After mentioning on Twitter that I had never tasted snails, David Walker (Sales Director for Dorset Snails) invited me along to their processing unit to try them for myself!! After checking with East Dorset Foodie (on her patch!) I headed over to Holton Heath to investigate the production of these molluscs!
Amongst the buckets & spades and objet d’art in the quintessential English seaside thoroughfare, St. Alban Street in Weymouth, there is an oasis of wonderful Dorset produce!! Delicious is a delicatessen dedicated to serving great Dorset food sourced from local farms & producers.
Since its inception with the purchase of a small farm in 1971, the family business at Washingpool has always been ahead of its time. Long before diversification was a buzz word the family saw that in order to survive and prosper, income was needed beyond the small dairy herd and so Washingpool Farm Shop was born. Initially it was an informal affair in the old chicken house, a way to market the fruit and vegetables grown on the farm; then with the addition of two shops in town and two market stalls, they ventured into self-service. The infiltration of the supermarkets hit sales and so in 2000 they opened their significantly larger out of town store as it exists today. The Bridport greengrocery stores are long gone but Washingpool retain a town centre presence with a market stall outside no.21 West Street every Saturday.
I first met Rob Scott through CrossFit Weymouth and talk soon drifted over to food. Rob’s resume in the catering business is impressive, he started attending a NVQ Course in Weymouth, before appearing in the inaugural Masterchef Professionals where he reached the quarter finals. This jump started his career, he then lived & worked in Australia, Bermuda and the U.S.A. As well as providing fine dining at top level hotels in the U.K. he has been Private Chef to a family of 6. Most recently he was at the 4* Moonfleet Manor Hotel in Weymouth.
The Bearkat experience starts long before you enter the venue. From the posters to the event titles all hint towards the treats to be unveiled ahead. This being a “secret” supper club the location of the evening is not revealed until the day of the event itself. On the eve of this, the latest Bearkat supper club Wings of a Dove I went to bed with a little of the anticipation of the night before Christmas – awaking to a dawn gift in my inbox revealing the location as Bridport’s Chapel in The Garden.
For only £35 enjoy a five course meal plus a free glass of Procesecco, canapés and petit fours cooked by inaugural Masterchef Professionals quarter finalist, Rob Scott. Tickets from Rob or the Palm House, Weymouth – Saturday 16th April
Alongside its thriving food economy, Dorset is home to a growing collection of innovative drinks producers. West Dorset’s Liberty Fields is in the unique position of having a foot in both camps, with both a fine traditional method apple balsamic, their sublime Apple Aperitif and two new exciting additions to the range in the pipeline.
The Station Kitchen is in the old railway station at West Bay. Late in 2015 Ross Moore & his wife Claire took over the running of the Station Kitchen. They turned The Station Kitchen into a high end cafe during the day and a restaurant in the evenings. They also run their award winning catering business called Sausage (Ross) & Pear (Claire).
Jollyon Carter and Radhika Mohandas have been selling at country wide food fairs since 2011, they have a unique blend of local Dorset produce mixed with flavours from the East. Such things as organic pork and Blue Vinney dumplings! Their main suppliers list are a who’s, who of the best of Dorset; Trill Farm, Framptons Butchers, Samways Fish, Capreoulus Fine Foods, Jansons Deli, Washingpool Farm, Fussels, Maddocks Organic Farm, Chesil Smokery, Comins Tea House etc.. So when we heard they were opening a restaurant in Bartholomews Hall, just down Chancery Lane in Bridport town centre, we just had to be there for their opening week tasting menu!!