Wincanton, Somerset in the southwest of England, is a typical English market village. Wool was once important here, but like many areas, wool has been passed up for the ever-lovely polyester and derivatives.
We spent a little time this morning walking up the gentle slopes in and around the village and found it really relaxing to overlook and visit some of the small shops on the High Street. And what would be not to like- small streets lined with shops run by the owners, rather than some giant conglomerate piping in mangers concerned only with the bottom line, at any cost.
One highlight was a visit to a shop that was recommended by our hosts/friends/landlords, the Peatroys of Lois Barn Farms. They have thoughtfully provided a guide to the area with all the usual needed info – where the pharmacy is, where the pubs are and also, where the best butcher shop in the area is…and that’s exactly what we found at “Andrew Barclay- Traditional Family Butchers”. The shop is presided over by – Andrew Barclay, owner. Stepping through the door was like a trip back in time in some respects. Sparkling clean counters and display cases, literally stuffed with almost every conceivable cut and type of meat – and with game meats available as well.
There were two very noticeable changes from the butchers shops of my youth…well actually several differences. There was no “meat” odor, the giant mounds of ground meat of indeterminate origin were missing, and the suspicion that the meat on, display was the shuffled around meat that had been on display the end of the week before.
Barclay’s was none of that and obviously to even the most uneducated shoppers, this shop is a cut above – literally and figuratively.
Take, as an example, the garb of the butchers on duty – clean, even pressed and dare I say it, stylish. Missing were the soda shop jerk paper hats worn where I grew up in Ohio, replaced with clean fedoras – touch of class!
The only unfortunate thing about my visit was that I was on my way out of town instead of back to the rental, otherwise I would have stocked up the spot. But, like MacArthur, I shall return.
Some other random photos taken today in Wincanton, Wells and Cheddar (of cheese fame):
Don’t forget your canes to get in….
And so, to sum up, it was a great day and a very pheasant time was had by all…<g>