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11th May is a poignant date for Somerset as it marks the day Alfred the Great called together all the people of Somerset to raise arms against the Viking invasion. Now it's used as an opportunity for local people, businesses and communities to come together again to celebrate and share everything that the great Somerset has to offer from cheese, cider and Glastonbury Festival.
Although May 11th is the official day, the celebrations take place on the second Saturday in May.
- Somerset is the home of cheddar cheese, being named after Cheddar Gorge where cheese is still matured in the caves today.
- Cheddar Gorge is the site on which the oldest complete human skeleton was found.
- The county is known as the cider capital of the UK due to its large number of apple orchards and has the largest number of registered farmhouse cider makers in England.
- It is said that tenpin bowling comes from the game Somerset Skittles.
If you can manage to get tickets Glastonbury Festival is one of the most famous festivals in the world dating back to 1970 where it started as a small music celebration of 1,500 people. Now it attracts over 200,000 music lovers and is one of the largest music festivals in the world.
Picturesque villages and beautiful cities such as Bath, green open spaces and Jurassic coastlines, Somerset has some of the most beautiful scenery the UK has to offer and with many a heritage site to visit there is a lot of local history to be enjoyed.
We're toasting Somerset today with the Cyder Press.
Salvador Dalí's birthday
Few painters have created more iconic images and been more of an iconic image themselves than the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, born this day in 1904.
Dalí was a leader of the Surrealist movement but, being apolitical, as World War II approached he clashed with the group, and he was expelled during a trial in 1934.
In fact, Surrealism was just one phase in the life of this eccentric man, and he moved on to what is known as his classical period. Dalí's lovingly created works carry an incredible tenderness for the human condition. He left behind a monumental volume of work in a wide range of media, from oil paintings to sculpture, furniture, films, photography, ballet costumes, scenery and jewellery.
If only Dalí could join us for today's cocktail in his memory, a Moondream.
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