We love making people feel special when they’re on a stay with us, romantic breaks are a favourite amongst our guests. We are happy to cater to any occasion, and our team of lovely girls do a really great job of dressing a room for a surprise.
For those wishing to make the most of a stay away, we can offer an early check in, so you can relax as soon as you arrive.
Open the door to your room and be welcomed by lovely flowers from our contemporary florist, Flowers and Favours in Milford Haven, some really delicious Wickedly Welsh Chocolates and a bottle of bubbly on chill, just to help you relax and start enjoying your break away.
An evening planned
An evening can be organised for you, with a choice of some great eateries, we’ll book a table for you and arrange a taxi to take you there and pick you up, if you so wish.
And after a lovely evening, do you fancy a lazy morning with a wake up of Breakfast in Bed, brought to your room, with lots of homemade goodies for you to enjoy. So that you’re not rushed, we’ll also organise a late check out for you on the day you’re planning to leave.
And a day arranged
After a hearty breakfast, enjoy a walk on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, breathe in some great salt air into your lungs, proven to help de-stress you and blow away the cobwebs whilst enjoying the fabulous views over the beaches and countryside. We can arrange a lovely packed lunch for you to enjoy a picnic sitting amongst the dunes of the beach and you can just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet before continuing your day. If you’d like to do some retail therapy as well, we can advise you on all the best places to go, so you have a different experience to the normal high street shops, bag yourself a bargain and a one-off creation maybe?
Whatever type of romantic break you are looking for, we can help you achieve it when you stay with us.
Pembrokeshire is getting fit! Visit Wales’ theme for this year is ‘Year of Adventure’, so I shall be highlighting some of the activity adventures, as well as the foodie adventures you can have over the coming blogs.
We have hosted Ironman Wales at Tenby for the last few years, we also have the Long Course Weekend as preparation, and all over Pembrokeshire, muddy trials, coast path trail running, cycling and swimming are becoming the norm.
A while ago, before I had the B&B, I was an avid cyclist(amateur, I hasten to add) and it was not unusual for me to cycle around 60 miles a day, rain or shine. Over time, a lack of warming up and cooling down and a spell of inactivity led to my back/hip/leg giving up and so my bikes were left to gather dust and cobwebs in the shed….
I have, over the last few years, been trying to ‘sort out’ my physical issues and I do feel I am at last on the way back to health to the extent that I feel I can get back on my bike-yaayyy!
I think the fact that Pembrokeshire is becoming a haven for all things keep fit, have helped me realise that my very considerable aches and pains were not just down to age but something I could fix.
We are very lucky here to have a cycle path practically outside the door that will lead you into Milford Haven, onto Neyland and then onto Haverfordwest, via the Brunel Cycle trail. Much of this is off road cycling on purpose built cycle paths and the Brunel Trail is through woodlands and wetlands and fields-no traffic at all!
One of my favourite memories is cycling along this trail, and stopping to have a little picnic with my mate Gill on a glorious summer, sunny day. Gill was the person who started me on cycling, one day she just announced she had bought us 2 ‘shoppers’- Raleigh bikes with little baskets on them and 3 gears. All well and good, but mine only had 1 gear that would work!
We took them to the local cycle repair shop to get them fixed, and they laughed at us, but undeterred off we went-me with a huge softy cushion pad under my derierre, as I found the seat way to uncomfortable! What we must have looked like I couldn’t say, but we didn’t seem to mind-thankfully, the cycling bug hadn’t really caught on back then(2008), so we didn’t have to compare ourselves to the very professional looking cyclists you see now.
I didn’t have a bike when I was growing up, other than a 3 wheeler, so my cycling skills left (and still do) leave a lot to be desired, but we both enjoyed and over time we got tremendously fit. Out in all weathers, all seasons we really enjoyed. We always ended our cycle with a coffee & cake at the Neyland Café, or a spot of lunch-highly recommended!
Well, so back to the present day- my hybrid bike has just been serviced, I am armed with warm up and cool down exercises and all I am waiting for is a nice day to have my first foray out along the cycle path-not too far to start though. I don’t want to ruin all the hard work I’ve put into sorting my back/hip/leg issues out!
So, Pembrokeshire is getting fit and I am joining in. I don’t think you’ll see me in Ironman, other than for encouraging on the competitors! I’ll talk more about Coast Path Running and other adventures in some future blog posts.
If you’re coming to Pembrokeshire on holiday, you can bring your bike, as we have a lockable bike shed here or you can hire a bike from Pembrokeshire Bikes …Click here or at Neyland Marina, just at the start of the Brunel Trail at Neyland Yacht Haven: Bike Hire at Neyland Marina
St Dwynwens Day is on 25th January and is the ‘Welsh’ Valentines Day. She is the Welsh patron Saint of Lovers and is celebrated on this day.
