Boutique style bed and breakfast in the heart of the beautiful Dorset Blackmore Vale – a B&B with en-suite rooms, parking, wi-fi, a covered hot tub and delicious breakfasts. Family friendly, dogs welcome, 5* reviews, easy online booking for the best prices and lots of little free extras.
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.
This home made fruit compote recipe is so versatile! I like to use it (as shown here) as one of the layers in my signature ‘Sunflowers’ breakfast parfait; it also pairs beautifully in a breakfast bowl with Dorset’s answer to Greek yoghurt from The Dorset Dairy Company – or you could try a spoonful on your porridge. I’m sure it counts as one of your five a day too, and it can be made sugar-free – so why not make yourself a batch to try?
HOME MADE MIXED BERRY COMPOTE
For a portion with two good servings:
2 cups of fresh or frozen mixed berries
2 tablespoons Stevia (or golden granulated sugar, if you prefer, to taste)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Add all the ingredients to a medium sized saucepan; stir and then bring to the boil.
Allow to simmer for around 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and then, depending on how thick you’d like the compote to be, either: press through a seive (this creates a very smooth compote, good for use in desserts, drizzling over ice cream and so on) OR use a stick blender to whizz the fruit to your desired consistency OR do as I do and gently press with a potato masher – this means that you can control the consistency and thus leave a mixture of whole and pureed fruit pieces.
(This is just one of many delicious breakfast options – remember that we’re currently running a special offer: just use the discount code WINTER when you book online and you can treat yourself to your choice of breakfast upgrades during your November or December 2017 stay with us.)
This recipe, which currently appears on our Weekend Special Breakfasts menu, is inspired by a “traditional” (ie, made in a frying pan) French toast recipe from the mighty Jamie Oliver; his version contains pecan nuts rather than almonds and is fried, not baked.
My ‘Sunflowers’ interpretation is made in advance, left overnight and then oven baked the following morning; it creates a beautifully light and fluffy “stuffed” dish and looks amazing when the bread starts to rise and puff up in the oven. I usually make an individual serving, as shown in the first photo, but to make it for two people, I’d make it in a 22cm diameter dish, as pictured in the second photo.
(This image shows a two person serving of my Orange Croissant Baked French Toast – another very popular Weekend Special; please comment below if you’d like me to share this recipe!)
Stuffed French Toast with Bananas, Honey and Almonds is extremely popular as a Weekend Special and I’ve been repeatedly asked for the recipe by both guests and social media followers, so here it is – my own version of:
Stuffed French Toast with Bananas, Honey and Almonds
8 small slices of white sliced bread (use gluten-free bread to make this GF friendly)
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
50g flaked almonds
4 large eggs
2 cups of full fat milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Oil or butter to grease the baking dish
To serve: crème fraiche, maple syrup, fresh berries
The night before:
Select an oven-proof baking dish measuring 22cms in diameter. Use a small brush and oil or melted butter to coat the inside to prevent the bread sticking.
Take your 8 small slices of bread and spread each slice with honey. Add the sliced banana to 4 of the slices, then sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Top each slice with a slice of bread in order to make 4 sandwiches. Cut each one into four triangles.
To make the custard: beat together 4 eggs, then add the milk and cinnamon and beat again.
Arrange the 16 mini sandwich triangles in your baking dish, then pour the egg custard mixture over, making sure that all the bread is completely covered. Use a fork to press the bread down. Cover with foil and refrigerate.
The next morning:
Remove the dish from the ‘fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan. Remove the foil and then bake in the oven for 45 minutes, taking care in the last 15 minutes that the top of the bread doesn’t scorch – if this is looking likely, loosely cover the dish with foil.
Serve with separate small dishes of crème fraiche, maple syrup and your choice of fresh berries.
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, 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 plant ‘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. Low-carb or Paleo? No problem – we can do that too.
STANDARD BREAKFAST OPTIONS:
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 baked beans or baked, poached, fried or scrambled eggs with your choice of brown or white toast. Served with orange or apple juice and tea or coffee.
Breakfast 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, egg 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 FULL COOKED BREAKFASTS:
Perhaps theFull Cooked Dorset – eggs scrambled, poached or fried, local sausages and bacon (vegetarian sausages and halloumi cheese are available as vegetarian alternatives), tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans.
Trout Florentine: locally smoked Mere trout or smoked salmon, served on a toasted muffin, with wilted spinach and creamy scrambled eggs.
Or a fluffy Three Egg Omelette, filled with your choice of pancetta, cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes.
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, Maple Syrup and a Lemon Ricotta Cream –pictured here
Oven Baked Frittata/Omelette, served with Roast Tomatoes and your choice of Spring Onion/Scallions, Pancetta/Bacon, Cheese,Mushrooms or Spinach – pictured here
Oven Baked Stuffed French Toast with Banana, Honey and AlmondsOROrange and Cinnamon Croissant French Toast – pictured here
Mixed Berry Croissant Bake(our most popular special – we’ll even add a candle for your birthday!)
Breakfast in a Mushroom – a 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)
Overnight Croque Monsieur with local Cheese and Ham; request it with a fried egg to convert it to a Croque Madame!
