29th July, Stoke St Gregory to Bickenhall, 12.5 miles
Tommy has jumped out of his field! Ah, but this time it’s not my Tommy who is the culprit. It’s the bay Tommy who lives with Ann’s crew, who has jumped into my Tommy’s field overnight and they have obviously had a bit of a run about because he has a graze on his inner hind leg. Not a good place to administer treatment to a sore area, but he doesn’t appear to be lame having trotted him up to make sure.
Ann is coming a little way with us this morning riding her Chestnut Arab, Gold Sahbir, over North Drove and Sedgemoor Drove on the moors as far as the main road.
Her husband, Terry, comes out in the car to find us and we pose for these pictures.
Before going our separate ways, the two equines share a peace-offering.
At Hatch Beauchamp, we make our way to Griffin Lane taking the A 358 underpass and, coming down the road towards Bickenhall from the Farmers Arms (note the teasel theme here), there is a commotion in the woods when two red deer noisily break cover and dash across the road less than 10 feet in front of us, stopping Tommy and I dead in our tracks.
Our next hosts are wonderful. Frank, who is Dutch and a craft baker, and Carolyn, have set up a B&B business in their home at Park Farm, Bickenhall, a listed farmhouse, offering residential bread making sessions. On arrival, I am offered a delicious tea with warm scones, lavishly applied with thick cream and jam. In the garden. Yum.
With Tommy happily installed in his stable for the night, (here he is poking his little snout over the top of the window opening to see what’s going on in the yard)
My hosts make fresh pizza for supper, baked in the stone-based pizza / bread oven in the bake house.
The following morning we are treated to an assortment of freshly baked croissants.
This stay has been an absolute delight. Such an enterprising couple. I also have a special visit from the resident cat, Mungo Jerry, who is not strictly allowed in the bedrooms but he is such a purrrrrfect cat.
It is a difficult place to leave but we must make a move. With Carolyn’s help, I am able to wash Tommy’s graze with hibi-scrub while she holds up one of his front legs so he can’t kick me in the process, before applying the sudacreme from the small pot Ann has kindly given me.
I am keen to get going before the Inspector from Sawdays arrives as I don’t want to interfere with this important event. However, I do want to take some photos before we go. True to form, Tommy is not so keen and is very fidgety, eager just to get going. Naughty pony.
If you want a unique B&B experience or just somewhere special to stay, you can’t do much better than this. breadbedandbreakfast.co.uk or via Sawdays (of course they were accepted. I did also confess that in a former life, I too did some inspections for Sawdays). They sell their bread every Saturday morning from home, with pizza night on Fridays.