Although no longer recognised by the Vatican as being an official saint, she is still widely celebrated in Wales, especially in her home county of Anglesey
St Dwynwen’s story
History says that Dwynwen was the prettiest daughter of Welsh king Brychan Brycheiniog’s all twenty-four daughters. She fell in love with a man named Maelon Dafodrill, but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else.
Distraught, Dwynwen prayed to God and asked for help in forgetting Maelon. An angel visited her in her sleep and gave her a potion to erase her memory of feelings for Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
With each of her dreams coming true, Dwynwen devoted her life to God; she set up a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. The remains of the church can still be seen on the island, along with Dwynwen’s well.
It’s believed the well is home to sacred fish who can predict whether couples relationships will succeed; if the fish are seen to be active when visiting the well, it was seen as a sign of a faithful husband.
God offered Dwynwen three wishes. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed, the second that God should meet the needs of all lovers and the third that she should never marry.
The well has since become a place of pilgrimage for young Welsh lovers since Dwynwen’s death in the 5th century.
So, why not have a Welsh Valentine’s Day and celebrate with your loved one, with us here at Fields Lodge! Spoil them with a Romantic package of bubbly, chocolate and flowers and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in bed! Then enjoy a bracing walk across one of our great headlands and breathe in some of our lovely sea air.
Sunday 24th January sees the start of Breakfast Week 2016.
Shake Up Your Wake UP!
Breakfast Week is run on behalf of arable farmers, the purpose being to raise awareness of the benefit of eating a healthy breakfast and highlight the abundance of fantastic produce that is all around us.
Here are the key messages:
Breakfast Eaters are normally slimmer than breakfast skippers
Breakfast gives you many of the nutrients and energy to start your busy day ahead
There are a vast number of options for your breakfast choice
This fits well with us here at Fields Lodge, as we are the double award winning Bed & Breakfast for Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast. We pride ourselves on sourcing locally the best ingredients, cooking them well and providing as healthy a choice for breakfast as we can, catering for all diets and tastes.
I am currently working on some new recipes to add to the menu over Breakfast Week, I plan to add a ‘special’ onto each days menu. If they prove popular, then I may well add them into the standard menu.
Today, I have been trialling Buckwheat pancakes, I do want to offer pancakes, but I do not want to offer wheat ones! Following on from the ‘healthy’ options, I am trying to create a pancake that will satisfy the most discerning of pancake eaters(me) that is wheat free. Oh, and sugar free too!
My efforts today were okish, I am trying tomorrow, a recipe I have found that adds a banana in and uses tapioca flour and potato flour-so look out on the menu.
I am also thinking along the lines of a kedgeree, an Eggs Cymru(my version of eggs benedict), a smoothie and a bircher muesli made without wheat. So look out for news of a new Breakfast Menu once the week is over!
Well, here we are in 2016- and it’s still raining! Happy New Year, everyone from me, my fab team of girls and my lovely Aga, the home of our double award winning Aga Cooked Breakfasts!
We have been suffering from great winds too, to compliment the rain, every day, practically, for over 2 months now. We ‘re deceptively high here, so we catch the wind coming straight in off the sea at the heads (St Ann’s Head).
Those of you that have stayed here, know that that means that my lovely 1950 Aga struggles to come up to heat in days of wind and we haven’t had any series of days without wind to allow it to get back up to heat. So, we’ve had a struggle with the cooking -I’ve even turned the oil flow up to maximum but that hasn’t helped either-in fact the heat seems to be getting even less as the days go by. This means my ‘hot’ oven-normally at heat for roasting potatoes and frying up bacon and sausages has turned into a ‘slow cooker’- my turkey for Christmas took 12 hours to cook, and the oven is even cooler now-yesterday I was cooking up a Bolognese, which took all afternoon, so it really is cooking like a slow cooker these days.
This has led me to (horror of horrors) turn on my electric oven to get the breakfasts cooked correctly or it means I need to be in the kitchen for about 4am, based on the current heat!
So, I now think the poor Aga has been working it’s socks off to get up to heat and has now clogged itself up, so the fuel just isn’t getting through-so my fantastic Aga engineer, Clifton, has been called in. Clifton will clean the Aga (they get sooted up) and get it burning like a dream in no time I’m sure. The downside of this, is that I have to turn it off the night before. This means no cooking in the morning, and worse of all it means a really cold kitchen when I go in first thing-you really do miss the warmth of the Aga when it’s not there.
