Bed and Breakfast…the two things you have to excel at, if you’re looking to run a successful establishment and create a great ambience for your guests. Sleep has so many repercussions into daily life, it’s a massively important topic for me.
The importance of Sleep
So, what’s my take on the importance of sleep…
Having spent a vast amount of time in my previous career travelling and therefore spending many nights in strange beds, I am a keen advocate of getting a good nights sleep. And why is this? Well, years ago I noticed quite starkly how a poor night’s sleep impacted on my performance, behaviour and appetite during the following day. This is way before the internet and social media came on the scene. Just saying that is weird now though—can you imagine the world without those two things now?? Anyway, before the vast amount of information now available to us to advise us how important a good nights sleep is, I had worked it out for myself!
Mr Paul Davies Welsh Assembly Member in Attendance
We hosted Mr Paul Davies, Assembly Member for Wales and other dignitaries at a Breakfast Celebration Event here today (Monday 18th March 2019) to start the week off for National B&B Week. We were very honoured to be chosen by Mr Davies to show his support of B&Bs UK wide and the contribution they make to the local and wider economy and community.
Because a lovely, frequent guest made me realise, that although I write often to my guests, to keep them updated on what’s going on here and any offers I have, I have never ACTUALLY pointed out the importance of booking direct through our own website.
Porridge is one of the most popular dishes here at Fields Lodge Bed and Breakfast, where we pride ourselves on being an Award Winning Breakfast provider. But, the question is, will any old porridge oat do??
The answer, for me, is no! You have to have a particular type of Porridge Oat.
Having been creating Award Winning Breakfasts in the B&B here for many years now, there are a few things that I just couldn’t live without. A tad drastic a statement, you may say, but some of these items, I would struggle to produce the award winning breakfasts we have become so well known for.
My Top Five
Silicone Griddle Pad
This is a life saver–we use it on the cooler top ring on the Aga, and here, oil free, we can cook eggs and pancakes, we can crisp up bacon and brown off tomatoes. We also use another type of silicone sheet to keep the Aga lid clean, but I can live without if needs be, by replacing that by a tea towel!
2. Apple Corer & Peeler
Who knew there was such an invention! I stumbled across one of these just this year, but it has made our life here much easier!
We like to make lots of homemade chutneys with all the homegrown we have-=between out trees here and the ones down the lane at our neighbours, we have bags and bags of apples for making lots of lovely different types of chutney. One of my favourites is an apple & date chutney and I do try to make them all without refined sugar, some use dates, others Xylitol, just to mix it up a bit.
This contraption, peels and cores and slices in one go-a marvellous invention. If I was super critical, it peels fairly thickly, so you’re left with apple spaghetti! As long as you’re quick, you can chop this up and add to a salad for a little sweetness, I do hate to throw any food away!
Here’s a Facebook Live I did when I trialled it for the first time–have fun!
3. A Breadmaker
Although we make artisan breads by hand and then cook these in the Aga–the more common loaf-the basic white and wholemeal loaf, that we go through plenty of, we do make these in a breadmaker. This means we can get on with all the other thigs we need to cook whilst the breadmaker is taking care of itself. Over the years, we have gone through a few models, we are currently using a Panasonic, which is doing a great job for us, and with it being a more upmarket make, spare parts are readily available.
And why I love making bread?? The same reason as why I love making other things-you know what you’re putting in it, you know what you’re eating and that way you can make sure you’re eating as healthily as possible. As an example, our sourdough loaf has 3 ingredients in it, one supermarket loaf of bread I looked at the other day, had 32 ingredients on the back of it, some of which I didn’t recognise as food at all!
4. An Egg Boiler
Maybe an extra gadget in some households, but for us here, not having to keep an eye on eggs boiling when you’re busy cooking other things is a relief. This little gadget, not expensive, will cook your eggs to the desired consistency-hard, soft or medium, and buzzes once the eggs are ready for perfect eggs & soldiers-just writing this is making me fancy that now! and of course, for me, it’s gluten free bread, for my soldiers!
5. Garlic/Ginger& Parmesan Grater
Something that looks like a saucer that you’d put olives in to pick at, is one of my favourite gadgets. This nobbly saucer grates all of the above–no peeling garlic, just rub it on the nobbles. No peeling Ginger-just rub away and parmesan is just as simple, and what’s great, is that it doesn’t take up much space at all. A great find, and we now sell these here at Fields Lodge, so if you want one, just email me!
What are the gadgets you can’t live without? I could quite easily list a few more without thinking too long!
I went to a roadshow a while ago, organised by Visit Wales. It was an event where the good and great of the Tourism Industry were present, lots a great businesses and producers for us to meet and inspirational speakers.
One of the speakers, started their segment with …’Multi-award winning, that’s what all businesses strive to be able to say’…….
We’re busy making cocktails at Fields Lodge. Having recently been awarded our alcohol licence, we are now keen to create a Fields Lodge Signature Drink, and we are hoping that our guests can get involved too!
Room Attendant of the Year!!! How fantastic is that??
In the Finals
Our lovely Rhiannon, one of my team of ‘angels’ has been shortlisted as one of only 6 finalists for this prestigious award. Out of all the hospitality businesses in the UK, when you think how many that would be-there’s over a 1000 in Pembrokeshire alone! She has been chosen and is now in the final 6. This is SOME achievement. To say we are proud is an understatement!
Looking for a sugar free brown sauce recipe to make some at home? I am a HP sauce fan! In fact, instead of asking ‘do you like HP sauce with your breakfast?’, it may be more appropriate to ask ‘would you like breakfast with your HP Sauce?’! And, I really do not enjoy a cooked breakfast without it. So, as part of my quest to reduce my intake of refined sugar and also to KNOW what I am eating, I have been researching a recipe that might replicate it. So far, I have tried quite a few different options, and, for the moment have settled on the one I am currently using in the B&B, for both myself and our lovely Fields Lodge guests. I shall give you the recipe that’s working for me below.
Granola is very versatile item to have in your cupboard and I’m happy to share my recipes. It serves well as a ‘cereal’ with milk or atop yoghurt, or indeed, as a top on a fruit crumble, as an alternative to a flour based topping. This is great, as I love rhubarb crumble and so this is my new favourite topping. I thought I would share with you, my two favourite recipes. I’ll post one this week and the other next week- you can let me know which one is your favourite!
Social media…I run a bed & breakfast, no surprise there then! However, so many people think running a bed and breakfast entails cooking a breakfast and then you have the rest of the day off! I wish!
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, I love doing the best I can for my guests but there’s a lot more to it than just cooking breakfast!
Social media is one of the other ‘jobs’ that needs to be done. Not just scrolling through what your friends are up to, but creating a ‘story’ of your business, what you’re up to, what’s out there for guests. A complete picture in an instance, if you like!