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Celebrating the Bicentenary of Bertrand’s Cottage

On 20 October 1816, Napoleon’s aide-de-camp, Grand Marshal Henri-Gatien Bertrand moved into his newly built home, Bertrand’s Cottage. On 20 October 2016, to mark the bicentenary of the Bertrand family moving in, the newly restored guesthouse and training facility held an open day for the public to enjoy a sneak preview prior to the official opening in early December.

The restoration and renovation project was initiated by Enterprise St Helena (ESH), following the transfer of the building to ESH from the St Helena Government. The open day was also an opportunity for the public to visit the neighbouring Longwood Enterprise Park, currently under re-development. The two, along with the French-owned properties of Longwood House and the General’s Quarters, will form a key business, social and tourism hub as well as providing much-needed visitor accommodation

Bertrands Cottage

Bertrand’s Cottage & Longwood Enterprise Park Open Day

The open day began with speeches of welcome from Robert Midwinter, Director of Policy Development and Social Enterprise, Anthony Thomas, ESH Board Member and Chairman of the Projects Sub-committee, and Michael Harper, ESH Trainer and Assessor; following which visitors were given a tour of the house showing the Ebony Restaurant, upskilling kitchen, Bertrand’s Dining Area, sitting areas and bedrooms.

Guests were also shown progress to date at the Longwood Enterprise Park and were able to view some of the units that will shortly become available for local businesses.

Renovation works commenced at Bertrand’s Cottage on 13 October 2015, following a ground breaking ceremony held as a part of the Napoleonic Bicentenary commemorations.

Once the facility has officially been opened (scheduled for early December 2016), Bertrand’s Cottage will provide three double en-suite bedrooms along with a restaurant capable of catering up to 24 guests.

Bertrands Cottage open day

Hospitality training facility

The property will also act as an upskilling and training centre for St Helena’s food industry, helping to deliver high quality, relevant hospitality training (kitchen, restaurant and accommodation) according to the needs of the existing and future hospitality and catering businesses on the Island. The centre will offer vocational opportunities for apprentices, current hospitality businesses and aspiring chefs.

Speaking of Bertrand’s new upskilling programme, Hospitality Trainer and Assessor, Mike Harper said: “We want to provide a focal point for career development and learning for the hospitality sector by engaging with key stakeholders, especially young persons, Saints interested in working in hospitality and local hospitality businesses.”

The Bertrand’s Cottage project was managed on behalf of ESH by ProArc. The main contractor undertaking the refurbishment works was Isaac Construction, with additional external works undertaken by Doy’s Construction.

The Longwood Enterprise Park is currently progressing towards completion and, once opened, will have a total of eight units comprising 127m2 ‘pack house’ facilities, and seven smaller clean business units. These re-development works are being undertaken by Dalco.

Chief Executive for Economic Development, Niall O’Keeffe, said: “As an organisation we strive to deliver on projects and initiatives requested by the community of St Helena. The high quality projects on view today impact positively on heritage, tourism, and the private sector.”

5 Responses

  • Lesley Hildegarde George

    On my bucket list!

  • Lesley Hildegarde George

    After my happy visit in 2010 I long to go back – preferably on the RMS – long may she ply the route.

  • Ian Walter

    This was our home when we stayed on the island in the 80’s. So many fantastic memories, we had chickens round the side, veg patch out the front, a clubhouse for our local kids “club” behind the garage and we built a huge tree house out of a packing case in the trees at the side. Can only assume you’ve renovated and fitted out the loft, it was only a 2 bedroom cottage when we lived there ?

    • Lally Brown

      Bertrand’s Cottage was my home too, for two years! wonderful memories. I used the time there to research the Bertrand Family and Napoleon and have written a book ‘The Countess, Napoleon and St. Helena’ using my research from original manuscripts of the time. You might be interested in having a look at it, available on Amazon
      Interspersed with Fanny’s story are some snapshots of my own life in the Cottage which I am sure will resonate with you e.g. Elvina’s cooking and Rose!

  • Susan

    I also long to go back on the RMS. Best ship ever


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