The positive side…
There is a plus side though, once it’s cold, I can get on and give it a really good clean. The ovens are self cleaning, as they are so hot, everything just gets carbonised and you just brush it out, but the stainless and the enamel can only have a cursory clean when it’s on as it’s too hot to touch really. So, I enjoy getting some elbow grease out on the enamel when it’s cold to get it back to new and ready for another 6 months of bashing before its’ next clean. To keep it a peak performance, it gets cleaned every 6 months. Clifton has it balanced so well, it works very economically bearing in mind it is a conversion from coal to oil. We don’t have gas in the village here, so oil was the only option when I was looking at getting it converted, as, back then, the electric ones weren’t very good. I think the new ‘Total Control’ ones are super though, from what I’ve read. So much so, I’d love to squeeze one into the stables (where I live) for me to cook on, rather than running back and fore across the drive! Especially when it’s windy and raining (which has been every day nearly), as I have to ‘hide’ my tea from the wind-it has been known to fly all over the drive when caught in a surprise gust!
So, Clifton has been called and he’s here on Monday.
Roll on Monday!
Happy Cooking Folks…….
For more information on Aga Cookers, click here
I am often asked how I came to be running a Bed and Breakfast. So I thought it an opportune time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to share my journey. I have recently read a book by Simon Sinek, whose main thread to having a successful business was to explain ‘Why’ you did the things you did, so that people would ‘get’ you…so here goes!
I was fortunate enough to receive voluntary redundancy from my job in one of the big four banks. I had been an area manager and over the years had done a significant amount of travelling, staying away from home and using no end of hotels and B&Bs-some good, some bad, as you might imagine.
On leaving the bank, I wanted to take some time out and re-think what I wanted to do for employment going forward. I was pretty certain I wanted to be my own boss. Having spent years being directed by a large corporation with regards to what you should and shouldn’t do with and for both customers and staff (sometimes not really agreeing with the direction you were being guided in), I decided I wanted to be making my own decisions and taking my own actions.
I spent a while looking at different self-employed options and investigated quite a few different businesses, but eventually, like a dripping tap, I came to the conclusion that to turn my home into a Bed and Breakfast would be the right thing to do. I had lived in my home for 10 plus years, and over this time, enjoyed entertaining friends, quite often to hear the comment that I should run a B&B, as the house did lend itself to that and people did enjoy my home cooking. Obviously, at that time, I swept away the comment-it was impossible having a very demanding career to even think of running a B&B at the same time!
The transformation begins…
So, eventually the idea did sink in that running a B&B might be the right direction to go in. I did some research and found that there was no ‘boutique’ style accommodation close to Milford Haven, offering really great produce and a good quality stay, so I researched further and on paper, it looked like it might just work.
I set about ‘turning’ my home into a B&B, which is way more involved than just putting a sign out, as some people still think! The property needed to be altered with commercial drains, water supply, electricity and I needed a good enough hot water system to heat the whole house and have, potentially, 4 showers and a Jacuzzi bath all going at the same time-all having lots of lovely hot water-so we ended up having a hot water system that is usually fitted into sports clubs for the end of games showers-it does work though! All this is unseen work, but well worth it for guest to have fantastic power showers in the morning.
Then there are all the fire regulations and food safety regulations that have to be followed. I used to think there was nothing that could touch the bank for red tape -I was wrong!
But that is all a distant memory now, as nearly 5 years open we have a lovely up and running B&B.
It was important to me, when I was organising the rooms, that people should have what they may need on a stay away, be it business or pleasure. I used to find it would take me at least 3 days t get used to a strange bed, so the first thing I did was make sure we had lovely comfy beds that are a joy to sleep on, and crisp fresh bed linen so you always have that ‘newly made up’ bed feel. That was getting the ‘Bed’ part of B&B right.
Then I moved onto the other ‘B’-breakfast….
I first got in touch with the food department at the council and our local tourism association -Pembrokeshire Tourism(Pembrokeshire Tourism), to get a list of all our local producers, I was keen for guests to have a real ‘taste’ of Pembrokeshire when they visited -I do love my food and I wanted my guests to feel the same. I am a ‘grazer’ I love to have lots of courses for breakfast when I’m away and sample everything that’s on offer. I like to start with fruit and yoghurt of some kind, then have my cooked, then finish with some lovely toast and preserves. I take my time and I feast like a king…isn’t that what Prince Charles says…Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper!
I went all over the county searching out producers, I wanted local and then organic where possible and I held many taste tests with friends and family until I settled on what I was to offer going forward, all cooked on my lovely 1950 Aga. This process still happens, as I am constantly reviewing what I offer and also, fantastically, we are lucky to have a growing band of local producers, so there’s always something new to try! It must be working as we have been fortunate enough to be awarded the Pembrokeshire Produce Mark by Pembs County Council and win ‘Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast’ for the last few years, and have some lovely glass ware trophies made by Steve Robinson Glass in St Davids (well worth a visit!).
So, there we have the ‘Bed’ and the ‘Breakfast’, and then I set about making sure the rooms looked lovely, with the help of a local interior designer and filled them with local Welsh woollen throws and cushions from Melin Tregwynt and pictures from our immediate area and named the rooms after the bays around Sandy Haven itself. I found some great toiletries a few miles away -New Dawn Organic toiletries-aromatheraphy, organic and handmade and such a fantastic fragrance to wake you up just right for the morning! Our rooms were recognised by receiving a Silver award for the Best Service Accommodation in Pembrokeshire too!
