A traditional bakery opened only last September by the owner of the renowned Hambleton Hall country hotel, in Rutland, is proving so successful that a third shop has opened this month to cope with public demand for its specialist breads.

Hotelier Tim Hart initially opened his bakery in the village of Exton to supply his hotel and other retail outlets. But the breads produced by Hambleton Bakery - under the supervision of master baker Julian Carter - suddenly became so popular with the public that it was difficult to keep up with demand. Shops were opened at Exton and Oakham, and April 15 saw the launch of the third outlet, in a Grade II listed building in nearby Stamford.

Carter, whose family have been master bakers for gene-rations in Bath and Liverpool, bakes his bread in a wood- burning oven made and fitted by a company in Barcelona, which usually supplies French bakeries. His signature loaves, Hambleton Local and Hambleton Sourdough, are made without baker’s yeast, using very slow fermentations of up to 24 hours, with the local version using stoneground organic flour from a local windmill. Walnut and fruit loaves are also baked, together with muffins cooked on a griddle and breakfast rolls.

"The demand for the bakery’s bread has been phenomenal," says Hambleton spokeswoman, Carolyn Turner. "At weekends we are even having trouble keeping up with the demand. Now the Stamford shop has opened, bread is delivered daily from the Exton bakery."