GillFest 2018 tickets now available – Ralph McTell, Arthur Smith, Ren Harvieu and many more come to Gillingham, Dorset

Book your Dorset bed and breakfast stay directly and securely with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

|| Tickets for GillFest 2018, Gillingham’s wonderful community festival, are now available via their website (complete with multi ticket discounts) and this year’s line up is as amazingly eclectic as ever.

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GillFest 2018 – part of the line up

Headline artists include folk legend Ralph McTell, comedian Arthur Smith and singer/songwriter Ren Harvieu, all of whom will be performing in one of Gillingham’s small, intimate venues (spoiler alert: and all of which are a Very Easy Walk from a particularly well located B&B …)

Last year’s line up included Rick Wakeman and Cara Dillon; we had guests staying with us for both of these gigs and in each case,  the guest managed to get to chat to the musicians afterwards and get photographs and autographs. So if you ARE a fan,  GillFest provides an amazing opportunity to enjoy a really intimate, friendly show with performers who appreciate the chance to play in a small venue.

GillFest runs from 29th June to 8th July 2018 and the full programme of events plus a secure online ticket buying link is available through their website.

Don’t forget to book your tickets and your accommodation … and, as part of our support for the Festival, just mention that you’re coming to stay as part of GillFest and we’ll include a few little extra freebies* in your booking.

(* probably edible, definitely home-made)

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Restaurant review: Tapas night at The Wine Bar, Gillingham, Dorset

Book your Dorset bed and breakfast stay directly and securely with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.

|| We reviewed our fabulous local restaurant The Wine Bar on here a few months ago and popped back for a return visit last week in order to try out their new Thursday evening tapas menu.

It’s a fixed price meal for two and offers a bottle of Prosecco and six generously portioned dishes (with vegetarian alternatives on some) plus home made bread and dips for £30.00.  Excellent value, absolutely delicious food and, as always, exemplary service from co-owner Sarah and her front of house team. I actually don’t now want to cook on a Thursday evening anymore!

Here’s a couple of captioned photos of what we had, plus the tapas menu.

 

Additionally,  the main menu has also been refreshed – I need to go back soon and try the pan fried hake with Thai green curry and tempura prawns!

As a reminder, The Wine Bar is based on Queen Street, an easy walk from ‘Sunflowers’, and is open for lunch and dinner (closed on Mondays). They do a Sunday lunch carvery as well as a Wednesday evening “Steak Night Special”: two steaks with all the trimmings plus a bottle of wine for £30.00.

We’re always happy to send our guests there and to include The Wine Bar in our list of suggested local eating spots. A copy of the main menu, the tapas menu and walking directions on how to find the restaurant may be found in our in-room folders – please ask us to book you a table when you make your reservation with us if that would be helpful.

As always, our blog reviews are unbiased, are our own personal opinions and are based on a self-funded visit to the venue. 

The Wine Bar
20 Queen Street
Gillingham
Dorset
SP8 4DZ

Tel: 01747 825 825

Opening hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – 10.00pm
Thursday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – 11.00pm
Friday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – midnight
Saturday: 12 noon to 3.00pm; 5.30pm – midnight
Sunday: 12 noon to 4.00pm

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Recipe share: home made traditional Irish brown soda bread – a delicious part of your bed and breakfast stay in Dorset!

Book your Dorset bed and breakfast stay directly with us for the best price, delicious breakfasts and lots of little free extras – check availability here. Our online calendar is always up to date.


Enjoy a little taste of Ireland here in Dorset with this traditional Irish recipe for home-made brown soda bread – as taught to me at the Dingle Cookery School in Co. Kerry last year when I attended one of their cookery master classes.

Don’t forget to request it when you book so that I can bake a fresh loaf for you!

Ingredients

300g brown/wholemeal flour
200g plain white flour
80g porridge oats/oatmeal (separated into 70g and 10g)
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda, sieved
A generous pinch of salt
300 – 400 ml buttermilk (the exact amount will vary, dependent on the dryness of your ingredients and the humidity in the air. I know this sounds crazy but it’s true; I need more buttermilk when I bake this bread in Dorset than I do in Ireland, where the climate is damper!)

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C/180 fan
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, reserving 10g of the porridge oats.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the buttermilk until the mixture sticks together in a stiff porridge consistency.
  • Turn out onto a floured tray and shape into a flat, circular loaf around 3″ deep and 8″ across. Use the handle of the wooden spoon to make the traditional cross in the top. Sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal.
  • Alternative baking shape: use a 2lb loaf tin (this will require additional cooking time)
  • Bake for c. 30 minutes. Check that the bread is cooked by putting a skewer into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out dry, the bread is done. If wet, the loaf needs a few more minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack – although the bread is delicious when warm, let it cool down a bit or else it will crumble when sliced.
  • ENJOY!