I am very proud of Pembrokeshire and Milford Haven and all it has to offer. I grew up with parents who were heavily involved with Milford Haven Estate and Lady Thomas (who owned most of Milford originally), so I have been surrounded with the history and stories of Milford Haven since I was a child. I could never move away with my career, I had to stay close to the river-hence all the travelling, and I do get the shakes, oddly enough if I go a few days without seeing water! To promote what Pembrokeshire has to offer, I fill the lounge with lots of great information of where to go and what to do, in fact there’s too much really-but then, that’s the reason to come back for another visit!
Ultimately, I get a lot of pleasure in seeing guests enjoying what I provide and enjoying the Pembrokeshire I am so proud of.
Gluten Free Crackers at Fields Lodge Bed and Breakfast, Pembrokeshire
As you may know I am attempting to follow (personally), a gluten free lifestyle-well, gluten, wheat, sugar and lactose really. I’m intolerant to these things and I can really tell when I fall off the wagon.
It helps with the B&B, as I have a wide variety of gluten free, sugar free and lactose free options available for anyone who wants to be mindful of their diet.
I have the greatest respect for anyone who is attempting to eat more healthily. I am constantly on the look out for recipes that provide some really tasty alternatives to what you’d normally eat.
I have a great recipe for gluten free homemade crackers, that are really easy to make and taste delicious and will wow your friends, as the perception is that things like that are hard to make.
I make these when I am having a Morrocan Theme night at the B&B and serve them with various dips as a first course.
As with many ‘alternative’ foods, when you’re not using wheat flour, you do have to use a myriad of different ingredients to make up for this oh so versatile product, but in this case, it really is worth it.
This recipe is from one of Hugh Fearnley Whiitingstall’s books:
You will need Parchment Paper
25gr Linseed(or flaxseed it can be known as) (soaked for 10 mins in 50gr boiling water)
15gr ground linseed(I grind mine in a coffee grinder, but you can buy it ground)
10gr Rice flour
10gr Buckwheat Flour
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp chopped rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
10gr sunflower seeds
10gr pumpkin seeds
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl to make a dough
Oil 2 pieces of parchment paper and place the dough between these 2 pieces and then roll out the dough with it between the 2 pieces as thin as you can go-probably as thick as the width of the pumpkin seeds
Peel off the top layer of the baking parchment very carefully
Place on a baking sheet (I roll mine on the baking sheet) and bake until completely dry-the edges will start to curl up.
Oven @ 180 degrees-it takes about 30 minutes but I check every 10 mins to turn the sheet to get an even cook
When cool just break into pieces for an authentic rustic look. If you have any left(very unusual), then store in an airtight container
Delicious with some home made Hummous and beetroot & mint dip.
I’ve altered the herbs around as well which gives you different flavours for a change but this is the classic recipe.
I love where I live. I wanted to live here from when I was a young girl, I loved the way it seemed to have a offside front door and was surrounded by fields. And so, many years later, here I am!
We are very lucky to have Sandy Haven Creek, a tidal Creek, just down the lane from us. Depending on how quickly you walk, it can be a brisk 7 minutes or a 20 minute stroll to reach it. Just recently a complete turning spot with parking has been made at the bottom so you can drive down and park now. I know this is great, but I’m also a bit disappointed, from a selfish point of view, as I’m sure it will lead to more people coming down, and I just love having it all to myself! In the past many people wouldn’t drive down our lane as it is a dead end plus turning was very difficult once you got to the bottom.
I was delighted to find these lovely flowers right by the parking bay on my last visit. Many years ago a farmhouse stood at the bottom, just below where the car park is, and you can see remnants of garden flowers that pop up from time to time and this is always a surprise as the fields are now occupied by a herd of cows.
The Creek is a great place for peace and nature. If you’re lucky you will have it to yourself. I think it’s a beautiful spot-not in the ‘Barafundle’ beautiful way, but it what it has to offer-peace, nature, calmness and serenity. You can often see an egret walking the stream and around the corner on the sandbanks there are always plenty of birds having a good old chat like a bunch of old ladies in a knitting circle!
The Creek is not seen or known about by many non locals, even if you’re walking the Coast Path you’ll miss it, as the path takes you across Stepping Stones from one side of Sandy Haven to the other whilst The Creek stretches away from you in tan alternative die-rection.
The stream is very clean and there are lovely sandy parts to paddle through. If you get the tide right, you can find yourself a cove in the morning and set up camp(plenty of fluids, munchies, suncream, hat, comfy bed and book), watch the tide come in and cut you off (temporarily) until it starts to drop off again and then you can walk home. The water comes within a few feet, you can roll off your bed, have a swim, pop back onto your bed and enjoy the sunshine whilst reading a good book-that’s my idea of a fab day!
