Over the New Year’s holiday, I rented a cottage with some friends of mine in the very sweet and sleepy little village of Marston Magna in Somerset. This was particularly serendipitous for us because it was all so very last minute. Although we’d been talking about renting a cottage for ages, we couldn’t seem to find one anywhere that would take a short booking over the New Year’s holiday. But eventually, we found Old Cider Cottage and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Just 400 yards from our cottage–past a church and through a graveyard–was The Red Lion. We went here every day. The proprietors were lovely and the atmosphere was just what we wanted in a pub. A good wood burning fireplace. A pub dog. Nice food. Nice people.
I liked how the ales on tap were local…
And I liked the crab cakes…although maybe not that Thai chili sauce. And the chips were only okay.
Dorset, DT9 4RU
The owners of our cottage had kindly left us a map with some suggested pub walks. Are you jealous yet? Pub walks are great! We meandered about 2.5 miles, through fields of cows, sheep, and retired polo ponies. The walk dropped us off at The Mitre in Sandford Orcas in Dorset.
The only problem with this walk is that I was not prepared. Wellies would have been helpful. Especially for the part where I ended up up to my KNEES in a muddy cow field. These are my brand new running shoes in front of the fire at The Mitre. You should have seen the rest of me.
The atmosphere at The Mitre, however, more than made up for the lack of salt. Between the fire and the TWO pub dogs and the lovely owners who nearly sent a search party out to find us when we had failed to arrive after calling for directions from the world’s muddiest cow field, we were sad to leave Sanford Orcas and head back to London.
Honestly, this couldn’t have been more perfect of a New Year’s break. When we weren’t at The Red Lion or The Mitre, we made lovely dinners every night in our 200-year-old cottage, drank local beers, played board games, watched episode after episode of 30 Rock and Peep Show, and generally had a very lovely time. Makes me want to do it again and again. Just imagine…a cottage full of food bloggers!