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Lovely Southbourne on Sea

We got this picture from our friends for Christmas. It is from a local, well local to Dorset, artist called Richard Watkin who has been doing these stylised artworks from the local area. We love Southbourne, not sure you can tell, as it is very groovy.

Website: Watkin Art

My kingdom for a bavette

It's all about the bavette steak at the moment. I had previously heard how it was a specialist French cut that was flavoursome but not as tender as other traditional British cuts. I guess that sometimes you just have to work a bit harder to reap the rewards.

I first really only tried bavette a few weeks back when I stayed at the Hotel du Vin in Poole. Even when I ordered it, the head waiter went to a great effort to discuss it, to explain that it was a different cut that might be a bit tougher. He was French and he sounded very apologetic and asked if I have had it before. I said it was fine and I was willing to accept it and that I like trying new things.

Read more: My kingdom for a bavette

The Larder House World of Whiskey event

It’s been a busy year. I’ve already been to one Whisky showcase event at the Larder House this year, along with a Gin nightpig butchery night and a seafood feast night. This whiskey night was going to venture further away from the glens of Scotland to different and hotter climates around the world, with explanations on how that can affect the ageing process.

This time it would be Jon Lister and Stephanie Holt from Speciality Brands to compere and guide us through the evening.

I've already written pieces on this year's other whisky night and the gin night so you can read up on how far James and the Larder House team really push things. It's not just a night of sitting down to great food and drink, it is a full on theatrical evening with audience participation.

On entering the restaurant we found that the tables had been moved out, which is not unusual but found the room all decorated in a Japanese style with white fabric screening, a huge tree branch stretching across the room and deftly folded origami swans hanging off the tree all made by Megan's own hands.

I had a sneaky preview of a brilliant new creation made for the weekend but will leave that for a second.

Read more: The Larder House World of Whiskey event

Could I have the Special Blardy House Mary

The Larder House hosted the 2015 Dorset's Best Bloody Mary competition on Sunday 27 September. They had the actual main competition for those in the trade, another competition for the Bournemouth Bartenders League and a side event for members of the public like me.

(Just for clarification before you get in too deep that is article is about the public event and not the winner of the real competition, which was Dave Hall representing Urban Beach Hotel.)

I never really drank Bloody Marys until I started going to the Larder House. I tried at other places but generally spat them out as they were just warm alcoholic tomato juice. Well James the owner tagged my name on a Facebook post about the event and so I took up the challenge.

Having been sat on the other side of the bar as it were, I've watched the guys enthusiasm when it comes to what they do, how they present it and the story behind it all. At the very least I've got to give it a good effort and it all started with the story. This is all going to sound like nonsense but bear with my own self-indulgence. I wanted to capture elements of my life and I guess the family's journey from East to West. OK, put those sick bags away.

Read more: Could I have the Special Blardy House Mary

A visit to Tyneham and Worbarrow

There is so much that we haven't done in Dorset that is on our doorstep, even though we moved here in 1996.

I haven't been inside Corfe Castle yet, only did the Swanage steam train last year, been for one long walk from Eype over the lovely West Dorset hills, sat down on Durdle Door beach this year and the unfinished list goes on.

So, this weekend we had friends visiting and wanted to take advantage of the surprise sunshine and head off for the day. Well, after attending a children's birthday at Farmer Palmers Farm Park, which is usually great fun and we got to see the pig race this time.

We went to Lulworth Cove first, which is always a treat. Can be very busy at times, but even in October, November when the tourists have gone, it is still a nice place to visit on a clear day. Then, we sought out the village of Tyneham. It's been mentioned to us before and as we were near and also on the way back to Swanage, we took a drive up the windy narrow road towards it. Be ready to pull into the side of the road to squeeze past each other's cars.

Read more: A visit to Tyneham and Worbarrow