April letter from ‘The Ferns’ veggie B & B chatting about St Georges Day, ‘Thank Goodness’ Cottage Pie and Staffordshire oatcakes

St George’s Day

Here in Newport we have celebrated St Georges Day for a number of years. This years we shall be celebrating this Saturday starting at 12 noon. St George will be defeating ( we hope!) the dragon on the High Street.

The day is a free event which includes The Mile of Coins which aims to raise £1000 for Local charities starting at 10am, The Bedcote Morris Dancers, a procession from 12pm followed by a live dragon slaying. I have shown the cross on the right before, but I think it’s so funny, I am displaying it again !

st george 2


Outside the library

 ‘Thank Goodness’ Veggie Cottage Pie

cottage pie packet

The pie has to be defrosted before putting in the oven

Bernadette tells me that she was unimpressed by the usual veggie cottage pie made with lentils, and so wanted to try something with more texture and flavour. The replacement for the meat part of the dish  therefore comprises pieces of carrots celery, leeks, mushrooms and aduki beans.  I noticed that the taste is  similar to the ‘Shroppie Pie’ in flavour and texture.  So if you have enjoyed the ‘Shroppie Pie’ – which has beautiful  pastry by the way- you will love this.

Bernadette told me that meat eaters love this recipe because it is as hearty as a meat Cottage Pie. She also told me that this is the product that she enjoys best of all her range!


A birds eye view  – I served it with green salad and grated carrots salad

The fluffy mashed potato has cheese on the top which adds to the flavour and colour. Bernadette also told me that  the secret ingredient that makes it so tasty is the stock part of which  contains the remains of the aduki beans liquid which gives it a gravy-like flavour.

eating cottage pie

The Cottage pie is only available at the moment at the  Green Fields Farm Shop Donnington – next to Wyevale Garden Centre in Telford, Shropshire. Check them out

Staffordshire oatcakes

For breakfast at my B & B  you could try Staffordshire oatcakes. They are  a type of  pancake made from oatmeal, flour and yeast. They are cooked on a griddle or ‘baxton’. The oatcake is a local speciality in the North Staffordshire area of England, specifically Stoke-on-Trent

I always purchase Povey’s Oatcakes. They make them  in Biddulph, Staffs.  The business was started by Steve Povey in 1994. Steve explained: “There was an oatcake shop in town before – at one time you could find a baker in every street in someone’s back kitchen – but the proprietor went bankrupt and I took a gamble, rescued the machinery from his garage, copied the recipe, and the rest is history.”

His son, Alex, says  ” Everyone who tries the oatcake for the first time is knocked out by how good they taste and I see it as my personal crusade to introduce the oatcake to a global market.” . His recipe is a closely guarded secret, but he will tell you that the oatcakes contain no artificial additives, fine oatmeal, plain flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, yeast and water.

I buy them from Newport Market ( Friday or Saturday). I am confident in the ingredients, and so all vegetarians or vegans can have oatcakes for breakfast, if they wish.  They are delicious!

The canal….

Walking along the canal in Newport this afternoon, we saw a swan nesting



and we disturbed a heron.



Best wishes Linda