Blog

A visit to new specialist motorcycle dealer Mirus 55 in Gillingham, Dorset

wp-image-886458261
Mirus 55 in Gillingham, Dorset

Book securely and directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little free extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

Fans of classic, vintage and current European motorcycles should definitely plan to visit the newly opened Mirus55 MotoCorsa dealership, which opened up here in Gillingham, Dorset last month. It’s only a few minutes’ walk (or ride) away from ‘Sunflowers’ so we went along to take a look.

Mirus55 is a specialist motorcycle dealer, working with some of the most exclusive, desirable and exciting motorcycles in the world. The showroom is home to some exclusive British and Italian motorbike brands, from Brough Superior to Aprilia, Norton to MV Augusta and many more. The setting, a former brewery building, has had a ‘no expense spared’ makeover and it is amazing; it feels like a cross between a vintage bike museum (complete with original posters and other motorcycle related memorabilia) and a modern-day showroom. The bikes showcased there are spectacular – it’s definitely worth a visit for any motorcycle fan.

As well as bikes, there’s also a mezzanine level which sells motorcycle clothing and, at ground level, leading into the garden (home to a full size fibreglass model Bugatti car) and courtyard, you will find the cutely named – and DOG FRIENDLY – ‘Cafe Newt’.

wp-image--863654327
Cafe Newt on Wincanton Road, Gillingham

Not that as a guest of ‘Sunflowers’ you would have need of an all-day breakfast,  but one is on offer in the cafe,  as well as the usual range of coffees, teas, cakes, sandwiches, pasties, sausage rolls and jacket potatoes.  Like us, Steve the cafe manager is passionate about using local produce, so the cafe supplies such local goodies as 918 Coffee, Dorset Teas, cakes from the Gillingham based Lavender Blue Bakery and sausages from Lagan Farm. They also have a good range of gluten-free options and drinks can be made using soya milk.

 

wp-image--1798669778
An excellent flat white, made with 918 Coffee, served at Cafe Newt

Both the cafe and the showroom are open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm (although the cafe stops serving at around 4pm or so).

 

You’ll find Cafe Newt referenced on our list of recommended and personally curated eating and drinking places and the showroom is also well worth a visit.

Looking for a motorcyclist/biker friendly place to stay? Bikers are always welcome at ‘Sunflowers’ and we look forward to meeting you (and your bike!) soon. Click here to view our current calendar and make your secure booking. 

Visiting the Osho Leela Centre in Gillingham, Dorset and need somewhere to stay?

wp-image-1541355361
The Leela Centre, Gillingham, Dorset

The Osho Leela Centre is a personal development centre with a strong community focus, based in Gillingham, Dorset – an easy ten minute walk from ‘Sunflowers’.

The centre runs workshops, meditation events, festivals and residential programmes on a wide variety of personal development topics. Many of their events are residential and they are able to provide delegates with a limited amount of accommodation in shared rooms and dormitories. However,  if there is insufficient space or the communal living aspect doesn’t appeal, then why not come and stay with us at ‘Sunflowers’?

wp-image--904445365
Our Swedish guest showing us her Tree pose!

We have hosted many Osho Leela delegates and course organisers, from countries which include the UK, Ireland, France, Sweden and Spain (so far!). The Osho Leela kitchen provides vegetarian food free of grains and animal fats and we are able to mirror this, upon request, with the dishes we provide for breakfast here.

wp-image-953967057
Leela House

As we are an easy walk from both the Gillingham (Dorset) railways station and the Osho Leela Centre,  we provide a very convenient base for anyone who’s attending a course and travelling by train rather than by car – although of course our ample parking here is also available.

wp-image-2104898796So if you are considering a visit to Osho Leela and need a place to stay at either the beginning, the end or for the duration of your personal development programme, please make your booking today – we look forward to welcoming you to ‘Sunflowers’.

Namaste.

 

 

Enjoy a Delicious Dorset Breakfast – in photos!

Book securely and directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

Breakfast, petit dejeuner, Früstück, ontbijt, frukost, desayuno, brekkie – it’s half the reason you come to stay here! It’s also an important part of your experience and your time with us, so we want to make sure that you start your day with a great meal.

The highlight of the stay had to be Cleo’s cooking: she clearly loves what she does and is very good at it, offering a great variety of very yummy things at breakfast time! David, Sheffield

We are pleased to provide you with a variety of breakfast options during your stay with us. Our room rates include a wide range of lighter breakfast ideas or you can choose to upgrade to a more substantial full cooked breakfast. Upgrade when you book or decide when you arrive – the choice is yours.

