September 2012

Stag’s Head Inn, Yarlington, Somerset

One of the nice things I find in life is both living in Somerset and now being retired. The latter now gives my wife and I great opportunity to explore in-depth the former. Quite frequently we go for a drive either in Somerset or elsewhere in the West Country with no particular destination in mind other than where the winds and fate takes us. Normally we take a Sat-Nav with us on these trips, not to take us anywhere but to ensure we can always find the way home again.

I find Somerset is something like a jewel encrusted treasured crown. The gems are places, history, myth, scenery and people.  I have never been a believer in the magical connotations of mythology but I do love history and recognise that history does form the basis and half-truths of much myth.

One such gem we recently encountered was the Stag’s Head Inn at Yarlington. Accessed via hilly twisting and definitely one vehicle width only, narrow country lanes, the tiny village of Yarlington  is set on the crossroads of four such thoroughfares. Small as it is, Yarlington was mentioned in the Domesday book under the name Gerlincgetuna meaning the settlement of Gerla’s people.

The  Stag’s Head Inn is thought to have been established in the 1850’s replacing two independent ale houses. The lunch time menu was surprisingly varied with a good choice of modesty priced inclusive meals including tea or coffee representing exceptional value for money. Neither service or food could not be faulted and the decor quiet and tasteful. I liked the centre table which incorporated  the workings of an old cider press. Although I did not venture into the public bar, it could be observed on entry and reminded me of a very comfortable and delightful old time “snug” which seem to have died out out of fashion in most public houses.

Even when settling the bill with a well-sated appetite I was presented with a further two chocolate mints with my receipt. As a member of staff said, they did not like customers leaving still feeling hungry. At that moment hunger was the last thing on my mind and I gratefully pocketed the mints for another occasion. I find it is little touches such as this that make life so pleasant and worthwhile and I certainly will be visiting this little gem again.

18th Sep 2012

IMGP1594September started with a visit to the Dorset County Show held on the outskirts of pleasant town of Dorchester. The day was warm and sunny with a fortunate brief dry spell before the show ensuring the ground did not become a mud bath. The showground has a number of arenas allowing for the simultaneous display of the many and diverse activities one would expect of a mainly rural county. Equestrian competitions, livestock events, trade and handicrafts, farming as well as popular attractions just to name a few of the events going on throughout the day.

By midday many thousands of visitors were onsite milling around the numerous marquees and exhibitions. Various food halls always prove to be something of a magnet for the crowds with their vast array of delicious delicacies all begging to be sampled. This years mouth-watering display of produce proved no exception.

Displays of what can now be considered historical tractors are always a popular crowd puller as well as their more modern descendants which now tower above mere mortals.

IMGP1601Amongst the popular attractions was a daredevil stunt show which included car crushing monsters of vehicles and Titan the robot. Titan toured the large showground on a specialised vehicle stopping at random location to put on a show of singing, dancing and off-beat comedy to the delight of young and old alike.

IMGP1606Christian Moullec

Also flying above the shows at various times during the day in a micro-light aircraft was the Frenchman Christian Moullec accompanied by his gaggle of flying geese. All the geese raised by Christian since birth consider him to be their ‘mother’ and follow him everywhere he goes even in the air.

By the end of the day, all of my friends who were with me including myself were feeling very weary and footsore as a result of touring this most enjoyable of large county shows. Carrying heavy bags each filled with half a lamb bought at greatly reduced prices from a local butcher exhibiting at the show back our cars greatly added to our satisfied and pleased weariness. Saturday evening was certainly one for a hot bath and feet-up relaxation period.

IMGP1588 Titan the Robot

One Response

  1. Its great to know you guys are so free to just take a drive and go where you like!

    We went to Cornwall direction abit of time ago now. But have you been to Truro? Quite nice down that way! (Camp out) ? 🙂

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