The House

Symondsbury Manor is a rambling 17th century house with Georgian and Victorian additions, yet behind its mellow stone walls and mullioned windows lies a surprising discovery: a fresh, creative interior full of colour and playful charm. 

Light streams into the huge open-plan living space and there are interesting pictures, books, vintage furniture and hand printed wallpapers throughout the house, including original paintings by amongst others Jean Cocteau, Carol Weight, Bruce Mclean, Ralph Steadman, Leonard Rosoman, and Jock McFadden. 

Overlooking the medieval village church, the huge gardens and the orchard are a delight, while the picture postcard village of Symondsbury is on our doorstep, with a thatched pub, grocery shop and cafe a two minute walk.

And only a mile along the road lies bustling Bridport, famed for its street market of antiques, artisanal craft and local produce.

A thoroughly English oasis of tranquillity and ease, the Manor makes the perfect base for a week exploring the outdoor glories of Dorset and Somerset.

For more detailed information about the Manor, please click here.

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The Food

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We are very excited that Caroline Purchase and Claire Wellman will back in the G&T kitchen, cooking delicious lunches and dinners for us at Symondsbury Manor all week.

Claire uses the freshest seasonal herbs and vegetables, much of it picked daily from her own Dorset kitchen garden, to create delicious and colourful dishes which draw on influences from Asia, North Africa, South America and the Mediterranean.

Her style of cookery is light, delicious and always beautiful.

Claire ran her very successful vegetarian/vegan restaurant, f.east, for 12 years and at her new location in West Dorset she offers seasonal alfresco dining and takeaway, as well as year round private catering to local businesses and private clients.

Caroline is the best private chef in Dorset (we would say the kingdom). Her food is inspired by the great chefs of France and Italy; her sauces are mouth-watering, her presentation is stunning and her puddings? Irresistible!

Since cooking together so memorably at the inaugural G&T tour in 2023, Caroline and Clare are also planning to open a pop-up restaurant together.

We’ll also have Hailey producing the county’s most delicious cakes and scones for tea. Hailey is a baker who truly understands the correct ratio between sponge and icing on a coffee and walnut cake (pictured).

The Wines

As he did last year, the notable designer, business tycoon and wine buff Johnnie Boden will make another brilliant selection of delicious French reds and whites to accompany our food.

We hope to persuade Johnnie to reprise his introductory talk explaining his wine selections, and airing his convincingly trenchant views on all matters grape.

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The Area

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This beautiful region of west Dorset, close to the borders of Devon and Somerset, embraces the Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as great beaches, lively towns, remote hill forts and endless glorious walks.

You are a brisk walk from the unique Georgian market town of Bridport (be sure to get a gelato from Beppino’s Gelateria), a short taxi ride from the famous fishing port of Lyme Regis (French Lieutenant’s Woman, dinosaurs, beach huts), and on hand for great walks down the sunken lanes that thread the countryside around.

Jason and Simon will be happy to share their local knowledge and point you in the right direction.

The Restaurants

On each of our tours we will be regaled daily by this foodie region’s best chefs, dedicated to using the freshest ingredients our seas and fields can offer. 

The restaurants where we will have lunch include the award winning BrassicaThe Seaside Boarding House with its astounding views of the cliffs and beach; The Parlour, noted for its Italian influence, and dubbed ‘an absolute Oscar-winner’ in the Financial Times; a great blend of  traditional and modern English cookery at The Barrington Boar and, close by Sherborne Abbey, conviviality at The Plume of Feathers.

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