Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Bed and Breakfast is now open

The perfect table to enjoy your sourdough toast &  Fairtrade pot of tea at in the morning  

Oh I am just so excited. It's been months of hard work, with electricians, roofers, tilers, plasters, decorators, carpet fitters and plumbers here .. but the newest Northamptonshire bed and breakfast is now ready to have guests.  

I've tried to think of every small detail.  From buying beautiful organic cotton bedding to sourcing British made fluffy white towels, to making sure all the furniture and crockery are all vintage so as to be as ethical as possible where ever possible, and we even found some 100% wool carpets, with no man made fibres.

I think that the piece of furniture I am most delighted with I bought from Sugden and Daughters - it's a French dough table which is so appropriate in the breakfast room not least because of the sourdough bread making courses I run here. 

We started the project in July and left the builders to it whilst we were in France, but this week has seen a run for it.  Just 4 days ago there were bare floorboards and now after a marathon three day put together marathon we are up and running just in time for Dan Lepard to stay as he will be teaching here on Friday. 

Thankfully we are ready!

For more details on how to book click here. 




Thursday, 10 October 2013

To gracefully let go of things not meant for me ...



The past few weeks have gone by fast.  I feel like I am quite literally galloping towards Christmas. I had hoped to be making an exciting announcement about a book deal this week, however I decided at the very last minute, despite all the hard work of planning and proposals that the organization I was going to be working with was not what I thought it was. It’s been a disappointment, much like finding out someone who you are a huge fan of is actually not all that nice. At one point last week I was so upset by an aggressive and confrontational person my hair started to fall out in clumps.  I took this a sure sign that it was not for me.

I keep on reminding myself of the Buddhist saying that in the end "only three things matter.  How much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Clearly this book was not meant for me, so despite being really saddened I shall try my best to be graceful and some really positive things have come from this.  I have to go back to the drawing board, but there is another book brewing…

October is my favorite time of year but I’ve had little time to appreciate it.  I use to wonder why there were so few women in highflying positions.  I now realise that if you have children they are demanding, but when you have sick or poorly children then they are beyond demanding.  They are everything. I remember being so certain that having children was never going to affect my career, or my sex life or my figure. With a size 12 figure, two full time personal assistants and being newly married I was beyond na├»ve.  I was ignorant of the most fundamental instincts of life.  So here I am sleep deprived, a size 12 a dim distant memory and no personal anything anymore let alone two assistants. I am, however, happy and I wouldn’t change a thing.  

On Tuesday I went to the World BreadAwards. I was the category leader for the sourdough section and loved every minute.  There were almost 40 breads to choose from and Charles Campion was my partner, along with team judges Linda Hewett and Luke Collings from The Cake and Bake Show. It was a brilliantly organised event and I really felt that it was done with the same good spirit that bread is baked with.   The winners were The San Francisco Sourdough by The Bread Factory and the runner up was from Alex Gooch, artisan bread baker.
 
My mum popped over yesterday and kindly dropped off a bucket of pears from her tree, so I figure I will bake a pear and walnut muffins tomorrow. I’m also about to add some more courses on to the cookery school website which is always fun.  A jam and preserves making course, a pastry making course and a fantastic guest tutor with Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolate coming up for the day.

My trades are finishing off the last of the renovations in the coach house as the bedroom and breakfast room are finished today, so the bed and breakfast will be ready as soon as the downstairs is insulated and boarded out.  So we are just a just a few weeks away from being able to advertise that students will be able to stay over.

I have to admit that I am really looking forward to people staying, although there will always be a degree of chaos in the place, with chickens, dogs, children and a new kitten, people will have to just take us as they find us.