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Dorset Magazine editor's letter - August 2014

PUBLISHED: 15:22 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:26 01 August 2014

August front cover

August front cover

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The latest from Dorset Magazine editor Helen Stiles

Simple pleasures is what my summer is all about this year. There really is no place I’d rather be than on a staycation when the sun is shining. And it does seem to have been doing a lot of that of late.

My pleasures may be simple but they’re not limited: breakfast on the beach following an early morning dip, an al fresco lunch with friends in the garden, a chilled glass of Dorset bubbly with my other half watching the sunset over Lyme Bay.

For me as a lover of music, and former music student, I also want to see some live music this summer, namely a concert by the Dorset cellist Natalie Clein. As artistic director of the Purbeck Chamber Music Festival, Natalie has put together a tremendously exciting programme which includes a concert in the highly unusual surroundings of the Tank Museum at Bovington. I so enjoyed interviewing Natalie, who won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1994 and is now an internationally renowned artist. But she adores returning to her beloved Purbeck and showing it off to the world class musicians she has invited to perform at the Festival.

Also on my simple pleasures list is cooking, and a recent addition to my bookshelf is The Pauper’s Cook Book by Jocasta Innes. Adam Lee-Potter talks to her son, award-winning novelist Jason Goodwin, who recalls his unconventional childhood in Swanage with the irrepressible Jocasta, and how he discovered his real father. It is a complex and intriguing family tale.

Local food and drink are on my list too and this summer my quest to find the ultimate crab sandwich continues. If you have a hero – be it a favourite butcher or a fabulous farm shop - then nominate them in our 2014 Food, Drink and Farming Awards. I want you all out there in the tea rooms, restaurants, shops, pubs and farm shops of Dorset this summer taste testing. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!

Last - but by no means least - on my list is to do lots and lots of lovely walks with my two energetic working cocker spaniels, Scrumpy and her daughter, Rosie. And, as you can see, for them happiness is jumping into a trough of water at the end of a long hot walk. Simple!

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