Nowadays, the convenience of social media means not much is kept secret from the eyes of the curious. Disengaging from the digital world is becoming harder than ever, which is why the rise of “hidden” escapes are becoming a popular (and fashionable) past-time.
For me, the discovery of the Tracebridge Fermentia happened in a relatively archaic form – word of mouth. After talks with a colleague about an intimate back-garden pizza evening, my interest to discover more (teamed with a genuine love for all things cheese and sourdough) led me organise a visit to this unique Somerset experience.
Owners Gordon and Katie have been cooking up wood fired sourdough at their home bakery in Tracebridge since 2008. With the help of their sons (and loveable dog Bess), the family hold their buzzing pizza nights every Friday from Spring to early November - attracting friends, locals and foodies a far.
In addition to these weekly gatherings, the pair also organise regular sourdough and food fermenting classes for those who are looking to educate themselves on the growing popular subject.
Now, back to the pizzas.
(Left [what my partner ate]: Anchovy, Peppers, Chilli & Capers | Right [what I ate]: Roasted fennel, rocket pesto, olives and mascarpone)
What began as an impromptu get together a few years ago, has quickly developed into a local renowned occasion – attracting new faces each week. The simple dining concept comprises of outdoor tables, a small menu, an invitation to BYOB and a strictly ‘no table service’ policy. The beauty of this no-fuss format is that it doesn’t feel like a restaurant – more intentionally an intimate evening of eating, shared by people who love good food. On a balmy summer's day, guests have referred to the atmosphere at Tracebridge as a cross between a Greek Taverna and a French Farm. However, even weather couldn't hinder this quirky alfresco retreat - still impressing with its charm and unique quarry-side location.
If you’re planning on visiting Tracebridge from further afield – Gordon and Katie have two Air BnB “rooms” on the premises. Simply take your pick from their retro 70’s caravan or their recently renovated barn conversion. Both enable you to a very well catered for breakfast – full of mouth-watering local produce and natural ingredients (including their own Sourdough bread).
So if there’s one thing I advise you to do this summer, its taking a step outside (quite literally) of your usual comforts and exploring the delights this Somerset foodie escape has to offer. Gather with friends and loved ones, round up the Vino Blanco and make this occasion one to share.
To book onto one of Gordon and Katie’s pizza evening (recommended), please telephone 01823 672301.
Orders run from 18.00-20.30 – with the evening drawing to a close when the last guests leave.
Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about their sourdough and fermentia classes – visit their website.