The only thing more magnificent than driving through gorgeous Somerset countryside is stopping for lunch along the way to enjoy the Dyer family’s hospitality at their 15th-century manor house. Ian and Ann Dyer both hail from old farming families and have plenty of secrets and classic British recipes (like this pie recipe!) to share with their guests.
When you Connect With Locals on our Best of Britain tour you’ll learn all about life in rural England and the captivating history of this estate, which is now a modern dairy farm. The Dyer’s ancient manor was first mentioned in the Domesday book of 1085, while the current residence was built in the 1400s!
Lucky Trafalgar guests get to explore the manor house, which is also a bed and breakfast, and enjoy a hearty, homely Be My Guest British lunch, complete with homemade ice cream made with milk from the farm.
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Meet Ian and Ann Dyer
This husband-and-wife duo grew up in the countryside. Ian, right here on Blackmore Farm, while Ann’s family farmed on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, then owned by King Charles, near Bath.
The husband-and-wife duo first met through the Young Farmers Clubs in their 20s. Fast forward a few decades, the two have three adult children and have lovingly restored more and more of the old estate known as Blackmore Farm.
Ian loves to take Trafalgar guests out into the paddock to kick up dirt and meet the dairy herd and other livestock. Join him on a farm tour to see the day-to-day work that goes into keeping things running.
Ann is a keen cook and usually prepares some classic family favourites for our Be My Guest lunch, including her British chicken, ham and leek pie. Lucky for us she’s been kind enough to share the pie recipe with us below.
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Mrs Dyer’s Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie Recipe
1 large chicken or 4 chicken breasts, cooked
2 thick slices of ham
2 large leeks
250ml chicken stock
200g self-raising flour
100g shredded suet
Cold water to mix
Wash and slice the leeks and place in a large saucepan with the butter. Stir over medium heat until the leeks are soft. Add the flour and continue stirring over low heat for one minute. Gradually add the chicken stock. Then add the milk and keep stirring until you have a creamy sauce.
Chop the pre-cooked chicken and ham, and add to the sauce. Place the mixture into a large pie dish.
To make the pastry, mix the flour, suet and a pinch of salt together. Gradually add cold water to form a dough. If you don’t have suet, replace with an equal amount of vegetable shortening or butter.
Roll out the dough to cover the pie dish and brush with milk or a beaten egg.
Cook at 180°C (360°F) for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.
Let us know in the comments if you make Mrs Dyer’s British pie recipe, or better yet if you’re planning to join our Best of Britain trip in 2023 or beyond…