No dream, our life on Exmoor, but a real experience, of wide-open spaces, of air so fresh, it is untainted upon our lungs and trees so old that even the cold rock of the wild coast would show respect. Seasons imprint themselves on the landscape, with a purifying blanket of snow in early spring and snowdrops raising their heads shouting here I am and will still be here when the thaw has passed.
The early months find their feet and soon the pastures and meadows are alive with wildlife and livestock basking in a new sun and the never too distant rain reviving the pastels of green grass, the deep yellows of the rape seed and golden browns of cereal crops. Longer days and time to watch the squadrons of birds take battle for supper, then the last light of a warm summer evening feeling its golden fingers across the purple bloom of heather, whilst Song Thrush scores an enchanting melody, heralding the night. Then the stillness and calm. Autumn’s mantle of fire and gold, the crown on regal woodland, holds court to our king of beasts, roaring echoes through coombes and across hillside, an announcement that the circle of life on the moor will soon begin and darker nights are punctuated by the starlight and glow of home fires to welcome our weary travellers, to our heart of the country.
Working on Exmoor
Exmoor and Greater Exmoor have a rich tapestry of agriculture and producers that, as a chef, I feel very spoiled to have access to. From succulently tender lamb, venison and beef to honey and gin, oysters, caviar, fabulous bakers & wonderful cheese makers. I feel privileged to be part of a sustainable community that provides vitality to our business but in return allows me to produce dishes that represent the quality of these ingredients.
John and Jane Bradley
Dunkery Beacon Country House & The Coleridge Restaurant