Yesterday was another of these mornings when you wake up to clear blue skies and shirtsleeve weather. Making the most of this glorious autumn we jumped in the car and drove up the A303 to Stourhead, the National Trust property just inside the Wiltshire border, close to Mere.
Strolling around the lakes with the stunning colours of the season is a balm to anyone’s spirit. The setting for the Temple of Apollo, the Pantheon and the Grotto is breath taking at this time of year.
Uplifted and relaxed we headed west for thirty minutes, stopping in the ancient market town of Sherborne. Whether your interest is shopping or history there is so much to like in this jewel of Dorset. Georgian architecture is part of Sherborne’s appeal, as is the castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh or the Benedictine Abbey in the centre of town.
I digress, our table at The Green restaurant at the top of Cheap Street was waiting for us. Many times we have eaten at The Green and always been delighted but yesterday was special. We both started with the trio of Lyme Bay crab and truffle tuille followed by chargrilled scallops and a side order of marjoram chips. To finish, it was a no brainer, ginger sticky toffee pudding and espresso. Believe me, Sasha Matkevich’s chips are every bit as good as Tom Kerridge’s triple cooked chips – and we’ve enjoyed both.
The food and service were superb and deserving of a Michelin star. They should have been included in last week’s 2015 Guide. Come on Michelin, there are too many inconsistencies in your star awards.
With full tummies and a smile on our faces we left The Green and crossed the road and entered the tardis, otherwise known as The Toy Box – room after room of every delight for first borns to fifteens. This is the best toy shop west of Regent Street. On the way back to the car we looked like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman.
If you can make it, get yourself to Sherborne next Monday, 13th October when they celebrate Pack Monday Fair. The centre of town is given over to street traders, both local and from France, Germany and beyond.
Dorset, the unsung gem.