As part of Caterer‘s Best Breakfast competition, Tom Vaughan sniffs out Lower Buckton Country House's local, home-made offering
Set in the Shropshire countryside, Carolyn and Henry Chessire's quaint bed and breakfast operation, Lower Buckton Country House, offers a lesson in farmhouse breakfasts. With all ingredients sourced from within a 15-mile radius and large chunks of the menu from the couple's vegetable garden, it's as bucolic as a morning meal gets.
So strong is the offering at the three-bedroom property that it has won the British Pig Executive-sponsored Flavours of Herefordshire Best Breakfast award in both 2006 and 2007, and the Farmhouse Breakfast of the Year Midlands category in 2005.
While the popular dishes remain those built around sausage and bacon - home-cured from local butcher AH Griffiths, one of only two butchers still with slaughterhouses attached operating in Herefordshire and south Shropshire - the B&B also offer a good choice of healthy and low GI options. Home-made kedgeree is a case in point, cooked fresh that morning with whatever fish Carolyn has to hand, and eschewing the popular addition of butter and cream for a lighter dish.
Local baker Swift's provides the bread - organic sunflower seed, Shropshire brown and wheat-free organic - and the jams and jellies are home-made from local fruit. Among the selection of honeys is Radnorshire, made from heather-fed bees off the Beacon.
From the vegetable garden, spinach, courgette and sorrel are used to make potato cakes, and spare greens and leaves go into bubble and squeak to accompany the poached free-range, corn-fed hen eggs. Herbs or chard might be tossed in an omelette. Garden-grown hazelnuts form the backbone of home-made muesli.
The couple have run the business for six years, and although the three bedrooms don't put a big strain on the kitchen, groups of up to 15 often book in for a weekend brunch.
Lower Buckton, Leintwardine, Shropshire SY7 0JU 01547 540532 www.lowerbuckton.co.uk
Is yours the best breakfast?
In association with Heinz, Caterer will be selecting an annual Best Breakfast offer from those featured in the Breakfastwatch column, with the winner to be announced at our spring Chef Conference in May.
To qualify, you must run a breakfast menu with a cooked offering. The sponsor's judges will be looking for food selection, healthiness and value, among other criteria.
To put forward a menu, send it and any supporting information to email@example.com.
For more go to www.caterersearch.com/breakfast