If being active is more your thing, then why not take part in the North Devon Marathon! Either complete a half marathon or finish the entire thing, but make sure to enjoy and admire the Areas of Outstanding Beauty as you pass through!
As the days gets warmer, an outdoor theatrical evening had to be on our to do list. Held at the beautiful Hartland Abbey & Gardens, Hotbuckle Productions will perform the classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
4th of June marks the annual celebration of Devon Day. Being celebrated through the entirety of Devon, it is a time where locals take the time to enjoy and share the greatness of Devon. However, did you know that Devon Day actually is also known by another name?
Saint Petroc is a 6th Century saint (and thought to be the son of an unnamed Welsh King) was born in South Wales in the 6th Century and is honored upon his feast day – 4th of June. Despite not originating from Devon, Devon Day has adopted the same date due to the work which Saint Petroc achieved throughout his life: the Saint spent most of his adult years ministering Devon and parts of Cornwall.
Ever since, Saint Petroc has been remembered on his feast day, yet this is not the only approach that Devon undertook to dedicate their county to this particular saint. A competition held by the BBC took place during 2003 for Devon locals to design a flag for their country. The winner, Ryan Sealey, dedicated his flag design to Saint Petroc and has been adopted as the Flag of Devon since 2006. As a result, Saint Petroc Day became more commonly known as Devon Day.
Now a widely recognised day, many take the time to share their most fond memories and pictures of Devon as well as taking part in many activities – Devon style. From sheep racing to indulging in scones, jam and cream (of course, the cream goes on first here in Devon) there is plenty of ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Devon. So, all that is left for us to say here at Dimmet is Happy Devon Day to one and all and try not to eat too many scones!
One of our favourite things about Dimmet must be its location in Braunton, North Devon. Not only is North Devon home to stunning views and landscapes, but it is also filled with history. So, here are our Top 10 facts about North Devon!
Devon used to be known as Devonshire and in ancient history was under the rule of the Dumnonii Celtic Tribe (Deep Valley Dwellers).
North Devon stretches over 419 miles of land, however despite being 23rd out of 326 districts for area, it is only ranked 255th out of 326 districts for its population, which currently stands at approximately 94,000 people.
Braunton, North Devon is the home of Dimmet, however Braunton is also the home of the Braunton Burrows which are the largest sand dunes in the country.
North Devon also is the home to the only name of a place in the entirety of Europe which contains an exclamation mark! Westward Ho! was named after a novel written by Charles Kingsley.
If partying is your thing, then head to Combe Martin which currently holds the world record for the longest street party. The event marked the Queen’s jubilee back in 2002!
We all know that Exmoor covers part of North Devon, however as well being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it also has the highest coastline in Britain!
In addition to having the highest coastline, Exmoor also has the largest concentration of wild red deer in England.
Built in 1361, St Nicholas’ Chapel is based in Ilfracombe, North Devon and is said to be the oldest working lighthouse in the UK.
Alongside the oldest lighthouse in Britain, North Devon is also home to the oldest borough in England – Barnstaple.
North Devon was the last area in Britain to perform an execution of females thought to be practicing Witchcraft. These women came from Bideford.
Another wonderful fair based in Rosemoor this month is the Plant Heritage fair. With a variety of rare and unusual tress, plants and shrubs for sale, this is a must for any gardener or plant collector.
Want to find out what happens inside a beehive or ever wanted to keep bees yourself? This delightful experience day takes you step by step on learning the basics on how to keep bees and the processes from beginning to end.
As you know, Dimmet is the Devon word for the half-light at the end of the day (dusk) and is the perfect fit for our holiday home, however the Devon dialect spans much further than just Dimmet. So here is our guide to some our favourite words in the Devon dialect.
Feeling achuucked? Achuucked is the Devon word for thirsty – perfect for your favourite cup of cider!
If you are going the wrong way around, here in North Devon you would say back se fore.
If you visit Devon this Summer, you may spot numerous drumbeldrones flying around. Drumbeldrone is the Devon word for Bumblebee.
Another word you may hear several times around this time of year is lent rosums, which means daffodils.
Are you acting maze as a brush? In Devon, this actually means that you are being silly or fooling around.
Now…tea drinkers – surely this refers to those who drink tea? Not in Devon! It actually refers to a pair of soft best boots!
For those who are wearing their tea drinkers, you may be referred to as swant – also meaning proper.
We all know that around this country, the word something has its variations, and Devon is no exception – Devon folk often say zummit.
Here at Dimmet, we love learning about the area around us, and this is just a selection of our favourites in the Devon dialect. So, enjoy seeing the lent rosums and the drumbeldrones flying around, always wear your tea drinkers and of course, enjoy the magical dimmet period.
Now the holiday season has really started for 2018 we will be introducing a what’s on in and around Dimmet for each month! There is a plenty to do no matter the month or the weather here at Dimmet and here are your April offerings!
Bluebell Sundays – Hartland Abbey Every Sunday until 22nd April 2018
Bluebell Sundays are a lovely chance to visit Hartland Abbey and Gardens at a reduced entry fee and to see the beautiful carpets of bluebells which reach from the Walled Gardens almost to the sea, 1 1/2 miles away.
RHS National Rhododendron Show – Rosemoor 21st – 22nd April
Come and marvel at the remarkable variety and colour of these beautiful, spring flowering plants. This National Show has over 60 classes covering all types of Rhododendrons, as well as trade and advice stands.
The Rivals – The Red Barn 27th April 2018
The Rivals are here to help you find your inner groove, get on the floor and move your feet to the infectious sounds from bands and artists influenced by the Mod movement through the years.
The Red Barn
Swisherama – Sandy Brown – White Moose Throughout April and into May.
White Moose is celebrating its 5th birthday this year and to mark the occasion we are holding an exhibition of Sandy Brown’s vibrant paintings as well as some of her world-famous ceramics.
Here at Dimmet, we love everything 70s, and no matter what decade you are in, or what trend you are currently following, the 70s style is here to stay – retro, vintage and classic. Dimmet has been in our family for nearly 40 years now, and with the 2016 total 70s inspired refurbishment, we decided to celebrate this fantastic decade of style, so nearly all of our interior accessories are vintage 1970s pieces, along with a wardrobe full of dressing up clothes so you can immerse yourself in the 70s vibe.
However, Dimmet may not be celebrating a blast from the past. The 70s are coming back! Remember that pair of disco flair trousers you used to own? Or what about the satin slips? Our most loved vintage outfits are making a comeback for 2018, with many celebrities, such as Bella Hadid, already wearing the retro vibe.
Some of the styles that are returning include monochrome outfits, neck scarves, trouser suits and let’s not forget the pieces that seemed to never leave, such as over-the-knee boots and slogan tops! And it isn’t just the styles that are rebounding back into our wardrobes. Patterns and colour crazes are also hitting the market, whether that be the flower prints craze which came from the flower power days of the 60s but stayed with us throughout the 70s, or the famous bold, geometric styles.
Miss hanging plant pots, wicker baskets and shaggy rugs, just like the one we have at Dimmet? Don’t panic! These are also making their way back into our homes this year, so you can truly indulge in the 1970s atmosphere once again! If texture was your thing, velvet sofas and Moroccan-style poufs are also weaving their way into stores to spice up your house.
So grab your wicker baskets, put on your pair of super-high platform shoes you have been keeping (just in case) and let’s enter 2018 in glorious retro 70s style!
Here at Dimmet, we love being able to walk out the door and explore the surrounding areas within such a short distance from us. In Braunton alone, there are over 5 separate treks and trails that you can take when adventuring around. Whether you prefer walking or cycling, woodland walks or beaches, there is a path for everybody to enjoy!
For all those fitness enthuasiasts, or those who want a challenge, the Tarka Trail in Devon is one of the longest, traffic free walking/cycling trails in England, with a total distance of over 30 miles. Starting from Braunton, the Tarka Trail makes an amazing cycling path whilst visiting many villages and landmarks on the way, from the Braunton Museum to the Dartington Crystal Factory at Great Torrington, not to mention the nature reserves you pass along the way.
With tarmac pathways, the Barnstaple to Braunton Railway Trail is perfect for those who have wheelchairs or pushchairs if you need a more accessible route that isn’t as steep. Following the railway line from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe, this particular trail is great for those who enjoy a gentle walk. Mid-way, you will also come across The Tarka Inn, which provides refreshments for those walking or cycling.
For a short journey, the Beacon Trail is perfect. Starting at Caen Car Park in Braunton, the trail is approximately 2 miles long, taking around 1 ½ hours to complete. In addition to walking along the River Caen, at the tallest point of the Beacon Trail, you are able to see a panoramic view of Braunton – it truly is a wonderful sight.
