Archive for bed and breakfast

People stuck in the snow become unexpected guests

IMG_20180301_164715On Thursday afternoon there was a red alert for snow in Devon and Somerset.  And did the snow come down, it was thick and fast, and before we knew we were knee deep in snow and drifts.

We got a call from a couple stuck in the snow on the A303 on a hill behind a lorry that couldn’t make it up the hill.  They asked if we had a room for the night and we said we did.  It wasn’t until about 7pm (after they had been stuck for over 6 hours and realised they were going nowhere that night) that they walked up the hill to our junction with the A303. Neil got suitably attired and plodded through the snow to meet them and walk them back to our house.  They were truly grateful to be in the warm and the first thing we did was make them a cup of tea.

Normally our guests would go to the local pub for evening meals but there was no way they were going to do that in the bad weather, so a I rustled up some dinner for them and we all ate together.

The next day after breakfast they togged themselves up and went back to their abandoned car to see if they could dig themselves out.  They managed to move their car a couple of 100 yards but couldn’t go any further as the A303 was still blocked and shut.

They realised they would have to stay another night.  This time I made a meat and veg chilli for us all and they shared their bottle of Cava with us to make it nice evening.

The couple had been talking to the Police who told them that snowploughs and gritters would be out all night clearing the A303 so they should be OK on Saturday morning. They duly kitted themselves out for the snow, waved us goodbye and trudged back to their car and were able to make their way slowly home.

We spent more time with them than normal B&B guests so it felt like we had made new friends.

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Making Blackberry Gin

Having a bumper crop of blackberries this year, and having already made jam and stewed up lots for crumbles and pies in the Winter, I was thinking what else could I do with them?  Then I thought what about Blackberry Gin?  I researched on line for a recipe but there were lots of contradicting quantities so in the end I sort of made up my own from a combination of a couple of different recipes.


First you need to wash the blackberries well, as flies are definitely attracted to them. Place the washed blackberries into a demi john. I had lots so I used 1 kilo of fruit.


Next add the sugar, just ordinary granulated or caster will do.  I used 300g.


Add the gin, I used 2 x 70cl bottles (the cheap stuff from Lidl).


Add 3 dessert spoons of lemon juice.


Then give is all a good shake.


The gin immediately took on the colour of the blackberries, so after the 3 months infusing it, it will be dark and glorious.  Just ready in time for Christmas!! The French call it Crème de Mure.

Want to try some?  Come and visit or stay with us at Lodge House B&B.


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Spring chicken thank you

Our guests who have been staying with us for 5 nights commented on how we had a chicken theme going with the crockery, the table mats, the pictures on the wall and some chicken ornaments.  We said “naturally” as we have 24 hens and one cockerel, we liked to keep to a theme.

Our guests really enjoyed their stay and on the last morning presented us with another chicken ornament which they said they just had to buy us when they saw it.  Hence “Spring chicken” has joined the flock. It’s a bit like a Wallace and Gromit figure. What a lovely thank you present!!

If you want to see our chicken collection or even our live chickens then stay with us at



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Perry’s Cider Mill

Today Neil and I took his sister Carole for lunch at Perry’s Cider Mill in Dowlish Wake, close to Ilminster. We drove along pretty and narrow country lanes into the village, past the Dower House and turned into Perry’s Cider Mill, where we had a most convivial meal with good service and excellent food.

DSC01557We wandered around the shop, sampling different ciders and admiring all the delicious looking groceries before making our way to the museum to see how apples were pressed in days gone by.


There was an old plough and many pictures of farm labourers from the past.


An old apple cruncher reminded us of more modern ones we use in our apple pressing.


I loved the old carts


and the old bellows


And then alongside, a piece of modern machinery.  They still do apple pressing and cider making and bottling here.


If you want to visit Perry’s cider mill, and stay with our B&B then visit us at




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4 new hens

Having had a couple of recent fatalities in the hen run (due to natural causes I hasten to add, no fox treats here), we decided to add to our brood and yesterday purchased 4 new hens from Darren at Manor Fram in Ilminster.

All 4 hens are point-of-lay so not chicks, and we were able to put them in with the flock straight away.

Two hens are known as “Silver Rocks”.  They are mostly black with silver streaks.  Here is Neil holding one.


Our other two hens are a “Sussex Rocket” which is white with little black and a “Rhode Rock” which is black with a golden bib.  I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of those two as my camera ran out of puff and today whilst it is charged up, it is raining so not a day for pictures.  I’m wondering how our new girls are liking the rain, having been kept in a barn up until now and not having encountered the rain.  We shall have to see how they get on and when they start laying.

Want to see our birds, then come and stay at our B&B.



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Collecting the Honey

It was the right time to year for Neil to collect the honey from his strongest hive.  He had put 3 supers on to give them plenty of room to store the honey.  But when he looked they had only filled the frames in 2 supers.  He donned his new all-in-one suit to collect the frames.


(That’s shadow on his face, he has not grown a moustache!!)

Yesterday we set to spinning the frames.  First he uncapped them one by one.


Then two at a time he put them in the spinner. Centrifugal force pushes the honey out and it is collected in large jar below, first going through a sieve to collect any wax.


It’s wonderful to see the golden liquid collecting in the jar.


Then it has to be poured into jars and weighed to get exactly one pound in weight that is 454g.  That was my job.


We got quite a haul.  The jars are just waiting for their labels to be printed and then we will be ready to sell some.  It will be £6.00 a jar.  Don’t forget this is an expensive premium product, not mass produced, hence the cost. All proceeds go back into care of the bees.


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Summer flowers

I made all my hanging baskets up myself this year and I am very proud of them.  They are full of colour and just lovely at the moment.


I particularly like the half moon baskets with their pink trailing geraniums and colourful lobelia.



The hanging basket near our Lodge House sign is one of my favourites.


I have several pots of plants around the front patio and many of them are full of colour too.


I wish the vegetable garden was as well ordered, unfortunately the weeds are winning there at the moment so more work needed!!

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