April is now upon us and with the days starting to finally become a little warmer, we, at Dimpsey, are looking forward to exploring out in the sunshine. Here is what is on in South Somerset in April 2018.

The Chilingirian Quartet at The Castle Hotel – 13th to 15th April 2018

For over four decades, the Chilingirian String Quartet has trilled audiences worldwide with its vibrant, virtuosic performances. Their sound is powerful and precise; richly interpretive ad yet always true to the composer’s vision.

Castle Green
Taunton
Somerset
TA1 1NF

St George’s Day Celebration at The Cross Keys Inn – 22nd April 2018

We have a lively St George’s Day Show from The Langport Mummers. followed at 2pm by great music from The Pete Waggstaff Band playing a range of popular music: from Rock, Blues, Blue grass, Folk,and Ragtime to modern pop.

The Cross Keys Inn
Lydford – On – Fosse
Somerton
Somerset
TA11 7HA

Yeovil Concert Band featuring Matthew Rock – 28th April

This popular local concert band will feature a programme of well-known marches, a selection of Gershwin favourites, a Beatles medley and much more and will feature the vocal talent of Matthew Rock.

St Bartholomew’s Church
CREWKERNE
Somerset
TA18 7HY

Levels Best Farmer’s Market – 28th April

Not only does Springtime bring warmer weather and long days out, it is also a makes a wonderful time to shop locally for fresh produce at your local farmer’s markets. We can thoroughly recommend the Levels Best Farmer’s Market based in Montacute House.

Montacute House
Montacute
Yeovil
Somerset
TA15 6XPP

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F.east at Ilminster has been one of my regular lunch haunts for some time, and was previously based in a converted cottage just off the centre of town.  However, recently the owner Claire and her team upped sticks and moved to a converted mill building on the edge of Ilminster and what a great move that has proved to be.  The extra space has really allowed F.east to spread its wings and the eclectic look and industrial styling suits it down to the ground.  Even though the space is bigger, I was pleased to see that there is now a comfy sofa corner – perfect for coffee and cake!

feast6 - F.east in Ilminster, Somerset.

F.east is a vegetarian restaurant, also catering for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan requirements and regardless of your preferences, always top-notch nosh.  There is usually a choice of 6-7 main course dishes, and on this visit I went for the fried cauliflower and broccoli with lentils, halloumi and salad.  Always beautifully presented and packed with a cornucopia of delicious flavours, I was pleased to find that the new kitchen didn’t detract from this at all.  I’m not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy meat-free days and when they’re as delicious as the dishes Claire dreams up – it’s an absolute treat.Feastmains - F.east in Ilminster, Somerset.

I was meeting and eating with two other people and our food arrived promptly and caused a brief lull in our meeting chat while we fell to, and demolished, our lunches.  The two people with me hadn’t been to F.east before and both pronounced it absolutely delicious – and that was before we had chosen our cakes from the laden shelf of treats at the counter.  I had a gluten-free marmalade cake which was a perfect sponge, with the orange bitter cutting through the sweetness of the icing and leaving me wondering if I should buy a piece to take home.

Feastdesserts - F.east in Ilminster, Somerset.

For me, great food places can sometimes be let down by the quality of the coffee they bring to you at the end of the meal – but my cappuccino was absolutely spot on and provided a perfect end to a very delicious and enjoyable meal.

You can find F.east on Tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1077115-d1603818-Reviews-F_east-Ilminster_Somerset_England.html

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PRESS RELEASE

Dimpsey Glamping Perfect Valentine’s Retreat

Dimpsey Glamping in Somerset has been a place of romance and proposals for several visitors and is described as a place of ‘magic’ by many who stay there.

The 5* luxury retreat is run by Somerset couple Emma and Andrew Warren, is described as “an all-in experience helping busy people to get some quality time together”. Located at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, Dimpsey is a luxury couple’s retreat, complete with private hot tub, firepit, and outdoor kitchen.

Award-winning Dimpsey Glamping is based on Emma and Andrew’s small farm in Somerset, which is shared with Dexter cows, Jacob and Zwartble sheep and a few chickens and a goose called George.

Emma says: “The idea of the glamping experience is to chill out and reconnect with each other, and we have 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’ve totally got intimate chill out covered for couples who want a chance to rekindle their romance.