If you prefer sand dunes and burrows, the Crow Point Trail is the trail for you. Approximately 2 miles long, the Crow Point Trail allows you to explore one of the largest dune systems in Britain. Being over 100 feet high at some points, the Braunton Burrows make an excellent trail for sight-seeing!
Paths and trails make a great day out, whether you want to have a fun family day out with a picnic, or enjoy seeing the sights and landmarks. Plus, with so many to choose from, your inner explorer can roam just about anywhere!
On my quest to recreate original 70s recipes, I stumbled across this little beauty from the McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection. Ham, mustard, bananas and hollandaise sauce… together…. in the same dish… baked. Although not in America myself, as I am firmly based in Good Ol’Blighty, I can remember my Mother putting fruit and meat together a lot as I was growing up so this could well have been tried over here too. Oh well, always up for trying new things so here goes!
Recipe from the card:
“6 medium bananas 1/4 cup lemon juice 6 thin slices boiled ham (about 1/2 lb) 3 tablespoons prepared mustard 2 envelopes (1 1/4-oz size) hollandaise sauce mix 1/4 cup light cream
2. Peel bananas; sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, to prevent darkening.
3. Spread ham slices with mustard. Wrap each banana in slice of ham. Arrange in single layer in casserole. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make sauce: In small saucepan, combine sauce mix with 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and cream. Heat, stirring, to boiling; pour over bananas. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until slightly golden. Nice with a green salad for brunch or lunch.”
So off I went to prepare the bananas, mustard ham and hollandaise. Whilst making it, I was telling myself that ‘this really doesn’t go!’ but none the less carried on. I noticed that the photo in the actual recipe card was of the dish, I think, is raw… as nothing looks cooked… which means that when you actually do cook it (and I reduced the baking time too!) this happens…
Things get a bit…. crispy!
However, what I was most surprised about was the taste. I have to say I have never been so flabbergasted by a taste in all my life I don’t think… it was delicious. In fact it was so good that myself and my family had it for lunch! I am going to put one thing out there… I did slightly cheat with a jar of hollanaise sauce instead of a packet mix 😉
You certainly need the hollandaise sauce as this cuts through the sweetness of the banana, the mustard gives it a little heat and a kick and the ham offers a balanced saltiness to the dish. Don’t take my word for it, give this one a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
If you love movies, you’ll appreciate how important movies from the 1970s are. Think Jaws, China Town, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Deliverance.
These are all pretty intense films, so let’s not forget that during that time the UK was churning out some comic naughtiness with the Carry On Films, some social commentary with A Clockwork Orange, and a world of darkness with The Wicker Man.
One of our favourite 1970s films at Dimmet has to be Abigail’s Party from 1977, directed by Mike Leigh and starring the wonderful Alison Stedman. Abigail’s Party started as a play for stage and TV. It’s a suburban situation comedy of manger, and a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain in the 1970s.
We love the costumes in this iconic British film. In fact, Dimmet’s own style is based on this authentic 70s look. Owner Emma asked interior designer and friend Marina to help her refurbish Dimmet, and since it was built in the late 60s/70s, Emma decided to pay homage to its origins and design the interior in a 60s/70s style. Thus, Dimmet’s funky Abigail’s Party look was born!
If you visit Dimmet, you’ll spot some genuine 70s clothes in the main bedroom’s wardbrobe. Emma wanted to create an interactive experience, where people felt it was full on 70s, so, from clothes to kitchenware and games, all these extras bring Dimmet to life in this colourful decade.
Back to the movies!
A recent addition to Netflix is a naughty, tragic, and informative film that guests have enjoyed – Respectable: The Mary Millington Story, which is directed by Simon Sheridan and came out just last year. This is a documentary chronicling the extraordinary life and tragic death of Mary Millington, Britain’s most famous pornographic actress of the 1970s. This one is adults only – so make sure the kids are tucked up in bed when you’re reclinging on the 70s orange sofa for this one!
And let’s not forget those Bond films from the 70s. You can dispute forever who the best James Bond is/was, but when you’re snuggled up in our 70s sitting room with Diamonds Are Forever on the telebox, you may well just want to ask for a Martini – shaken, not stirred.
Whatever your genre, the 1970s had it all. The film world was coming alive during this time, and through comedy, horror, crime, thriller, and kitchen sink drama, the 70s is represented in its multi-colour, eclectic eccentricity on screen.
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