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Newsflash! The latest local goss

Nothing's been happening during lockdown, right? Erm… not quite. Somerset and Dorset have some life in them yet, with new places to eat, the arrival of a famous fashion designer – and Bath starring on the box

New restaurant in Bath: Plate, at The Bird

The Bird in Bath is renowned as one of the city’s most stylish places to stay (or have a drink) but until now there was nowhere to eat at the hotel. Enter stage left, Plate, their new restaurant offering all-day dining, both inside and outside on the winter terrace with dining domes, pavilions, fire pits and mulled wine. Chef Leon Smith creates British dishes with seasonal, locally produced ingredients, with beef and lamb comes from nearby family-owned Beeswax Dyson, organic eggs from New Macdonald’s Farm and veggies from fifth-generation farmers at Lovejoys.

Work your way through ‘small plates’ of wood pigeon with bulgur wheat, port and red cabbage gel, pickled cherry, puffed rice (very Masterchef); ‘big plates’ of Cornish bass with shellfish bisque, fennel and barbecue leek or juicy steak and triple-cooked chips, before reaching (or you could go direct to) the ‘sweet plates’ of passionfruit cheesecake, lime curd, granola and Granny Smith sorbet, and more. Oh and the place looks as good as the food. A la carte, 2 and 3 course fixed price menu, kids’ menu, Sunday lunch and afternoon tea.

Alice Temperley arrives in Ilminster

Mayfair, Chelsea, Dubai – and now Ilminster. Fashion designer to the cool and famous, Alice Temperley, returns to her Somerset roots to relocate the brand’s headquarters to the Victorian Cornhill building in the town’s main square.

Along with a design atelier and a training workshop for the design side of things, you can peruse her current collection, archive pieces and bridalware in the store and sip a cocktail or glass of cider (from her parents’ cider farm) in The Somerset bar.

New pub in Bath: The Moorfields

The Bath Pub Company (Hare and Hounds, The Marlborough Tavern, etc) have just added a brand new pub to their stable of gastropubs.

The Moorfields in Oldfield Park has all the company’s trademark characteristics: excellent home-cooked pub food and more (burgers, fish and chips, steaks, roasts, beef and ale stews, tempuri nori-wrapped tofu…) from breakfast onwards every day of the week, in super relaxed yet rather cool surroundings. There’s a heated marquee in the garden, with its own menu, which includes pizza.

New farm shop in Somerset: Teal’s, South Cadbury, near Yeovil

Not just any old farm shop but an eco farm store and kitchen, Ash and Nick Sinfield of Teal’s have put together an eclectic selection of food (butchers, deli, bakery, veg), gifts and treats from the South West and beyond, mainly small batch, family-run, artisan and with a strong ethical ethos. Tasty grub to eat in or take away too. Based on a 100-acre cider farm just off the A303, Teal’s is open from Tues 8 Dec, seven days a week. On my way right now…

Bath stars in a new Netflix drama on Christmas Day

Settle down for Regency scandal and romance in the brand new Netflix series Bridgerton, filmed on location all over Bath and premiering in your abode on Christmas Day.

Photo copyright Netflix, via Visit Bath, a great place to start for a Regency-inspired city break.

Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling books, produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) and narrated by Julie Andrews, the drama follows the lives of the high society Bridgerton family in 1800s England. Look out for Abbey Green, the Royal Crescent, Bath Street, Beaufort Street, Trim Street, the Assembly Rooms, the Holburne Museum…. Let us know if we’ve missed any out.

New pub in Dorset: The Fox Inn, Corscombe, near Beaminster

Opening imminently is the 17th century Fox Inn, complete with thatch (natch), open fires. cosy corners, quirky curiosities and artworks on the walls and local, seasonal grub and booze.

On the menu at Mark Hix’s newest venture in the hamlet of Corscombe in the undulating Dorset countryside: local meat and game (pheasant escalope, wood pigeon, roe deer, gamekeeper’s hotpot), hearty pub classics (bangers and mash, anyone?), fresh fish from the coast (of course) and a stonking Sunday lunch. Food and drink only for now but next year there will be rooms to stay.

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