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,




A few months ago whilst happily roaming Christchurch Food Festival I discovered Assembelly and it’s creator Toby Bradley-Watson. With a bacon and scallop roll on the menu we couldn’t resist and could not believe not only how delicious it was but also how it was the first time we had seen this on any menu!

Before setting up Assembelly, Toby worked at restaurants around the world. His last position was a two-year stint as head chef at Rick Stein at Bannisters just outside Sydney, in Australia where he won a Hat!


Toby has also worked with top-name chefs including Pierre Koffemann, Mark Edwards, Marcus Wareing, Tom Kitchen, Tom Aitken and Rick Stein.

In October 2017 Toby bought a Richardson horse trailer from his home country of Wales and spent six months converting it into the home of Assembelly.

The menu will be ever-changing, keeping to Toby’s strengths in seafood and game, and reflecting the flavours, produce and culture of the local area. He has also for the past year been studying fermentation, and its vast range of health benefits, which will run as a strong theme through the menu.
With a winning menu and such an impressive history we couldn’t resist but to ask Toby to feature on our blog…..

Toby, what is your best-loved local ingredients?

It depends on the season in the summer it would have to be crab but in the winter and autumn it has to be New Forest venison

How would you use this at home?

Crab meat is very versatile but and can be used in a multitude of ways but my summer favourite would be a crab linguini with cherry tomatoes and lots of lemon.

Venison is different but for me I love to braze a shoulder with a few vegetables a bit of wine and vinegar as well as a bit of chocolate


What is your first choice dish to create and also to eat?

This changes week in week depending what my train of thought is and what’s good that season.

Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

I do like West Dorset with the rolling hills going down to the Jurassic coast.

Where can we next find you on the South Coast?

The next one for me down here is the Lymington seafood on the 11th & 12th August.


We can’t wait to grab another delicious roll from Toby and the Assembelly team then! 

Assembelly is available for private functions and events, both large and small. You can click here to contact them for more details.

Thanks for reading,



James Golding – THE PIG

You may not have heard of James Golding by name but as Chef Director of THE PIG Hotels you will most certainly know him by reputation.

A self confessed lover of food, fishing and foraging James’ style when it comes to cuisine is as renowned as the beautiful settings in which have become synonymous with THE PIG Hotels.


James, what is your best-loved local ingredient?

A pinch of Salt Hampshire Charcuterie, it’s made from local free-range pigs and has a brilliant range of products. It enables us to use a multi award winning, locally based product on our menu. The Butcher (Alan Bartlett) who makes the cured meats is the third generation Butcher in his shop and works closely with myself and THE PIG and also creates bespoke products.

I also LOVE Lyburn cheese, Howarts hive honey, Manor farm flock (badger faced lamb and Hogget), IOW tomatoes, Berry Hill Farm for vegetables and Jeff Lander for shell fish.

It’s fantastic to see all of those local ingredients, how would you use these at home?

Cured meat boards, risottos, on pasta dishes, with tomatoes etc…

What is your first choice dish to eat and also create?

Probably something to do with a wood oven. We use a Gozney wood oven to showcase the cured meats as well as our 8 varieties of tomatoes and basil that we grow at THE PIGs. I love the simplicity of a flatbread pizza and the freshness of a ripe tomato paired with some amazing Wiltshire Burrata.


Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

Yes, we live in Christchurch but I love Hengistbury Head and Mudeford Spit. It’s the perfect place to walk our dogs and the views are breathtaking in the summer as well as winter. You can grab a coffee at the cafe on the Spit and the beach is lovely there too.

A huge thank you to James for taking the time to talk to us. If you wanted more information on THE PIG you can click here. I’m looking to enjoying a fresh flatbread and taking in the stunning views at the THE PIG on the beach soon!


Thanks for reading,


Harry Hunter at NEO Restaurant

With a stunning location and a beautiful setting Neo Restaurant in Bournemouth is the perfect location for special occasions, light bites or even cocktails on the stylish terrace.

At the heart of the team here is Harry Hunter, a talented Chef with a passion for producing stunning dishes with local ingredients.


Harry, what is your best loved local ingredient?

Any fish caught off the South Coast

How would you use this at home?

At home I would do something simple and pan roast the fish to serve it with a bean cassoulet.


What is your first choice dish to create and also to eat?

My first choice dish to create and eat is a salmon pave, crushed new potatoes and some fresh green veg. Especially in the summer months!

Do you have a favourite spot on the South Coast?

The New Forest – it’s the perfect ‘staycation’

A huge thank you to Harry, I know I will definitely be attempting this at home when it looks this good!

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!