“We’ve had proposals at the hut – one last Valentine’s Day, and people come away from it saying they feel rejuvenated, relaxed and reconnected. That’s our aim – to give people the chance to rediscover the purpose in their relationships.”

Dimpsey BC IMG 7568 HDR 1024x682 1024x682 - Press Release: Dimpsey Glamping Perfect Valentine’s Retreat

Photo Credit: Ben Carpenter Photography

 

The hut is designed and kitted out to feel like a luxury hotel, and Emma and Andrew always go the extra mile to make it really comfortable, ensuring that all the styling is from British designers and adding in extra little treats to delight visitors.

The hut, designed and created by Blackdown Shepherd Huts, is 18 feet long and contains a double bed, seating, kitchen area and a bathroom with shower and flushing toilet. Visitors can stay from £135 per night for two adults and this includes logs for the woodburner and the firepit, a welcome tea tray and eggs, bacon, butter, milk and bread for a hearty first morning breakfast. Romantic additions can be brought in to create that truly special occasion, as well as vouchers for one or two night stays.

For more information and to book your stay visit: www.dimpsey.co.uk

ENDS

For more information about Dimpsey, to receive high resolution images, to interview Emma, or to arrange a review stay at the Dimpsey Hut please contact claire@nichebrands.co.uk or phone 07734 702653

For more information on Blackdown Shepherd Huts visit www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk

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When somewhere calls itself a licensed feasting house, curiosity is already piqued and you’re wondering exactly what you’re going to get – but yet again, when we ate there last night, the Rusty Pig delivered in spades.

Based in Ottery St Mary, a lovely market town near Honiton – it would be very easy to miss the Rusty Pig if you were just wandering past – a shopfront window, a neon light, an upside down pig sign – it’s a bit like a secret club that only the lucky know about.  Established by Robin Rea, an Ottery born and bred local – it seems only right and proper that the Rusty Pig Ethos is all about “local – sourcing, flavours and people” and from humble beginnings in 2011, it is now rightly one of the sought after Devon foodie destinations.

therustypig4 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

We first went there a number of years ago and the breakfast we had is still at the top of our dine-out breakfast rankings. Robin has always sourced and cured his own meat and it was top-quality stuff.  We raise our own pigs, and often find the meat lacking when we dine out – but not in Robin’s case, the meat here has always been inspirational.

Rolling on a few years – the additions of Mark, the extremely talented chef and Agata, who runs front of house have taken this from a great place to eat to an amazing place to experience food – and for me there’s a subtle difference. Truly great food isn’t just about the food, it’s about the atmosphere of where you’re eating it, the service and the accompanying beverages – and when you get those four pillars working together – it goes off the scale.

therustypig3 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

So about last night…

We booked a table for 5 and the warm welcome started as we approached the door, it was thrown open and we were ushered in out of the cold night air and then shown to our table upstairs. It’s a quirky layout with tables spread over 2 floors and a brilliantly electic collection of art and kitchenalia providing an interesting backdrop to your meal.

Our table was a repurposed door, complete with escutcheons and candlelight – with vintage cutlery and serviettes aplenty in the heaped drawer on the tabletop.  Drinks orders were quickly taken – local juice, local bitter, local cider from Branscombe and my gin & tonic choice for the evening was Tarquins, a Cornish artisan gin – and arrived promptly.

therustypig6 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

So to the menu, one of the things we like about eating here is the innovative approach they have – “Pig & mix” which was a tapas-style journey through some excellent dishes was a particular favourite on a previous visit. Tonight we have “Surprise, surprise!” – 2 or 3 courses on offer and although Aggie offers some clues if we really want them – we decide to go with the flow and just see what arrives.

