The Crafty Cow

If you are stuck with ideas for Christmas gifting this year or are yet to discover the winning combo of a good beer and delicious cheese then this weeks blog is just for you!
We’re talking to Mike and Jules from The Crafty Cow in Penn Hill, a small but perfectly formed bottle shop that has more to offer then you would first think….
What can people expect when they come to Crafty Cow?
When people come into The Crafty Cow, they will receive a friendly smile and someone always ready to help (Normally me, and my face) or one of our equally smiley crafty cow’ers. Once inside The Crafty Cow if you think Bottleshop/Deli/Bar in a cosy & relaxed atmosphere they will be on the right track.
We have a choice of ever changing craft beer from UK based small batch breweries, especially local to Dorset and the surrounding area, accompanied by a selection of Wine and what we think pairs best with both Wine and Beer is Cheese! So we have a selection of unique cheeses again from the local area and UK, but no cheese pairing would be complete without some cured meats, chutneys and crackers so we have again a section of locally produced products to build the perfect night – everything we have in shop is to be taken away, however to help people get to know their beer styles and choice we have 4 beers on tap which are here for people to drink not to be drunk… and for growler fills (1.8L glass bottles which can be refilled from our taps anytime to take to party/BBQ’s/down the beach or just to enjoy at home).
So… what can people expect… we like to think a completely different experience then your normal supermarket/convenience store.
What inspired you guys to open Crafty Cow?
We have taken inspiration from several areas of the world and our lives, we have always enjoyed a drink.. especially good quality drink… and from traveling the UK visiting different breweries, distilleries and vineyards in aid of finding interesting and different drinks for our mobile bar we have run for the last couple years and always receiving great feedback from people enjoying the different selection of drinks we provide in comparison to standard bars we always had the question “Where can I get this from?” and we always had to say sorry we just deal direct with the Brewery/Distillery/Vineyard… and we genuinely didn’t know where you could easily access what we provided…. So from there the idea sparked, from our travels we knew of various Bottleshops and bars across the UK specialising in craft beer but it wasn’t until our trip the the USA did we find a Bottleshop and Tasting Room which specialised in craft beer and cheese – from then we were hooked… what a combo!
Since then plans were put in motion to find the location we can begin our Crafty Cow journey (Crafty – for the craft beers and produce, Cow – for the Cheese…although we do have goats as well but Crafty Cow & Goat just didn’t have the same ring to it). Both me and Jules are pretty impatient, so we jumped straight in and thought the best way to learn is by “doing” so here we are learning – seeing what works and what doesn’t, listening to our customers and trying to work on the feedback and we are loving every moment of it!
As well as popping in for some great beer and wine you also host some fantastic events!
We do indeed, as you can see our Bottleshop is… cosy.. but a perfect fit for a selection of people to enjoy something a bit different! As we mentioned everything we get in we try and source those hard to find and not in the supermarket items which in turn it does mean sometimes people don’t even know what it is, let alone tastes like… especially when we start talking about pairing cheese with a beer!
We are still young so have not had chance for many events so far, but the Crafty Cow has now seen a couple of Birthday parties, a corporate event and a stag party and more booked in for next year, although we will be holding more public events too, we recently held a Craft Beer and Chocolate pairing event! Which everyone loved, we talked about the different beer styles and tastes which then followed by the hand made chocolate to pair and I mean, what more can you want then chocolate and drink!?
We will be running all different types of events so something different for everyone, from Cheese and Wine/Beer pairing through to Cured meats tasting and Artisan spirits – all of these will be advertised in shop and on our social pages so keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for dates!
Can you tell us more about your amazing hampers?
I can! We keep wanting to spread the knowledge of independent products and I know there are a lot of people who are like me and when it comes to gift buying I am useless!!! Let alone the wrapping side of things! So what we have offered from the day of opening is gift cards for people to then use in shop but also mixed cases for gifts but following feed back we have been asked to put together hampers for gifts.
So now we have the option for customers to come in and put together a bespoke hamper or they can choose one of our pre-packaged options, all presented in our “Crafty Cow” theme so no wicker hampers, ours are in what we like to think is a cool sleek black and white presentation box perfect as a him or her gift – with Christmas around the corner we are going to be really building our selection ready for customers to run in and collect or bespoke for their lucky someone. Our selection of hampers are available both in our shop and at “On The Green Interiors” in Ashley Cross where mulled wine and cheese will also be available on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.
I think you’ll all agree that everyone would be delighted with one of these hampers for Christmas and when you pop in to pick yours up don’t forget to treat yourself at the same time!
Thanks for reading and happy shopping,

