Freshening up the dining table


Beautiful tableware from Faye Toogood

We’ve just had a few days down on the Dorset coast, which has left me pining for coastal living again.

Given I live in the Midlands and about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK, then I am going to have build sea cues into my day to day life, which is why I love these ceramics from Faye Toogood, stocked at Brassica Mercantile in Beaminster, and online. I feel new tableware coming on!

Whilst the range is called Indigo Rain, it makes me think of the sea on a stormy day. I love that these pieces are quite bold, without being overly chunky, and that there is everything there you need, including good size serving bowls. To me, every good tableware design should come with serving bowls.

These will work brilliantly as we get into dazzling spring and summer seasonal foods. Just imagine piles of berries in here, or a colourful salad.

Brassica Mercantile is always worth keeping an eye on, I love their curated selection of lovely things, not just tableware.

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be in Beaminster, then take some time to go and browse in the shop, then pop next door to the restaurant. They’re open for elevenses, lunch and dinner, so if you can get a table, then do it. Our dinner there was one of my best meals of recent years, and I would go back like a shot next time I’m in the area.

Otherwise, the website is up and running and they can deliver lovely things to your door. Just not with a side order of a good lunch.


Go on, every table deserves something new and lovely for spring, ready for great outdoor lunches ahead. Here’s hoping the weather continues to warm up and we have sunny days ahead. And if not, this tableware will work just as well with some warming soup!


Falling in love with Beaminster


Beaminster and surrounding hills


I think Beaminster is one of the most perfect places I’ve come across on our recent stay there. I can’t decide if it’s a large village or a small town, but from a food and living perspective there was so much good stuff going on.


Brassica in Beaminster


We had a fabulous dinner at Brassica, which is a delight. I loved the atmosphere, the decor and the cooking. Anywhere that does a decent wine by the carafe gets a thumbs up to (I think I heard the waitress say Louise’s dad is in charge of wine sourcing). Lovely enough for date night and a special occasion, unpretenious enough to pop out to any time.


Rubber coated ceramics at Brassica Mercantile


Next door is Brassica Mercantile, their deli and homewares shop, which you can also shop from online as well. I really loved the rubber coated ceramics, they were very tempting, and I only forgot to go back for one because we had such good weather and headed to the beach. We did enjoy English Preserves raspberry jam from there, and was pleased to see they stocked Amelia Rope chocolate.

Of course you can’t live in a village just with a fancy restaurant and charcuterie, so it was good to still have a village bakery, as well as Nick Tett’s butchers and a proper greengrocers. Beautiful flowers from the florist, and bits and bobs from the Co-Op and you’re pretty much sorted. And gifts are sorted at Cilla & Camilla, and there are several places to pop in for coffee and cakes.

For other kind of dinners, there was decent enough food the night we went to the dinner, there was an Indian, fish and chips and a Chinese takeaway. Pretty much all bases covered.

It’s far enough away from the coast to be slightly cheaper, and hopefully is not too blighted by second homes as it certainly seemed to be buzzing. Although obviously we were in someone else’s second home and were there in the school holidays. But I really loved it and got a sense of community as well as loveliness. I know they need money to get the swimming pool reopened and seem to be galvanising behind that.

I’d happily move there tomorrow, but it’s one heck of a commute back to Nottingham. But maybe one day!


View of Beaminster by Nathalie on Flickr.