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Blackberry pancakes with an apple, blackberry and cinnamon compote

breakfast recipe Jul 31, 2020

Blackberry pancakes with an apple, blackberry and cinnamon compote

 Pancakes and sausages are my 2 favourite breakfast ingredients and, as it's nearly autumn, there are lots of lovely ingredients in the garden to go with them.  So I headed into the orchard, where the apples are throwing themselves off the trees and the wildflower meadow, where we have lots of blackberries just now.

This recipe will feed 2 people very generously with about 5 small pancakes each. You could halve it for more  a manageable breakfast.

Pancake Ingredients

  • 1 cup ( 150g ) Plain ( all purpose flour )
  • 2 tablespoons ( 30g ) white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda ( baking soda )
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ( 225 ml ) buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon ( 25g ) melted butter
  • About 30 small blackberries

Compote ingredients

  • 1 large eating apple - granny smiths are good - cored, peeled and chopped into large cubes
  • 10 small blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons ( 25g ) melted butter
  • 1/2...
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Running a B&B in the Covid-19 pandemic

covid-19 running your b&b Jul 19, 2020

As B&B owners prepared to open and think about their post lockdown B&B cleaning we were bombarded with risk assessments and checklists from well meaning organisations. And reading these in detail was really quite scary from a B&B owner’s perspective.

One of the problems with risk assessments prepared by organisations such as this is that they look to address every single risk. One suggested that you should wrap sofas in communal areas in clear plastic. That’s not to say they aren’t very useful – and I’ve included some links to them in the notes for this lesson. But each business needs to assess the risk for their  own situation.

You should also note, that the health and safety executive says that you should take REASONABLE precautions to reduce the risk.

Do a risk assessment and identify where the high risk areas are and look to focus your attention there.  For example, you need to identify the points in a room that guests are...

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Gluten free banana oat pancakes

glutenfree recipe Jun 30, 2020

I often get requests for gluten free options at the B&B and try and offer a good choice.

On request, I can do a gluten free lemon drizzle for the rooms and the gluten free banana bread at breakfast has proven to be very popular even amongst the gluten eaters!

Pancakes are a popular choice at breakfast but by just replacing the flour with gluten free they can taste a bit gritty.  So, as it's the quiet time of year for the B&B, I thought I'd have a bit of an experiment.

I'm very pleased with the result and they have the added benefits of being

high in fibre and with no added sugar.

This recipe serves 1 with 3 pancakes. You could also replace the blueberries with chopped apple and add a teaspoon of cinnamon.

The calorie count ( according to my fitness pal ) is about 320 calories for 3 pancakes - 8g fibre, 50g Carbohydrates, 15g sugar, 10g fat, 10g protein.

Adding a tablespoon of maple syrup adds 40 calories.

Gluten Free Oat and Banana Blueberry Pancakes



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Preventing Legionnaire's Disease at your B&B

covid-19 running your b&b Jun 25, 2020

Many showers in B&B bathrooms having been standing unused over the past few months during the COVID lockdown. There is a big risk that the legionella bacteria could be in the system.

If you haven’t been running water through the taps and showers regularly, then you need to take steps to ensure it’s safe before you welcome back guests.

The good news is that it’s not a difficult thing to sort out. The South West Tourism Association have kindly allowed me to share their step by step guide. Here’s what they have to say:

Firstly, with our properties having been standing empty for months now, we all need to be aware of the risk of Legionella in the water systems. This is a HUGE RISK.

Standing water presents a risk of Legionella bacteria accumulating, and is particularly high risk in showers, as Legionella bacteria is dispersed in airborne water droplets, so the spray created by a shower is the perfect delivery mechanism.

Anyone using a contaminated...

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The secret to running an award winning B&B

The secret to running an award winning B&B

It’s been a pretty amazing week for some of our B&B Academy past course attendees, with no less than 3 best B&B awards. These winners share the secret to running an award winning B&B.

Alyson and Simon of The Old Stables B&B near Shepton Mallet in Somerset won Gold Award for B&B of the Year with the Bristol, Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards

Claire and Mike of Brambles B&B near Dover in Kent won the Small Accommodation Provider of the Year in the Visit Kent Tourism Awards

And Daisy of Mount Pleasant Farm B&B , Chapel Allerton in Somerset won B&B of the year in the i newspaper Staycation Awards.

Many many congratulations to all of them. They have all worked so very hard to achieve this. The standard of...

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Top 10 tips for creating a bathroom you can clean in 5 minutes

How to run a B&B - top tips for creating a bathroom you can clean in 5 minutes. Tiled wetroom


Top 10 Tips For Creating A Bathroom You Can Clean in 5 Minutes

Just before Christmas, my husband, Rob, announced he was planning to redo our own personal bathroom again. We’ve lived in the house for 13 years and have redone the bathroom twice but neither refurb was particularly successful in terms of use of space or finish.

This time, however, we were determined to get it perfect. After 13 years of running a B&B I also had one very clear goal in mind and that was to create a bathroom that was as quick and easy as possible to clean.

I’ve included a few hints and tips from previous course attendees on their own bathroom design at the end of this post.

Tip 1 – Deciding on a Design

Tiled wet room with rainfall shower - Starting a bed and breakfast - Top 10 Tips For Creating A Bathroom You Can Clean in 5 Minutes

Rob and I are not experts in interior design and it’s not something either of us enjoy doing. I know, for some people setting up a B&B, that is the aspect they enjoy the most, but not us!

In previous years when we’ve needed to...

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Running a B&B | Setting boundaries

running your b&b Mar 31, 2020

Setting Boundaries

Last year I gave a webinar on how to stay happy whilst running a B&B. I knew what I enjoyed and, indeed, didn't enjoy so much  about owning a bed and breakfast. But what about other B&B owners, how did they feel?

Pile of artistically arranged stones with a quote. When you say yes to others make sure you are not saying no to yourself - running a B&B

I decided to send out a survey to people who had  attended my course and had already set up their B&B. I asked them how happy they were, what they enjoyed about the business and if there was anything about B&B life they didn’t enjoy. ( That’s for a later blog ) Then I asked what advice they would give to anyone who wanted to set up or buy their own B&B.

When it came to the advice they’d give, I was quite surprised with the answer. It's a something we discuss on the course and advise people to think about carefully. But I was surprised that nearly everyone replied with something along the lines of “make sure you set boundaries in your business”.

What do we mean by boundaries?

Physical Boundaries

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Are you letting your chimp run your B&B?

running your b&b Mar 01, 2020

If you've attended one of my classroom courses, you're probably familiar with your chimp. I try and remember to introduce attendees to their chimp early on day 1 of the course, as it's a great analogy for explaining how you can feel as a B&B owner and how you deal with those feelings!

The B&B chimp is based on the book, The Chimp Paradox, by Professor Steve Peters. It's a very interesting read and goes a long way to describing how the brain works, and how to deal with the emotions that aren't really serving you.

Professor Peters uses the terms Computer, Human and Chimp to describe different parts of the brain. Very briefly, the human part is the rational part of the brain that works on facts whilst the chimp part is pure emotion.

So how does this apply to the average B&B owner? Imagine you're running a B&B. You've put a considerable amount of time, effort and emotion into creating a wonderful experience for your guests. You've been welcoming some wonderful guests,...

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Running a B&B and owning a dog

running your b&b Mar 01, 2020

Owning a B&B Dog

It seems I’m not alone. A large number of people who come on my courses are already dog owners or plan to get a dog or 2 when they are finally running a B&B. So I thought it would be useful for me to write a blog post on the pros and cons of owning a dog whilst you’re running a B&B.

 A Bit of History

We moved into Hopton House in March 2004. It was a family home so we set about converting it into a B&B. At the end of July 2004 we welcomed our first B&B guests. We already owned a dog, Tess. She was a rescue from Battersea and was an old lady of 15 when we opened the B&B. Because she was nervous of other dogs we decided that we couldn’t accept guest B&B dogs.

After a...

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Blueberry and lime scones

breakfast recipe Dec 01, 2019

I’m always overtaken with an uncontrollable urge to bake something for breakfast the morning after watching the Great British Bake Off ( GBBO). Unfortunately most of my B&B  guests have filled up on fruit, bircher muesli, toast and full Shropshire breakfast, so don’t touch the baked goods, but when a girl’s got to bake she’s got to bake.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about making blueberry scones for some time. Scones are a big thing for breakfast in America, but they tend to be shorter crispier beast than the traditional English scone.

These scones are a version of the traditional scone we get in the UK, but with the addition of blueberries and lime zest. They are not too sweet and the lime zest isn’t overpowering but somehow enhances them.

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. I use buttermilk in most of my baking – it really does make a difference. If you don’t have buttermilk you can use milk with a...

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