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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Every where you go you see ‘life’ being busy all around you. Whether you are working or have children (or both!), maybe you are retired or just lead a hectic social lifestyle. Whenever you are busy, your body is doing a million and one things at once and sometimes it just deserves a break.

Relaxing sounds easy, surely you just stop what you are doing and rest? No.  Sometimes we find it impossible for our brains to truly switch off from all our worries and fears.  Relaxation is an art, and an important art to learn.

At Dimpsey Glamping we want you to relax. From our location, to the ambience, from the good food we have around us to the interior of our shepherd’s hut, everything is there to help you relax. We want you to pause for that single moment in time and enjoy this beautiful area of the Blackdown Hills, the people around you and realise just how awesome you really are.

Here are our 15 reasons why you should learn to relax…

  1. Stress levels – Once you really relax, your stress levels decrease which means that you will be able to deal with ‘life’ easier.
  2. Clear thought – Allowing your brain to relax will give you back clarity, focus and clear thought.
  3. Sleep – Relaxing regularly can improve your sleep at night: your body will get used to being in a relaxed state.
  4. Creativity – After relaxation our creativity levels soar – particularly useful if you work within the creative industry.
  5. Blood Pressure – Because relaxing helps your stress levels to lower, this can also have a knock on effect and help lower your blood pressure.
  6. Colds – Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has shown that being stressed can double your chances of catching a cold.
  7. Strokes – In 2011 a medical study examined the specific effects of work-related stress. It found that psychological stress caused about 10 percent of strokes.
  8. Eczema & Psoriasis – Stress can cause eczema and psoriasis flare ups, relax more to keep your skin feeling soothed.
  9. Asthma – Asthma attacks can be brought on by stress, relaxing throughout the day if you have asthma can help keep stress attacks limited.
  10. Depression & Anxiety – Relaxing is proven to help ease depression and anxiety attacks. It also can promote stability with those suffering from Bipolar Disease or Manic Depression.
  11. Weight – When stressed we often raid the fridge for our comfort foods, which are usually laden in sugar and fat. When you are relaxed your body and mind work more in sync with one another and therefore the craving for food comfort is decreased.
  12. Relationships – Being relaxed together and even taking part in mutual relaxation techniques at the same time such as yoga, meditation or even massage can help a relationship feel more at ease.
  13. Getting In The Mood – Relaxation can great help ‘getting in the mood’ for a little private time with your other half.
  14. Celebrations – It’s all too easy to forget or rush the celebrations of your achievements. Take time to relax and enjoy all the amazing things you have achieved and it will spur you on to do more in the future.
  15. Body, Mind & Soul – Taking time out just for yourself soothes your soul. You can connect more to those around you and wherever you are in time and place. Relaxation is good for your body, mind and soul, allowing you to pause, even if just for an hour and refresh your senses.

Pause, take a deep breath and relax.

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Seeing as we have our own Shepherd Hut here at Dimpsey, we thought it would be an idea to look at the very beginning and the origin of the word Shepherd. Shepherd – a person who tends to, looks after and guards sheep (the dictionary definition) – originates here in England and is the combination of the words sheep and herd.

From Old English to English in the present day, the word has seen a few alterations both in the spelling and in the pronunciation. The main alteration pattern is through the different eras: scēphyrde, shepherde to shepherd; however, this is not the only way that the word has evolved over time. Depending on where you come from, and the dialect you use, shepherd has also been spelt shepard, sheperd, sheppard and sheppherd.

sheep-298650_960_720

Although the use of the word has decreased over the years when it comes to talking about the profession, we as a nation see this word popping up constantly as it has been used as a surname, as a name of a certain homely food – Shepherd’s Pie – and of course, you also have your Shepherd’s Huts and that is where Dimpsey comes in 🙂

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Here at Dimpsey we’re always looking at ways that we can make your experience even cosier, more relaxing and as chilled out as possible.

Recently we’ve been slightly obsessed with the art of Danish ‘hygge’, which is hard to explain and even harder to pronounce. But we’ll attempt to do both! The Danish word ‘hygge’ (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates roughly to ‘cosiness’. But there’s much more to the unique Danish concept of hygge than just a few rugs and a fire…..

Here’s how we discovered hygge!

Emma came across hygge on her recent family holiday and explains how it all fell into place for her…”We’ve holidayed in the same place in Cornwall for 18 years now – it’s our wind-down and get-away-from-it-all time.  We’re in a house next to a beach on the North Cornish coast, with our best friends and their family, so generally there are around 16 of us there including a grandparent from each family.  It might seem like a boringly samey holiday to some people, but we just love hanging out together, bringing and making great food – our own produced meat and various gin infusions abound, as well as a mound of artisan cheeses from http://www.countrycheeses.co.uk/ in Tavistock.  We hang out on the beach, dig major engineering works, go for walks on the Southwest coast path and chat over long lunches and suppers.

hygge

“While we were there, I read an article in the Saturday Telegraph and I could finally put a name to the feeling we get whenever we stay in the Dimpsey Hut – that warmth and cosy companionship of just being – with no distractions and no urgent matters needing attention.  I leant back in my chair and passed it to our friend’s Mum to read – she’s Danish – and as I passed it to her, I said what a great word it was and how much I liked the images that it conjured up.  She looked at me with her wise eyes, and said  ‘What you do here every year is hygge, you make time for each other, you have no other agenda – the nearest English word is cosy, but it doesn’t really do it justice – you do this already and do it very well, that’s why I come with you.’ “

For Claire, who’s a new member of the Dimpsey family, it was a literal literary moment! She had been reading (obsessing over!) Helen Russell’s most excellent book The Year of Living Danishly, and could totally relate to Helen’s new experience of the hygge during her new life in Jutland, Denmark. In fact, Claire thought her Danish roots had been encouraging her to hunker down and hygge in the UK (albeit with a large glass of red and Helen’s book!). Claire says: “Helen‘s writing uncovers the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country and she dedicates a whole chapter to hygge. It’s inspiring and laugh out loud funny. It makes you want to do anything you can do embrace the hygge experience.”

In an amazing coincidence, it was Helen Russell who wrote the article Emma had read, so we now feel Helen is an honorary member  of the Dimpsey family because her writing about hygge brought it all together for us. When you come to stay at Dimpsey you’ll be able to grab a copy of The Year of Living Danishly in the hut – we got one to share with you so you can read about hygge whilst doing the actual thing!

With our new obsession firmly in place, we looked deeper into the idea behind hygge, we just knew it was something that fitted perfectly with the Dimpsey values and experience.

Visit Denmark says that: Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?’

So, we want you to get happy, to find your inner hygge and use the Dimpsey hut to be all hygge about life. With our cosy, intimate and warm hut we’re sure you’ll create that atmosphere, no problem at all.

The truly marvellous thing about hygge is that it’s not just for winter! You can still hygge at the Dimpsey Hut in spring and summer and autumn! The Danes use picnics, barbeques and chilling with friends as an excuse to embrace hygge, and we’ve got all this on hand at the hut, so you’ll never miss an opportunity to hygge!

If you fancy getting hygge, you know where to come. And of course, we’re always so happy to hear your feedback about your stay at the Dimpsey Hut – the hygge the better!

Happy hygge!

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All bookings for our Dimpsey Glamping Hut between now and the end of October 2015 will have the chance to take advantage of our ‘sloe’ breaks free of charge! We are lucky to be surrounded by nature’s larder containing wild berries, fruits and more. One of these seasonal delights are sloe berries.

sloes

So… if you book your ‘sloe’ break and bring a bottle of gin or vodka with you, we will personally take you to the sloe berries so that you can pick them and then show you how to make sloe gin (or vodka) that will be ready in time for Christmas!

sloegin

So book a stay with us her at Dimpsey Glamping, relax and unwind whilst making a fantastic Christmas present for someone you love, or yourself 😉

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If you have read our website you will know that ‘Dimpsey’ is a term unique to Somerset meaning ‘twilight’, ‘dusk’ or ‘low light’. But did you know that us Somerset folk have lots of words that are unique to our region?

When actors learn the dialect they are taught ‘Mummerset’ which is where the actors are taught to use a mild ‘pirate’ sounding voice (the oohs and the arrrs) but replace all S’s (and C’s that sound like S’s) with Z’s, all F’s with V’s and if there is a M in the word, to double it. Therefore, ‘Somerset Cider’ is pronounced ‘Zummerset Zider’.

Photo © The Wurzels
Photo © The Wurzels

So now you have the sound of the accent sorted, what about our famous Somerset words and phrases. We can help with that 😉

Grockle
A grockle is someone who is not ‘from round’ere’. A non local, usually a holiday maker or tourist.
Usage: We love having grockle’s coming to stay here at Dimpsey!

How Be On?
An easy one this, it means ‘how are you?’
Usage:  ‘Ello Emma, how be on?

Nottlin’
Cold
Usage: It be right nottlin’ today.

Innit Snugh
Yes it is, isn’t it?
Usage:  It’s dimpsey? Innit snugh?

Spuddling
To cause an argument or trouble
Usage: He be spuddling again!

G’woam
Going home
Usage: It’s a bit dimpsey so g’woam.

G’wain
Going
Usage: I’m g’wain to the post office.

Gurt
Very
Usage: That’ll be a gurt big bee in the garden.

Doughboy
Dumpling
Usage: Stew ‘n’ doughboys.

Batch
Hill
Usage: On top of the batch.

Astooded
Sunk into the ground
Usage: Tent poles astooded!

Just to name a few! I hope you enjoyed our little language lesson and remember, whether it’s nottlin’ or hot, we always welcome grockels here at Dimpsey 😉

 

 

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