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Guests on Trafalgar’s ‘Best of Britain’ tour are in for a gastronomic treat when they meet Ian and Ann Dyer.

THE ONLY thing more enjoyable than driving through the 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 to share with their guests.

The Dyer’s ancient manor was first mentioned in the Domesday book of 1085, while the current residence was built in the 1400s.

It is now a modern dairy farm and Trafalgar guests get to explore the manor house, which is also a bed and breakfast. They also get to enjoy a hearty, homely ‘Be My Guest’ British lunch, complete with homemade ice cream made with milk from the farm.

The husband-and-wife duo grew up in the countryside. Ian on Blackmore Farm, while Ann’s family farmed on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, then owned by King Charles, near Bath.

They 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. Guests can 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 the ‘Be My Guest’ lunch, including her British chicken, ham and leek pie. Here is her recipe.

Ian and Ann Dyer both hail from old farming families and have plenty of secrets and classic British recipes to share with their guests.



1 large chicken or 4 chicken breasts, cooked

2 thick slices of ham

2 large leeks

50g butter

25g flour

250ml chicken stock

250ml milk


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.