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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Staple Fitzpaine Church Fete 2017

On a glorious hot and sunny day today, we went to the Staple Fitzpaine church fete.  This village is approx. 3 miles from us and we often pass through it on the way to Taunton. The village fete was being held in the manor house,


a lovely old house with a beautiful lake in the back garden.


There were lots of stalls, the cake stall, the bottle tombola (Neil and I both won something), the coconut shy (Neil got a coconut first try), the book stall, skittles, bric a brac and ladies hats to name but a few, as well as the prerequisite burger stand and ice cream seller.


The Wellington Silver Band were seated in the shade of a large tree and were playing when we went in.  It was lovely to hear them and we stopped a while in the shade.


Later in the afternoon Punch and Judy were appearing and a dog show was taking place in the field, with afternoon tea being served in the walled garden.  How nice it would be to own a pile like that, and a wonderful setting for the Summer Church fete which is only held every 3 years.

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Visit to Midelney Manor, Somerset

Today we visited Midelney Manor with the Combe St Nicholas History Group.  This is privately owned house, which is Grade 1 listed and was built in the late 16th Century in two distinct halves by brothers Richard & Thomas Trevillian.


The manor house is sited on a former island site and was the property of Mulcheney Abbey before being passed to the Trevillian family after the dissolution of the monasteries.  We were shown around by Alice who lives there with her family and is a direct descendent of the Trevillian family.

Inside the lounge was a lovely fireplace and around the walls hung pictures of the ancestors.


The gardens were lovely, mostly being walled with flower beds.


We went through a doorway in the walls,


to where the flower beds were full of blue cornflowers.


The land extended to the back where there were some handsome massive trees and a paddock.


At the end of the tour we were invited in for a cream tea which was much needed and well appreciated.  Midelney Manor is just half an hour’s drive from us at


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Beautiful Bluebells

Today we visited Otterford Lakes to see the bluebells in full bloom.  As we walked through the woods, you could see the shades of blue on the ground below the dappled trees.


As we walked further down hill we could see the swans on the lake.


We walked past the bridge over the lake and up to the higher meadow where there was an absolute carpet of bluebells, really lovely.


I took some views of the lake as we walked back down.


Some white narcissus were still blooming.


The pink Campion flowers were coming out too.


If you want to visit yourselves, come and stay with us at





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