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Retreating to Paradise

I’m back home from my mini break away, gutted to have left but very pleased that all my seedlings have survived and the allotment is looking in order.

Ladderstile Farm Retreat is my home away from home, my escape to my roots, slice of heaven and tranquillity.

Ladderstile is the Brocklehurst’s family farm and has been in their ownership for 40 years. Situated in one of the most picturesque locations in Cheshire overlooking the local national trust landmark of Bosley Cloud and the River Dane.

I awake to the sound of the sheep conversing and oak trees being milled into timber beams and boards. Alongside the retreat, the farm sells logs and sawn oak timber to the surrounding towns and villages. The timber is sourced from their own managed woodlands as well as FSC managed forests.

Rose sets up breakfast in the conservatory, I can’t help but have the biggest grin on my face when I see the perfect china, fruit and freshly cut flowers laid out so beautifully.
Homemade fruit compote and natural yogurt is waiting to be devoured alongside a cafetiere and glass of apple juice.
Now for the pièce de résistance, a delicious yet healthy cooked breakfast, all locally sourced. Sausages, bacon, poached egg, mushrooms, tomato and the differentiator, a Staffordshire tradition, an oatcake.
My grandparents have brought oatcakes with them every time they have visited us twice a year since I remember so they are a tradition for me. I even now stock pile on oatcakes when I visit as you can’t buy them anywhere else other than Cheshire, that I am aware of.

My favourite spot for the day is the perfectly comfy sofa positioned in the sunny conservatory looking out to fields of new-born lambs with their mothers running and bounding around.
There is where I sat for the majority of the holiday, conjuring up new blog ideas, making notes for this week’s radio show and making more allotment plans.
I tried just sitting and relaxing, but I find it impossible to do not anything. My brain never stops ticking which has its benefits and downsides.

Lambing has nearly finished, the pens have been packed away and barns are ready to be cleared out but four sheep are still left to lamb, fingers crossed it won’t be much longer. I reckon they are waiting for the weather to warm up.

The sun is shining in bursts and the odd showers of rain and hail keep coming but nothing can dampen the views; the relaxation I feel here is like nowhere else in the world.

The perennial flowers and fruit bushes are cut back and mulched ready for the sun to come show it’s face and the temperatures to warm up. Daffodils, tulips and many other flowers are adding pops of colour amongst the greenery.

I could talk all day about Ladderstile, the work they do and all the little touches that make it so wonderful such as the log fire, baked goodies and luxury organic bath products, but what really makes it that extra bit special to anywhere else is Rose. I’m sure that anyone else that has been would agree, and the reviews agree too.
Rose is welcoming, friendly, an incredible host, cook and baker but most importantly one of those very rare special people that it is a pleasure and honour to meet.

This is my fourth of many visits to Ladderstile and it honestly is my favourite place in the world. I would quite happily never leave if Rose and Pete would have me.

Rose, if you are reading this….thank you!!

In Mint Condition

Lambs are here
And lambs are there,
You’ll find them
Almost everywhere,
Gambolling on their
Lollipop legs,
They turn and twist like
Dolly Pegs.
They run their races,
Play and dart,
And skip their way
Into my heart.
Then hide behind
A bush of gorse,
How dare you even think,

Up with the country lark; Nellie W.Brocklehurst, 1978.

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