Ojo Rojo new children’s menu!

You will all know we are fans of family eating here at Scrumptious South Coast and when we find somewhere that we can go as a family and all enjoy our meals we are keen beans to shout about it as much as we can.

A few weeks ago we headed to Ojo Rojo in Bournemouth with the smallest member of the Scrumptious South Coast team to check out their lunch. Not only was our mini critic entertained for the entire time we were there she ate ALL of her lunch (no mean feat!) which meant we enjoyed our delicious food and drink more too! Winner, winner Mexican dinner!

We caught up with El Capitan Trevor to find out more about how Ojo Rojo is keeping their small fans very happy.

Ojo Rojo has seen a recent launch of it’s new children’s menu, what can we expect to see on there?

Yes, we are very happy with our new children’s menu. We have tried to take on board as much feedback and advice as possible and added dishes such as ‘Build You Own Tacos’, some healthy options such as carrot sticks and dips, simple chicken/fish strips and even mini versions of dishes from the adult menu. We actually had a lot of fun coming up with some of the dishes.


Was there anything in particular that motivated this move?

Well, we [Ojo Rojo] have had various incarnations of our menu but only really 1 of the children’s menu. I felt that it was a little uninspiring, compared to the rest of products we offer here. So we set it in motion to build the best kids menu we could.

How did you decide on the final menu? There must have been lots of choices!

Yes we had lots of ideas but, essentially, we realised that we needed the ideas and recommendations from those who will be eating it and those who will be bringing the children in so we utilised social media. We asked for advice and were inundated with hundreds of recommendations and comments. We filtered through them and did our best to come up with a list of dishes that took as much on as possible from the thread. We then put on a event where we laid on the food for free to anyone who turned up in order to get feedback from the children and the parents. It was a massive success and we had quite the turnout! The forms people filled out that day were the final elements that allowed us to make the decision on the new menu. We are very proud of it.
Do you feel that it’s important to enjoy a meal as a family?

Of course! My parents always made sure we ate as a family growing up. Ojo Rojo is a social form of dining and we have always made the largest effort to ensure that all types of eaters and all preferences are catered for (vegan, gluten free etc) and now we can also say that children of all ages are catered for to the best of our ability too.

Have you got any special events coming up over the summer?

We have been proudly invited to host a take over of a bar in London as part of London Mezcal Week on 18th & 19th August. We also have a night of Latin music within the venue on 30th August and anyone who enjoys a quiz, we host one every Wednesday and it is so much fun! The hosts are Punch Entertainment and they are brilliant. It gets busy though so ensure you book. 😉

If you want to book a table to find out more you can find Ojo Rojo’s website by clicking here.

Trevor thank you so much for your time!

Thanks for reading,



Abbots Court

If you live on the South Coast then the chances are that you will have heard of the newly established Abbots Court, nestled on the outskirts of Winterborne Kingston. If you haven’t then you’re in for a treat given it’s the brain child of the husband and wife team behind The Tickled Pig!

The large rambling Victorian farmhouse is set in five acres of its own woodland, meadow and also boasts its own original walled kitchen garden. At Abbots Court guests are able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life – long lazy walks through the rolling Dorset countryside, food picked fresh from the garden, roaring fires and cosy evenings spent in the company of those you love.

