Plum Cottage Deans Court

Plum Cottage has been on my wish list 

Plum Cottage, within the Deans Court estate in Wimborne Minster. has been on my ‘places to stay’ wish list for many years. Deans Court has been on my Instagram radar for even longer. Some of you may already be familiar with Deans Court, as one of the venues to previously host the Dorset Brocante. My plans to stay at Plum Cottage was last time thwarted by Covid-19 lockdowns, so it didn’t take much persuasion when I was asked if I’d like to stay in Plum Cottage, for a week in January.  

It was a long drive, but the reward was worth it 

It was a long drive from Norfolk to Dorset, not aided by driving rain, heavy Friday afternoon traffic and a few detours. The reward was worth it though. Anticipation stared rising as a drove along Dorset’s winding country roads and through the pretty market town of Wimborne Mister. Amazingly, Deans Court is only a short walk from the centre of Wimborne. As the big, heavy gates opened and I drove down a track to Plum Cottage, I knew I was in for a treat. 

Plum and Apple Cottage have both had a Farrow and Ball Interior Makeover 

Plum Cottage and Apple Cottage are a pair of 18th Century worker’s cottages which have both had a recent Farrow and Ball colour consultancy and makeover. As an aside, Farrow and Ball’s head office is just outside of Wimborne. If anyone knows which colours would suit these Dorset cottages, it must be Farrow and Ball.  

Farrow and Ball, Preference Red – a bold but successful interior design statement 

As I opened the door and entered the kitchen, I was instantly delighted to see a dark, rich coloured red kitchen. It was incredible – the entire kitchen was red, a bold but successful design statement. I recognised the colour as Preference Red. It’s a colour I’m considering for my own glazed pantry. Moving through to the living room the colours changed to the lighter hues of Pigeon and School House White. Throughout, Plum Cottage is warm and cosy, with a log burner and blankets to hunker down with on chilly winter days. The views from the cottage window were equally as pleasing. I was greeted each morning with the sight of sheep, right outside my bedroom window. The setting is idyllic.  

Where’s my daughter?

Plum Cottage has a surprise treat in the garden. There is a shepherd’s hut, complete with a double bed and log burner. For Imogen, my 16-year daughter, this was a fabulous opportunity to experience a bit of freedom. Immie didn’t even make it to the front door of the cottage when we first arrived. She rushed to the shepherd’s hut and declared it hers for the duration. Needless to say, I cannot report back on the hut’s interior style – I didn’t make it past a knock at the door.

Plum Cottage, Deans Court, is a stone’s throw away from the heart of Wimborne Minster 

Although I was not blessed with nice weather during my stay, I can image throwing the doors open on a warm spring or summer day and listening to nothing but the sound of birds singing in the many surrounding trees. Or an occasional baa from sheep, which enjoyed grazing on the other side of the cottage fence. I would love to return and enjoy the beautiful setting in which this pretty worker’s cottage is situated. Whilst nestled in Plum Cottage, it was easy to forget that Wimborne Minster was only a stone’s throw away. Despite the rain, I strolled into Wimborne on most days and enjoyed a few evening champagne tipples in The Ten Bottles Wine Bar. If you do go to stay in Wimborne, I implore you to visit the delightful Tivoli theatre, a charming little 1930’s venue. I was fortunate enough to catch a live performance, but it also doubles up as a cinema too. 

Deans Court is a thriving business with a hive of activity.

Deans Court is the ancestral home of Ali and William Hanham. Since taking on Deans Court they have gradually developed a thriving business with a hive activity, including a wedding venue, several holiday cottages, a homewares store, and café. It was quite easy not to venture too far. Next time, I will explore the grounds and garden more. This time I only got as far as the walled garden. Even in January it was a joy to walk around the walled garden, admiring the serpentine brick wall, and imagining how the sleepy beds will soon burst into colour. 

Did someone say Parsnip cake? 

I must confess I visited the café most days. Using fresh, chemical free produce from the walled garden as well as offering gluten free and dairy free options was just too much of a temptation. Worthy of a mention is the delicious parsnip cake. Yes, that is what I said – parsnip cake. It sounds very strange but has taken pole position as my favourite gluten and dairy free cake. Ali has kindly passed on the parsnip cake recipe which I have tweaked a little. Here is my own version of the Deans Court cafe parsnip cake.

I was content with a daily wander into Wimborne

Due to the time of year, I was in favour of mostly staying in and enjoying the warmth and comfort of Plim cottage. Content with a daily wander into Wimborne. If I return however, in a different season, there is a lot to do in surrounding area. Poole, Bruton, Salisbury, Frome and the Jurassic coastline are all within an easy drive. 

On a very wet day I took a trip to Cabbages and Roses

On a very wet day I took a trip out to Bruton to visit Cabbages and Roses. Bruton looked delightful but regrettably it was too wet to explore. I will be going back again on a drier day. I spotted The Newt in Somerset on my way so when I return, I will be booking an afternoon tea there too.  

If you would like to stay at Plum Cottage, Deans Court please click on this link. There is also Apple Cottage or The Gate House to stay in too. All of which are fabulous stays. I think you will enjoy my house tour of the Gate House.

Below are a few of the local Wimborne shops, cafes, and bars I experienced whilst staying at Plum Cottage: 

Deans Court Café – a must visit for handmade deliciousness, made with fresh local ingredients from the walled garden.  

Ten Bottles Wine Bar – nice for an evening tipple with tapas

The Wimborne Pig – wonderful ambience and food. You will need to book. 

Le Petit Prince Patisserie – artisan bakery and café – delicious 

Minster Greens – old fashioned style green grocers with fresh produce 

Tivoli Theatre – fabulous 1930’s theatre and cinema 

If you would like to read about more luxurious holiday cottage, click here.