I feel like this summer is the summer of the staycation; just as much of a holiday as any other, but I feel like for many of us discovering what’s on our doorsteps has taken on a new magic- and trying to embrace the ‘stones-throw-stays’ and cosy bolt holes has been a small relief in the midst of everything going on.
Having only ever visited Somerset a couple of times previously (including a couple of memorable Glastonbury’s and a wintry family holiday to Taunton)- it was somewhere high up on my list to see more of.
Thankfully, with my dear pal Carrie turning 30- she proposed a visit with Lucy and I to her birth place to celebrate, and a few days of winding country roads, sloping high streets, neighing horses on our front step and maybe a little camping to bring us back to nature too.
Starting our weekend in the beautifully quaint village of Mells, we hopped off the train and drove over for a leisurely lunch at The Talbot Inn– a quintessentially cosy British pub- with tapered candles; fireplaces and a menu of delicious pub classics- meaning a Ploughman’s order with fish and chips were top of the menu.
Outside, the streets were lined with cobbled houses, street side crockery being sold and a gorgeous walled garden and café- which made Mells all the more beautiful- and a very lovely first pit stop for our weekend.
Mells to visit:
The Talbot Inn – For cosy classic pub grub and a lovely place to shelter from the weather
Walled Garden Cafe – Gorgeous views, gardens and a lovely nursery and café.
Following lunch we headed across to Frome (which, after much learning and ‘scone’ ‘scon’ like conversations, is pronounced like ‘froom’ not ‘Rome with an F’)- somewhere I’d heard so many wonderful things about from Carrie- and the perfect place to while away an afternoon browsing the shops on Catherine Hill and making entirely necessary cake-stops along the way.
A few places to note in Frome:
Studio Ashay – Beautiful handmade and in-house designed garments
Poot Emporium – Selection of vintage pieces, with some gems to be found
Frome Hardware – Traditional home wares and small interiors additions
Pilea – Two words: house plants.
Resident – Everything from lifestyle and clothing with the most beautiful brands.
Kobi & Teal – For colour, design and original art work in the coolest space.
Rye Bakery – For a post-hill cake stop in the most stunning setting.
Carrie also has a more thorough guide here!
Our final stop for our busy first day in the West Country, was to set up camp at the charming Mollie’s Hut, a stones throw away from the town centre. Now, I feel like I can’t keep saying I’m ‘camping’ when it looks like this (and this)- but there was something gloriously authentic about spending a night cosied up on a paddock in a beautiful smallholding- with only the sound of neighbouring horses and sheep keeping us company.
Arriving to a fluffy homemade cake, the friendly farm dogs and nearby stable kitchen filled with fresh breakfast supplies, we popped on our warmest knits, fuelled our fire, and spent the evening chatting, cooking our barbeque and filling up hot water bottles for the night ahead.
Having an inside kitchen and bathroom proved very useful when the weather perhaps wasn’t on our side when it came to crisping up our sausages (princess Purvis over here), but thankfully made for a warm spot to tuck into dinner at the table and have a (not so quiet) sing-along as we washed up afterwards and tucked into the cake for dessert.
It was the perfect start to our weekend in the country, and despite a few grey clouds and some beautifully British drizzle the next morning- set us up perfectly for the next few days of exploring…