We’re very lucky, with our location, to be surrounded by such an array of wildlife at Barnsgate. We see all kinds of creatures such as Muntjacs, pheasants, deer, and a resident buzzard. However, we’ve recently had a new addition to our grounds in rather an unlikely space.
We have discovered that a nest has been made in one of our wall bins for a blue tit and her chicks. If you have been watching Springwatch then you may have recently seen their live feed of a nest hatching and fledging. Ours are some rather late bloomers as they tend to lay their eggs in April or early May and fledge within 3 weeks.
Man-made spaces are often their favourite to nest in. So really we shouldn’t be surprised as our bin offers the perfect space to hide away in. We’re making sure to keep a watchful eye on the mother so that we know she hasn’t been frightened away by any people.
If you haven’t been to us before and you are interested in the local wildlife, Barnsgate really is a fantastic spot to check out. People are often greeted by the buzzard as they go down our drive and we have the forest right next door to spot them in their natural habitat. (I have blogged about the route I would recommend before, you can find it here). Of course, after any adventuring you get up to, you are welcome to join us for a cup of tea and cake!
2017 Has been another smashing year for Barnsgate Manor. We have had our ups and downs, celebrations and send-offs… but we have been introduced to many new people and changes which we believe will lead to many more changes in 2018!
Everyone loves a love story. At Barnsgate Manor we are very happy to say that we have hosted 25 different weddings last year. Each one was so unique and special in their own way. We’ve had people arriving by horse and cart and having “cheese-cakes“… It’s an event that is so special to be a part of. From the initial introduction right through to the first dance and beyond. The big day is special, but the excitement and the preparations play a huge part too.
It’s always lovely to hear that we’ve done well and even better to see people turn up to other events after they have had their wedding here. We’ve already taken a few bookings for this year that we are excited to work with this year’s couples on and there has been an influx of wedding inquiries over the Christmas period (very romantic! congratulations!) So we are hoping to be a part in a chapter for many more happy couple’s love stories this year!
We have updated our website! A lot of you have been putting it to good use with your bookings and inquiries and it’s nice to be able to keep all our information up-to-date and available for you to see. Obviously, we have our blog post section now so that we are able to keep you in the know about what we’ve been up to and announce any upcoming events and we also have our ever-changing restaurant menu up for you all to see.
So far we have had over 14,000 visitors since September so it’s really nice to see a good response to the website and knowing people are able to interact with it. If you do have any feedback on improvements to our website, however, we would love to hear!
We have had three craft fairs here last year. They had died out at Barnsgate in recent times but since 2016 we have had a bit of a “revival”. They have gone down as a smash hit with plenty of stalls and plenty of browsers! I’m glad they have made a comeback as the Ashdown and the Museum really make the perfect venue for a craft fair and they have been well received each time. We have yet to announce the dates for 2018 but we are looking forward to them being even bigger and better this year!
For those of you who join us regularly, you may be aware of our ever-changing menu and our want of trying out new recipes for you to enjoy! We have had hundreds of different plates for our guests to try. Here are some we wanted to share:
Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence
We worked very hard last year to make some changes to be the best we can be and judging by our TripAdvisor page, it looks like you appreciated it! We’re so grateful to all those of you who have joined us at Barnsgate last year and every review does make a huge amount of difference. Good reviews help us and our reptutation, negative reviews tell us what we need to fix to be better. It’s nice to see the good outweigh the bad with our Certificate of Excellence so we will continue as we are and aim to keep delivering the service you expect!
We had a very productive year last year. 2018 is already filling up with bookings so we are looking to repeat our success – if not improve upon – from last year. We all have our New Years Resolutions and things we want to achieve so let’s see if we can make 2018 the best one yet. We would love to hear about your resolutions!
Our star-baker this week has put together these vanilla cupcakes for #NationalCupcakeWeek. They are topped with a chocolate buttercream rose sprinkled with edible gold glitter at our very own Barnsgate Bake-off. The recipe is adaptable to have any flavourings or colours that you would like to feature. Here is our recipe:
Makes 24 Preparation: 20 minutes Baking time: 20-25 minutes
200g (7oz) plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
200g (7oz) caster sugar
½ tsp salt
100g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
150ml (5fl oz) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
200g (7oz) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g (3½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsps Cocoa Powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 °F/ Gas 4). Place the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
Mix together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well blended.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking all the time.
Whisk gently until smooth, being careful not to over-mix. Too much beating toughens cakes.
Pour all the cake batter into a jug to make it easier to handle.
Place the cupcake paper cases into the holes in the cupcake trays.
Carefully pour the cake mixture into the papers, filling each one only half full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch.
Leave the cupcakes for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing
Combine the icing sugar, vanilla extract, butter and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Beat with a whisk until very light and fluffy.
