Stepping Stones B&B opened for business in Hordle in May 2105. Having had varied careers in the hospitality business during which time we catered for many varied events, the highlight of which was organising and hosting a garden party for HRH to celebrate her Golden Jubilee whilst working in Henley on Thames. It had always been our plan to eventually semi retire to the New Forest and own a small B&B, our biggest challenge was scaling down in numbers from catering for large events to a small B&B.
It has always been our ethos to provide as much home-made produce as we possibly can and if we can’t make it we source local suppliers, therefore the New Forest Marque was the perfect organisation for us to become a part of in 2015.
Our unique selling point is that we run Artisan Bread making courses from our home which is also the B&B, so guests can learn to bake bread as part of their stay, and return home with lots of fresh samples, and hopefully the enthusiasm to continue baking. The courses also run for non-residents.
The best part of the job is meeting and spending time with our diverse range of guests who come to the New Forest for so many different reasons. Least favourite thing is admin.
Future plans are to carry on as we are and Alan is developing more advanced bread making courses focussing on sourdough.
An average day involves getting up early to prepare and serve breakfast, chatting to our guests and offering local information. Then its into the kitchen for a three hour bread course which is followed by an optional lunch using New Forest Marque products where possible. The evenings are normally our time to relax.
In 5 years time we would like to still be doing what we do now, with a focus on developing new courses for new and returning guests and bakers.
Alan and Carol Brand
Stepping Stones B&B and Artisan Bread Making