Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

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One of our many joys is sharing with our guests a love of good food - in whatever form.

Every changeover day I make something - a welcome tea tray ‘treat’ - for our Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns guests arriving that afternoon. Over the years so many of you have asked for the recipes that we are very happy to share them - and other favourites - so that you can enjoy a taste of Orchard Farm when you are back home!

I am always on the look out for more delicious welcome tea tray treats so if you have a special favourite of your own that you’d like to add, please share it! I’d be delighted to add it to the still very small collection.

Nigel Slater’s Fig and Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks

These fig and pumpkin seed flapjacks are quite delicious,  almost healthy and certainly addictive. This recipe is for a modest amount –  double the ingredients if you want to save re making them almost instantly!
Read more about these addictive and (almost) very healthy bars

Douglas’s Barn Jubilee Chicken

This is a lighter, zestier version of Coronation Chicken. Read how to make Douglas’s Barn Jubilee Chicken

Mary Berry’s Orange Wholemeal Cake

I have had the Mary Berry Aga Cook Book for about 25 years, but it was only this year that I happened to hover half a second over the Orange Wholewheat Cake recipe with just enough time to notice that she had described it as ‘A cake which uses wholewheat flour and is absolutely delicious’. Read how to make Mary Berry’s Orange Wholemeal Cake

Steak & Kidney Pudding cooked to perfection in a slow cooker

Steak and Kidney Pudding Cooked in the Slow Cooker

This has been an amazingly successful blog post and recipe. I am quite delighted by that, because I do believe S&KP is one of my very most favourite dishes, and it is lovely to know that so many other people think so too, and have so appreciated this terrific recipe I was lucky enough to find in a wonderful book by Dianne Page “Slow Cooking Properly Explained” published by Right Way (an imprint of Constable and Robinson). I think I bought it from Amazon. Read more…

C chocolate cake recipe to use when you have a glut of courgettes

Gluts in the Veg Patch: Chocolate Courgette Cake

I wrote this first in August 2011, when we were fortunately enough to be having a serious glut of courgettes (it’s hard to imagine now, in January 2014!). Read more…

Biscuits made with oats and raisins

Chuy’s Oat and Raisin Cookies

I am copying this recipe and blog post from one I wrote in August 2011…

“I did warn that publishing the Fake Bakewell recipe had started something… It probably isn’t surprising because so many of our guests love good food, and many love cooking, and for many the opportunity to cook meals or bake treats in a well-equipped kitchen with no other pressure on the time is a real, relaxing treat. (OK, it may not be for everybody, but we are no longer surprised at the number of guests for whom this has been one of many highlights of their stay in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns). Read more…

Lemon Drizzle cake with the addition of poppy seeds

Lemon, Lime & Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake

This post was first published on our blog in July 2011. I wrote then, ‘As many of you know, I enjoy making – as well as eating – cakes; the regular Friday cake-baking session for our guests is never a chore. A couple of weekends ago I found myself offering to make two large ‘traybakes’ for the Flaxdale Open Garden and as I am always on the look out for new recipes decided to try one of Mary Berry’s Poppy Seed cake recipes. Read more…

A recipe for very crumbly and delicious yellowy-coloured biscuits

Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns Prize-Winning Biscuit Recipe

I wrote this blog post in September 2011, shortly after the Parwich Horticultural Show when we are all encouraged to enter recipes, vegetables, flowers or indeed whatever we can… Read more…

A novel version of the well-known Bakewell tart recipe

Marion’s Fake Bakewell Tart


‘Cakes to Die For’ or ‘Heaven on a Plate’…


Neither of these descriptions is mine, and modesty almost prevents me repeating them, but we get so many complimentary remarks about the cakes that our guests seem to enjoy, and so many rather shy requests for the recipe, that early in 2011 we decided I should start a kind of recipe corner. Read more…

Dates and Tamarind -a delicious and unusual cake

Date and Tamarind Cake

Dan Lepard, whose recipe from the Guardian this is, unashamedly calls it ‘The best date cake in the world ever’

Equally unashamedly, as someone who bakes and eats it quite frequently, I would agree wholeheartedly. It is extremely delicious and very easy to make. Read more…


  • What a great place to spend Christmas!

    There is still time to book a last minute Christmas get away in Douglas’s Barn. The weather may be cold but the barn is very warm and cosy. Why not treat yourselves to a get away from it all break. You can order all your supplies from one of the supermarkets, get it delivered and […]

  • Time for a short pre Christmas break

    Time to get a bit of relaxation before the Christmas mayhem. There are still short breaks available in Douglas’s Barn. Plenty going on in the Peak District. Lots of Christmas markets selling lovely gifts that you don’t see elsewhere. Chatsworth House is also a must at this time of year. There are plenty of stories […]

  • A busy Sunday in the Peak District

    Lots of events to go to in and around Parwich today but managed to get to the Horticultural Show in Parwich and the Hartington Show. Missed out on the Antiques in Ashbourne though which is always worth going to. Izzy did better than me by getting 1st prize as the Prettiest Bitch at Hartington Show […]

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