A love letter to Somerset
This Somerset, our home. For all its myths and lore, wild festivals and rolling greenness, it is, for many, a place to look at through the windows of the car, or perhaps grab a quick lunch on the way to the golden beaches of the deep West Country. But for we who live here, there is magic – and it is in the contrasts it shines brightest.
Here, you can drink cider, brewed to the tannic sophistication of claret, in the backrooms of farmyard breweries, or order that same cider from starched bartenders at sparkling restaurants. You might buy your local farm cheddar in bulk at the weekly market, yet a hundred miles away, delicate wedges of it are wrapped in greaseproof paper and sold with reverence at the finest cheesemongers. Here, old stone pubs host folk and cider festivals whilst down the lane, ageing talents who came for Glastonbury and never left, live quietly in Georgian manors.
Outdoors, life is defined by the seasons, right down to the name.
Somerset: dwellers at the summer settlement. The Levels, once uninhabitable marshland in winter, made lush summer grazing grounds reclaimed by water as the year turned. Out of these sea-lakes rose Glastonbury Tor, said to be Avalon, the apple-filled island of Arthurian legend, where Excalibur was forged, and Arthur buried in the now-ruined Abbey below.