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This Week in Somerset…

November 3, 2018 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL

A solo exhibition of works by Japanese-born, Paris-based artist, Takesada Matsutani opens at Hauser & Wirth.  The exhibition, which has been organised in collaboration with Olivier Renaud-Clément, includes new paintings and a site-specific installation, alongside a series of never-before-seen assemblages, offering an insight into the breadth of the artist’s practice.

From the early 1960s to the early 1970s, Matsutani was a key member of the Gutai Art Association (1954 – 1972), Japan’s innovative and influential art collective of the post-war era. In 1966, Matsutani received a grant from the French government after winning first prize in the 1st Mainichi Art Competition, and subsequently moved to Paris where he continues to live and work today.

News from Somerset…

Eat Exmoor Shortlisted for National Tourism Prize

Visit Exmoor, has been nominated for a ‘Best in UK Tourism Award’ from the British Guild of Travel Writers.  Eat Exmoor has been recognised for its work to promote local food & drink and for highlighting the link between the diverse Exmoor landscape and its produce.

The Eat Exmoor colour guide and online focus, along with the Eat Exmoor Trade Show, organised by the Exmoor National Park Authority.  The final winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London in November.

… Exmoor Food Highlights Include:

Porlock Oysters  –  Harvesting native oysters died out in the 1890s (due to overfishing) but Porlock Bay Oysters, a community-led project, has been reviving the tradition.  For a more sustainable supply of restaurant quality oysters all year round Pacific Oysters were introduced and, as the Porlock water quality is excellent, the Food Standards Agency has given Porlock Bay Oysters a grade A food classification rating, making them among the purest available.

Miles Tea & Coffee – Based in the foothills of Exmoor National Park, their Porlock Roastery shop is the place to head for.  A family run business, established in 1888, Miles are a founding member of the Ethical Tea Partnership and members of the Fairtrade Foundation.  Most popular brand include West Country Original tea, Bright and Breezy coffee & Heavenly Hot Chocolate.

 Exmoor Local Produce Markets

Minehead Farmers Market, every Friday between 8:30am – 2pm

Combe Martin – third Saturday of month . Village Hall. 0930am – 1200midday

South Molton Pannier Market – fourth Saturday of the month from 7am

Lynton & Lynmouth Farmers Market – first Saturday of month in Lynton Town Hall

Widowed Swan Heads off to New Adventures

The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, announced that Wynn, the remaining female of their pair of famous Palace Swans, has departed from the Moat, along with her four remaining cygnets.  Last seen on Thursday 18th October, Wynn was the recipient of much media attention earlier this year when she was left widowed by the death of her life-partner Brynn whilst she was nesting.  She hatched 5 cygnets in May, successfully rearing them to adulthood.  Moira Anderson, Administrator and Swan Carer at The Bishop’s Palace, commented ‘Wynn may have headed off to the Somerset Levels in search of a ‘Swan Community’, as older swans and non-breeding juveniles are known to enjoy living in large groups.’  The tradition for swans at the Palace began in the 1850’s, when Bishop Eden’s daughter Maria, taught a pair of swans to ring a bell on the Gatehouse when they wanted to be fed.

Looking ahead to Christmas…

Blackmore by Candlelight      25 November 2018

Blackmore Farm, Blackmore Lane, Bridgwater, TA5 2NE.

A day of festive fun when the 15th Century, Grade 1 Listed, Manor House opens its grounds to over fifty craft and food stalls.  With ‘live’ music throughout the day, and a selection of local produce to try at the onsite farm shop, entry is £5 in aid of local charities.
For more information visit

Dunster by Candlelight        7 & 8 December 2018                                

A unique festive night with the stunning medieval village lit by candlelight.  The event includes a firework display, stilt walkers, fire spinners, hog roast and live music.  On Friday (7th) there is a Lantern Lighting Procession and on Saturday (8th) the Sutton Household Soldiers march through the village with flaming torches and Drums.  A chance to experience the charm of an Exmoor village with all the festivity of Christmas.

For more information visit

Where to stay…

The Old Stables – Hurling Pot farm, Chelynch, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4PY.

Having just won Gold at this is the perfect place to stay for a weekend break. Set on the edge of the Mendip Hills, this is a Grade II listed 17th century barn with three en-suite bedrooms (one kingsize, two super kingsize) and Gold winner at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2017/18.   All the rooms come furnished with fluffy towels, mini fridges, British made toiletries and bath robes. Pet friendly, it can supply a doggy care pack in rooms if required.

For more information visit

The Castle Hotel – Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1NF.

Historic four-star hotel dating back over 1000 years. With forty-four individually decorated rooms of various sizes (including single rooms), garden rooms and suites, the hotel will also accommodate well behaved cats and dogs. All rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TVs and work space. There is a twelfth century rose garden for guests to enjoy, whilst the onsite restaurant, and separate bar/café, both serve locally sourced produce.

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