Last weekend I had the joy of spending the weekend in Dorset. I was invited, along with 12 other fab bloggers, on a Dorset Foodies Trip, courtesy of holidaycottages.co.uk in one of their fabulous properties – Ranmoor. A weekend of food, sampling local produce, and tours of the local farms were on the cards. I couldn’t wait.
I headed down to Dorset with Chris from Thinly Spread, Kate from Veggie Desserts, and Helen from Fuss Free Flavours. It was good to break the ice with a journey before arriving at the house. We arrived at lunchtime to find we were some of the first ones there. Our hosts Emma and Sarah showed us to our rooms, and we dumped our bags and got onto exploring the house.
The house was vast, surrounded by open fields, geese and even alpacas! There was a pool, trampoline, snooker table, badminton and table tennis! I could tell we were going to have some fun here, and we hadn’t even looked in the fridge yet! Once the other guests arrived and we had all had a natter, we ventured onto our first food activity – vodka and cheese tasting! We were introduced to Black Cow Vodka, which is made from milk. It’s made by separating the milk, using the curd to make cheese, and the whey gets fermented into milk beer, which then gets triple filtered and distilled into some seriously smooth vodka. We sipped it neat and nibbled on the cheese. I have to be honest, the idea of milk vodka seemed a little odd at first, but it was delicious. We also got to test and indulge in Percy’s biscuits, Cerne Abbas Brewery Ales, Dorset Nectar cider (you HAVE to try their Elderflower cider!), Conker Gin (a copper pot distilled local Dorset gin).
On Friday evening, we were treated to a delicious 3 course meal courtesy of the Dorset Fine Dining Company. My vegetarian dishes were feta and fresh mint pastillas, Moroccan chickpea stew with Israeli cous cous, and a gorgeous mocha eclair. All washed down with some Furleigh Estate wine, with their grapes grown in Dorset. It was a treat to be waited on, and a chance to have a nice foodie chat.
I woke up early on the Saturday morning, I decided to make use of the hot tub, and whiled away an hour, watching the fog slowly rise off the land and the sun break through. Breakfast was a feast of eggs (cooked by the lovely Becca from Amuse Your Bouche), pastries and a gorgeous mug of Reads Coffee – which is hand roasted in the local area.
Soon we headed out to Goldhill Organic Farm, where we were given a tour of the farm, explaining the growing process and how they harvest rain water. Goldhill’s land is all Soil Association approved and has been for many years. We were then treated to a lunch of bean stew with flatbreads, salad from the farm, and of course, some Dorset Apple cake – made by the lovely Tea and Sympathy. It was lovely to see a group of people so passionate about their produce. They have just started offering veg boxes, juice boxes, and will soon be launching soup boxes. After lunch we headed back to the house, for a rest, and more food. Bethellbridge Bakery had put on a huge spread of afternoon tea, and somehow I found room to fit in some more food! After all that food, it was time to put our feet up, and a few of us sat on the ginormous sofa and watched the rugby, stretching out our stomachs.
We had a late dinner that night, Dorset Pies were kind and sent a shed load of pies for us to share. My favourite was the spicy bean pie. We even managed to squeeze in some decadent ice cream and sorbets from Purbeck Ice Cream, my favourite was their beetroot sorbet. We sat and laughed at the pure excess of the weekend, it was such a treat to be looked after so well, in such lovely surroundings.
All too soon it was Sunday, and time to pack our bags. I cooked up a big batch of veggie bubble and squeak with all the left overs, to fuel everyone for their journeys home. There were hugs all round and plans to meet up soon, before it was time to leave. Off we set down the road back home, when I realised (thanks Andrea!) that I had left my bag at the house! A quick turn around to grab it and it was back on the road.
We got to sample all sorts of treats over the weekend, and even take home a goodie bag stuffed full of treats. I never knew Dorset had so many fab local companies. I’ll be putting them on my foodie list, and if you are ever in the area, make sure you hunt down some of these delicious goods.
You can see what we all got up to on Instagram using #HCBloggerTrip
Here are some other posts related to this fab trip;
Holidaycottages.co.uk invited me on the complimentary Dorset food and drink weekend away. A blog post was not required and all opinions are entirely my own. I truly had a fantastic time! Big thanks to all the partners for their generous contributions.