We all find ourselves in unprecedented times. Since our lovely village opened in 1986, it has only ever closed completely on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, so this is something completely unfamiliar for us (and everyone).

We are home to a wonderful mix of shops, restaurants, and services who are currently unable to open at Heart of the Country… so our virtual village magazine is an attempt to keep you in touch with us, the wonderful businesses we are home to and to be as helpful as we can as we all navigate life in lockdown.

If you follow us on social you will know that we have been sharing all sorts of top tips and handy advice from our business owners, as well as at home activities if you are trying to home educate. Two of our most popular posts have been our Banana Bread Baking with Rae at ‘Nourish’ and our Pebble painting fun from the fairies at ‘The Green Fairy Trail’.

Check these out below:

You will need: ⁠

3 very ripe medium bananas ⁠
3 large free-range eggs⁠
100g soft light brown sugar⁠
150ml sunflower or vegetable oil⁠
275g white self-raising flour⁠
1 tsp ground mixed spice⁠
1 tsp baking powder⁠


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper or a loaf tin liner.⁠

Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork. Add them to a good-sized mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar, and oil. Use a fork or whisk to combine.⁠

Add in the flour, mixed spice and baking powder then whisk it all together thoroughly. Pour it into your tin. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is well-risen. To test skewer the middle of the cake and make sure it comes out clean. ⁠

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. ⁠

Serve with a cup of Lichfield Tea Company tea!


If you are looking for an activity to do at home then the fairies from ‘The Green Fairy Trail’ have a very special request. They are looking to add some more decoration to their homes and would love for their friends to paint them some beautiful pebbles- so that when they are open again to visitors again you can come up and drop them off. We might even make a special area for them!⁠

Tag us, or send us your photos if you are making some- so that we can let them know their gorgeous pebbles are on their way soon!


As the sun starts to shine and the days get longer, it is hard not to miss the sounds of our busy village- friends catching up over coffee, shoppers mooching in and out of our gorgeous boutiques, children running through the fairy trail. We truly cannot wait to welcome everyone back when it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, we will continue to pop on to say hi and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Stay safe,

The Stubbs Family x


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