We like to explore each area of the West Country by getting under the skin of the people who live there, like-minded pioneers, passionate people who follow a similar ethos and encapsulate a little bit of where they live. You see it’s more than just the place where you lay your head for the night. We want you to fully immerse yourself in what the South West is all about, see the sights, hear the sounds and fall in love with the local way of life.
And so we introduce...
Panary in Dorset
The draw of Dorset has kept Australian Paul Merry happy to stay the past 17 years, ‘the landscape, the friendly people and its relative freedom from motorway fast lanes and big city stress’.
‘We are beside a millstream and its pond, a pretty and tranquil countryside location making it a charming place to work and teach. There’s an unpretentious quality of life, not just here but throughout the county, which makes you feel happy to be a part of the wider community. Not much has changed since I’ve known Dorset, which is a good thing with the modern speed of life.’
Panary is a teaching bakery, residing in Cann Mills flour mill that takes the best of Dorset grain and grinds it into flour for professionals and amateurs alike, using techniques as old as the surrounding green hills. Master craftsman Paul chose to settle his family in nearby Gillingham so only has a short trip each morning into the hilltop town of Shaftesbury, to teach at his bread school in the old-fashioned watermill.
‘The clocks tick at a slightly different speed in Dorset, the perfect pace to allow for fermentation and proper handling of dough. Artisanal baking has been in my life for over 40 years and I consider myself very lucky to live and work in Dorset, with a love for my craft as well as the countryside.’
Panary is set in Canns Mill, a traditional flour mill where Miller Michael Stoate runs Stoate and Sons. It's the perfect place for Paul to run his bread-making courses as you can purchase the flour to take home and practice what he's preached.
Find out what makes flour milled in Dorset better and why Paul is the master of Dorset dough on the Panary website.
Bake your own bread in a self catering kitchen when you stay in a Dorset holiday cottage.
All images by Mike Searle Photography