Mushroom, Halloumi Cheese and Tomato Stack – served on a toasted muffin(vegetarian; gluten-free muffin available)
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
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.
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.
We’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!
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!
Hurry! 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.
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.
This weekend, we’ll be hosting several members of the same family who are all visiting Gillingham, Dorset in order to attend a 90th birthday party – isn’t that wonderful?
As always, my thoughts are turning towards ideas for my Special Sunday Breakfast and I think I’m going to make this lovely looking Granola and Yoghurt Fruit Tart, as created by our friends Alex and Dan at the nearby Dorset Dairy Co – doesn’t it look delicious? I’ll probably top mine with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – watch this space and look out for photos on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
The ingredients for the granola tart are:
350g granola 5 tablespoons melted butter 60 ml honey 640g of the Dorset Dairy Co’s answer to Greek yoghurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh fruit, to top
And you can read the rest of the recipe here, as well as lots of other delicious ways to use Dorset’s answer to Greek yoghurt in your cooking.
One tip I picked up from cookery guru Mary Berry as an easy way to combine all the ingredients to make a crumb (or granola) crust: use a large plastic bag! So for this recipe, I plan to add the granola to a bag and then bash it around a bit with a rolling pin to get the granola “chunks” to a more uniform size. I’ll then add the butter, honey and other ingredients to the bag and get everything coated before using the crumb mix to make the tart case.
We are delighted to be able to share with you the news that we are now able to take online booking reservations through our site! Simply click the link that you’ll find on every page to see which rooms are available for your dates and how much your proposed stay will cost you. You can even choose to add on optional extras, such as a full cooked Dorset breakfast, weekday use of the hot tub or accommodation for your dog.
We also now take credit card bookings online and we guarantee that you will always get the best price by booking directly with us – as well as lots of little extras. Our reviews often refer to the “special little touches” that we love to share with our guests and you can look forward to experiencing some if not all of the following on your directly booked visit to ‘Sunflowers’:
A welcome drink upon arrival (tea, coffee etc), served with cake or biscuits (sometimes home-made – I love to bake!)
A wide choice of local teas and coffees on your in-room amenity tray
Complimentary Prosecco if you’re celebrating – plus a card
Fluffy pool towels and robes to use in the hot tub, and plastic drinkware for you to use on the legendary floating drinks tray
If you choose to eat in one evening, we’ll happily set the guest dining table for you with plates, glasses, napkins and candles: just ask
A guest fridge (stocked with fresh cow’s milk for your use – soya or almond milks also available)
A range of DVDs, toys and books for use by our mini guests (plus a stair gate, landing night light and in-room blackout blinds)
Complimentary dog treats for our canine visitors.
We try and be so much more than just somewhere to sleep and I’m always keen to think of new ways to improve and offer an even better bed and breakfast experience – so do please check out the new direct booking facility and come and see for yourselves! If you’re in the UK – we have two more long Bank Holiday weekends coming up and some availability over those dates; why not check us out and make a booking? We’d love to meet you.
It’s part of the Dorset Road Race League, is run under UKA rules and is organised by Runners for Runners.
Described by a commentator on the Runner’s World site as “the best organised, most friendly marathon of the 150 [the writer] has completed so far – outstanding on every front. ANY runner should do this event”, the route is a picturesque race along country lanes through the villages of Hinton St Mary, Marnhull, Stalbridge, Todber, Stour Row, Margaret Marsh, West Orchard, Farrington, Child Okeford and Hammoon.
Please contact us if you’re taking part in the race and need a place to stay – we can guarantee a friendly welcome, an early (and running appropriate) breakfast on the day of the race and, if you decide to stay with us on the Sunday night too, a complimentary post-race dip in the hot tub to soothe your muscles!
Last weekend, we were honoured to play host to Sally, Chris and their blended family upon the occasion of Sally and Chris’s Gillingham wedding – here are the bride and groom, standing outside ‘Sunflowers’ before they left for the Town Hall!
(Incidentally, in the language of flowers, sunflowers represent “longevity” – I’ve always thought that this was a lovely sentiment to be connected to a marriage and so when Steve and I got married, we gave each of our guests a small packet of sunflower seeds and asked them to plant them and send us the pictures; we were lucky enough to receive photos of sunflowers grown in many different gardens for quite a few years.)
Sally and Chris are also gluten, dairy and soya free, so I was able to flex my breakfast muscles and make sure that our breakfasts were suitable for them. This meant serving up gluten free bread, non-dairy spread, almond milk and coconut yoghurt, as well as my home made fruit compote. And because I love to bake, I also tried my hand at a dairy and gluten free cake which I served upon arrival – it’s a raspberry and lemon cake from the book Simply Nigella and it was really good. I’ve never made a dairy free cake before but this recipe was both delicious and very easy – I will definitely make it again and may try it as a different variant next time, perhaps with blueberries and orange?
My standard breakfasts are all vegetarian, but sausage or bacon may sometimes make an appearance (although can very easily be substituted or replaced) in one of the “Special Breakfasts” which I enjoy whipping up from time to time. Check out my Facebook album for more food photos to tempt you and whet your appetite.
So, when you book your Dorset bed and breakfast stay with us, please do let us know if you have food allergies or preferences – I’m sure I’ll be able to prepare something delicious for your breakfast!