English traditions include afternoon tea

If you’re from overseas, you’ll want to explore some of our favourite classic English traditions, from Sunday roasts to steam railways! Here are some of our top recommendations – you don’t want to miss out on them!

Afternoon tea

The afternoon tea is one of the most delicious English traditions! You can choose just to have a scone with jam and clotted cream, or go for the full experience complete with tiny sandwiches and a selection of pastries and cakes. But no matter what you go for, a cup of tea is essential!

Mr Miles Tea Rooms, Taunton – one of our favourite high teas can be found in the Mr Miles Tea Rooms. Choose between sweet and savoury scones, homemade cakes, and even add a bottle of prosecco if you’re feeling fancy!

Sally Lunn’s Eating House, Bath – this is one of the oldest houses in Bath and home to the Sally Lunn bun! This is a semi-sweet bread that can be topped with cinnamon butter, smoked salmon, or just a bit of butter. Their afternoon teas all include this classic Bath treat.

Classic english pub

Of course, if you’re on holiday in England, you need to have that English country pub experience! Real ales, delicious seasonal foods and Sunday roasts are some of the highlights of a countryside pub.

Candlelight Inn, Chard – a 17th century traditional country pub that serves local produce on a continually changing menu. They serve wonderful wines, beers, and their own Beau Gin. They’re ranked as one of the top 10 best pubs in Somerset by The Guardian!

The Poacher’s Pocket, Chelynch – located right at the end of our lane, the Poacher’s Pocket is one of our guests’ favourite spots! This local pub serves traditional country fare with great wines and real ales. Their Sunday lunch is full of particularly delicious options.

Heritage railway

You may not know this, but heritage railways are hugely popular activities in the UK! Travel back in time on a classic steam train and enjoy unique dining and historical experiences.

West Somerset Railway – explore 20 miles of heritage railway through stunning Somerset countryside and coast with the West Somerset Railway! You can relax on the historic steam locomotives, coaches and wagons on this true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway.

East Somerset Railway – this is a preserved steam railway running through the Mendip countryside near Shepton Mallet. Alongside the steam train rides, they have many special events, a variety of dining trains to savour, and footplate experiences so you can get up close to the wonder of steam!

Are there any other English traditions that you’d like to try for yourself? We’re always happy to give recommendations!

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Like millions of others around the Globe, we are getting used to our ‘new normal’ during these strangest of times.

Being fairly rural, we are used to not being in a busy town setting but there is no doubt that we are missing being able to go out, especially during this glorious weather we are having, and of course we are missing welcoming guests to The Old Stables.

So we continue to look for daily positives and have found that we are spoiled for choice! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and nature is creeping closer to us. Our two barn owls are swooping over the fields in the late afternoon/early evenings and we are daily finding deer in our fields to the front and the back of the B&B. We hear the woodpeckers in the woods and yesterday two Canadian geese settled in our neighbours’ pond. We sit outside in the afternoon sun soaking up Vitamin D and feeling blessed that we are safe and healthy.

We are also taking the opportunity to get those spring time jobs done. Simon has been busy out in the garden painting fences, tending to our newly planted trees and generally doing some sprucing up . He’s desperate for some new bedding flowers but until everything opens up again we are moving things around in our garden so it’s all looking pretty when we re-open.

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen and made a Sourdough starter and have produced some pretty stellar Sourdough loaves! Watch out for it on our breakfast menu when we re-open. I’ve also been trying out different muffin recipes, some chocolatey treats and different flavour shortbreads (we’re sharing our baking bounty over the fence with our neighbours – they are loving it!!).

Jasper, our Golden Retriever, is being let over the fence to play with his best mates, Remy and Spencer (also Goldens) and of course he is still enjoying his walks in the sunshine every day. He’ll be 4 years old on the 18th April so I’ll be baking pupcakes for him and his buddies to share đŸ™‚

This too shall pass…

We really are looking forward to welcoming you to The Old Stables when all of this uncertainty is over. We’ll have everything ready and waiting for you from our beautiful rooms to delish shortbread to hearty breakfasts and everything in-between. Our online booking function is available right here on our website or email us on info@theoldstablesbandb.com or give us a ring on 01749 880635.

Simon, Jasper and I hope that you are all keeping healthy and safe and we will see you soon!

With our best wishes,

Aly, Simon & Jasper x


One of the staples of our Christmas is Granny Williams’ Christmas Pudding. Granny Williams is my Great Grandmother and she came from Lincolnshire to Bermuda in the 1920s. Her recipe has been a part of our family Christmas since then – so almost 100 years!

I just doesn’t feel like Christmas until the pudding is made. We actually soak our fruit in rum and brandy for the entire year so as soon as this years’ pudding is made the fruit goes into soak for next year. Our recipes is in cups and ounces so you’ll need to convert it if you’re cooking on metric measurements.

This recipe makes one good sized family pudding.



4 oz currants

4 oz seedless raisins

4 oz sultanas

4 oz chopped dates

4 oz mixed peel

1 orange

1 lemon

1 apple (peeled and grated)

1 carrot (peeled and rated)

4 oz beef or veg suet

4 oz brown sugar

4 oz flour

4 oz breadcrumbs

3 eggs

1 bottle of Stout

1/4 cup dark rum

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder



Combine all the fruit together, add rum, brandy and stout – let stand for a couple of days. If you want to soak your fruit for the year just put all fruit in a Kilner jar, add the rum only and keep somewhere cool. Remember to give your jar a shake every so often.

When you’re ready to make your pudding, add the rest of the ingredients together with the fruit mixture – don’t forget to let everyone have a stir and make a wish!

Butter a pudding basin, pour in your mixture, cover with a double cover of waxed paper which has also been buttered. Top this with double tinfoil. Tie tightly with string and soft boil for 6 hours. Be sure to check your water level often to see that the pot hasn’t boiled dry. The cooked pudding will keep in the fridge for a few months.

When you’re ready to serve, soft boil for an hour more. Remove coverings and tip out onto a plate. Pour over some brandy and light with a match for some magic at the table. Serve with lashings of brandy butter (make in advance and chill: 1 cup soft butter mixed with 1 cup of icing sugar and as much brandy as you like).


Enjoy! We still hide sixpences in our pudding and whoever finds the sixpence has a lucky year ahead.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


Marmalade.  The story goes that marmalade was invented in 1700 when a storm-damaged Spanish ship, carrying Seville oranges, sought refuge in Dundee Harbour. The cargo was sold off cheaply to James Keiller, a down-on-his-luck local merchant, whose wife turned it into a preserve. True?  No one really knows but we do know that the Keillers of Dundee, James and his mother Janet, were very important in the popularisation of marmalade and are thought to have been amongst the first commercial producers of marmalade, and certainly the most well known. For the first half of the 19th century their brand of Dundee Marmalade, available affordably to the working classes, was extremely popular and was the forerunner of today’s best-selling brands.

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