Summer is here!
But where did spring go?! It has been a busy one here at Down House. The Garden Cafe opened at the beginning of March, and thanks to spells of sunny weather we have seen a steady flow of customers, old and new. It is always lovely to welcome back the familiar faces, and to make friends with the new. I think our customers would get a bit upset if we were to change our menu too drastically, so there has been only a few changes. Everyone can expect to see their old favourites interspersed with a few new. We have decided to concentrate more and more on what we do best, Organic Meat, so although there is a good selection of veggie and fish options available, we are experimenting with new meat dishes every day. For those that don't know us, we specialise in hearty farmhouse fayre, good fillers for those out walking, and lighter bites for those wanting a snack. We serve food all day, along with our fresh cakes baked daily, and of course, the ever popular Cream Teas!
Easter saw the start of lambing at the farm. Our Welsh Badger Faced Mountain sheep suit our hilly, exposed coastal farm very well and lambing went by with very few issues. There are still a few more to come, but we are almost there. Our one orphan 'Lambie' proved a popular hit wandering around the garden and nearby paddock, meeting and greeting all. She has spent a little too long with our dogs though, and would rather spend her time doing the rounds with Dean and the dogs each morning checking the sheep, than joining them in the fields!
We have been out and about a lot more this year at various events. We started the year with a BBQ at the Milborne St. Andrew Point to Point in February. The rain thankfully stayed away for the day, and a fantastic turnout created a lovely atmosphere for the races. We started off the new 'Fish & Ships' event at Portland in April with Slow Roasted Hoggett for the staff at the Marina on the Friday eve, followed by a BBQ on the Saturday and Sunday alongside other great local producers when the event was open to the public. The sun shined, and there was a lovely sea breeze which made a fantastic setting for the event. The Dorset Knob Throwing event at Cattistock followed in May - again the sun was shining and brought hoards of lovely locals out to try everyones food and try all the fun 'Dorset Knob' themed events. The Springtide event at Burton Bradstock was much bigger and busier than the previous year, organised by Caz and the lovely team down at the Hive Beach. We sold lots of pork pies and our organic meat on the Saturday, and then decided to go as visitors on the Sunday and for once enjoy the local delights ourselves rather than selling them! Another new event this year, 'Harmony at the Larmer Tree' was a great success - we are looking forward to next years festival when the word will have spread about what an enjoyable event it was. A one day craft day had grown in to a two day music, food and craft event! All local, the music was great, supplied by a variety of different local bands and musicians over both days. The public were lying on the grass in front of the stage, lapping up the sun, enjoying all the local food and drink, having purchased beautiful local craft - recommend this one as a good family friendly event. We sold pulled pork, and slow roasted lamb, in a ginger and watercress dressing, and a vegetarian Sambhar all in wraps which proved very popular! We are looking forward to the Bridport Food Festival next on the 14th June.
Our new shepherds hut is up and running and ready for bookings - please see our shepherds hut page for more info. Its very rustic but beautiful with lovely sea views. A great place to escape too for a touch of simplicity away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
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