First off, my apologies for the slight delay in publishing my frightfully spiffing experience about Somerset Day, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton – which took place at the village hall on Saturday 12th May.
“But what the heck is Somerset Day?” I hear you utter! Well, it’s a DAY that celebrates Somerset as a place to live, work or play – Hear, hear! In fact, you’ll be pleased to know that this wonderful event raised money for St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice and Greenway Community Hall – round of applause, please!
But before we proceed, here’s a little tip: the title of the village is pronounced Bishops ‘Lid-e-ard’ not ‘Lid-eeerd’ - “Oooh aar! oooh aar!” as Farmer Giles is known to trumpet – Ta very muchly!
So, darlings, during my brief but a most enlightening trip to the land of my heart – dear old Somerset – I stayed at the ye-olde Lethbridge Arms, which is nestled within Bishops Lid-e-ard’s magnificent bosom – Oh, I say! A truly charming village which is located near the Quantock Hills, and peppered with quaint chocolate-box cottages and rows of terrace abodes – Oh, and one mustn’t forget the odd tree, plus a rather impressive church – St. Mary the Virgin.
You see, Miss Windsor who is a born and bred West-Country lass, was invited as a special guest by a darling lady and keen ‘Yarnbomer’ (more about that later) who organised this incredible event that unites the community through charity, craft, creativity and cake – Oh, plus a chinwag over a cup of Miles tea! I say this ‘village treasure’ is indeed a pillar of her local community, and on Twitter bestowed herself the suitable title of Kathy Somerset - Fancy that!
I must say as part of the gaiety I relished the opportunity, and so introduced myself to many of the participants: Val Stones – creator of ‘edible delectables’ and star of 2016 Great British Bake-Off, the gorgeous Angie Langley - author of Jennifer Brown’s Journey and gifted wild-life photographer!
I also met the delightfully endearing former Mayor of Taunton and director of Apple FM Radio – Cllr Marcia Hill, who interviewed Miss Windsor for the Community Matters show (aired Tuesday 29th May) Oh, and darlings, Marcia absolutely adores the colour purple, as one can tell from her dazzling eyes!
Cllr Marcia Hill
Darlings, you may still be wondering: “Why a slight delay publishing your piece?” Well, along with the usual busy life events, I fear Miss Windsor may have suffered from a rare case of ‘memory lapse’ – Oh, dearie me!
Therefore, I must admit, on Bank Holiday Monday (just gone) I decided to take a sunlit jaunt to the supermarket, by foot, may I add! And as I proceeded along my merry way, I bizarrely found myself drawn to my neighbour’s garden. My goodness, the alluring aroma of rose had me in a frenzy, and so I felt compelled to take a sniff or two of their bountiful bush – Oh, I say!
But after two or three deep inhalations it suddenly dawned on me that approximately two weeks before I was actually taking a leisurely walk through Bishops Lid-e-ard! Whilst I admired the vibrantly coloured bunting and floral decorations that I easily mistook for the real thing – you know, an English rose, a poppy, or even a daisy! In fact, such exquisite designs were hand knitted by the extremely talented local ‘Yarnbomb’ group – star member Kathy Somerset!
You see, it was a bit of a ‘Hansel and Gretel’ moment for me, without the pebbles or bread of course; as I joyfully followed the knitted flowers and bunting that adorned the cottage gardens and main street. I say, with their aid I was ushered so gracefully all the way to Daisy’s Tearooms for a spot of afternoon tea- How thrilling!
Darlings, during my visit to Daisy’s, I devoured a homemade scone or two, whilst I indulged in a good old proper brew – served in an English bone china cup n’ saucer, of course! I say it was such a pleasurable experience, as I became well acquainted with the marvellous Melinda – proprietor and first-class baker.
Oh, and I also met patisserie extraordinaire – the lovely Lorraine – ‘who made my day with a luxurious cupcake bouquet’ – Now, what more could a girl want!
Now, let’s return our focus to Bishops Lid-e-ard’s village hall! It was crammed to the rafters with all sorts of stalls – Caroline Pearse of Exmoor Fudge Kitchen kindly offered me a sample of her melt-in-the-mouth Blackcurrant & Vanilla Fudge – it was like ‘angels dancing on my tongue’!
I also stumbled across Slip Stitch – handmade by Cilla! A delightful soul who cared to show me her miscellaneous ‘knits’ and tea cosie creations – just perfect for my Brown Betty teapots! Oh, and what about Susie Watts of So Very Vintage – the queen of shabby chic and vintage handmade gifts – who has a talent for decorating Marmite and Bovril jars!
Now darlings, it’s customary for most village hall events to be accompanied by a traditional tearoom, that usually serves weak and unpalatable tea in those faded green crockery vessels – you know ‘Beryl’ design by Wood's Ware – the type one would find in their grannie’s pantry – Oh my! Well, I dare say, Somerset Day at Bishop’s Lid-e-ard certainly surpassed itself, because its darling patrons were treated to the very best of Somerset fayre!
Thank goodness for Miles Tea & Coffee of Porlock who supplied bags upon bags of West-Country Original Blend Tea – to be quaffed from their very own paper cups – Oh, how generous!
Also, the one and only Val Stones who provided a delicious pageantry of edible delectables – scones, tea cake (made with Miles Earl Grey Tea) and apple cake (made with Thatchers Gold Cider!) – Oh, and by the way Val suggested to try a slice of cake with a wedge of Wykes Cheese – How scrumptious!
Darlings, I’m sure you’re aware that a village hall event is definitely missing that spark without the excitement of a raffle! Well, I say! this raffle was a raffle of all raffles – if you know what I mean? The table was bursting with prizes! – alcoholic beverages, handmade goods, even Miles Tea & Coffee donated a basket of goodies, plus a ‘cupcake bouquet’ from Lorraine’s Bakehouse, and a signed cookery book from TV chef – Phil Vickery. I say, you’ll be pleased to know the raffle raised a grand total of £328 – How spiffing!
Darlings, I must retire now, as my chaise lounge is calling me along with a large tumbler of Thatchers Gold Cider – Oooh aar! Oooh aar! However, just one last thing: due to Kathy’s unfettered efforts and dedication to ‘everything Somerset’ – I hereby shower her with a profusion of accolades - Well done Kathy! Now, let’s raise a glass of cider to all those who helped and participated in another successful Somerset Day at Bishop Lid-e-ard – roll on year five!
Please tune into my delightful interview with Cllr Marcia Hill – Apple FM Radio.
Darlings, OUT SOON - my interview with Val Stones - star of 2016 Great British Bake-Off!
Cheerio for now,