The Somerset Food Trail quite literally puts local, sustainably produced food on the map. The festival runs from the 14th - 30th July and is intended as a DIY trail.
I've highlighted a number of the events in my latest Food For Fork newsletter, but with so much on the menu it can be hard to know what you can logistically and financially fit in. I've created a handy guide to get you started. Make yourself comfortable, get your diary ready and let's start get stuck in!
You Can't Do It All
I would be so happy to be proved wrong on this but Somerset is a big county, most things are only happening on specific dates and of course there are plenty of clashes that are going to make your decision of what to attend a little harder. For example, on Saturday 29th are you eating with Pomona Supper Club from 7pm (£55) or as part of Vallis Farm's event from 3pm, (£25)?
The team behind the festival have made events searchable in different ways; geographically by cluster, by date and by type, plus they have included a interactive map. So dive in - there is a lot going on - pick and chose wisely.
Fill In The Gaps
I tried to create some suggested routes but realised that ultimately it's up to you - there are so many variables to consider and so much to chose from that everyone's trail will be unique! What I did think worked well was to find "meatier" events (usually at a higher price point) like feasts and foraging walks, that were happening on the same day, then plot them on a google map and see what you could fit into the drive between them. Here is an example...
Friday 14th July: Start your weekend with Forage and Ferment experience with Get Pickled Somerset (1-3pm, £39) and follow this up with dinner at Horrell and Horrell (7-10pm, £45). You have 4 hours to kill in between and it's only a 35 min drive between locations if you go via Bruton, so why not pop into the Godminster Shop for a quick cheese and gin tasting (closes at 5pm) and Durslade Shop is open until 6pm.
It's worth noting that some venues - like the aforementioned Durslade Shop - that are hosting special events, are also open for business as usual. It's always worth checking opening times on their individual websites rather than just at what they are offering on the Somerset Food Trail website.
It All Adds Up
I'm confident that any money you spend at the Somerset Food Trail will be going into deserving, local pockets and in most cases you will be getting exceptional value for your hard earned pound. However, with the 30-mile feast as this year's theme, there are some higher price point dinners, and it could very quickly add up. Here are a few more budget friendly activities.
Paddington Farm Trust - Farm tours and apple juice tastings, volunteer mornings and the People's Picnic Party – a family-friendly feast with a difference
The Food Forest Project - They are hosting an open day on the 22nd July. The Rock Farm site is a small organic market garden where volunteers come to grow free organic produce for the local food bank which serves over 1,200 people.
Wild Roots Growing for Wellbeing - wander around the site, see what's growing in the polytunnel and outdoor beds, take time to sit in the healing flower garden and enjoy the wildflower meadow area. Bliss!
Something for the Kids
Only you know your kids but I'd struggle to enjoy a wine tasting and tour (at Wraxall Vineyard for example) with my 2 toddlers in tow. So if you have little ones here are a few events worth looking at.
Sauce – Street Food Deli @ Dowdings - During the day (free): Orchard tours, family-friendly feasting, owl displays, ferret racing. In the evening (ticketed): a candlelit, vegetarian feast, Dowding’s award-winning drinks and vintage jazz.
Skool Beanz CIC - Open day on Sunday 23: This is a chance for children to immerse themselves in a garden designed especially for them. Bring a picnic and enjoy your lunch amongst the flowers and veg. Free event!
The People's Picnic Party - Family-friendly 30-mile feast with a difference. We will provide some simple, delicious picnic fare and invite you to bring your own contributions to share as well. Plus music, games and laughter.
I hope that you find that useful. I'd suggest following The Somerset Food Trail them on Instagram as they are doing a great job of highlighting some of the events, and of course make sure you're following me too, The Tale of a Teaspoon as I'll be sharing the events I attend.