TRICIA HAVARD’S breakfasts are legendary.
A full farmhouse breakfast is always on offer for guests at Phepson Farm – using, of course, local produce – as well as lighter options featuring fruit and yogurts. She’s even won an award for them, collecting first prize in a Worcestershire County Council competition last year.
“I enjoy cooking, and I’m a farmer’s daughter, so I was brought up with healthy, wholesome food,” says Tricia, who offers B&B and self-catering accommodation with her husband, David, at Himbleton.
“David is the third generation of his family to farm here, but over the years as farming has got more difficult, accommodation has become the main business,” says Tricia.
They started offering B&B in the farmhouse in the early 1980s, later converting a granary to two extra bedrooms and a self-catering apartment. The original impetus was to find another source of income that did not involve too much physical work, as David had had back surgery.
“It has just developed from there,” says Tricia, explaining how five years ago they opened two more rooms for B&B in a building attached to the farmhouse. This May, they completed converting another barn conversion into a luxury three-bedroom cottage.
“We are not far from Worcester and Droitwich or the motorway, so we have a lot of people on business. Businessmen like to come somewhere a bit different. Plus, people stay here when they are breaking their journey, whether they are travelling from north, south, east or west. They then often stay again on their return journey. We are at a sort of crossroads here.
“We are fortunate because, having established the business in the 1980s, we now have good regular custom, and we do have an awful lot of repeat visits. You still have to look for new business, however.
“We enjoy it, you meet so many interesting people. But there is no question, it is a tie, although farmers often find that is not too much of a problem, because if you keep animals, you have to be at home all the time anyway.”
Another appeal of Phepson Farm is the 1.5-acre coarse fishing lake, which the Havards dug in the mid-1990s (guests enjoy this and they also offer day tickets).
“We always close over Christmas and the New Year. But much as I look forward to the break, I always look forward to opening again.”
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