Buckinghamshire cook Beverley Glock’s historic hideaway cottage
PUBLISHED: 12:26 16 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:26 16 May 2016
We enjoy a visit to Buckinghamshire celebrity cook Beverley Glock’s beautiful and historic ‘hideaway’ cottage – and you could as well. Photos by Maureen McLean
Now this is what you call service – Beverley is in the kitchen of her cottage in pretty Morcombelake, taking apart a huge crab caught in the nearby sea and cooked that day (not by us) to serve up a delicious supper.
Of course if you book to go there, bubbly Beverley does not come with the deal. She’s an old friend of the magazine, having acted as compère for our previous two Food & Drink Awards. But this is a new venture by the Princes Risborough-based writer and cookery school owner, so we were delighted to take up an invitation to visit Dairy Cottage with her before it became available for everyone else to enjoy.
So you don’t get Beverley to fuss over you… but with all due respect to the cookery queen, this is not a problem. West Dorset is a food fan’s dream, whether that’s in pubs and restaurants along the World Heritage Jurassic Coast or simply quayside cafés to grab a fresh crab sandwich or cream tea.
We dined out at two notable spots during our stay. The first was the incredible Hive Beach Café at Burton Bradstock, where you can enjoy the likes of line caught Portland Bill wild sea bass or pan fried Lyme Bay monkfish while overlooking breath-taking views. We’ll head back this way later on.
Another highlight was an evening visit to the Anchor Inn, not far from Dairy Cottage at Seatown, Chideock. You follow narrow and windy lanes down to the inn overlooking the beach, and at night can see the twinkling lights of Charmouth to the west while listening to the waves woosh in. Check out the specials board here, chef Jean Paul De Ronne is a wild food and foraging aficionado who loves to create new dishes with the region’s harvest from sea and land.
But no worries if you’d rather dine in at Dairy Cottage, being Beverley’s this cottage is now kitted out with an ultra-modern kitchen. And you’ll find plenty to make use of in it at the nearby farm shop or in market towns such as Bridport (a great shopping choice).
To do that you are going to need an appetite and we found plenty of ways to create one. Want to clear your head of rubbish by simply soaking up some peace and fresh air on a ‘treasure hunt’? Head down to the Lyme Regis area beaches and join the fossil hunters looking for ancient ammonites and other finds. The hours will simply drift by.
At Monmouth beach to the west of the Cobb, the clay contains the remains of sea creatures from the Jurassic seas of 180 million years ago. We spent happy hunting hours as Beverley and Maureen McLean (what we might call ‘amateur experts’ at all this) made finds… while the editor picked up pretty stones to take home and discovered she could buy a decent fossil for £2 in the nearby shop. Not the same, but the thought was there!
When there’s been a storm or rock fall from the cliff, the fossil hunters are out in force. But it’s important to search safely, and not need to be rescued from mud, as a couple of searchers recently did at Charmouth Beach.
There are valued eyes and ears dotted along the coastline, none more so than the volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI), see www.nci.org.uk. There are some 50 NCI stations around the UK coastline, watching out for distress flares, boats or fishermen in trouble, and that all is well on the beaches along their section. They rely on voluntary contributions to keep going.
It was in Burton Bradstock that we met two volunteers, husband and wife team Judy and Alan Clarke. This friendly couple invited us to see inside their lookout perched above the beach. In February last year storms destroyed the lookout – no one was inside at the time - and it was a neighbour, singer songwriter Billy Bragg who first spotted that the roof had blown off. It’s now been replaced on a different site.
You can also blow away the cobwebs with a wander along the historic Cobb at Lyme Regis, imagining yourself as The French Lieutenant’s Woman if of a romantic nature. Lovers of both the John Fowles novel set in the 19th century, or the subsequent film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, often visit to soak up the atmosphere.
And there’s an awful lot to soak up and enjoy in this stunning part of England.
About Dairy Cottage
The former dairyman’s cottage has that lovely kitchen with everything you need, a huge fireplace in the sitting room with wood burner, a ground floor double bedroom and two further double bedrooms on the first floor, so sleeps six. There’s a shower room and WC on the ground floor and bathroom with fitted shower upstairs. All in all, it’s a perfect mix of the modern and comfortable touches we desire, such as marvellous beds and wifi, in a truly traditional cottage.
Outside there’s dedicated parking for two cars, a lovely patio spot for summer dining and a garden reached by steps. Children welcome, and up to two dogs over a year old.
• 100 inspirational Berkshire and Buckinghamshire women - So… we started with a plan to compile a list of 50 influential women from our counties. It soon grew to 100 and could have climbed well past 1,000. Indeed, if you bother to count through the pages you will discover we’ve ended up with more than 100, but what’s a few extra amongst us girls?