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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

breakfast recipe Nov 27, 2020

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Recipe

We’re a bit of a fan of cinnamon here at Hopton House. My husband is particularly keen. Normally I can’t tempt Jess & Rob with a fresh baked sweet bread in the morning, but they both make an exception for this banana bread.

OK there’s a lot of sugar in this recipe but I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation. If you’re trying to cut down on refined sugar,  then it still tastes very nice without the cinnamon swirl sugar, and try making it with honey.

It’s a great way for using up those over ripe bananas. the riper the better.

It also tastes very good made with gluten free self raising flour. I just add an extra tablespoon of buttermilk as gluten free flour tends to absorb more liquid.

It’s incredibly easy to do easy to do as it’s one of those banana bread recipes where you just bung everything into the mixer. It  also lasts quite well so can be cooked the day...

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Tomato and Pumpkin Soup

glutenfree recipe vegan Oct 31, 2020

When I first opened my B&B I used to offer 3 course evening meals. 

They were surprisingly popular with my guests, but took up a huge amount of my time and didn't really make me any money. I was spending 5 hours in the kitchen, serving and clearing up most evenings.

I refocussed back on my WHY for running for B&B. For me, it was all about having more time with my family and living in a beautiful part of the world. And decided to stop the evening meals.

Since then I've offered in room platters, which means guests can relax and not have to go out to eat, and I get to enjoy time with my family in the evening.

A B&B friend of mine has another solution, providing an electric soup tureen for guests. They can come and help themselves to soup, cheese scones and homemade bread.

This recipe would be perfect if you decided to offer something similar to your guests. It has the advantage of being vegan and gluten free ( check your stock is gluten free ).


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Running a B&B – 4 Tips for an Easier Breakfast Service

breakfast recipe Oct 19, 2020

Unless you offer guests an evening meal, breakfast is probably the only meal that guests will experience at your B&B and the promise of a well cooked Full English is one of the reasons people choose a B&B over a hotel.

Whilst business guests may well be happy with the buffet or a bowl of porridge, my experience is that the majority of my guests, here for a relaxing few days away, want a big cooked breakfast.

I love to cook and I like to offer a bit more than just  the normal full English breakfast. And I find that over 50% of my guests will choose one of the breakfast specials I offer.

Guests staying here at Hopton House and can choose from any variation of the full English, with homemade cheese and herb sausages or halloumi for the non meat eaters, blueberry or cinnamon apple buttermilk pancakes, herby mushrooms with poached eggs, eggs benedict or eggs royale or omelette with a choice of fillings.

If my guests are vegetarian, vegan or have special...

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Hollandaise Sauce - without the tears

breakfast recipe Sep 30, 2020

My husband's favourite breakfast is Eggs Benedict. He always orders it when it's on a hotel menu. Though, rather curiously, he asks for it deconstructed. Poached egg covered in hollandaise with the bacon or ham and the toasted English muffin on the side.

So it was a bit unfortunate that hollandaise was one of the last recipes I've mastered. I have tried several times over the years and, on at least one occasion, it has reduced me to tears.

However, when it comes to breakfast, I'm not one to give up. And, thanks to James Gray, who used to run The Ashton in Lancaster I've discovered an almost foolproof method for quickly cooking preparing hollandaise. This recipe is slightly different to the one James gave me, with thanks to Delia.

Once you've mastered Hollandaise it can be used to produce lots of different breakfast recipes.

I got another tip from Susan Poole, who used to tweet as the B&B Coach. She suggested putting the sauce into a thermos to keep it warm, so...

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

recipe Sep 28, 2020

I have a bit of a confession to make.

Since I opened the B&B, I’ve always made cake available to my guests to dig into whenever they get the munchies.

When both my rooms were in the house next to each other, I used to leave a homemade fruit cake in the hallway between the rooms.

When we built the rooms outside, there was no shared indoor space, so I started putting a whole lemon drizzle cake in each room.

This has proved quite a winner over the years and is one of the most commented on things in my guest book and my online reviews.

Most people describe it as the best lemon drizzle cake they’ve eaten. I wouldn’t know - I’m not a fan. In fact, I’m not a huge cake fan - now doughnuts. That’s a different matter.

Anyway the other week I was busy and tired and I had new guests arriving. So for the first time in 16 years, I went to our local farm shop and bought an orange drizzle cake.

I know - it wasn’t my finest moment. In my defence, it was...

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Granola Recipe

breakfast recipe vegan Sep 02, 2020


I’ve tried quite a few granola recipes in my 15 years of running a B&B. And this is one is our favourites. Our guests love it and it’s what Rob has every morning for his breakfast, on top of chopped banana and natural Greek yoghurt.

This granola recipe is full of healthy nuts and seeds, as well as heart friendly oats, healthy oils and no refined sugar. If you make it with gluten free oats, then its gluten free. I make it with maple syrup, so it will be suitable for my vegan guests. But you could easily substitute the syrup for honey.

You don’t need to be too exact with the ingredients. If I find I’m missing some of the dry ingredients ( with the exception of the oats of course ), I just leave them out. And speaking of oats, it really works best with jumbo rolled oats. If you’re in America, you might find them called rolled or old fashioned oats.

I make a big batch of granola and store it in a couple of large kilner jars. It never...

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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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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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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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Make your own pancake mix!

breakfast recipe Nov 01, 2019


Buttermilk pancakes are a firm favourite on my breakfast menu. I usually do them with blueberries but sometimes have a request for plain with blueberries on the side. I personally really enjoy them with bananas!

But, as we move into Autumn, I’ve added cinnamon apple pancakes to the menu. These taste particularly good with sausage and maple syrup – trust me!

For this pancake recipe, I make a big batch of the dry mix up, keep it in a big Kilner jar,  and just scoop it out and mix up with the wet ingredients when it’s time for breakfast.

One of the secrets of this pancake recipe is the fluffiness is buttermilk ( it may seem like I have shares in buttermilk, as I use it so much, but it really is a magic ingredient )

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big jar with a lid and shake really well. The cups are American measuring cups with a volume of about 250 ml.



  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4...
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