We are also happy to provide gluten-free, dairy-free and de-caffeinated options upon request, such as gluten-free bread, almond and soy milks and dairy free spread. Our porridge, cereals and dishes such as our very popular home-made Fruit, Oat and Yoghurt parfait can also be provided as gluten and/or dairy-free if required.

STANDARD BREAKFAST OPTIONS: 

wp-image--860276755
Fruit, Oat & Yoghurt Parfaits – Tall or Mini

Continental Breakfast: choose from a selection of cold cereals (or porridge/oatmeal), warm pastries/toast, preserves, a cheese and ham platter, separate dishes of local Greek style yoghurt, fresh fruit or home-made fruit compote (based on seasonal availability) or one of our extremely popular Fruit, Oat and Yoghurt parfaits, available in either Tall or Mini sizes. Served with orange or apple juice and your choice of tea or coffee.

Light Bites: choose from a selection of cold cereals, followed by EITHER baked beans or baked, fried or scrambled eggs with your choice of brown or white toast. Served with orange or apple juice and tea or coffee.

wp-image-1476631372Breakfast to Go: available Monday to Friday. Wrapped and ready for you to take away, with a napkin, a bottle of water and a warm sandwich of either bacon or halloumi cheese (v). You are also welcome to grab a quick bowl of cold cereal and a glass of fruit juice if you have time.

OR UPGRADE TO ONE OF OUR DELICIOUS COOKED BREAKFASTS:

wp-image-234360413
The Full Cooked Dorset Breakfast, with creamy Scrambled Eggs

Perhaps the Full Cooked Dorset – eggs scrambled or fried, local sausages and bacon (vegetarian sausages and halloumi cheese are available as vegetarian alternatives), tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans.

wp-image--1466492196

Trout Florentine: locally smoked Mere trout or smoked salmon, served on a toasted muffin, with wilted spinach, Hollandaise sauce and scrambled eggs.

AND AT WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS OR IF YOU’RE CELEBRATING – HOW ABOUT ONE OF OUR SPECIALS?

We currently offer –

Toasted Waffles with a Warm Berry Compote and Lemon Ricotta Cream

wp-image-1047289384Oven Baked Frittata, served with Roast Tomatoes and made with either: Smoked Salmon and Spring Onion OR Pancetta and Cheese OR Mushroom, Spinach and Cheese (v) – pictured here

wp-image--1089657805Stuffed French Toast with Banana, Honey and Almonds (pictured here) OR Cream Cheese and Strawberries (available with gluten-free bread upon request)

wp-1489938914742.jpgMixed Berry Croissant Bake (our most popular special – we’ll even add a candle for your birthday!)

wp-image-757820834Breakfast in a Mushrooma Portobello Mushroom stuffed with Pancetta and served with creamy Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs and Roast Tomatoes (request it without the pancetta for a vegetarian option)

Raspberry Chocolate Brioche Bake (because chocolate at breakfast time is sometimes A Really Good Idea)

wp-1489938975517.jpg

Overnight Croque Monsieur with local Cheese and Ham; request it with a fried egg to convert it to a Croque Madame! 

wp-image-1681540541Mushroom, Halloumi Cheese and Tomato Stack – served on a toasted muffin (vegetarian; gluten-free muffin available)

 

 

Special Offer! August Bank Holiday 2017 – two night bed and breakfast deal in Gillingham, Dorset

wp-image--104430928

STOP PRESS! Due to a cancellation,  we now have a two night break available (Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August) on the last Bank Holiday weekend of 2017. So, if you’re looking for a reason to visit beautiful Dorset and check out some of the famous ‘Sunflowers’ hospitality,  why not click now and book yourself into room one (Church View) for a two night stay?

The Special Offer is:

  • Two nights in our spacious Church View en-suite room, complete with lovely private bathroom, Freeview TV and DVD  player, fast wi-fi, complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and bottled water
  • A  complimentary bottle of chilled Prosecco, which will be awaiting your arrival in the guest fridge
  • wp-image-234360413
    Dorset cooked breakfast

    A FREE upgrade for two people to one of our equally famous cooked breakfasts – choose from the Full Dorset, OR Smoked Trout and Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce OR perhaps one of our weekend specials, such as Raspberry Chocolate Brioche Bake, Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries or even Breakfast in a Mushroom

  • Complimentary use of the hot tub – we provide fluffy robes and towels, just bring your swimsuits.

We only have ONE double room available for these dates (Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August) and when the offer’s gone,  that’s that – no more Bank Holidays until December! So please click now to book and we look forward to meeting you soon.

The dull bit:

  • This offer must be booked directly with us online via our secure reservations page. It doesn’t apply to bookings made via other channels.
  • It only applies to room 1 (Church View) for stays which include both 25th and 26th August 2017
  • However, room 2 is also currently available – you may also book this for a third member of your party if you wish
  • The Breakfast Upgrade is for two people for one breakfast service and can be taken on either Saturday or Sunday morning. 

#WalkersAreWelcome in Gillingham, Dorset – announcing the launch of the 2017 walking festival

wp-image--935367560
Walkers are Welcome in Gillingham, Dorset

We are proud to be supporting this year’s Gillingham Walking Festival and we are a key advertiser in the Festival’s programme,  as pictured here.  The Festival,  which runs from 2nd-10th September 2017,  offers a range of walks of varying lengths, all designed to showcase  Gillingham’s Royal Forest heritage and to introduce the White Hart Link.

This is a very exciting new initiative, launched in April 2017 and is a 50 mile/80 km walking route which links the five towns of North Dorset – Gillingham, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury –  using footpaths and quiet lanes.

Many of the Festival walks, which are led by local groups, are free and there’s also a range of other activities occurring during the Festival,  including a cinema showing of the film “The Way”, a quiz night and a cheese and wine evening.

walkers-are-welcome-logo
Gillingham is the first town in Dorset to be granted Walkers Are Welcome status!

To read more about the Festival, to download a PDF copy of the programme (and to see our advertisement!) please click here.

And to book your bed and breakfast accommodation during the Walking Festival, please use special offer code BOOTS when you book directly online with us, to receive a discount on stays of two or more nights in rooms one and/or three.  We look forward to welcoming you soon.

PS: the code BOOTS is available to all walkers, not just during the Walking Festival.

Delicious Gillingham,Dorset breakfasts – announcing the launch of our new #breakfast menu plus a SPECIAL OFFER

bookDirectButton_01Book directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little extras – check availability here.

* * * * * *

Breakfast, petit dejeuner, Früstück, ontbijt, frukost, desayuno, brekkie – it’s half the reason you come to stay here! It’s also an important part of your experience and your time with us, so we want to make sure that you start your day with a great meal.

wp-image--68261863We’ve always had great feedback on our breakfasts and enjoyed spoiling our guests with our legendary Special Sunday Breakfasts, but we’ve now launched a new menu which offers lots more choice, a much wider range of breakfast options (you can even get a Breakfast To Go if you need an early start on weekdays) as well as a mouth-watering range of weekend and celebration options. Check out the full menu here and start planning your visit.  We look forward to meeting you and cooking for you soon!

wp-image--895845290
The full Dorset cooked breakfast

And there’s more.  To celebrate the launch of our great new menu, we’re making a Delicious Dorset Breakfast Offer: all direct bookings made during July 2017 (through our website) will receive a FREE UPGRADE to one of our special breakfasts during one morning of your stay. No codes, no catches, no minimum stay: just make your booking before midnight UK time on 31st July 2017 for any future date  and you’ll get a fabulous breakfast upgrade!

Breakfast doesn’t get more delicious than this. Don’t hang about – ready, steady, CLICK!

New restaurant opens in Gillingham, Dorset

… and it’s just a short walk away from ‘Sunflowers’! So we are delighted to welcome the owners and staff of The Grill House on South Street, Gillingham to the town,  as it’s always good to have another eating place to recommend to our guests.

wp-image--552651493
The Grill House restaurant, Gillingham, Dorset

The Grill House, pictured here, opened last week and welcomes guests from Wednesday to Sunday, serving food from 12 noon to 9pm. We’ll post a review once we’ve checked it out for ourselves but in the meantime, here’s their menu and you can book online, too.  We were also pleased to see on their Facebook page that they’re using the garden for a spot of al-fresco eating – always a plus in the summer months.

wp-image-217163504The previous restaurant on this site was extremely popular with our guests, particularly those who travelled to us by train, foot or bicycle, so it really is great news that it’s re-opened in a new incarnation.  It’s about a 10 minute walk away from ‘Sunflowers’ – perfect! We wish the new team lots of luck and look forward to calling in soon.

* * * * * *

Want to come and stay in a B&B which is top rated and reviewed across Facebook, Airbnb and Google?  Just click here to book directly with us for the best price, instant availability and lots of little extras. Ann and Stephen from Ireland recently came to stay for two nights on a visit to Dorset to see the legendary RICK WAKEMAN perform as part of GillFest 2017 and wrote in our guest book:

We have never before experienced such a wonderfully attentive and friendly B&B – everything is such excellent quality and Cleo and Steve are so hospitable. We highly recommend ‘Sunflowers’!

Thank you so much!

Flash Promotion! Special deals available on your bed and breakfast stay in Gillingham, Dorset!

special-offerHurry! It’s the last few days of our special Facebook promotion – your chance to book a stay with us and get a discount AND a breakfast upgrade!

(And if you’re wondering what a ‘Sunflowers’ breakfast looks like – check out some of these photos on our Facebook page).

