, Chidgey had to cancel all bookings during the lockdown period – returning deposits voluntarily to everyone who didn’t re-book. Within days of the latest Government announcement about re-opening on July 4, however, his summer booking calendar was again completely full.

“We haven’t got any availability until October which is wonderful,” he said. “Like everyone else, I hope people will abide by the guidelines to avoid any risk of another wave of infection. Cleanliness is critical and the regime now required is rightly very rigorous. We are members of Premier Cottages and PASC (Professional Association of Self Caterers) who worked with Visit England to help draw up the new rules. We’re also delighted to have the AA’s ‘COVID Confident’ accreditation.”