I’ve sat down with Jez who along with his wife Niki have worked hard to create something very special indeed.


Abbots Court opened at the beginning of the year; not only as a beautiful hotel, but as somewhere guests can escape to for a nostalgic trip back to a time when things where simpler. Where did you find the inspiration for this? 

We lived in France for 7 years in a 400-year-old ruin which we lovingly converted and enjoyed the simpler life. We sat around the dinner table with friends, eating food from the garden and collecting eggs from the chickens. I was very taken aback by the tremendous reaction I was getting from my friends about the food I was serving from our garden. When our eldest daughter Lily was born we wanted to move back home to the UK and recreate what we had achieved in France.

We are all so busy and get so caught up in life that it’s easy to forget that having everyone sat down together and enjoying a meal is such an enriching thing to do.

Most people will already know you from your delicious food at The Tickled Pig; what can we look forward to when it comes to food at Abbots Court?

We have two Head Chefs; Alex Naik and Mike Parry. They are amazing at what they do and really are the genius behind the food. Alex is aiming to achieve a Michelin star in the next 4 years but I’m confident he will achieve this before then!

Guests can look forward to beautiful food that is not overly complicated, full of great flavours and textures and celebrating the produce we use. Lots of which has gone from garden to plate within hours

Pork belly, scallops, crispy sage & burnt apple puree

What can guests expect from a stay at Abbots Court?

An escape from reality, enjoying the simpler things in life with good food, good wine and great company.

We want guests to enjoy the garden and the space outside as well as the house, it will feel like a complete break from the outside world!


What exciting plans do you have for the rest of the year?

 The thing I am most excited about is the garden – we’re going to get some teepees that you can cook in and have fires in too. We want to be the one destination for people to come and learn about food. We’re going to be running some courses that will be wholesome, laidback and will inspire people to get involved with food.

At the heart of everything we do is our food and the produce along with the experience we can give our guests.

Afternoon Tea outdoors anyone?

If you want to know more about Abbots Court can click HERE for their website, you can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

As always, thank you for reading!


Mark Bennett; by Royal Appointment

With the country enjoying wedding fever this week and this years most anticipated wedding happening this weekend we were lucky enough to catch up with Mark Bennett.

Mark has experience himself of a Royal Wedding so was the perfect person to speak with this week!

Mark has patisseries open in Penn Hill, Lilliput and Ashley Cross, Poole. He makes and sells the most incredible range of breads and pastries, as endorsed by the baking industry who named him National Baker of the Year!


As a prestigious baker with experience of royal wedding cakes can you share with us what it’s like to be part of such a significant event?

When I was involved with making the royal wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of York it was just an amazing feeling, the Country had a real buzz about it and to be linked to it more than most was a very special feeling.

We delivered the cake in person to the Palace the day before and set it up, we travelled back the next day to watch the ceremony on the Mall, it was a very proud moment indeed.

Where do you find your inspiration for your  delicious cakes and breads?

My inspiration is natural, I grew up living next door to my family’s bakery so I was involved at a very early age, baking is in my blood, I know no different, you must have passion, it is a hard job often done at unsociable hours.


If someone wanted to have a go at baking where would you recommend they start? 

If you fancy coming into baking I would look at going on a course, there are many Artisan Bakers offering courses around the Country, including myself, but this will only give you a small insight into our amazing industry.


When Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle on the 19th May it’s reported they will celebrate by cutting a lemon and elderflower cake. Is there any other flavour you would choose?

I personally think the Royal cake should be a Rich Fruit cake soaked in Rum, but when it comes to Royal baking I am a traditionalist, but that’s only my opinion.

Mark thank you so much for your time, if anyone is yet to experience the mouthwatering delights on offer at one of the patisseries then what are you waiting for? Mark’s website can be found here for all details, opening times and workshop details.

