I was over the moon to be invited to the annual Honey and Harvest celebration at Deans Court, Dorset. I’d been invited last year, but after a bad wave of anxiety had to cancel last minute. That day I watched their Instagram hashtag blossom with gorgeous photos of dappled light in the apple orchard, beekeeping experiences and meals crafted from the kitchen garden. It was a pleasant surprise to be invited back this year. Thankfully my head was in a better place too.
Deans Court is a private home in Dorset, owned and managed by Lottie, Ali and William. The home is open for weddings across the summer. There is also a healthy cafe and vintage lifestyle shop. During the Honey and Harvest event, the family welcomed a group of entrepreneurs and makers (myself included) into their home to experience homegrown and prepared foods, creative workshops, and to learn more about their ethos.
I make no secret of the fact that I usually struggle with events and social situations. The joys of being a highly sensitive and anxious introvert! This event was different, though. Lottie, Ali and William made me feel very welcome from the moment I arrived. They also let me take photos of the Morris Minor in front of their beautiful home, which equates to instant happiness for me.
Around fifteen other creatives attended the event from various towns, some hosting workshops and others as guests. Emily of @HarryandFrank won the award for biggest commute, having ventured South from Derbyshire the evening before. Everyone had skills in different niches, but all were inspiring in their own right.
After arriving, meeting and greeting, we headed to the orchard to meet three druids. We tried some of their homemade wines, ciders and conserves, and practiced one of their rituals. Once the ritual had finished, we headed to the kitchen garden, where we learned about the garden’s longstanding organic status. Silvana of The Foodie Bugle prepared some delicious Italian appetisers using Deans Court produce, before we sat down for a vegetarian lunch, again sourced from the garden.
Once we’d finished dessert, it was time for demonstrations from Comins Tea and Hari Hari Curry, and a visit to the Deans Court shop, cafe and beekeepers.
It’s hard for me to convey the magic of Honey and Harvest in a blog post, but I took a lot of photos in an attempt to do so.
Thank you kindly to Lottie, Ali and William for their hospitality, and for planning and hosting a wonderful day.