An Agatha Christie-ish village, close to Yeovil (though not too close) between the Blackdown Hills and the Somerset Levels which is also home to Dennis Chinaworks
, a treasure trove of a place housed in the grounds of an arch Gothic rectory. Set up by Sally and Richard Dennis 22 years ago, this is a place to come and marvel, beautiful, intensely coloured, hand thrown, hand painted pots, vases and tiles which are sold at galleries and shops across the UK. They hold regular open days where you can wander around the studios, talking to artists and seeing the pure artisan skill and technique which goes into creating each piece. The setting is wonderful, there's a gorgeous tea-room (soups, salads, amazing cakes) and a vintage glass shop which is the perfect present pitstop for cut glass afficionados. Nowhere else like it.
Just across the way you'll find The Old Butcher's Cafe
, a total gem of a place (open Thursday to Saturday) which specialises in Moroccan and Mediterranean inspired food. Think chicken roasted in za-atar, served on herb tabbouleh with yoghurt sauce and toasted nuts and statuesque cakes that will stop you in your tracks. On Friday nights there's a supper club, Agata's immense food in this chic little place, the former butcher's shop now furnished in mismatched vintage. BYO. Worth the trip alone, this one, and the coffee is ace.
Down the road is OV Naturals
, which makes deluxe organic body and face oils. You'll find OV founder Lucy Stevens here, also a talented aromatherapist and purveyor of facials and massges to blow your mind, cure your aches, pains, stress and dehydrated skin. She's exceptionally good, try a treatment once and she'll be firmly placed in your Little Black Book and never mind the journey. Book ahead, she has a bulging client list.