Welcome to the Shropshire Breakfast Blog
It’s been a brilliant year for birds at Hopton House. The last lot of swallows have just left the nest and are doing practice flights round the house and the wildflower meadow. We’ve had lots of blackbirds nesting and the sparrows have managed 3 broods per pair. The robin built a nest in pots in my greenhouse, then in an old pot under the apple tree. I also spotted a young chiff chaff the other day.
We’re very lucky here at our South Shropshire Bed and Breakfast to be surrounded by great places to eat. I always recommend the Jolly Frog and The Lion to guests to eat in the evening. Both are about 3 miles away from us here at Hopton House. Log fires in the winter and a deck with the most spectacular views in the summer ( The Frog ) or a beautiful setting by the river ( The Lion ).
It’s getting to that time of year when the wild flower meadow is just about at its best. It changes every year and, this year, we have more ox eye daisies than ever before. We also have masses of knapweed ready to pop. There’s a bench right at the end where guests love to sit with a glass of wine and just breath in the view and maybe chat to the cows.
It’s baby bird season here at Hopton House. A pair of sparrows have nested in an open fronted box right next to the guest dining room window. Guests have been lingering long over breakfast watching the parents feed the birds.
We’re racing into Summer here in Shropshire. Jess came home from London for the weekend and couldn’t believe how green it was all looking.
Well spring has definitely sprung here at Hopton House, and we appear to be racing into Summer.
We can’t move in the garden without disturbing a nest. A few weeks ago I went to the greenhouse to retrieve some pots and discovered a robin was nesting in them. So the greenhouse was declared off limits.
I’ve been trying to find a new pair of wellies for a couple of years now. My old pair – £10 from Tuffins supermarket 10 years ago- had lasted me well but had developed a tiny hole, which managed to let in a surprisingly large amount of water.
Having run the B&B for 4 years I know that one of the reasons people come to an English B&B is to indulge in a full english cooked breakfast. Hardly a day goes by without guests commenting on how different proper local bacon tastes and how the eggs are like nothing you can buy from a shop.
But is it healthy? Well my philosophy in life is everything in moderation and that you shouldn’t deny yourself the occasional treat – especially when on holiday.
I’ve been considering online booking for a while. I did trial it last year and I decided not to continue for various reasons.
But now I feel it would be useful to potential guests, alongside our more traditional booking methods, so I’ve decided to trial the online booking system that’s included with my availability package. It’s a system that is used by the majority of B&Bs in the USA so I am confident that it is secure.
One of the main selling points of Hopton House for me was the large wildlife pond. I’ve always loved sitting by water and looking out for frogs, tadpoles and newts.
The pond is very wild at the moment and is due a good clearout in the autumn. It is full of bulrushes and flag irises – these are just about to burst into flower.
There is a clear spot for me to watch the wildlife though. In 10 minutes today I spotted one large newt, 2 enormous tadpoles and several large water beetles.
Last summer I was there spotting baby frogs when I noticed several dragonflies emerging from their nymph cases. I spent 2 glorious hours sitting there with a camera and was lucky enough to get some beautiful shots.