Инстаграм @hoptonhousebnb Karen | B&B Shropshire
Just having a sit down on the sofa in the Granary room before I vacuum. Not quite what Pareto said but it feels like 20% of the work takes 80% of the time 😂 If I’m focussed it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to changeover each B&B room. It’s a mini spring clean for each guest. I also put a lot of little extras in the room; both champagne and wine glasses, teapot, cafetière, lemon drizzle cake, shortbread, fresh milk, mineral water etc.
Baked some very squidgy chocolate brownies before breakfast. A special guest request and, coincidentally, had a conversation with some guests this morning who were on the search for the perfect brownie. So they got some too. These are MAYBE a little too squidgy but better that than dry IMHO
This is Ina. Ina shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately @saffronofshropshireland is a bit of a chicken chaser, catcher and plucker. We’ve managed to separate the chickens and the dog so they each have their own half of the garden. This is not Ina’s half. The breed is a very old Dutch breed called Friesian fowl. They are quite skittish and can fly fairly long distances. Our first hens were Friesian fowl and, funnily enough, they were the ones who used to taunt Mitsi, who was also a chicken chaser. I managed to train Mitsi out of it so hopefully I can achieve the same with Young Saffy
I’ve been taking this photo for years but I think it deserves another outing this year. The snowdrops are now at their best everywhere. It’s an amazing February day. Normally if we get mild at this time of year it’s accompanied by murk, so it’s lovely to enjoy warm sunshine.
A few days off pampering Saffy’s after she was spayed, but back to it this morning. Aga roast tomatoes, mushrooms with smoked sea salt and thyme, a couple of Midge’s eggs, local sausage and bacon. Bircher muesli and blueberry compote to start, banana bread and homemade honey granary bread with homemade marmalade if you’ve any space left 😊
No romping round the fields for a couple of days as young Saffy was spayed yesterday. I slept downstairs with her last night - well I say “slept” - there was a lot of pacing and crying 🙄 She’s much better this morning but still discombobulated
Last year’s amaryllis is sprouting! I’ve put it next to this years, which is onto its second flower, for some encouragement. Also featured are the other plants that refuse to die despite my ill treatment.
No sitting by a stream in the sunshine today. But a good romp round the fields with @saffronofshropshireland practising check in training, then I took myself off for lunch at the Ludlow Kitchen. I do have people to lunch with, but I wasn’t organised enough today and I occasionally like to get out and people watch on my own. @ludlowkitchen is a good spot for lunch or tea and cake. Like us they serve lovely @trumperstea. I resisted the fish and chips and had a samwidge ( sorry Saffy 😂)
February doesn’t get much better than this. I’ve had to take my coat off and now I’m sitting by a stream
Snowy dog walk up on Black Hill this afternoon. We spotted a rather large furry fox who was sizing up Saffy for his lunch. He certainly spent far more time standing and staring at us than is usual for a rural fox.
It’s a rubbish photo but the advantage of a hot flush, combined with 1/2 an hour in front of the AGA, meant I got to stand outside in my PJs at -1C stargazing for a while. We have lovely clear dark skies here
Given the choice between cake and ice bun or jam doughnut, it will always be the bun or the doughnut for me. I have a rule that if I see one iced bun left, that it is meant to be and I buy it. I don’t have that excuse today so I’ll just have to use It being Saturday as the reason. I’m a huge fan of homemade over shop bought normally, but I also know when to throw in the towel and admit I can’t improve on what I can buy locally; the iced buns from the Ludlow farm shop, the doughnuts from Swifts and the Portuguese tarts from @harplanedeli All guests staying at Hopton House are welcomed with a whole ( homemade ) lemon drizzle cake and homemade shortbread. For a little extra I’ll make your cake of choice or, if you must, replace it with a bowl of fruit 😉 Of course you can always pop to the Ludlow Farm Shop, just 8 miles from us and select your own goodies
My homemade granola has evolved over the years. Depending on what are the latest “what used to be bad for you will now make you live forever” superfoods it’s pretty healthy and this version is vegan. It does contain sugar in the form of maple syrup but there’s not a lot per portion. You can change the ingredients depending on what you like or have available. We love it with full fat Greek yoghurt and fruit. 400g jumbo oats 100g sunflower seeds 100g pumpkin seeds 100g flaked almonds 75g milled flaxseed 25g chia seed 100g chopped walnuts 100g chopped Brazil nuts 3 tsp ground cinnamon Melt 130g coconut oil with 130g maple syrup. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients well, add the wet ingredients and stir well. Pour onto large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper ( this makes it easier to pick it up decant into your storage container ) Bake at about 160 degrees C for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through and keeping an eye on it making sure it doesn’t get too brown
Standing on top of a hill watching a pair of red kites soaring over Hopton Castle today
The view from our walk today would look quite ominous if it weren’t for a bonkers young dog doing zoomies
Such pretty clouds on our walk this morning. I disturbed a dipper in the stream this morning. I’ve seen them in Knighton and Leintwardine on the River Teme but the first time I’ve seen one on this stream. Such a privilege to see 😊