And if you can’t do that, then the next best thing is to take a stroll along the shore, which is exactly what Ollie and I did on this very fine Sunday just gone. We’d had mad rain in the morning, the rest of the country was having thunderstorms, we just had the rain but, who’d have thought it, it came out a fabulous afternoon, so we could go out and play!
If you walk up around the corner of The Creek, you will see the broken bones of a ships skeleton, I’m told it was a cargo ship that grounded many, many years ago. As an aside, there was a great shipwreck just off Sandy Haven, that an ancestor of the Feild Brothers that built Fields Lodge, was commended for his bravery in rescuing many people from a sinking ship. But that’s a story for another day!
Put your sound up loud so you can hear all the lovely birds whilst the vieo clip is running!
You won’t find The Creek mentioned on any tourist information you may read about Pembrokeshire, and that is what is special about staying here with us, see a bit of Pembrokeshire that remains special to you!
This Saturday brings us Milford Fish Festival, held at Milford Marina. It all looks like it’s going to be a great day out for everyone, and if past years events have anything to go by, it definately won’t be just about fish!
Previously, this was Pembrokeshire Fish Week, but due to circumstances, that is not going ahead this year, so Milford Docks and Milford Port Authority have stepped in to make sure we have a similar Launch day as in previous years under the banner of Milford Fish Festival. Hurrah for Milford Docks and MHPA, I say!
From what I can see, there is more enthusiasm for making sure this event is a success as we(Milford & Pembrokeshire) very nearly didn’t have it. All of the Marina businesses are pulling together, the cafes have special menus and even the hairdressers have decorated their window with some fab paintings from Milford Haven Junior School.
The Marina was busy with preparations yesterday, putting up marquees for stall holders and all we can hope is that we get a dry day, as that makes all the difference.
They have a good number of chefs attending in the cooking theatre including renowned chef Stephen Terry and there is also a Chowder Trail going on through the Marina-you pay £5 and get given a crafted bowl(which you keep) and then make your way around Milford Marina, having your bowl filled with chowder from any number of venues and you choose the winner at the end-all very exciting. I am keen to have the bowl!
If you’re an X Factor fan, we have Jay James performing, as the opening act. Jay is a local lad, coming from Saundersfoot and was very successful in the last round of X Factor, getting into the live performances.
Renowned artist Dorian Spencer Davies is in attendance too and has been commissioned to create a new artwork for the festival. I have one painting by Dorian, of Porthgain. It is a picture that captures the essence of Porthgain, and of course, has The Sloop in it.
There is much more to do, and of course there will be lots of great local producers there to buy and taste some yummy food & drink and also buy some great crafts.
Here at Fields Lodge Bed and Breakfast, our guests have some lovely homemade fudge to enjoy.
I love fudge! I think it stems from childhood when it was always available when I went to my Grandmothers’ houses. I had 2 ‘Nans’- ‘Little Nan’ and ‘Big Nan’. Thinking back, if I had been ‘Big Nan’, I’m not sure I’d have been very impressed with that name!!! However, it did describe them quite well as my Mother’s mother was very small and petite and my Dad’s Mother was a larger lady in comparison. I always have hopes that I will follow the sizings of ‘Little Nan’, but my love of food seems to be taking me towards ‘Big Nan’- hence I am keen to follow personally a ‘free from’ diet as much as possible. And yet, here I am talking about fudge, which has oodles of sugar in it! As a side note, I am going to try and make the fudge with some of the ‘better’? alternatives to sugar-watch this space.
So, to get back to fudge…..
I make fudge at Fields Lodge for my guests, I have a cute little kilner jar that fits a couple of pieces quite nicely as a little taster for anyone who arrives with a sweet tooth, as a little surprise for them when they reach their room. Not so much of a surprise now though, as I’ve written about it!
I have tried a few fudge recipes, some with not so good results but have settled on a recipe that is quick and easy and so far, foolproof. It is inspired from a Jamie Oliver recipe and is easy to adapt to give you all sorts of different flavours.
The recipe is as follows:
1 can of Condensed Milk
80gr unsalted butter-I like Calon Wen
150gr Light, soft brown sugar (although I have subsituted many other brown sugars)
1 Vanilla Pod- the seeds of
Pinch of Sea Salt- I like Halen Mon
You will also need a small baking tin lined with parchment paper and a thermometer
The method is as simple as pop it all in a large bottom non-stick saucepan and heat over a gentle heat until everything melts-keep stirring all the while to ensure nothing sticks and the sugar doesn’t burn.
Ideally have a thermometer, as you need the mixture to get to 113 degrees to ensure it will then set. There are little tests you can do with a glass of water and pop a small bit of fudge in it to see if it’s ready but I’ve had mixed results when using this, so a thermometer is the way to go for foolproof fudge. You really don’t want to go to all the bother and expense of making for it to turn out below par, it’s so demoralising, so have thermomter in hand and always then have great fudge.