Check the cakes have completely cooled, or they will melt the frosting.
Pipe onto the cupcakes by holding the cupcake in one hand and squeezing the bag with the other.
Pipe from the centre to the outer edge carefully.
(optional) Sprinkle with edible gold glitter
The cakes will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
We Recommend this piping bag kit to decorate your cakes with. It contains plenty of different nozzles for you to experiment with and make your creation your own! Available with next day delivery on prime.
The wedding day included a three-course meal, a “Cheesecake”, a string quartet, floral arrangements and lots more. All fantastically captured by the photographers.
Technology has even taken photography a step further with aerial shots from a drone. I imagine it is pretty nerve-wracking from the photographers perspective to fly hundreds of pounds worth of kit up into the air! However, the images came out brilliantly and we have shared a few shots from the drone above.
Get in Touch for your Wedding
If you would like to get in touch with Shepherd Photography, you can get in touch with them through the links below.
The Llamas have been with us since the very beginning. They were a temperamental bunch to begin with and they ended up at Barnsgate because they were not very well behaved at the llama park. Over the years, however, they had grown to be a charismatic and charming group. Content with their peaceful life and their bowls of llama mix.
We know many of you will be just as sad to see them go as we are. They enjoyed their fair share of fame here at Barnsgate. However, an opportunity arose for the llamas to make a new home at Reading University. There, they will be looked after by experts and are available to donate their blood plasma to give sickly, newborn llamas a better first start in life.
It’s a really good cause they will be contributing to and we have heard that they have settled in just fine in their cosy new field. We will surely miss them, we have been with them through thick and thin but it’s comforting to know they have gone somewhere that they will be looked after, loved and appreciated.
So goodbye to Kronk, Spit, Patrick, Fitch, Tina, Bright Eyes, Ian and Croft and good luck at Uni!
Afternoon Tea is a famous British tradition known the world over. People stop to enjoy a pot of tea with cakes and sandwiches to tide them over from lunchtime to dinner time. The tradition was actually started in the 19th century when the Duchess of Bedford realised she would always be hungry around 4 in the afternoon. So she would enjoy some bread with a pot of tea and a selection of cakes to see her through to her 8 o’clock meal. Soon after this became a habit, she began to invite guests over to join her for her afternoon selection and word spread across high society… Soon enough it became a habit for many! So it still continues today…
All across the country, different county’s boast their afternoon tea excellence. We’re guilty as charged at Barnsgate! We serve afternoon teas daily to our guests for them to enjoy on the terrace overlooking the South Downs. Everything is freshly homemade and couldn’t possibly leave you wanting for more (it is, however, part of the tradition to leave something from your selection but take that as you will!)
Booking your Afternoon Tea
Pre-booking is essential when it comes to our Afternoon Teas as everything is made to order. Each costs £14 per person and consists of mixed fruit and plain mini-scones, jam and clotted cream, a selection of sandwiches and cocktail cakes as well as a pot of tea or coffee.
It is great fun and a wonderful, social tradition to enjoy an afternoon tea. We’re proud to be keeping that alive at Barnsgate. If you would like to book, please contact us at least a couple of days in advance through our contact page. My advice? Try it while the sun is still shining! The view of the South Downs is breathtaking at the moment. It’s best to enjoy it on the terrace before winter comes racing around the corner!
Have you had an afternoon tea with us recently? We would love to hear your feedback!
Coeliac Disease is caused when your immune system reacts to gluten and leads to damage to the lining of your gut. According to coeliac.org.uk, the only cure for Coeliac Disease is to remove gluten from your diet completely to allow the lining in your gut time to heal.
Gluten can be found in wheat, rye and barley… Which is not easy news to swallow! Suddenly you remember that gluten is in your sandwich, your cakes, beer and a whole host of other food and drink items that you used to enjoy.
However! Light is just around the corner. There are a few products that substitute gluten products rather well. Four common flours can be used to replace wheat and gluten:
Each have their different associated benefits but that quickly relieves the stress of “How am I going to bake my cakes now?”
With these substitutes known, supermarkets have quickly capitalised on the growing number of people who are following the gluten-free diet and you can find a number of your old favourites in the “free from” aisle. Including gluten-free bread!
Even some beers have replaced the gluten in their brews with different cereals such as millet, rice, sorghum, buckwheat and corn. Check out the 10 best gluten-free beers as published by the Independent.
You may or may not have chosen to become dairy free. For some people, the proteins in dairy can cause bloating or eczema which would mean you have an allergy to dairy products. Others might choose to go dairy-free for a cause. Vegans choose to not eat dairy because of the cruel ways the vast majority of manufacturers of dairy products treat their animals.
