Sunny, creative Dorset - this is where we spent last week, on our break. It was much like St Ives for creative buzz, and we visited many brilliant galleries, exhibitions and shops, meeting some really great people along the way. Here, in the first of a small series of posts from our travels in Dorset, I want to share with you a few little gems that we would highly recommend to any creative people visiting the region.
Before we went away, we had done some careful research on the hidden gems of Weymouth and the surrounding area - hidden because they are not huge tourist sights. Since the following gems were all found on blogs rather than tourist information sites, we thought it was really important to carry on this exposure to places like this - they deserve to be found and enjoyed by everyone.
The Full Gamut Gallery, Weymouth
The Full Gamut is situated just outside the town of Weymouth, and what a little gem it is. Arriving in the cold of late afternoon, we stepped into a warm, cosy, creative space. It was one of those shops where your eyes don't know where to look first - just brimming with goodies from local artists.
Not only is The Full Gamut a creative gallery, but a coffee shop too, and the talented owner Kimberley, even makes her own amazing cakes to sell with her drinks. Of course we settled down to rest my heavy aching self, and enjoyed a hot drink - complete with a huge chunk of cake to take back to our cottage for the evening.
We talked to Kimberley for a long while - about her shop, local creatives, other local galleries and places to visit, and about art in general. She is such an interesting person to talk to and was such a pleasure to meet. We hope to have made a valuable contact in The Full Gamut, as a fantastic independent company, and a fellow creative.
If you are at all creative, or if you simply appreciate a tasty beverage / chunk of cake in quirky surroundings, The Full Gamut belongs at the top of your Weymouth to-do list.
Lazyhill Gallery, Abbotsbury
Lazyhill Gallery is situated in the peaceful, chocolate box village of Abbotsbury. We had been recommended to visit this gallery by a couple of local shops that we had struck up friendly conversation with - there are so many of these around.
It is a really beautiful, fresh and modern gallery - a space for local artists to sell their precious work.
The owner Rachel, was a pleasure to meet - someone who really appreciates quality and creativity. Luckily for us, we joined the list of creatives appearing in Lazyhill Gallery, as Rachel became one of our new stockists for our 'Garden Bird' range. We couldn't be more thrilled to be stocked in such a perfect place for our cards.
Again, Lazyhill Gallery is a must-see for creatives visiting the area. In fact, Abbotsbury itself is a gem
of a village and reminded us very much of the Cotswolds.
Dansel Craftwork Gallery, Abbotsbury
The Dansel Gallery sits just down the road from Lazyhill Gallery in Abbotsbury, and is deceivingly vast inside. Everywhere, carefully sculptured wooden treats adorn the walls - from gifts and kitchenware, to amazing children's toys and home furnishings.
It is always exciting to come across creatives that are just so amazing at their craft, and the use of wood is such an exciting, natural and quality material to work with. These are the very things that attracted Jay and I to visit this gallery.
The Rural Farm Shop Company Ltd, Wareham
Moving away slightly from the galleries here, but we had to tell you all about this wonderful shop. Obviously we are very much into local produce, and this was a perfect place to visit to get a taste of
The Rural Farm Shop is very new, and a real treat for visitors. With a spacious and modern-farm-style interior, it feels very clean and exciting inside - this is in great contrast to the outside, since it is situated on a real working farm, with chickens roaming free, and hungry pigs to be fed! Just as exciting of course, but a little more rustic!
For us, their star product was their hampers, which we thought were genius. The hampers contain a mixture of local products - from fudge and crackers to Jam and drink - and also contain a map with information on where each of the products come from, within Dorset. We thought this was a
Also inside is a gorgeous cafe area, where delicious drinks, cakes and snacks can be enjoyed.
The owner was a pleasure to chat to, and we highly recommend a visit for a real taste of Dorset.
The next post in this small series will share some fantastic artists that we discovered through a small number of other galleries and exhibitions that we visited in Dorset.
Since releasing this post, Kimberley at The Full Gamut gallery has been in touch to inform me that their opening times have changed. The gallery will now be open at weekends only from now until Christmas - please pop on over and show her your support, which she would really value.