Keep your finger on the pulse: what's just opened or opening soon in Somerset, Dorset and nearby.
What’s new in the ‘hood? In this month’s newsflash, we bring you new restaurants, a banging new arts space, new sustainable interiors shopping – and the news that the best street market in the West is back (hurrah)!
Cutting edge art hub opens in Bournemouth
Move over Margate and Hastings, Shoreditch has come to the Dorset coast. Vast gallery space and arts centre, Giant, has just opened in former Debenham’s department store, The Bobby’s Building, in Bournemouth. The first exhibitions at the largest artist-led space in the UK (15,000 square feet, FYI) ‘Big Medicine’ and ‘The Art of Protest’ includes works by controversial artists like Jake and Dino Chapman, Gavin Turk, Banksy and many more – and it’s free.
Soho House’s take on the American diner and motel in Bristol
Soho House’s new restaurant and motel, Mollies, has the feel of a 1950s diner brought bang up-to-date in the brand’s own inimitable style. So burgers – vegan and veggie as well as meat – come with sweet potato fries as well as regular, gluten-free or in a lettuce wrap; there’s rotisserie chicken, aubergine parmagiana, salads; booze including cocktails, mocktails and more; all to be enjoyed in the diner with outdoor heated terrace or to take away. The 123 high tech rooms – double, twin, interconnecting, bunk – are simple, elegant, with super showers, Cowshed toiletries (natch) and surprisingly cheap (doubles from £55 a night). Handily located just off the M4 at Cribbs Causeway, so ideal for shopping binges or stops off en route to Cornwall, Wales or way up north, depending on your direction and fancy.
Luxury and eclectic interiors with a social conscience in Bruton
Smouk Interiors – gorgeous antique and artisan rugs and more from souks, markets and hidden corners around the world – have joined forces with sustainable interiors store Pure Interiors, who repurpose designer goods otherwise destined to be put into landfill, and opened up a store in Bruton. Pure x Smouk is open Tues to Sat.
Wine and dine in a former bank in South Petherton
Looking forward to noshing on inventive, seasonal (super delicious) food and knocking back a glass or two of biodynamic wine at Holm, a former bank turned restaurant with outdoor grill and dining terrace plus private dining room in South Petherton this Autumn. Chef Nicholas Balfe, one of the three-man team behind the successful Salon in Brixton and Levan and Harry’s in Peckham, has moved back home to open the new joint. On the menu, stuff like Westcombe cheddar beignets; mackerel, ponzu and garden herbs; cuttlefish skewers with preserved elderflower vinaigrette (above). We can’t wait.
The best street market in the West is back!
The superb Frome Independent market is back on Sun 6 September, for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The streets of Frome and down by the Cheese & Grain will be filled with all sorts of interesting stalls – up and coming and established designer-makers, local/regional food and drink producers, people selling sustainable products, new and vintage clothes, furniture, collectibles – and live music. Lots of the independent shops on Catherine Hill and Cheap Street will be open too. We’ve missed you!
For more things to do see our guide to 10 of the best afternoon teas in Somerset & Dorset