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I needed to get away from technology this morning, so thought I’d take myself off for a couple of hours by driving out into the local countryside to gather some goodies.

Somerset is a beautiful place to roam. Much of the pleasure of today came from ambling around the country lanes looking at wild flowers and listening to the bird song. Punctuated with the occasional frenzied bout of hayfeverish sneezing and veering across the road. But it was a jolly fine drive nonetheless.

First thing I headed for Roger Wilkins’ Cider Farm out at Mudgeley near Wedmore. Now locals will tell you that this is the cider farm to visit. It’s at the end of a long and narrow lane which eventually leads you to the farmhouse and yard. You park up and head towards the chatter of voices coming from the barn. It’s where Roger and his seemingly resident possie of mates hang out with their jugs of scrumpy and plates of cheese. Visitors receive a warm welcome. I was immediately asked by Roger ‘You drinkin’?’. I declined the offer of a quick glass of medium but instead got a take-out of 4 pints of said medium (which is delicious) and a fiver’s worth of the extra mature cheddar. This cheese has to be one of the best around – it’s tangy, lip-tingling proper strong tasty cheddar. If you’re going to eat cheese like this, then you definitely need a cider to go with it. I know what I’m having for my Friday night supper!

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Next I headed on the back road from Wedmore towards Wells. I was on a mission to stop at my friend Lara’s little road-side shop at her fantastic flower growing business, Manor Farm Cottage Flowers. I knew she was selling sweet peas today, so I was lucky enough to grab the very last bunch of heavenly scented white – the fragrance filled my car for the rest of my journey! If you’re local, then look out for her pop up shop near The Good Earth in Wells on a Saturday morning. Her flowers are stunning…

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Just up the road from Lara’s farm is Burcott Mill. This is a traditional working mill which sells a variety of excellent flour as well as freshly baked bread. I picked up a loaf of wholemeal from the little shop inside. Well I suppose I shall need something to eat with the cheese and soak up the cider!

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Next I took the road towards Cheddar. I had it in mind that I had once seen a small grower of asparagus somewhere in the area. I wasn’t convinced that I was able to remember the exact location but I did know that if I was going in that general direction that I would happen across a couple of places selling strawberries.

I couldn’t find the asparagus grower I’d been thinking of but eventually stopped at one of the Cheddar strawberries road-side shops. Here I picked up a punnet of beautiful strawbs and also a bundle of asparagus grown down the road in South Petherton.

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And from there I headed home, travelling back through to Wedmore to stop off at the village shop for a tub of clotted cream (made in Devon rather than Somerset). I then took the lanes back across through Godney and enjoyed every countryside moment. Time very well spent indeed…..

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