You have until 30th June 2017 (midnight, UK time) to book a stay of two or more nights with us,  which you can take across any dates between now and the week before Christmas 2017.  There are no ‘black outs’ or unavailable dates; if the rooms are available on the calendar,  you can book and get the special offer.

wp-image--1656990548.
Feeling hungry?

And what IS this special offer? Well, you’ll receive a discount AND a free upgrade to one of our legendary Dorset cooked breakfasts. And it doesn’t even need to be Sunday – any day of the week will be worthy of a Special Breakfast!

It’s so easy: just follow the booking link, choose your dates and rooms, click BOOK,  then add the discount code FACEBOOK17.

What are you waiting for? Ready, steady, click – we look forward to meeting you soon.

Terms and conditions:

  • Your stay must be booked by 30th June 2017 and taken before 22nd December 2017
  • It must be for a minimum of two nights
  • It must be booked and paid for via our secure website, using your debit or credit card.

 

 

Pulling out all the (organ) stops in Gillingham, Dorset as part of #GillFest

david-briggs-flyer-july-1-2016Lovers of popular classical music should add Saturday 1st July to their diaries, when, for the third and final time, an audio-visual spectacular show featuring star organist David Briggs and a host of special effects including pyrotechnics, lights, smoke and lasers comes to Gillingham Methodist Church (GMC).

Presented by the Music at GMC team and forming part of community festival GillFest, the evening promises to be a classical spectacular as would normally only be staged in London venues.

Music at GMC organiser Gordon Amery explains:

“Our aim is to bring top quality music to Gillingham and the surrounding area by inviting musicians to come and perform for us. We have previously hosted performers from all over the world and look forward to welcoming renowned concert organist David Briggs back to Gillingham to play for us on July 1st.”

And David Briggs told us:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Gillingham, Dorset for my seventh concert at GMC. I’m always struck by the warmth and enthusiasm of the audience and this makes for a very enjoyable and communicative experience. The past two Organ Fireworks have been great and the atmosphere is so electric. This year I’ll be playing a similarly fun and varied programme, with ample opportunity for audience participation. Last year the massed singing was incredible – it was all I could do to match the volume, even using ten fingers and both feet. I’m looking forward to ‘pulling out all the stops’ again on 1st July!”

This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear popular classics played on Gillingham’s historic, heritage restored William Sweetland organ, which simulates a full symphony orchestra, in a setting featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and indoor fireworks.

At only £15 per ticket, with discounts available for groups of four or more, the audience will be able to enjoy such classical favourites as the 1812 Overture, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Clair de Lune, the Ride of the Valkyries, Jerusalem and many more, all accompanied by an exhilarating light and sound show.

The July 1st show starts at 7.30pm at Gillingham Methodist Church on the High Street. For further information and tickets, please call 07817 379006 or email organ1234@btinternet.com.

Need somewhere to stay during GillFest? Click to book!

Recipe share: a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast idea

One of the many businesses who call Gillingham, Dorset home is the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the prestigious Great Taste awards (the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards, so a pretty Big Deal).  We are honoured to be on their preferred list of accommodation providers and we host members of their judging panel when they travel to Gillingham to blind taste test the widest range of food and drink you could possibly imagine.

We recently met a judge who was here to judge the “free from” category of foods and as she was herself gluten-free and her  travelling companion was dairy-free,  so was my breakfast offering!  Here’s the overnight oats dish I made for them – quantities used may vary, based on the containers that you use, but this is what I did for two portions.  The great thing with this recipe is that it can be flexed so many ways, based on people’s preferences; use regular oats instead of gluten-free,  cow’s milk yoghurt instead of soya or coconut, switch around the fruits.

wp-image--1119164386.
Gluten and dairy-free overnight oats

Gluten and Dairy-Free Overnight Oats – serves 2

60g gluten-free oatmeal
200ml vanilla flavoured soya yoghurt
150g mixed berries, with a few reserved for decoration

Method: the night before, take two tall glass containers (I used sundae glasses) and fill them with layers of yoghurt, oats and fruit, ending with a layer of yoghurt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The following morning,  remove from the ‘fridge about an hour before you wish to serve or eat the dish. Top with a layer of fresh fruit and perhaps a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I was delighted that our guests loved it and they kindly left us this feedback:

We stayed at Sunflowers Bed & Breakfast Dorset for one night and were impressed with such high standards and the warm welcome. Thanks for going to so much trouble to cater for our gluten free and dairy free diets. A magnificent breakfast! We know where to stay when we return to Dorset!

Do you also have special dietary needs or preferences? No problem – just let us know when you book and we’ll happily cater for you – right down to the chocolates and treats we provide in the guest rooms.