So to be dairy free would mean to cut out cheese, milk, butter, ice-cream and chocolate surely…
The first item that comes to mind when people mention a dairy-free lifestyle is milk. Thankfully, you can also buy coconut, almond, soya and rice milk to replace your dairy milk. However, these options may not be to everyone’s tastes. Muufri is a company working on producing a synthetic milk from bio-engineered yeast that will taste exactly the same. You can find out more about their work from this article:
(and to all those who want to see an end to animals as food, there is also work underway for synthetic meats also! Who could argue with that! See this FAQ from new-harvest.org)
Of course, with these alternatives, it is possible to re-create an array of dairy-free foods. Check out www.godairyfree.org/dairy-substitutes to find all your alternatives to dairy products.
Diabetes is a lifelong health condition that occurs when there isn’t enough insulin, or if the insulin in your body isn’t working properly to break down any glucose products you may have consumed (Type-2 diabetes). In some people, there is no insulin at all to help break down glucose (Type-1 diabetes). This can, in turn, lead to very serious health problems due to the high blood-glucose levels.
Glucose is a sugar that is found in many different food products including carbohydrates. You may know that sugar is a particularly (if not “most”) difficult product to remove from your diet. It’s also something that shouldn’t be removed from your diet. The key is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This article from Diabetes UK will help you decipher what and how to eat properly
That said, sweeteners are playing a big role in helping to keep blood sugar levels in check and can be substituted in the place of sugar in many of your recipes. There have been health concerns about sweeteners in relation to the stimulating effect on appetite which can be tied to weight-gain and obesity. But they have been approved as safe by the NHS and as an added benefit; xylitol, sorbitol and sucralose have health claims that are beneficial to oral health as opposed to sugar. You can find more information on the NHS Standpoint on Sweeteners here.
Another great post you should look at from healthambition.com goes into detail about alternative sweeteners that you could substitute into your diet. Due to the health concerns on sweeteners, they have provided this post to showcase the alternatives and point out some of the health benefits associated with using them. You can find their post here:
With prior warning of your dietary requirements and concerns, we take every measure to make sure we can find an appropriate substitute for your meal. We have gluten-free rolls and scones, dairy-free cream and even a gluten and dairy free chocolate cake that has been receiving rave reviews recently! Having a dietary requirement doesn’t mean you have to cut out your favourite foods from your diet. It just means with careful planning and the right substitutes, you can enjoy them in a different and healthier way. Contact us to see how we can cater for your requirements.Contact us to see how we can cater for your requirements.
What do you substitute into your diet? Have any recipes you would like to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Our outside terrace and views of the South Downs make for an excellent spot to have a cream tea. Not only that but our cream teas are talked about just as much as our views! They have developed quite the reputation. However, when it comes to cream or jam first, that’s not something we like to get involved in!
There has been a very heated discussion on Twitter today with regards to the proper order. You may be interested to know, there isn’t actually a proven, definitive method to preparing your scones (although there are those who would argue the case until the very end!).
As I say, we don’t like to interfere with how you prepare your scones. What we do, however, is offer you a choice of fruit, cheese, plain or gluten free scones with lashings of Rodda’s Clotted cream and Tiptree Jam on the side so you can prepare your perfect scone just how you want.
For your consideration, here is our Tea Room Menu:
All prices quoted are per person
Coffee & Selection Of Biscuits £3.00
Cream Tea (One Scone, Jam & Clotted Cream, Pot Of Tea)£4.50
Cream Tea (Two Scones, Jam & Clotted Cream, Pot Of Tea) £5.95
Cream Tea & Cake (Scones, Jam & Cream, Slice of cake, Tea) £8.35
It has been our number 1 best seller at the Barnsgate Manor House Restaurant and takes pride of place at the top of our main course menu each month. With each steak and kidney pie, you are offered a choice of mash, new potatoes, our (also famous and back by popular demand) chunky chips or sauté potatoes served with a selection of fresh market vegetables.
If you haven’t tried it before, I personally, highly recommend it. It tastes fantastic and there is no fear of an empty belly afterwards! Of course, steak and kidney pie is not to everyone’s tastes. Other meals that we prepared a lot of today were grilled seabass and turkey mince lasagne. All of which also received wonderful feedback.
We strive for excellent tasting food each and every day, which we believe our TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence demonstrates perfectly. Why not book a table with us this weekend and try one of our meals? We have a booking form online to make life that little bit easier. See what you think and we would love to hear your reviews!
Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include restaurants, accommodations and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
TripAdvisor is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Certificate of Excellence, which celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers”, said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition allows us to publicly honour businesses that are actively engaging with customers and using feedback to help travellers identify and confidently book the perfect trip.”
We are truly thrilled to have received this award. It is thanks to our customers that we have come to bear this mark of recognition. We want to thank you very much for your business and for your kind words.