Once it’s reached the required temperature, take it off the heat and continue stirring until it starts to cool and firm up, then transfer it to a tin that has been lined with baking parchment. Smooth it down with the back of a spoon that’s been run under hot water and then pop in the fridge for a few hours to set.
Once set, cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Then pop the kettle on, put your feet up,have a nice cup of coffee and let a few pieces of fudge melt in your mouth…heaven!
I am delighted to be joining forces with Ellen Picton, a qualified nutritionalist, of Healthaspire-based at Milford Haven Marina.
Ellen has planned a busy 4 day, 3 night, Detox weekend to kick start your health for spring. It is a residential weekend, based here at Fields Lodge and at Ellen’s offices during the day.
The detox will follow The Harcombe Diet principles, which will allow your body to be free of any intolerant foods over the 4 days and give you a great kick start to healthy eating.
It is an all inclusive offer, with all meals following the same principles of The Harcombe Diet, all based on real food where you should not find yourself hungry at all. With greater focus being brought on the effect of wheat, gluten and sugar in our diets, this is a guided weekend to put your body back into order.
The weekend of April 17th, 18th & 19th is planned as:
Friday: Arrival at 3pm at Healthaspire Headquarters
You will be contacted by Ellen prior to Friday to advise you what to eat for Breakfast and what to bring with you on the car journey to Milford Haven
Introductions / goal setting / health check.
Check in 5pm to Fields Lodge
Dinner served at 6.30pm
9 am Breakfast
Bacon / eggs / toms
Coast path walk / outdoor exercise with personal trainer Gerald Brace
Lunch and half day at local spa with treatment included.
Nutrition Course – weight loss for life
Dinner, followed byevening entertainment
Coast path walk / outdoor fitness /
Cooking demo and shared lunch
Nutrition course – what we need and what we don’t
Roast dinner followed by evening entertainment
Monday – 10am depart after Breakfast with goodie bag, action plan.
One week later – 30 minute phone session
It’s an exciting venture and is offered to Fields Lodge guests at a massive discount of £200 off the normal price, resulting in a cost of £275 per person sharing a twin/double room-all accommodation, meals and drinks based on Harcombe Diet principles.
As you may know, I have been attempting to get to a ‘sugar’ free lifestyle for a while, falling off the wagon many times, I might add! Historically, I have had the stomach of a goat, could eat anything, but over recent years I have felt that there are various food stuffs my poor body was not enjoying, and sugar seemed to be a major contributor..
In my quest I have recently come across the Harcombe Diet, introduced to me by Ellen Picton, a qualified Nutritionalist based on Milford Marina, her business name is HealthAspire.
Ellen has recently set up her business after many years in a career in our local Radio station, Radio Pembrokeshire 102.5. She was diagnosed a coeliac 13 years ago and has been interested in nutrition ever since, ‘healing’ many ails through the medium of food. So, this year, as a leap of faith, she has left her career to pursue her dream to spread the word and help many others through her knowledge of food.
So, here I am, having had an allergy & intolerance test with Ellen, which has given me the knowledge of what I should be avoiding, coupled with the Harcombe Diet (a lady from Newport, Gwent has devised this), which on reading, resonates with the understandings I have picked up through various research I have been undertaking on my sugar free/lifestyle quest.
The report I received from Ellen regarding the intolerance & allergy test is very informative and covers way more than I had anticipated. It has given me the vitamins and minerals I am deficient in and ideas of meals to include to resolve the issues.
I am planning on providing a ‘free from’ breakfast option for my guests, which would mean this would be a standard offering running alongside tradional produce for breakfast and packed lunches. Making my own bread and much of the offering here makes that easy to do and now I am up to speed on the requirements of the Harcombe Diet, I will be totally Harcombe friendly, so guests can come and enjoy a break away without spoiling their diet!
Ellen is planning on running a few Harcombe Retreats, where the guests will stay here and also in my self catering apartment on Milford Marina and then attend classes in her offices on the Marina and also enjoy our lovely Pembrokeshire beaches and countryside.
I was so fortunate to attend a morning at Steve Robinson, Glass Art in St Davids a few weeks ago. It was a trade day courtesy of Pembrokeshire Tourism and gave us an idea of what visitors to Steve’s studio might expect if they were to book onto one of his workshops.
Steve is the very talented chap that has created the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards that I have been lucky enough to win over the last 2 years for ‘Pembrokeshire’s Finest Breakfast’. I have always wanted a piece of his work, and now I have 2 very special pieces!
Steve’s studio is stunning and will leave you wanting to buy oodles to take home. I really liked the Puffin piece, I thought it was quite fitting for the B&B as we have the puffins so close by and also have so many guests staying that take the trip onto the island to visit them. Try as I might though, I could not find a ‘place’ in the B&B that it might fit in with. Maybe when I next redecorate we’ll have a different colour scheme and it can take pride of place then!
