Before we started this business, I always believed that breakfast was one of the most important aspects of a getaway. A few years ago we visited the Lake District and stayed in a hotel which had a long write up on their website touting  their locally sourced breakfast and I remember how disappointed we were with what was on offer. The sausages were awful, the eggs poor and badly cooked and the preserves were your standard mass catering jelly type products.

We resolved to provide the best quality breakfast we could and fortunately our guests have  loved our efforts.

Last year I started making jam which was a huge step for me. (Coming from the London corporate life), I never thought that I would end up in the countryside keeping an eye on a bubbling pot of preserves.

We have a damson tree in our garden and it provides huge amounts of fruit. This damson jam has been hugely popular and I then expanded into rasberry and blackcurrant jams.

Our guests loved the jams however a few weeks ago two lovely guests arrived from the US and I discovered that Wendy ran a very impressive preserve company called Sunchowder’s Emporia. I was a bit worried about being assessed by a professional especially one who’s recipes like Blueberry and Basil Jam look so tasty.

Fortunately, after careful tasting Wendy approved of the jams (and the breakfasts) so I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Wendy also introduced me to Angharad who runs the very impressive The Preservation Society in Chepstow.

I am not sure that I am ready to compete in this rarefied atmosphere but at least my jams have been approved by the experts!