Thank you for reading,



Blue Orange Juice Bar

This week I’m talking to Jacqui from Blue Orange Juice Bar located in Ashley Cross. If you haven’t swung by yet for a fresh juice or delicious fresh lunch then what are you waiting for?

I’m a huge fan of their juices and delicious vegan cakes that taste so delicious and indulgent and I was very excited to share more on this little gem in Ashley Cross…..


What inspired you to open Blue Orange in Ashley Cross?

My husband and I lived in Australia for a number of years where the juice and healthy heating market is booming. We moved back to the UK few years ago and London aside, we found there were very few options to buy a healthy juice or lunch, especially when you need to grab something on the run. It seemed such an obvious thing for us so thought we’d try it out. 

The shop in Ashley Cross had been empty for a number of years and we always used to comment what a great spot it was and as we live just around the corner from it, it was a no brainer to try the concept out there. We love Ashley Cross as a place to live and work and hopefully Blue Orange has positively added to the eclectic mix of independent shops on the Green and made it that little bit cooler!  

What is your most popular juice? 

Very difficult to say but during the week our Ginger Ninja (Apple, carrot, ginger & orange) or One Eye Opener (apple, cucumber, fennel, ginger, lemon & orange) juices are probably most popular. However over the weekends smoothies are definitely our best sellers with probably Sweet Greens (avocado, banana, kiwi, lime, spinach, coconut water & yoghurt) being the favourite. We designed them all though over the course of quite a few months, so very difficult to have a favourite. 

BlueOrange-0007Do you feel that eating and drinking healthier is becoming more than a fad?

Absolutely! We try our hardest not to be preachy about the health benefits as we’d rather you come in and have a juice because you love the taste and range. But we do like to highlight some of the benefits on the labels so our customers are aware of the benefits of drinking fresh juice.

Healthy eating is definitely becoming more mainstream, especially with the younger generations which is great to see and we expect to see more places popping up in the short term to make it easier for people with a hectic lifestyle to be able to grab something fresh and healthy rather than the often, more convenient sausage roll and can of pop.

 Our juice cleanse programs have also been extremely popular as a way to kickstart a new healthier lifestyle or exercise regime which I think is testament to the increasing awareness of living a healthy lifestyle. 

In addition to your juices you also have a delicious array of lunch options available. Where do you find your inspiration for these?

We love to work with local producers and suppliers and really encourage anyone that has a unique and suitable product to come in and say hi. We try and keep our food ranges fresh and unique and hopefully this keeps things interesting for our customers. Working with companies such as Tansy’s Kitchen, Dark Matters, Rod & Bens amongst others as well as our awesome team trying out new recipes in the shop has been the inspiration for our foods. 

What’s next for Blue Orange?

Very exciting times for Blue Orange! We’re currently doing a fit out in a shop on Station Road in Swanage, which we hope will be open by the end of May. We are also on the look out for other suitable premises and hope to have 5 or 6 shops by the end of 2019, all of which will be in Dorset and follow the same model and ethos of what we have created in Ashley Cross. We will be very busy certainly over the next year or so but we’re excited to see where it goes.


Thank you so much to Jacqui, I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about Blue Orange Juice Bar. Do let us know what your favourites from the scrumptious menu are!



Hey there!

Hey there and thank you for visiting my blog page!

Essex born but Dorset bred I constantly feel very lucky to live in an area I love so much, there’s something I find very grounding about living right on the coast. Regardless of the season I believe the South Coast always has something to offer whether it’s a beautiful walk, a picnic with the family or drinks with friends overlooking the water.


We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by an abundance of local talent and warming venues when it comes to food and drinks, as well as being the home of such fine locally produced products.

Scrumptious South Coast is a celebration of all of these things, we’ll be talking to some talented Chefs, trying out some recipes at home with locally produced ingredients and drooling over some of the most beautiful South Coast views captured by the incredible photographers we have in the area.

So pour yourself a drink, pull up a pew and lets chat all things ‘Scrumptious’!

I’d love to hear from you,