therustypig 1024x1024 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

The starter causes some consternation on arrival – parsnips – with 3 non-believers around the table, this might be a challenge! Presented beautifully in a cast-iron skillet – the parsnips have been coated in a pea flour & tonic water batter (and so are gluten and vegan friendly)  and served with a side pea pesto and a rich and unctuous tomato sauce. Luckily our boys (and that includes hubby) will try things and they were so glad they did – pronounced delicious by the whole table – this course was a big hit. 1-0 to Mark, he wins this round…

therustypig2 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

Now for the main, big chunky slices of excellently cooked pork leg nestling on a bed of crushed fried potatoes, buttered green kale and black lentils in a tasty sauce – lentils caused a bit of an eyebrow raise with hubby, but the meat tempted him in and yet again Mark proved that even ingredients you don’t particularly care for can be transformed into essential elements of your meal. This really was a superb plate of food, and little moments of treasure appeared whilst eating in the form of crisp crackling nuggets and flavour combinations that really work. 2-0 to Mark…

therustypig5 - The Rusty Pig at Ottery St Mary near Honiton

We were sufficiently full really, but the lure of a pudding surprise was too much and we all indulged and oh my goodness, that was such a good decision!  Marmalade brioche bread and butter pudding with caramel sauce and cream – served again in a skillet, could we fit this in and continue our run of clean plate courses. Why dear reader – it was too sublime not to finish, the slight bitter bite of the marmalade cut through the sweetness of the caramel with the two flavours really bringing out the best in each other. This was one of the best puddings I have ever had – I nearly asked for a slice to take home it was so good. 3-0 and total victory to Mark.- clean plates all round.

Throughout all of these courses, Aggie and her lovely assistant were professional, engaging and made it a really enjoyable experience – informative and funny, their careful and attentive ministrations of us made all the difference.  Excellent service is effortless and never that easy to achieve – here you can see that your experience is at the heart of everything they do.

So to the bill, two round of drinks for 5 and 3 delicious courses each came to an excellent value £30 per head – the innovation and customer service weren’t priced separately but are an invaluable and integral part of the Rusty Pig and are what keeps us coming back on a regular basis.  This is one of those places I am almost loath to write about in case too many people discover it – hats off to Robin and the team, it is pigging superb!

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Here at Dimpsey, we love to help people create special moments in their life – sometimes we do that just by sharing the peace and the views that our shepherd’s hut affords and other times we are privileged to get even more involved. From birthday flowers to hidden presents to cakes and surprises, we love being part of the secret squirrel planning that goes on.  Every occasion is special and often a number of our local friends help us out too, so as our lovely guests suggested that we could share this one, we thought it might be a good time to recognise them and say a big thank you.

So, it all started with a response to our booking confirmation for a Canopy & Stars guest – asking if we could help out with planning a proposal, but with a twist as our guest wanted a gift in the shepherd hut on arrival, which would actually say “Will you marry me?” – so we put our plotting heads on and came up with a few suggestions and the chosen gift was a handmade Harvest Mug from nearby Barrington Pottery. We love Paul and Marion’s pieces and have quite a few in our collection, so it was lovely to be able to work with them.  They were quite happy to produce a commissioned item and our guest approved the design.  I have to admit to a slight worry when I knew the pot was in the kiln – but Paul & Marion kept us informed and we took delivery of the mug on the appointed day.

alisonproposaljug 768x1024 - Proposals at Dimpsey Glamping

Our guest also wanted some flowers – so we worked with Cottage Flowers in Ilminster and armed with the information on flower colours and types from our guest, we decided on a small harvest posy to for the Harvest Mug and then a larger bouquet of lilies and seasonal flowers. We picked the flowers up late morning, ready for our guest arrival at 3pm – as you can see from the photo, Cottage Flowers did us proud.

barrington pottery jug - Proposals at Dimpsey Glamping

Finally, the finishing touches were champagne and chocolates of course. The Somerset sparkling wine was from a local vineyard a few miles away and one of our favourites – Wayford Vineyard – and is always well received by our guests.

champagne alisonandcarl - Proposals at Dimpsey Glamping

We’re very happy to report that the lucky lady said yes – and here’s what they had to say in their review on the Canopy & Stars site :-

“Well what can I say , this was a stay with a difference, the idea was I was going to ask my partner to marry me in a special way , Emma was at hand right from the start to find the ideal way to do this. She had a jug made with a special message on it , supplied flowers bubbly and chocolates and it all went to plan , the hut itself was brilliant nice location and well setup and Emma was on hand for everything we needed , nothing was too much trouble even on her birthday

Thanks Em”

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Dimpsey Glamping has struck gold again, winning the category of Glamping and Alternative Accommodation at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards held at Somerset County Cricket Club last night. Dimpsey also won the 2016 award.

After 6 months of assessing evidence and judging by a panel of experts, the winners were announced by Laura Rawlings from BBC Radio Bristol, who was joined on stage by Marcus Trescothick MBE.
The winners were all presented with individually crafted hand inscribed awards by Will Shakspeare, from Shakspeare Glass in Langport.

Somerset based organiser Nell Barrington said: “These awards showcase the best that Somerset, Bristol and Bath have to offer visitors; from food and drink to attractions, experiences, accommodation and new for this year, guided tours. I hope that as many as possible can go on to win in the South West and then VisitEngland Awards, to raise the profile of this magnificent area.”

Dimpsey Glamping is a high-end shepherd hut accommodation located on a farm at the foot of the Blackdown Hills in Chard. Dimpsey has been up and running since 2014 and boasts a hot tub, outdoor kitchen and luxury living space. Created by Blackdown Shepherd Huts, and nurtured by owners Emma and Andrew Warren, Dimpsey has gone from strength to strength as a luxury couple’s retreat, with year-round bookings.

Emma says: ‘To win gold is a real accolade and testament to the hard work we put in to make Dimpsey the very best glamping experience possible. We are small, but perfectly formed, and are always looking to improve what we do. I have a great team, and we love our guests – their experience and feedback is everything. Thank you to Booking.com who sponsored this award.’

Dimpsey will now be fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2018 and then possibly on to the National Visit England Awards later in 2018.

www.dimspey.co.uk

Dimpsey BC IMG 7568 HDR 1024x682 1024x682 - Press Release: Dimpsey Glamping in Somerset Wins Gold at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2017/18

 

Photo Credit: Ben Carpenter Photography

ENDS

For further information, images, or an interview, please contact claire@nichebrands.co.uk / 07734 702653

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We like to check out all the local eateries in a bid to ensure that we can recommend somewhere to suit you, your tastes and your budget if we are asked by our guests – and after a good meal at The Firehouse as part of a Christmas party we were invited to, we thought we would go along and try them out again.

With wooden beams and contemporary fireplaces, they describe themselves as “a village pub that has been restored with a modern twist yet full of traditional charm” – and that’s definitely the feeling you get when you walk in there. 

The Firehouse Somerset - http://thefirehousesomerset.co.uk/

Photo Credit: The Firehouse Somerset – http://thefirehousesomerset.co.uk/

From steak to calamari, there truly is something for everybody on the menu, including vegetarian options. Not only is there fine dining, you can also enjoy homemade, rustic pizzas which you can watch being made on the pizza oven as you walk in. As you can imagine, the smell of good food as you walk in is delightful and certainly makes you hungry.

Using the finest, local produce, as well as local cider, we can truly say you are in good hands when it comes to The Firehouse Somerset, and definitely worth a try, whether you want to experience the delicious food, or to simply enjoy the experience by sitting by the wood burner. The good news is that The Firehouse is only 25 minutes away from Dimpsey Glamping, so your next special meal isn’t that far away!

Firehouse 7u5c0957 1024x682 - The Firehouse Somerset

The Firehouse Somerset – http://thefirehousesomerset.co.uk/

The Firehouse website: http://thefirehousesomerset.co.uk/

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Somerset has been famous for making good scrumpy for hundreds of years. The local dialect for a strong or sharp tasting cider, made in Somerset is ‘scrumpy’ and has been consumed and made within Somerset as well as being distributed around the world for centuries. With Somerset being one of the biggest cider counties in the UK, the West Country is known for the traditional method of cider making, using original, sharper types of cider apples. But, where did the cider process come from and how did it become so vastly enjoyed in Somerset?

Cider and cider production have been established in the UK since the Roman era, with Cider being recorded in history from the 11th Century onwards, with Kent, Hampshire and Somerset being the three main apple growing and cider producing counties in England. Since the 11th Century, most houses were producing cider and selling cider to the public as well cider being used as a wage for workers. Also being noted in various medical folklore as a health supplement, cider and cider apples were enjoyed not only as an alcoholic beverage, but also as a beauty luxury, with ointments and facial washes being created and sold due to apples having health properties which was used to smooth and clean the skin, causing a boom in the sales of cider.

apple 2535260 960 720 - A Brief History And The Making Of Somerset Scrumpy Cider
Cider Apples

Being loved throughout history, there is no surprise that cider is still very popular in Somerset in the present day. Despite most cider producing companies now farming their apples abroad, true Somerset cider can still be enjoyed with some famous cider companies such as Sheppy’s and Thatchers still using their apple orchards and cider breweries in Somerset. Good on them!

Cider is produced using a pulping, pressing and fermentation process, where the juice is extracted from the apples and mixed with yeast. The first step taken when creating cider is crushing the apples in order to remove all pips from the apples and to make the pressing stage easier. This stage is carried out within a large mill, with the pulp almost resembling apple sauce.

ciderwheel - A Brief History And The Making Of Somerset Scrumpy Cider
Traditional Cider Wheel

The extraction of the apple juice is the second stage, with the pulp being placed in a tank and mixed with other pulps from other variations of apple. Up to as many as 6 different types of apple can be combined in this stage in order to create the desired taste, depending on what type of cider is being made. The pulp is then layered in forms, a piece of nylon cloth with apple pulp on top, ready for the extraction process to take place. The nylon cloth is removed, leaving behind a square of apple pulp. This stage is repeated around 10 times in order to create a stack blocks of apple pulp, also known as a cheese. This stack is then placed in a tray and pressed by a hydraulic pump.

Preservatives are passed through the juice as the mixture cools down as well as the juice being pasteurised if it isn’t being fermented. If the juice is being fermented, the chemicals needed to start the fermentation process is added to the juice, which can take up to a month to fully ferment. After fermentation, the last stage is packaging ready to be shipped to the stores that we love. So next time you sip an ice cold glass of scrumpy, remember that you a drinking a little piece of Somerset history!

cider 822266 960 720 - A Brief History And The Making Of Somerset Scrumpy Cider

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Today is National Coffee Day and on Sunday it is International Coffee Day so we thought we would celebrate the only way we could here at Dimpsey Glamping, with Coffee Cake 😉

IMG 5909 1024x1024 - Recipe: Coffee cake with coffee buttercream and coffee glaze

 

INGREDIENTS

For The Coffee Cake

  • 200g unsalted softened butter, plus an extra 10g softened butter for greasing 
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coffee essence
  • 250g self raising flour

For The Coffee Buttercream

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

For The Coffee Glaze

  • 2 teaspoons coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 100g icing sugar

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Start to make the cake by adding the butter and sugar to a bowl and beat and mix until fluffy and lighter in colour
  3. Add the eggs and carry on beating and mixing, add the coffee essence, mix in and then sieve in the flour and fold the flour into the mix until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Pour the cake mix into the cake tin and gently shake the tin so settle the cake mix.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and risen, but start to check the cake after 20 minutes and cook until golden.
  6. When baked, remove from the cake tin and allow to cool.
  7. Now make the buttercream by adding the softened butter in a bowl and whisk until fluffy, then sieve in the icing sugar and whisk again. Dissolve the coffee granules into the boiling water and then add to the buttercream and whisk once more. Then leave to stand.
  8. To make the glaze, dissolve the coffee granules into the water, then sieve in the icing sugar and whisk until mixed. Add a little more boiling water a few drops at a time if required so that the glaze is spreadable and pourable.
  9. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 slices. Add buttercream to two of the slices and then assemble back together to make a coffee cake sandwich with 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of buttercream. Pour or spread over the glaze on the top of the cake and allow to cool. Serve once glaze has set.
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As the nights draw closer and the very first few leaves start to drop from the trees, you can just start to feel a little chill in the air in the evening here at Dimpsey Glamping. I always feel that with each season Dimpsey comes to life with it’s very own sense of comforting magic. Autumn is no exception, with the nip in the air, the deep golden sunsets, the bronze and copper leaves as they change from the lush summer vibrant green and the stars shining brightly as the sky becomes clearer at night. All these things herald the start of Autumn.

The Dimpsey Glamping Shepherd’s Hut is built to last. And as the oak cladding changes colour, just as the leaves do at this time of year, the hut ages into a majestic dwelling nestled in the Blackdown Hills that is warm and cosy yet full of whimsy and luxury.

So next time you visit Dimpsey in the Autumn time, why not spend some time just enjoying all the wonder and colour this season brings. Light the campfire, watch the stars, take a dip in the woodfired hot tub or cook a meal in our outdoor kitchen. Autumn is here….

dimpseyautumn - The Autumn Equinox at Dimpsey Glamping

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