Dimpsey is all about rest and relaxation, but we also know our guests like to keep fit and embrace the great outdoors. Dimpsey is perfectly placed for those who love to walk and cycle. Cycle routes are in abundance in the magnificent hills of the Blackdowns.
The Blackdown Hills have excellent on-road cycling on mainly quiet country lanes. For reasonably fit and experienced cyclists, the trails are a perfect way to spend a day getting out and about and exploring Dimpsey’s neighbouring sites. Some cyclists have noted some challenging hill climbs, but they are so worth it for the amazing views and exhilarating downhill stretches.
Imagine a day with a breakfast cooked in the purpose built outdoor kitchen, then a cycle route that we can help with, accompanied by a packed lunch that we can make for you to take with you, real fresh air as you whizz up and down the rolling hills, spotting birds and wildlife, and then coming on back to the fantastic hot tub, which you can fire up whilst your tea is cooking, and relaxing inside or outside the hut with a home-cooked meal! Perfection!
We set out to provide…an inspiring, luxury stay place where you can see great places, eat great food, find cool stuff and chill out…
When we first decided that we wanted to offer a Stay Place on our little farm in the Blackdown Hills, we sat down and had a good old think about what we liked and disliked about staying away from home – and the vagaries of staying a field. With two boys in the family, we do spend time camping and staying in fields – but as we also run two businesses between us, hubby & I escape every now and again to a luxury hotel here and there – our current favourite being www.babingtonhouse.co.uk
So, for us glamorous camping (Glamping) was definitely the way to go – and we decided that we would try and create a Babington-style place in a field – with high end accommodation and interiors. A place where you can get away from it all and also be inspired by the things you see and use whilst here.
Next we needed to decide exactly what sort of Glamping we wanted to offer – yurts, bell tents, huts, log cabins??? A long list of options was considered, but in the end we decided to go for something that would suit the style of our 500 year old farm, which was not weather dependent and would allow us to put together a self-contained Luxury Stay Place. So a Shepherd’s Hut was the solution for us.
When we started looking at huts, we found quite a few manufacturers and looked at a number of them. All of them had different things to offer and we were really impressed by different elements of each of the businesses we looked at, but we were particularly looking for a high end bespoke solution, so in the end we went with www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk. They are based not far from us and really liked the concept of what we were trying to do. Since we placed the order with them we have been really impressed with their innovation and customer service – so much so that we are working with them on other projects now!
So we had our aim – create an Inspiring Luxury Stay Place, and we had the space to do it in – what was next??
Styling the Interior…
Somewhere along the line, we all do some, if not all, of the above when we’re on holiday. These became our watchwords and informed a lot of our decisions along the way – even when thinking about things like – Which plug sockets to put in the hut?? (At the moment they’re copper and made in the UK) – and the bed (it’s got to fold away into the wall so you don’t have to assemble it every day). Thanks to the www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk team we’ve achieved more of our wish list than we ever thought possible!
So…cool stuff – we started talking to UK designers about pieces for the hut and have carefully selected what we want to put in there – as well as designing things like the cushions ourselves. We’ve also sourced some quirky vintage pieces to add to the character that the Hut has become. We’ll be changing the hut style as we go – as well as encouraging designers to come and stay there for inspiration, so hopefully we’ll hit the cool stuff target soon.
Great food…we’re real foodies, so we’ve listed our recommendations for great places in the area and we will be adding more. We’re lucky enough to be near some really great butchers and farm shops – and in addition we can supply meat from the farm, as well as picnics – a real gourmet break if you so wish!
What we want for you…
We want you to have a great time when you come to stay with us – and we’ve geared everything around making that happen – so from relaxing music to snuggly beds, hearing the owls hoot at night and watching the animals during the day, we think we might have chill out covered.
However, if you would like to get a bit more active and do a course, some sightseeing or just a bit of walking around the lanes – we can arrange most things to suit, so please don’t be afraid to ask.
Who doesn’t love a sangria on a warm Summer’s evening? The fruity, easy to drink cocktail is a real hit all over the world but originates from Spain. However, here at Dimpsey we like to have our own spin on things so we have created, just for you, our Dimpsey Sangrietta Cocktail. A nod to the traditional sangria but with a light fresh taste. Enjoy!
1 litre of lemonade (the fizzy kind!)
1/2 bottle of sparkling white wine
1 orange (sliced with peel left on)
1 green apple (sliced with peel left on)
1/2 lemon (sliced with peel left on)
1/2 lime (sliced with peel left on)
2 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon grated ginger OR cut into chunks and peel – add as a taste (grated) or to nibble on whilst drinking (chunks)
A few fresh mint leaves (ripped by hand)
Add everything to a large bowl or pitcher and stir to mix for at least a minute
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better)
We have been enjoying the Summer weather here at Dimpsey Glamping, and the sun doesn’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon! With the weather still warm, and with those Summer Holidays creeping up, we have put together The Dimpsey Guide To Local Somerset Summer Festivals so when you are travelling around the Chard area, you’ll be able to find the best activities for you and your family!
The Half Moon Inn Beer Festival – 22nd July (4pm-11pm)
This festival is great for the adults! With live music, food and of course good beer, it will definitely be a fun day out! Free to attend, but food and drinks will be on sale.
The Chard Summer Festival – 22nd July (9am-10pm) & 23rd July (12pm-5pm)
Being a two day event, this festival is packed with things to enjoy and is suitable for the entire family. There will be music, free entry to museums, a dog show and archery, meaning that there is something for everyone to get involved with!
Taunton Flower Show – 4th & 5th August (10:30am-6pm)
If spending a day with nature is more your thing, then what about the Taunton Flower Show? You can enjoy walking around the designer gardens or even take part in some of their competitions! £14 each for Friday Admission, £12 each for Saturday Admission.
The warm and bright Summer days are here. Hazy sunny mornings and long warm evenings mean we can enjoy eating and entertaining outside for longer. We all love desserts but in this hot weather they need to be light and fresh. This is why I love Panna Cotta. It has the creaminess and luxuriousness of a comforting dessert but it is light in texture. Topped with strawberries – how can you go wrong? 😉
3 gelatine leaves
450ml double cream
200ml whole milk
150g white caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
100ml of champagne or sparkling white wine
handful of blueberries
springs of fresh mint
Add the gelatine leaves into a bowl of cold water to soften, this will take about 5 minutes or so, so whilst this is softening, let’s make the panna cotta.
Pour the cream, milk and 100g of white caster sugar into a pan, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife or a teaspoon and add the seeds and also the now empty pod to the cream, milk and sugar.
Heat gently until hot, but do not let it boil. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, gently squeeze to remove any excess liquid then add the leaves one at a time to the hot cream. Stir until dissolved. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes until cooled by which time the vanilla pods should be suspended in the liquid. Strain the mixture through a sieve into 4-6 serving glasses (depending on how much you want in each glass!), then chill for four hours (if the weather is very warm, you may need to chill for 5 hours).
Add the strawberries, the last 50g of white caster sugar and the champagne to a pan and gentle simmer (do not boil!) until strawberries start to break down and sugar dissolves. With the back of a wooden spoon gently mash the strawberries. Once strawberries are slightly mashed and warmed through, leave to cool and then chill until ready to serve.
Just before serving, add a generous topping of the chilled strawberry mix to each panna cotta, sprinkle on a few blueberries for an extra burst of freshness and decorate with a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy!