I’m a big fan of Deans Court and their lovely photo-stream on Instagram, so a weekend away with the family in Dorset was the ideal opportunity to take a little detour, drop in and see it all for real.
I’ve lusted over their lovely pictures of the cafe and shop, but it’s a much bigger story. Deans Court is a private house in the charming town of Wimborne Minster. There are cottages to stay in, they host weddings, there’s a chalk stream for fishing and, most importantly for me, gardens. The estate has been in the Hanham family for 500 years and is now in the capable hands of William and Ali Hanham.
The magic of the place shone through, even on a chilly, cloudy April day. It’s difficult to pin down exactly what creates such an atmosphere, the combination of wonderful buildings, outdoor spaces that are nicely set out and friendly, welcoming people are a good start.
First off there was tea and cake in the cafe:
Then a quick browse round the shop, which is choc full of lovely things:
The gardens aren’t open to the public on a regular basis, but Ali let us in for a look round.
The walled vegetable garden has one of those wonderful, old serpentine brick walls, they were made just one brick thick as a way of economising on bricks, getting their stabililty from the shape. These days they’re very unusual and add such a lot of character to the garden. Lots of food is grown for the cafe, which makes for zero food-miles, and there’s a boxed vegetable scheme.
I found Deans Court via A Playful Days’ Instagram feed, don’t you love social media and how you get to know about these interesting places that would’ve been undiscovered.
Time was short and it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour, so I’m looking forward to a return-visit.
all photos Jill Anderson