At the weekend I had an excuse to go west and visit some very good friends who have chosen the good life away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Market Square Castle Cary
Market Square Castle Cary

This stylish couple have settled for a very stylish abode in rural Somerset. On route to their delightful home via the A303 I stopped in Castle Cary, a Fair Trade town, which lies on the edge of the rolling countryside halfway between the Mendip Hills and the Blackmore Vale.

Home Café Castle Cary
HOME Café Castle Cary

The HOME Café was my first stop. Here they served a delicious Crispy Duck Wrap and a scrummy Bakewell sponge cake followed.

Article Florist, Castle Cary
Article Florist, Castle Cary

Opposite the café I spied a florist and an art gallery housed in a beautiful old bank building. Here the large windows exhibited gorgeous bouquets of flowers and intriguing works of art.

Article Florist, Castle Cary
Article Florist, Castle Cary

One shop that I did make time to visit was The Shed located a few doors down from Home. The antiquities on display in their window caught my eye.

The Shed, Castle Cary
The Shed, Castle Cary

Inside there was a late summer room-set against a corrugated iron wall. It was a photograph opportunity waiting to happen.

Inside The Shed, Castle Cary
Inside The Shed, Castle Cary

A little further along the High Street at Number One was a very unusual butcher’s shop.

Rather than having a display of fresh meat in the window there was an array of colourful china, woven baskets, and delicate parasols.

Artisan butcher, Castle Cary
Artisan butcher, Castle Cary

Not far away was Needful Things Interiors. Here the team offer an unusual and eclectic range of ideas for the home.

The shop is also well known for its bespoke curtain and blind making service.

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