You may have seen some of Steve’s work for sale in John Lewis, for example-they stock his lovely range of splash backs for kitchens. His studio was full of wall pieces, bowls and tea light covers-it was the tea light covers that we were going to be having a go at making.
The glass is coloured with powdered enamels(I may not be technically correct here, this is what I remember!). I decided to do an underwater type scene -my vision was a seahorse floating in lovely blue water above a sandy sea bed. Steve helped with the colours, as they don’t mirror the colour when it’s in its’ powdered state once it has gone through the kiln, so occassionally I was picking up the wrong sand type colours and blues!
Between us all there were many different designs and colours, the majority of us did seem to favour the blues and greens though-probably because a lot of Steve’s wares were highlighting those colours as we walked in, I guess.
So, once you have scattered your various powders and settled on your vision, you then scatter some grey powder which causes the glass to create bubbles-perfect for an underwater scene. Then a second piece of glass is popped on the top of the piece you have been working on- carefully so not to disturb your creative scatterings and thetwo pieces of glass, as one, are then placed in the kiln.
The glass is fired in the kiln at some ridiculous temperature(I can’t remember what!) and a day after, hey presto!
We had to wait a day for it all to cool properly before we could collect it. I waited with baited breath…did my seahorse shape stay enough for someone else to ‘see’ it was a sea horse???
Well, you tell me…..
I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed my morning and I am so pleased and proud of what I have achieved. My panel has pride of place in the large blue bathroom, as it suits the colour scheme in there.
I am very proud to report that Fields Lodge has been awarded for the second year running, the title of ‘The Finest Breakfast in Pembrokeshire’.
The awards, as given by Pembrokeshire Tourism and the breakfast category sponsored by Pembrokeshire County Council, were judged by two independant judges who came to sample my breakfast offering many months ago in July. I had just returned from a short break away, the following day being the day chosen for the Breakfast Judging.
My own Masterchef!
I was first to be judged, which meant I went straight from a busy breakfast service, straight into welcoming the judges.
It was my very own little ‘Masterchef’ competition! Cooking up various items from the breakfast menu and waiting whilst they were tasted, was, for me, nerve racking. I love to cook for people and want nothing more than to provide a really great breakfast and breakfast experience-which, going by comments and reviews, I do achieve…but having to be judged is another game all together!
Anyway, after creating a usual Fields Lodge Cooked Breakfast, Cnwd(guest producer that week) Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg on a hot buttered muffin, Smoked Haddock with Tato Cymru (which is my name for a crispy potato cake cooked with Welshman’s Caviar-dried and toasted Laver seaweed, courtesy of The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company)topped with a poached egg and served with hollandaise sauce, lovely kippers from Milford Docks and never mind the local berries and fruit selection, homemade granola, yoghurts, bircher muesli and smoothies, all finished off with homemade bread toasted and topped off with homemade preserves, the judges were bloated before moving on! Phew!
My 1950 Aga, did me proud, cooking everything and making it all taste so yummy, it’s a pleasure to cook on and show off to anyone who is interested, it really is like a member of the family and it does have it’s off days…wind…it really doean’t like the wind! Yesterday I made a lovely multi grain loaf that normally takes 45 mins to an hour to bake…..I took it out of the oven at 8pm-I started it at 9.30!! The wind had sucked all the heat out of the Aga and because it stayed windy all day, it just had no chance to catch up and get back up to heat. That’s the downside of Aga living here, it’s deceptively high here so we catch the wind coming striaght off the heads of the river and of course, I never know how the Aga has been affectted overnight until I come in to start breakfasts in the morning!
Coming back to the awards, they were presented in the Wolfscastle Hotel, just outside of Haverfordwest. The Wolfscastle is my favourite place to eat in Pembrokeshire, it offers fabulous food from a great chef(he appeared on Masterchef!), the service is really great and the surroundings are modern and newly refurbished. It ticks all the boxes for me.
There were many categories of award, and it was lovely to see so many people receiving recognition. For a full list, please check out Pembrokeshire Tourism’s site.
Whilst the awards were being presented I waited with baited breath, not really being able to enjoy my meal as the awards were next. The competition was strong, the 2 other B&Bs that made the finals to be judged I know offer great quality breakfasts and are equally as good cooks, we all promote Pembrokeshire and Local Produce and use this extensively, so for me, any one of us could have won. I was delighted to hear that I had been judged the winner!
The award, created by Steve Robinson in St Davids, is really lovely. An absolute pleasure to have as pride of place as you enter my hallway and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s very satisfying to have my dedicated work and enthusiasm to do a great job for visitors and Pembrokeshire recognised and acknowledged!
The last weekend of September saw the Narberth Food Festival coming to town.
This is a festival with a wonderful atmosphere and plenty of seats!
