I’m always on the lookout for new places to eat at or new things to introduce to our Dimpsey Shepherd Hut guests – so when I saw an opportunity to combine shopping and dining out pop up on instagram, I was on the phone and booking a table without any of my usual procrastination!
Beaminster is a gorgeous little market town and one of my favourite haunts for a bit of treat shopping. It’s just over half an hour away from us, so not too far to pop for an evening out – and at the mention of food Mr W was keen to come along too.
So I should probably tell you what was going on…There’s a lovely restaurant in Beaminster called Brassica which I’ve been meaning to visit for a while, and they also have the shop next door, which they run as Brassica Mercantile. However, the lure that kicked me into action was when I saw that The Owl & The Apothecary were launching their Ritual Kit in the Mercantile Store. I’ve followed them for some time as Dimpsey but previously it was more of a subscription box offering, the Ritual Kit sounded intriguing.
So firstly, the store – Brassica Mercantile has curated lovely (and unusual) foodie, home and book finds into a really great little shopping experience. Mr W was happy as he had launch night glass and nibbles to keep him occupied and I saw a number of things I will be bearing in mind for presents this year. I also hopefully made enough complimentary comments about a couple of things in particular to prompt Mr W’s present gene too.
The Owl & Apothecary Ritual Kit was displayed at the front of the store and it looked very inviting – the packaging (I am a bit of a packaging geek!) is absolutely gorgeous and both the ritual kits had beautiful little books accompanying them explaining what each kit is and how to use them. We met Katy Theakston, who is the lady behind the brand, and she explained to us that the whole idea is to “tap into the wild and wonderful energy surrounding us to totally transform your life”. Each kit contains a four products charged with positive energy – a Wild Smudge stick, two Luna candles, a crystal and a pulse point roller of fragrant essential oils. It was lovely to hear that locally made products are being used and how Katy came to develop them and the scents that have been used are really well balanced. Katy had her lovely jar candles burning and even Mr W, who does not get scented candles at all, commented on how nice they smelt.
As we spend a lot of time creating an inspiring and relaxing space for our guests at www.dimpsey.co.uk – these products really spoke to me and so a couple of purchases had to be made. I will share them with you in another blog, but in the meantime why not pop over to www.owlapothecary.com and take a look.
With perfect timing, we finished shopping in time to pop next door to Brassica for our table – having seen the store, it was no surprise that the interior style was really well put together – really inviting, laid back but stylish and most importantly comfortable! A quick browse of the website whilst we were waiting to order put it all into context – this is a merger of some really impressive styling heritage (founder Louise Chidgey) and culinary experience (founder Cass Titcombe) – we were excited to see the menu.
The menu certainly didn’t disappoint and took a bit of deliberation, but my Quince Bellini was a tasteful distraction. All of the team were lovely and happy to explain menu items, orders were taken and our starters arrived in good time and were both delicious. Mr W’s pork fritters contained meltingly good meat on a bed of delicious pickles and my mixed beets and salad with pecorino were absolutely delightful – impeccably dressed and showing just a hint of crispness.
For Main course, I chose Orecchiette pasta with roasted squash and ricotta salata and Mr W went for the Calves liver faggots with parsnips and pickled cabbage, plus a side of buttered greens. Our meals arrived after a pleasant interval and again were delicious – by now we were exclaiming to each other that this place definitely had to go on the recommended list for the shepherd hut guests and bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t been sooner. Mr W proclaimed the faggots to be extremely tasty and was pleasantly surprised that he liked the pickled cabbage (he usually claims not to). My Orecchiette was perfectly cooked and all the dishes we had were perfectly seasoned and had lovely layers of flavour within them. These dishes look deceptively simple but they’re actually devilishly difficult to get just right – and these were perfect.
Portion sizes were excellent and we felt great value for money – we thought we ought to try a pudding, even though we were quite full, so we plumped for an Affogato but had it served before the espresso was poured over the ice cream so I could have the ice cream and Mr W the coffee – which our Waitress helpfully offered to do.
So all in all a great evening, some lovely new product finds, exciting purchases from the Owl & the Apothecary and a fantastic find for our dining options – well done Beaminster!
Instagram links below :
Brassica Restaurant and Mercantile @brassicarestaurant_mercantile
The Owl and The Apothecary @owlapothecary
Dimpsey Glamping @dimpsey_glamping