OWLS, INDEPENDENCE AND SUMMER TREATS
Hello again - and welcome to Somersetter number 12, where we've got a whole bunch of great things for you to do. As always, if you enjoy it, then please forward the email to a friend and suggest that they sign up too. Go on, it really does help. Thanks.
SPOT SOME GIANT OWLS
MINERVA’S OWLS OF BATH 2018
Across Bath, from 25 June
The Roman Baths temple, built in 1AD, was dedicated to Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, whose symbol was an owl. Which is why, for summer 2018AD, a new public art event is coming to Bath, featuring a giant flock of 85 individually decorated, super-sized owl sculptures displayed across the city and surrounding region, from 25 June–10 September 2018. Now you just need to get out there and find them. Trail maps will be available from outlets across Bath from Friday 22nd June, and the free Owls of Bath App will launch on Monday 25th June. Lots more info here.
SHOP, SIP AND STROLL DOWN A HILL
ST CATHERINE’S SUMMER POP-UP
Catherine Hill, Frome. Sat June 23, 10am-9pm.
Lined with independent artisan shops, Frome’s quirky Catherine Hill always makes for an inspiring little potter. And with plans for gin tastings and live pottery demonstrations, in-store stonemasonry and designer-sale garden parties, doggy ice-cream parlours and lino/laser-cutting workshops, the Summer Pop-Up along this picture-esque cobbled street takes the sheer hipsterness of this small town’s vibrant, artistic heart up a whole notch. The craft beers will surely flow while the sun sets on what promises to be the coolest street market-cum-party in Somerset. Well, this weekend anyway. Click for info.
TAKE IN SOME GOURMET TRICKS AND TREATS
LONGLEAT FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL
Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW. Sat June 22-Sun June 23. Open 10am-5pm. Adults £34.95; children (3-15) £26.20. Pre-book online for discounts.
Alongside the usual animal-flavoured entertainment, this weekend the Wiltshire Elizabethan stately home – just on the other side of the Somerset border – plays host to a pair of Hairy Bikers and TV chef James Martin who’ll be giving up the tricks of their trade in a series of live cooking demonstrations. As you’d expect, there’ll also be food stalls a plenty and a chance to take a luxury high tea in Longleat House’s opulent Elizabethan Great Hall (£22 per person) courtesy of self-styled foodie Emma, aka Viscountess Weymouth herself. More info here.
GET SOME RETRO THRILLS
VINTAGE SOMERSET FAIR
Wells Town Hall, Market Place, Wells BA5 2RB. Sat July 7. 9.30am-4pm. Entry £1; students 50p, under 16s free.
Vintage Somerset have been hosting fairs for four years now, and like the Ronseal of events, they showcase a huge array of retro-tinged temptation. There’s an entire spectrum of vintage goodies on offer: from clothes and jewellery to vinyl, lighting and some suitably scuffed collectables. And for those after something with a slightly more modern twist, there are also a select number of artisans selling their pop culture-inspired wares. For more info click here.
ENJOY A LUSH SUMMER WALK
EDFORD WOOD & MEADOWS AND HARRIDGE WOOD NATURE RESERVES
Edford Wood, Radstock. Car parking in the layby on Green Lane next to the entrance to Edford Wood.
With lush woods, tumbling streams and verdant meadows, this small nature reserve, maintained by The Somerset Wildlife Trust, near Radstock makes for a lovely summer stroll. With two easy circular routes to choose from (2 or 4 miles), it can be tailored to suit even the smallest of legs. Keep an eye out for kingfishers, pipistrelle bats and rainbows of iridescent adult dragonflies. The eagle-eyed – and very lucky – might even spot an elusive otter. Click here and download a detailed PDF of the route.
CELEBRATE THE MAKING OF A NATION
INDEPENDENCE DAY AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM
American Museum, Claverton Manor, Bath, BA2 7BD. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Last admission at 4pm. Adult £12.50; child (5-18) £7; family £32. Free entry on July 4!
To commemorate a palindromic 242 years of American independence, the American Museum in Bath is indulging in some suitably raucous historical-themed celebration. In the weekend preceding Independence Day, June 30-July 1, side with either the rebels or the Red Coats as canons fly over this re-enactment weekend. Or drop by on July 7 & 8 and party US of A style with some baseball, BBQ, music and games. Better still, on July 4 itself, you can get in for free. For more information, click here.
IGNITE THE SENSES ON MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT
MIDSUMMER EVENING AT TYNTESFIELD
Tyntesfield, Wraxall, North Somerset, BS48 1NX. June 24 6pm-8pm. Tickets £12.
We can’t think of a more sophisticated way to kick-off this Midsummer’s night than a relaxed bite to eat here in the shadows of this most splendid, National Trust-maintained, Victorian Gothic home. Wander around the sumptuous and most fragrant kitchen garden, serenaded by local chamber choir Spiro and be inspired by poetry readings from Tyntesfield's 2018 poet-in-residence, Holly Corfield Carr. Or just grab an ice-cream and take in the glorious views. For tickets and more info, click here.
ENJOY SOME MIDDLE EASTERN PUB GRUB
The Rifleman’s Arms, 4 Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, BA6 8DB. Opens Wed-Sat evenings and Fri-Sun lunch.
Serving locally-sourced pub grub inspired by the cuisine of the Middle East and Morocco, this new pop-up restaurant has been turning heads in its new home at the Rifleman’s Arms in Glastonbury since it opened earlier this month. Their Moroccan spiced chickpea, lentil & red pepper burger sounds particularly tempting. Click here for more info and menus.
GET SOME TOP GARDENING TIPS
THE ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN FESTIVAL
The Bishop’s Palace, Wells. June 22-24, 10am-5pm, Advance tickets Adults £7.95/ Concessions £6.95 /Family £23/ Children £3.95
There'd usually be quite a big festival happening in Pilton this weekend in June, but with Glastonbury taking its fallow year, you could head to nearby Wells for this rather more green-fingered event, which returns for its fourth year. Garden-lovers will have plenty to enjoy with award-winning gardens, plus demonstrations and talks from top gardeners and experts, plus stalls. There's even live music. Click here for more info.
SOMERSET FACT OF THE WEEK
ONE OF WAITROSE’S FOUNDERS CAME FROM SHEPTON TOO!
You might remember that in the last edition of the Somersetter, we covered the fact that the actual John Lewis was born in Shepton Mallet. Well, amazingly, it turns out that one of the founders of Waitrose - now, of course, part of John Lewis - grew up in Shepton too! Wallace Wyndham Waite went to Shepton Mallet Grammar School, but his family fell on hard times and Waite left home to become a grocer's apprentice in Pontypool the day before he turned 12. From there, he moved to London – although he did still marry a woman from Shepton. Waite eventually set up Waitrose with Arthur Rose and David Taylor, in 1904.
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