There are delights galore if you like your food, there’s a beer tent and live music playing in the outside area and inside the marquee there are many, many independent food retailers from the local area and beyond. Infact, you can enhoy a 3 course meal from all the tasters that are on offer!
My first stop is some lovely local coffee from Preseli Coffee Roasters together with a Devilishy Good Brownie, from the company of the same name. I have a wander around all the stalls to see what’s on offer (deciding to go later on the day and buy), check out the demonstration timings and the talks timings and then decide what to do next!
I settled with my coffee and cake to wait for the first demonstration, which was chamged at the last minute from the advertised chef to Kate Morgan from Pembs County Council, who jumped into the breach and saved the day(or the first demo, at least). Kate did a sterling job on profiling our local leeks and explained the product mark that the producers are trying to obtain, to identify them as being ‘Welsh Leeks’ in the same way as ‘Welsh Lamb’ is identified.
I then ended up sitting through a few more demonstrations, watching some fantastic chefs-Lisa Fearn from the Pumpkin Patch, Stephen Terry from the Hardwick in Abergavenny-who was responsible for cooking for the President and all the delegates at the recent NATO conference held in Wales. He entertained us with many stories and was most enjoyable to watch.
I then had a break to find some lunch, which I enjoyed with the Pembrokeshire Beach Company-I chose one of their Seashore Wraps-crab, seaweed, spring onions and many other things in a cooked flour tortilla- yummy.
After watching a talk by the same Pembs Beach Company (they’ve won many awards for their produce), I enjoyed a taster of their Fish Chowder. It’s not something I would ever choose to order, to be honest, but it was absolutely fantastic, and I have been converted, well and truly!
Then I headed back to the demos to watch Will Holland, head chef of Pembs newest ‘nice’ restaurant-Coast. Coast overlooks Coppit Sands at Saundersfoot, with a stunning view- I have been over once myself and it is on my ‘to-do’ list to go again.
Will demonstrated a pudding dish from their festive menu coming up. It sounded a bit strange, but it did taste superb, and I will definately be making it this week. It’s no good for diets, however!
After the demos, I started going back to the stalls to buy-it was late afternoon by then, and dispaoointingly for me, but great for the stall holders…much of what I did want had sold out-to be refreshed tomorrow…so, it’s a good excuse to go the following day too!
Once you’ve finished at the festival, you can then pop to the Queens Hall to the Pembrokeshire Craftmakers Exhibition-full of Artisan crafts, really good quality. And then, if you have any stamina left, you can wander down the high street in Naarberth and enjoy the lovely boutique shops…I was far too weary and I’d bought that much, that my bag was way too haevy to be wandering anywhere but back to the car! But, again, that makes a really good excuse to go back to Narberth on another day, as it’s a truly unique high street.
So, inspired by the demos and all the lovely food on offer, I made some lovely bread ready for breakfast the following morning and enjoyed a tasty steak stuffed with pate and stilton, courtesy of Andrew Rees butchers for our supper. Bang goes the diet again!
40,000 people recently descended on Pembrokeshire, Tenby, in particular to watch or take part in Ironman Wales.
This challenging competition is run over 1 day, with a sea swim, biked ride and then topped off with a full marathon! It’s not for the faint hearted and it is deserved of it’s name!
My friend Gills’ son, Neil was in the competition-the second time for him and I also had a guest staying who was here to cheer on her sister, who was also competing.
Over 2000 men and women entered, with over 190 being from Pembrokeshire.
The day started at 5 am for us(on my day off!!!!), getting up so that we could drive to Carew to pick up the Park & Ride that the council had put on, as all the roads around Tenby would be closed due to the race. The Park & Ride ran very well, getting us into Tenby for 6.15am, and already the town was filling up, with Ironmen in their wet suits being spotted getting ready for their swim!
The swim start time was 7am, and there were thousands of people standing all over looking the beach ready to cheer them on.
The sea got more choppy as time went on, so the slower swimmers did have the hardest job-they had to swim 2 laps within 1 hour 15 mins to be able to carry onto the next leg-the bike ride.
I was standing next to a family who were supporting the husband competing in the race-he had previously done a half Ironman in Bolton, and they were amazed by how many people had turned out to cheer on the competitors, they said the atmosphere was much better in Pembrokeshire! (Yaay!!)
After the swim, the competitors had to run to transition to get onto their bikes and cycle all over south Pembs, before coming back to transistion to change into running shoes to finish with a full marathon.
Neil was hoping to get within a 12 hours finishing time, and all the family was there to support him.
The day started at 7am, and the competitors had until midnight that night to get all 3 stages completed, with individual deadlines in place for each stage, complete it within the deadline or be disqualified and therefore unable to continue.
As it happened, Neil did tremendously well, finishing faster than some of the professionals, with a final time of 11 hours, 30 mins and a position of 126-go Neil!! I must find out what he had for breakfast!!