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Aspen House B&B real food breakfast

A couple of week’s ago I mentioned having one of the best breakfast’s ever at Aspen House B&B in Herefordshire – well, quite by accident Mr Rigg and I ended up back at Aspen House for a night on Saturday.  This was Mr Rigg’s first visit but he’d already heard lots about the breakfast and how lovely Sally and Rob were – but going back again so soon has allowed me to remedy the lack of photos of the breakfast from last time.

Sally and Rob are passionate about real food, running their B&B and cottage with green principles at their heart.  The bedroom we stayed in is so pretty, painted a lovely dove grey with a soft coloured patchwork quilt on the bed and a big window with built-in seat.  But what I’m hear to tell you about in more detail is the breakfast.

Aspen House B&B Herefordshire

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Erddig National Trust

A couple of weekends ago Mr Rigg and I, dog-less and fancy-free decided to take a day trip to Erddig house, a National Trust property near Wrexham that is renowned for its portrayal of the upstairs downstairs life.  It is a truly fascinating and beautiful place, one that I would recommend for a day out.

As well as the house, there is a lovely garden and stables with working horses, but I wanted to share what I was most interested by, which is the ‘downstairs’ quarters and the plain country living that I think is so beautiful. There was only one ‘upstairs’ room that I liked enough to photograph, and that was the nursery and adjoining (if I remember correctly!) bathroom.

You enter the house through the sculleries and kitchen, which happened to be full of things that I have collected from car boots sales – I should have very much liked to have a ‘supermarket sweep’ if given the opportunity!

Downstairs living

Historic scullery

Broom hooks

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The Dordogne

There is something that always pulls me back to France, something inside that about once a month I get an aching inside to be back there – usually this has been the Loire (where we’ve visited twice, you can read about it here and here) but this time we wanted to see a different part.

So after many hours searching for somewhere to stay, we booked ourselves a week to Le Pigeonnier a small hamlet on an organic goat farm at La Geyrie in the Dorgone.

Limoges map

Perigord National Park

We flew to Limoges before driving down through the Limousin-Périgord National Park to the small hamlet of La Geyrie.  As we pulled up we were welcomed by a small rabble of dogs – two belonging to Louise and Peter our hosts and another from the house down the road, a sweet little dog who would come to welcome us home most days by running in front of the car (!) and then bouncing at the window whilst making an excited whining.

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Huntstile Organic Farm

For me, Hunstile Organic Farm in Somerset is pretty close to heaven on earth. Not only is it a stunning ancient farmhouse set on organically managed land, not only is surrounded by goats and chickens and pigs and other animals, but it is run by a generous and friendly family.

Huntstile Organic Farm

In my other life running a natural wedding business, I have got to know Lizzie from Hunstile Organic Farm as they host a number of weddings throughout the year and I promote them as one of the wedding venues on my directory.

Mr Rigg and I had a wedding in Cornwall last weekend (more on that to come) and wanted to break up the long journey south – we had tried once before to stay at Hunstile on our way to Cornwall but they were fully booked, this time we were in luck.

Hunstile Farm B&B Somerset

We stayed in the beautiful Panelled Room in a massive bed, so wide that we argued over who had all the duvet because we were so far away from each other.

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The Priory Cottages Forest of Dean

I’m not even going to look at how long ago it was that I last wrote a post. March has been a mega month business-wise for me, and I’m quite looking forward to a calmer April.

Last weekend we (Mr Rigg, myself and the dog) spent a long weekend down on the River Severn, just near the Forest of Dean. We stayed at the most lovely wooden clapboard cottage called The Priory Cottages, with an outlook across an orchard and past the owners house views of the river.  I’ve been determined to share some pictures of our holiday before another month passes, so I’m going to write less and try and mainly post pictures.  They are a mixture of my phone and camera pictures.

On arrival we were greeted with a loaf of homemade (and still warm) bread, local farmhouse butter, a jar of homemade plum jelly, eggs from the owners hens, local cider, and garden grown flowers.  You don’t get much of a better welcome in my books.

homemade bread and garden flowers

So immediately we tucked in…

Warm bread and plum jelly

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Paris Le Tire Bouchon creperie

If I don’t hurry up and finish sharing details of my Christmas Paris trip I’m going to have forgotten it all, and there’s a few more lovely places I wanted to share.  In particular I wanted to share this meal with you – our first meal in fact, that we ate in Paris, and probably the nicest for a number of reasons.

Paris Le Tire Bouchon creperie piano player

We had been wandering around the Christmas market up by Sacre Coeur as dusk fell, it was chilly and we’d warmed ourselves on (the best!) hot chocolate from one of the stalls.  I had received a few recommendations on where to eat (thanks Ellen and Brigitte!) but once we got there we were seduced into a rather shabby looking building by a piano player inside.

Paris Montmartre creperie piano player

The red paint was peeling off the brickwork, but this gorgeous tune wafted out and as soon as we entered we received a warm welcome to this tiny place.  All of the walls and ceiling were covered in photos, notes, and drawings from people who had eaten there.  The place was called Le Tire Bouchon and it made crepes.

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Christmas markets at Montmatre Paris

‘The best’ of anything is always subjective, what I think is the best when it comes to food might not be to someone elses taste, but it’s always interesting to get some tips on where to find ‘the best’ of something.

I love hot chocolate.  As a non tea and coffee drinker, hot chocolate is my hot drink of choice, so naturally a trip to Paris at Christmas warranted a search for the tastiest hot chocolate to warm us up.

Paris Christmas lights

Before we went I did some research – the best selection I found for the top places for Parisian hot chocolate was on David Lebovitz’s blog.  This was primarily what I used to guide us once we reached Paris, but also just looking around at what might look good.

I think what I learnt from my search for the best hot chocolate, is that it isn’t just about taste – it’s about where you are, the surroundings and atmosphere.

Christmas at Laduree rue Royale

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Last weekend I went to Paris with my little sister Izzy – she turned 18 this year and for a long time I’ve wanted to do something special with her, and Paris at Christmas was what I decided on.  We went on Saturday and came back late Monday evening, we stayed in a sweet little apartment B&B in the 18th arrondissement on Boulevard Ney.

Highlights from our trip were sitting on the metro when a man with a guitar and amplifier began to play ‘What a wonderful world’, sipping hot chocolate at dusk outside Sacre Coeur and soaking up the Christmas atmosphere, and wandering through the organic market on Boulevard Raspail.

More details on what we ate and where to come, but for now, here’s my Paris at Christmas…

Best hot chocolate – chocolate on a wooden spoon stirred into hot frothy milk…

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A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the National Trust’s Fine Farm Produce Awards in London.  Before the evening event I spent the afternoon wandering around Borough Market – a place I’ve heard lots about, always wanted to go, but have never been.

Here’s what I found…


Loving the window full of pickled onions


I could have bought so much cheese home but I would have been unpopular on the train home!


Beautiful breads but with London prices

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It has been long over due sharing details of this wonderful farm shop – perhaps a big statement to make, but I think St Kew Harvest Farm Shop could be my all time favourite farm shop.

On our last morning in Cornwall we decided to head to the farm shop to stock up on lovely items before we headed north to home.  When we arrived the shop was full of the fragrance of warm cakes straight from the oven.

Sat at a little table looking out to the fields beyond, we ate lemon drizzle cake for breakfast and I had a divine cup of hot chocolate.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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