In every Long Barn welcome hamper is a homemade loaf of bread that Ian has made for guests. It really is delicious, especially since we now use a local flour made by Yorkshire Organic Millers, less than 2 miles away.

But there is a story behind this bread which explains why we genuinely believe it saved our life. Many years ago when we were both working in the corporate world, Ian began baking bread as a stress reliever. Making a loaf from scratch took him away from the frustrations and strains of a job he was beginning to fall out of love with. The kneading in particular was helpful as he imagined a particular boss’s face in the bread dough (that bread dough got a lot of pummelling)

It got to the point that Jackie could read how Ian’s week was going, by the frequency of loaves of bread arriving and the light dusting of flour over the kitchen. And when they were arriving so thick and fast that they fed the birds more than us, the penny dropped that something more radical than making bread had to be a solution. It sowed the seed that life was just too short to be unhappy, and that we had to do something more radical. So that’s when the dream of running our own business was born.

Since then, Ian’s breadmaking skills have gone from strength to strength, including the lock down classic sourdough (which he has been making for years) along with his favourite organic loaf baked for guests. But his highest achievement has been having his bread winning prizes in the annual village produce show.

Jackie’s trying to persuade Ian to do some short video clips, from how he makes his starter to his tips in making a great tasting loaf. So, follow the Long Barn on Facebook or Instagram if you want to see Ian in action. And if you book a stay at the Long Barn, you’ll get to taste his bread first-hand.