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  1. On the Easter Bank Holiday weekend we met with my husband’s family at Pamphill Dairy in Wimborne so that we could enjoy some time together in the sunshine. At the farm there’s a wonderful large green with a play park for the children, a farm shop selling local produce, butchery, pet store and The Parlour Café which offers traditional breakfasts, light lunches, delicious cakes and cream teas.

    We have been before and the ice cream parlour is probably our favourite part of the visit as it’s made from award winning Avon Valley Milk and then produced at the farm by the chef. The flavours change a lot and some are quite unique. Between us we tried Nutella (definitely one of my faves), rhubarb, apple crumble and cherry ricotta. Each one was so rich and fresh tasting, definitely a real treat if you are an ice cream lover.

    Be Funky Pamphill Farm May 2022

    While the kids were happily playing I took myself off to find Bluebell Woods which I’d visited 6 years ago when my baby girl was tiny in my arms.

    If you visit purely for Bluebell Woods then there is a car park* in Pamphill and from there you head in the direction of St Stephen’s Church and take the left road which is Abbots Street (right will take you to Pamphill Dairy which is only a couple of minutes walk away).

    Not far down that road you will see a lane on the left which is known as All Fool’s Lane. It was at this point that I felt I was going in the right direction but wasn’t 100% sure so I kept following a lady and her dog until we got to a gate on the right. As she went to go through I politely asked if this was the right way to Bluebell Woods and she told me it was, phew.

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    There’s a space of land here with some saplings growing and then you should see another gate on the path in front of you which leads into the woods.

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    When I visited last there was a wide path which led around the bluebells but unfortunately with all good things the visitor numbers grew each year and sadly the bluebells suffered when they were trampled on by people or animals straying off the path. Because of this the National Trust placed a pretty fence around the bluebells and I followed the path a short way down until I found another gate back to the sapling trees.

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    It is a bit of a shame I could only see the bluebells from that one side but because I’d walked over at about 4pm it meant I was treated to the most beautiful late afternoon sunshine creeping through the trees and with the wonderful delicate scent it really was one of natures most glorious displays.

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    A plaque on a bench as you enter the woods say’s that some of the trees in this ancient woodland have been standing for over 300 years but they are now struggling with disease and stress. The winding path is helping to relieve the impact which will allow the trees and bluebells to recover and thrive for future generations.

    This isn’t the only place in Pamphill that you’ll see the bluebells though as there’s plenty of patches near the church and car park. If you want to see even more then you might also like a trip to Kingston Lacy where I’m told they are in full bloom in the woods there.

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    *Please note, parking charges may apply on Pamphill Green.

  2. Last weekend I attended a kids birthday party and they had yummy funfetti cake which is when you add sprinkles to the mix so it dots the sponge with bright colours.  

    I use the same recipe for my vanilla cupcakes every time and they always come out well.  I threw in about 2 capfuls of sprinkles and could see the colours but next time I’d probably do about 3 or 4 to make them brighter.

    Funfetti Easter Cupcakes 3

    INGREDIENTS:

    110g unsalted butter
    110g self raising flour
    110g caster sugar
    2 eggs beaten
    Splash of vanilla extract
    Dollop of Nutella (optional)
    Mini eggs/chocolate treats

    Funfetti Easter Cupcakes 1

    Buttercream:

    250g icing sugar
    80g unsalted butter
    25ml milk
    Splash of vanilla extract

    METHOD:

    Preheat fan oven to 170°C (adjust for conventional oven).

    Cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

    Add the eggs bit by bit alternating with a bit of flour to prevent it curdling.

    Add the remainder of the flour with the milk and vanilla and combine carefully to avoid knocking the air out.

    At the end stir in the sprinkles gently to avoid them breaking up.

    Place cupcakes cases in a muffin tin if you can as it helps the cakes hold their shape and bake in the oven for approx 18-20 mins and do the skewer test to ensure it comes out clean.  If not quite baked then just give them a couple more minutes until they are golden brown.

    Because it’s Easter I waited for them to cool down and then cut a little hole in the cupcake and added a small dollop of Nutella and then put the cake back on top so there would be a little surprise inside.

    Buttercream

    Beat the butter and then add the icing sugar with a small amount of milk.  I always have a film of icing sugar on the kitchen worktops when I make buttercream so I put a tea towel over the top of the mixer and couldn’t believe I’d never thought of doing this before now, no snow shower!

    Once it’s blended together, add the remainder of the milk and then whack the speed up to full and leave it for a good 5 minutes until it’s really white, light and fluffy.

    I have lots of professional food colourings for the buttercream but I wanted a gentle streak of colour to go with the funfetti colours inside the cake so I put the buttercream in the bag and then using a cocktail stick I slid the food colouring into the buttercream in different places so when we piped it out it had funky streaks.  Again, next time I’d do a few more colours to make it brighter.

    To finish we added some chocolate mini eggs to some and mini kit kat bunnies to others and they tasted soooo good, especially with the bite of Nutella inside.

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    Because we were visiting family we also made chocolate cornflake cakes with mini crème eggs on top and everything was demolished by sunset!

    Funfetti Easter Cupcakes 2

    A school mum had come to my aid last weekend when my car battery died and we had 2 parties to attend.  She drove us both to the parties and home to save us getting cabs so I put some of the cakes we'd made in a gift box and dropped them off to thank her for being so kind.  Fingers crossed her and the family enjoyed them all.

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    Happy Easter everyone!