Stay the night: Harrop Fold Farm, Cheshire

You don’t have to be a foodie to stay at this Cheshire B&B, but it helps

There’s an art to making a sugar rose and my sausage fingers lack the delicate touch required to fashion scarlet-red icing into a pretty cluster of petals.

Fortunately, my teacher, Leah Stevenson, is the patient sort. Either that or she has seen worse efforts on her Cupcakes Galore course, the convivial one-day masterclass (including delicious homemade lunch) that she runs at Harrop Fold Farm, a B&B in the foothills of the Peak District.

We are hard at work in Leah’s Pantry, a kitchen specially built in one of the farm’s outbuildings with interior styling that reveals a penchant for Cath Kidston. Here, Leah offers tips on how to make the hottest cakes on the culinary scene and also hosts Cookery Demo and Dine events where you can pay to watch her make a gourmet lunch or dinner and then eat the results.

Leah trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London before returning home to Cheshire to add panache to her family’s B&B. It’s a good fit for the relaxing, luxurious lodgings that Leah’s mum, Sue, has created over the past six years at this smallholding: Sue’s sideboard is weighed down with gongs that she has won for her efforts, most recently B&B of the Year at the 2009 Visit Chester and Cheshire Tourism Awards.

The rooms

Guests can choose from three en-suite bedrooms in an outbuilding and one wing of the 17th-century stone farmhouse. The rustic features of the buildings are complemented by smart yet homely decor, mixing antiques with superior modern furnishings. One of the rooms is on the small side for a double, a challenge Sue has met by filling it with a four-poster bed to create a cocoon. Extra space is afforded by a pleasant, airy communal lounge, off which two of the bedrooms lead. Self-catering parties of up to six can take over a converted barn – decorated in similar fashion and also with four-poster – which has a small outdoor terrace for taking in the spectacular views across the Cheshire plain to the Welsh mountains.

The food and drink

The food just keeps coming here. Sue welcomes guests with homemade cake and tea, and a plate of cupcakes in the guests’ lounge never empties. Generous breakfasts and dinners are served at a large oak table in the guests’ dining room. Home-grown, local and sustainable ingredients are prioritised by Sue and Leah, who can rustle up good honest fare with flair as well as five-course gourmet tasting menus.

The extras

There are Freeview TVs and DVD/CD players in the bedrooms, and Wi-Fi access in the residents’ lounge. But most guests will come here to disconnect from the digital world and stretch their legs – the Gritstone Trail passes close to the farm. The B&B also hosts art courses.

For more ideas about things to do in the area, go to visitcheshire.com.

The access

The B&B rooms are on the ground floor, so accessible for people with limited mobility.

The bill

B&B in a double costs from £85 per night for two. The self-catering cottage, sleeping six, costs £275 for a weekend or short break or £350 for a seven-night stay. Cupcakes Galore and Cookery Demo & Dine cost £45 per person (leahspantry.co.uk).

The address

Harrop Fold Farm, Macclesfield Road, Rainow, Macclesfield, Cheshire (01625 560085; harropfoldfarm.co.uk).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits