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Anyone for a slab of Dorset Blue Vinney atop the dramatic Jurassic Coastline that featured so heavily in Broadchurch last year? Thought so. (Sidebar: Broadchurch returns later in 2014! But back to the food…) Forage for your own Ploughman’s to complete your lunch with River Cottage regular John Wright, who is hosting a Hedgerow Harvest on 10 May at the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Meadows for £55. Look out for fat hen, chickweed and hairy bittercress (all real, we promise) with John. If you’d rather let someone else do all the hard work,

and we don’t blame you, head over to Bridport, between Lyme Regis and Weymouth, and The Bull Hotel. You’ll love everything here, from the cocktails to the cake. Head chef George Marsh grew up in the area so knows all of the local fi shermen well, so expect the freshest catch of the day on the menu. Book onto the two-night DB&B package and you can get your second dinner at the nearby Stable (the original pizza and cider joint – there are now branches in Bristol, Bath and most recently Cornwall; see above). Visit on the fi rst Thursday of the month and you can join in at The Bull’s cocktail tasting and talks for only £8 each. MasterChef winner Mat Follas has also recently moved to

(Above) Aff ordable luxury at The Pig, with its 25-mile menu; (below) you’ll fi nd the freshest fi sh thanks to head chef George Marsh (and his mates) at The Bull Hotel

The Casterbridge Hotel in Dorchester. Mat is now serving food, such as coquilles St Jacques using handmade butter puff pastry, Dorset razor clams and salmon caviar, on Fridays and Saturdays at the hotel – perfect if, like us, you’re mourning the closure of his own award-winning restaurant, The Wild Garlic.


folds of the Mendip Hills, this really is the new and trendy kid on the block. Shabby chic, and with a serious nod to their 25 mile menu and Potting Shed spa (it’s literally a shed), it’s a real foodie’s delight. Swing by Wringtons’s famed walled kitchen garden and revolutionary restaurant, The Ethicurean, while you’re weaving through the country lanes and on to Vale House Kitchen, Timsbury. Run by husband-and-wife team Bod and Annie Griffi ths, the bespoke country skills and cookery school offers everything from courses on butchery (see page 71) to fl y fi shing, shooting, preserving and foraging (from £135) and will even collect you from Bath’s Villa Magdala or The Carpenter’s Arms in the Chew Valley. Family foodies (and their pets)

It’s home to some of the South West’s most exciting food festivals (Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and VegFest in May, Grillstock in June, the Foodies Festival in July and the Great Bath Feast in October), as well as some of the UK’s best restaurants with rooms. This neck of the woods is the place to unbuckle your waistband, pour an extra glass of wine, and settle in for the night. Start on the outskirts and work your way in with a jaunt to the recently renovated The Pig Hotel, Pensford. Tucked in the

can head to Woolley Grange Hotel in Bradford-on-Avon to test its award-winning crèche, get muddy in the grounds, pick veggies from the kitchen garden, splash in the two pools and work their way through Mark Bradbury’s child- friendly seasonal menu. For a dose of luxury gastro pub, don’t miss The Talbot Inn in Mells with its stylish eight rooms and spot-on pub grub from the best Somerset produce. Visit on the weekend to sample head chef Pravin Nayar’s open-charcoal grill and wood fi re offerings, served on banquet-style tables – the perfect choice for those who fancy a bit of everything off the menu! Once you’ve crossed into the heart of Bath, you’ll need to

OXFORDSHIRE Yes, yes, we could wang on about Le Manoir (Raymond Blanc’s gaff) if you’re Oxford way, or our favourite summer hangout , The Cherwel l Boathouse, where you can eat heritage tomato salads smugly while watching people punt by, but the real reason you’d want to travel to this county is gin. The Feathers in Woodstock is home to the largest collection of mother’s ruin on the planet – they’re currently at 181 and counting.

brace yourselves for a gastronomic tour of the best fi ne-dining plates. Start at Chris Staines’ exceptional Allium Brasserie with its superb lunch menu at just £23 for three courses (bedrooms upstairs), before dropping by the most iconic of streets at The Royal Crescent Hotel, for a quintessentially Austen-esque afternoon tea. No crusts, if you please! Once you’ve walked off the calories, head back to

The Queensberry Hotel and its Olive Tree Restaurant for a slap-up supper by head chef Chris Cleghorn. Glide your way through its extremely reasonable £60 tasting menu and award- winning wine list before rolling up to the sumptuous suites and awaken to the smell of a Full English brekkie tempting you back to the table. And, of course (if there’s room), you shouldn’t forget to pack an iconic Sally Lunn’s bun for the road!



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