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spring plant fair mapperton

Spring Plant Fair – Sunday 9 April 2017

The Spring Plant Fair  is one of the largest in Dorset. With more than 30 specialist stands which include gifts, garden ironware as well as a massive choice of plants, this popular sale is great for plant lovers in the area as well as those who want a gardeners’ day out in fantastic surroundings. Open from 10am to 4pm. Admission £3 in aid of Multiple Sclerosis.
For those who also wish to visit the House and Gardens, £3 will be discounted from the usual admission fee.
The Sawmill Mapperton

Brassica restaurant to run The Sawmill at Mapperton

Mapperton House and Gardens is delighted to announce a new partnership with an award-winning West Dorset restaurant.

Cass Titcombe and Louise Chidgey of Brassica restaurant in nearby Beaminster will take over the management of Mapperton’s café, The Sawmill, from the beginning of April.

Brassica is the only restaurant in Dorset to appear in The Sunday Times list of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants in 2017.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke, who runs Mapperton, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, said: “Over just a few short years Cass and Louise have developed an outstanding reputation at Brassica for delicious food, and this has now been recognised by The Sunday Times in their Top 100 listing.

“We are really pleased that they are now partnering with us at Mapperton, and customers at The Sawmill can look forward to scrumptious lunches and teas.”

Brassica Chef-Director Cass Titcombe said: “We are delighted to be taking over the The Sawmill at Mapperton at a very exciting time.

“We are looking forward to offering visitors homemade cakes, cream teas, a range of light lunch dishes and of course, some memorable sandwiches, all with some of Brassica’s signature touches!”

Brassica Director Louise Chidgey added: “We have given The Sawmill a small revamp, and put in some new lighting, while retaining its friendly feel.

“We will also be exhibiting artwork from the Room at the End gallery at Little Toller Books at Toller Fratrum, near Dorchester, which we hope our customers will enjoy looking at while they eat.”

The Sawmill will open on Sunday 2 April until the end of October, every day except Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm.

Mapperton Gardens open on 1 March and the house opens for guided tours from 2 April.

snowdrop sundays mapperton

Snowdrop Sundays herald the coming of spring

Snowdrops – they’re only tiny, but here at Mapperton we love them because they are one of the first signs of spring!

We want to share them on our two popular Snowdrop Sundays on 5 and 12 February 2017.

The humble Galanthus nivalis (that’s ancient Greek and Latin for milk-white flower of snow) is among the first of the flowers to show their face.

Come to the Gardens and see the carpet of white spreading under the beech trees and alongside the paths in the spring garden.

The daffodils should be on their way too and velvety buds are appearing on the trees.

Snowdrop Sundays – two chances to visit

The Gardens will be open from 11am to 4pm on each of the Snowdrop Sundays.

Admission is £4.50 for adults and under-16s can come in for free. Proceeds will support the National Gardens Scheme and Perennial, the gardeners’ charity.

Thanks to the volunteers from the National Gardens Scheme locally, tea, coffee and a wonderful array of cakes will be available in the cosy Sawmill Café.

Don’t miss the chance to see the back of winter and join us soon.

“All the snow will melt; the cold winds will be driven away; we shall rule; all will become green, and then you will have companions, syringas, laburnums, and roses; but you are the first, so graceful, so delicate!” 

Extract from The Snowdrop, by Hans Christian Andersen.

Autumn Charity Garden Fair

Autumn Charity Garden Fair brought in the crowds

Crowds of green-fingered gardeners made the recent charity Garden Fair at Mapperton House the most successful autumn fair yet.

Almost 1,000 plant fans attended the Fair on 18 September and a share of the proceeds will go to Oxfam.

More than 25 specialist nurseries took part alongside craft, garden gift and food stands.

Lady Sandwich said: “ We were delighted that so many people took advantage of a perfect day and came to the Fair, which was our most successful autumn sale so far.

“Over the years many charities, both local and national, have benefited from the spring and autumn fairs.

“People who came to the Fair stayed on to take a walk around the gardens gardens or joined a guided tour of the house and enjoyed refreshments in the Sawmill Café. We are very much looking forward to the next plant fair in April.”

Don’t forget that Mapperton House and Gardens are open to the public until the end of October. We look forward to seeing you.

Mapperton cream tea

Mapperton celebrates National Cream Tea Day in style

Please do come to tea at Mapperton on Friday 24 June – and help us celebrate National Cream Tea Day!

On that day a garden entry ticket will be £10, which will include a delicious cream tea – using Mapperton Jam – at the Sawmill Café.

And because we like to do things properly, here are the Top Ten cream tea etiquette tips, courtesy of the Cream Tea Society.

  • Loose-leaf is best. Brew loose leaves in a cup, but remember to serve a second pot of hot water – just in case you’ve over-brewed.
  • If you don’t want to pour, don’t sit near the pot. The person nearest the pot should pour for everyone (if you’re clumsy, best make sure it’s not you).
  • Make the perfect brew. Allow the tea to brew for at least three minutes before pouring – time enough for the full flavour to infuse.
  • Tea before milk. Pour the tea first, followed by milk (so you can accurately judge the required strength) and then sugar.
  • Spoons on saucers, please. Once you’ve stirred, place your spoon on your saucer (think of the table cloth).
  • No outstretched pinkies! Always hold the cup between your thumb and forefinger. Contrary to popular opinion, sticking your little finger out does not a lady/gentleman make.
  • No knives needed. The perfect scone should break apart with a simple twist but they’re very useful for spreading the jam and cream!  Just make sure you’ve got your saucer to catch the crumbs.
  • Spoon then spread. If the table is laden with bowls of jam and cream, spoon your desired amount onto your plate first, before spreading them thick on your scone.
  • Jam before cream. While there’s much debate around which goes first (a dispute dividing Cornwall and Devon), etiquette gurus Debrett’s say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top.
  • A final word. Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper.