Posts Tagged guests

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.

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Jubilee celebrations part 1 – fete at Buckland House

 Today is the start of the jubilee weekend (60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II) and a whole host of different celebrations going on in the villages of Buckland St Mary and neighbouring Bishopswood.  At 12.30pm we went down to Buckland House and parked in the long grass for the fete in the grounds.

Fete at Buckland House

It all started with a “bring and share lunch”.  We met some friends there, tucked into lunch and tea and sat and nattered.   The Rhododendrons were absolutely lovely in the grounds.

Rhododendrons in the grounds of Buckland House

There was an old Field Marshall 2 stroke diesel tractor there that Neil was entranced by.   It was about 60 years old and made quite a noise when it started up. Neil spent ages talking to the owner.

Old Field Marshall tractor

We wandered through the grounds to see what else was happening.  Our friends were running the skittles so Neil had a go.

Skittles

Later a jazz band started up.   

Jazz band at Buckland House

Then we wandered down and into the church at Buckland St Mary where they had an exhibition of all things to do with the royal family.

Royal exhibition in Buckland Church

Also on show were lots of old photos over the past 60 years, showing the village as it was through the years, various clubs and people.

Photography exhibition

Then we made our way home to welcome our next B&B guests who are staying with us tonight.  More celebrations later on this evening.visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Socialising with visitors and friends, and Honey cake recipe

What a fun week we have had. Firstly we have had 2 lots of guests to the B&B and then we have had friends over for Sunday lunch today

It’s great meeting new people, especially nice ones, and having the time to sit and talk, and learn about other people’s lives. How interesting it is to talk about houses, old and new, to talk about areas of the country and the benefits of country living, to compare lives and find the differences and the similarities.  One couple who came to stay were house hunting and the other couple were on a weekend break.  The weather wasn’t always clement, so we sat our guests to warm  and dry out infront of the woodburning stove whilst sipping tea and eating homemade honey cake.

Here is the recipe for honey cake, it’s really simple.

HONEY CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 170g/6oz clear honey
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar (or I have used golden castor sugar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz self raising flour, sieved
  • water

Preparation method

1.      Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3 and butter and line the bottom of a 7in/18cm cake tin.

2.      Measure the honey, butter and sugar into a large pan. Add a tablespoon of water and heat gently until melted.

3.      Remove from the heat and mix in the flour.

4.      When fully mixed, add the beaten eggs and mix well

5.      Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin.

6.      Cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

7.      If required you can make icing as follows:

For the icing

8.      While the cake is still warm, make the icing by mixing the sugar and honey together with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water. Trickle over the cake in whatever design takes your fancy.

Then today, after our guests had gone, I started to prepare roast lamb dinner for our friends.  We were five for Sunday lunch.  I like doing roast.  It’s not much more work cooking for 4 or 5 as it is cooking for 2.  I’m not a fancy cook but Sunday roast is a favourite.  Followed of course by homegrown  blackberry and apple crumble – delicious!!

What a social week we have had, and what a pleasure to have a break from all the work that needs to be done.

If you would like to sample our honey cake, visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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On being inspected

Yesterday we were inspected by Bed and Breakfast Nationwide.  We hope to go into “The Little Green Book” of Bed and Breakfast for 2012 and as new entrants we had to be inspected.  This meant a major tidy up and clean and now we really need to keep it this way as we have our first B&B guests arriving at the weekend.

We had to lay the bedroom out exactly as it would be for guests, with the new bedlinen on the bed and the new towels laid out.

the guest bedroom

Then we had to lay the table out as it would be for breakfast, but without all the perishables on it.  It is surprising how much stuff you need to lay out if you are offering cereal followed by cooked breakfast followed by toast and jam etc.

The table laid for breakfast

It was quite fun really as we had bought crockery with hens on a couple of years ago in Windsor before we moved here, knowing that we would use it for the B&B, and then I bought place mats with hens on too, to match, so at last I got to put it all out.

Another view of the breakfast table

We are so looking forward to welcoming guests to our house.  Anyway the inspection went really well and we are to be included into the directory for next year, which should give us lots more exposure to potential guests and we look forward to a busy Spring and Summer 2012.

If you want to know more about our B&B visit www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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The chooks on holiday!?!

I think the chooks think they are on holiday.  I’ve not had a single egg the whole of September.  The brown warrens are now 23 weeks old and should be laying.  My friend who had 6 brown warrens at the same time, from the same batch has reported up to 6 eggs a day, but ours have produced nothing.

This week we moved the poultry net and they  now have a lovely big run, with a 100 metre fence.  They seem more keen to congregate around the hen house, and haven’t ventured all the way round their new enclosure yet.

The hens pecking at corn

They do love to sunbathe – I told you they think they are on holiday!

One of the cream legbars sunbathing

They also seem keen to explore a patch of reed grass that we have left in the hen run.  I think they play hide and seek in that.

A couple of hens in the long grass

I do love to see them having a spuddle  about. (Ted’s word, meaning to scratch about, must be a west country thing).

The hens having a spuddle about

I wonder when they will get into their bird brains that they are not here on holiday, they have a job to do and that is to lay eggs!!  What am I going to feed my B&B guests?

 

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LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE

Neil and I are proud to present the launch of our new website, which went live today.

Please have a look at :

www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

and let us know what  you think.

We await our first enquiries with great anticipation.

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Making Rhubarb Jam, Mrs Beeton’s way

Our rhubarb plants are strong and healthy and we have been picking rhubarb since April this year.  The stems are still plentiful and the beauty of having several plants is that you only pick a couple of stems from each plant, that leaves the plant strong to grow more stems.Plentiful Rhubarb 2011

So I decided as we had so much rhubarb, and I was running out of freezer space, to make some into jam.  But I’ve never done it before with rhubarb, so I asked my neighbour if she’d ever made rhubarb jam as I wanted to get the proportions to sugar right, which depends on whether the fruit is high or low in pectin.

Anyway, Val searches through her books and comes out with Mrs Beetons Cookery Book, 1923 edition.

Mrs Beeton's cookery book 1923 edition

I just love the bit on rhubarb jam, where it says “place the pan by the side of the fire, and let the contents come slowly to boiling point”.  I suppose this was in the days before cookers.

Text from Mrs Beetons cookery book 1923

Anyway, I made my jam using equal amounts of fruit to jam sugar, the same way I had previously made the gooseberry jam.  I made one batch adding the ginger powder – the taste is quite subtle – and one batch without.  Both were delicious and set firm, so a success I think.  I hope our guests at the B&B will enjoy this with their breakfasts.

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