If you haven’t yet left a TripAdvisor review. We would really appreciate your help. As a local, independent business, every review counts to help us be the best that we can be. You can follow this link to reach our TripAdvisor page:
Essentially, you are looking for a ratio of one part Pimms to three parts lemonade. From there you are looking to add a mixture of the fruit of your choice with some fresh mint leaves and chopped cucumber. Make sure to chop your fruit as this will help to release the flavours into the Pimms and Lemonade.
Whether you are filling a glass or a pitcher, fill it with ice first and foremost. Then add your fruit, cucumber and mint, followed by your measurement of Pimms and top with lemonade and that will give you your standard brew! Simple really, here is one of Barnsgates examples:
Measurement of Pimms
There is plenty more to experiment with however. A famous example is to replace the lemonade with champagne. Known as a “Pimms Royale”. You could also replace lemonade with any other fizzy drink you might like to try.
You could try substituting mint for other herbs such as basil or thyme
Or you could even try freezing it to make Ice Lollies!
Share your Thoughts
Half of the enjoyment of this zesty drink is being creative and coming up with the perfect concoction to “Wow” your guests. We would love for you to share your experiments. What fruits did you use? Was there an interesting twist to your recipe? Share your thoughts with us below!
The trail around Poundgate is one of those walks and it is right on Barnsgate’s doorstep. I mentioned a little bit about the history of Barnsgate in my last post. I talked about how the Ashdown Forest was almost exclusively for members of the Royal Family as a hunting ground. However, the common folk were allowed to let their livestock graze on the land permitting they entered the forest through one of its 32 Gates and Hatches. One would assume that the name “Poundgate” was derived from this history as a name the common folk had given this particular Gate.
The walk itself is through mostly dense woods with but a few clearings. It can be as long or as short a walk as you wish to make it, with paths darting off in every direction taking you to a different part of the woodland yet to be explored.
When you reach the clearing, you will be able to see in the distance, Kings Standing Clump which is another fantastic walk altogether with the most brilliant views. You would have to cross the road but, of course, there is a path that will also take you to that part of the forest.
As you reach the side closest to Barnsgate, you are likely to notice a field through the trees. If you carry on along that fenceline you will notice a gap in the trees that gives you the full view of our Llama field. I managed to capture a picture of two of our Llamas today! (Ian and Kronk pictured below!).
Here are some of the pictures I got of my walk around Poundgate:
As I mentioned before, the walk can be as long or as short as you make it. It’s a perfect route to take the kids and the dog with so much to be seen. Although it is blissfully quiet, it almost seems a shame that a lot of people have not yet ventured to this side of the forest. We have a huge car park available right next to the gate so come along, bring the kids, and you are more than welcome to join us for a drink and something to eat afterwards! Let us know if you do explore this part of the forest. We would love for you to share your pictures!
Barnsgate Manor house has been around for 500 years. The Ashdown Forest used to be a Royal Hunting Ground and home to deer which could only be hunted by members of the Royal Family. In order to keep the deer in, the Ashdown Forest was surrounded by a ditch and bank (the soil from the ditch used to make up the bank) that was called “The Pale”. The “common” people were allowed to let their animals graze on the forest, but could only gain entry via one of 32 Gates and Hatches that made up the Old Forest Pale. Originally, Barnsgate was one of the Gates onto the Ashdown Forest. It was also a farm.
In the 1970s the German, family-run, Wine Company PIEROTH utilised the site as an outlet for their wines.
The current owner purchased the vineyard in 1989 as a retirement venue. Barnsgate Manor is a venue steeped in history providing jobs and experience to members of the local communities and serving our customer’s great food in a splendid setting.
You can book a table at our manor house restaurant through this link
I’m talking about the Barnsgate Llamas! You may or may not have known that we have eight llamas all residing in comfort at the top of our drive, but as of late they have been making themselves known by bounding majestically to the fence line to greet random passers-by.
You may catch one of our majestic, fluffy friends galloping full pelt to the top of our grass mound with their head flailing all over the place… just so that they can have their picture taken.
They truly are living the high life. They have everything they could want with two different types of highly nutritional llama food with lashings of syrup, fresh vegetable trimmings from the kitchen, they even have a paddling pool for those days when the weather is hot and a llama has to cool themselves down.
It may surprise you to know, Barnsgate Manor has always had llamas. Even from the beginning over 25 years ago. With access to three different paddocks, the llamas have always been hard to spot. However, since the new shelter has been finished, the llamas have very much enjoyed the warmth that it provides and have made themselves at home in the first paddock.
Why not come and say hello? Their names are Kronk, Spit, Ian, Patrick, Bright Eyes, Tina, Fitch and Llama Croft. (All appropriately named by the kitchen staff that keep them fed up with veggies!) . See if you can guess who is who! It won’t cost you anything and the restaurant will be available for you to grab a bite to eat while you’re there!