Letter from ‘The Ferns’ veggie B & B chatting about new breakfast room, gardening, Cheadle and Pugin

Breakfast Room

Having had the front room decorated, this is now the Breakfast Room for my veggie B & B guests. It is a much lighter room than the one I used to use, and it looks out onto Station Road.


The bay window looks out onto the main road

Here are some shots of the  room.  The grey, marble fireplace has traditional Coalbrookdale  painted tiles. It goes very well with the very pale pink walls.

breakfast roombreakfast room2The room is also available during the day or evening for guests who need a table to study at or work on their computers.  There is also free wi-fi of course.


I took a break from my gardening today and went to a Churches Conservation Trust open garden at Woore, just over the border in Staffordshire. The gardens had a huge array of magnolias and the one pictured here had the most enormous magnolia flowers that I have ever seen.

magnoliaReally, I should have  put my hand in the picture, so that you could have seen how large these blooms are. The open garden was next to Bridgemere Garden Centre, so we visited them afterwards for vegetable seeds, but it is so hard to find seeds nowadays in a garden centre  – what with all the clothes, food etc, that they sell.  However, if you are in the area, if well worth a trip to Bridgemere – it has just about everything for the garden and is about 40 minutes from Newport through rolling countryside and via Market Drayton.

Staffordshire Oatcakes and Pugin

A couple of days ago I went with my sister to visit the Pugin church in Cheadle, Staffordshire, about 45 minutes away from Newport. 4c4hiit is highly ornate, and chiefly uses paint for decoration. It was like walking into a Pre-Raphaelite painting! It is free to go in, but you need £1 for the meter for the lighting. Afterwards, we went up to the High Street  and on the way, at 1 Cross Street, we found a tiny oatcake shop where they were making oatcakes at the front.  I watched them make about 20 at a time. So interesting. Then I bought a packet of ten.


The oatcake maker’s shop at Cheadle

My veggie visitors  on Friday, who had never come across Staffordshire oatcakes before, both tried them.  They said in my comments book. ” If you’ve never had Staffordshire oatcakes before, you must try one!”. They considfered them to be one of Staffordshire best kepot secrets, and wondered why they had never heard of them before. The ones I served on Friday were with cheese but for my vegan visitors I use either  soya ‘cheese’ or stewed mushroom made with soya milk. Both delicious! I wonder how far out of Stafford you can buy them? Does anyone know? I buy them in Newport, but this is on the Staffordshire border.

Well, we are having lovely dry weather, but the plants won’t water themselves, so its off to the water butts again!