NEW management has taken over Allerford Post Office, Shop, and Tea Gardens and celebrated by inviting villagers to have tea and cake with them.

Emma and Connor Thrush have now opened the renovated premises, close to the West Somerset Rural Life Museum.

The couple were already well-known locally for running The Selworthy Pantry business, a short distance further along the A39.

Emma said: “We were overwhelmed with the kindness and support shown by local people.

“We are very excited to be running the rural Post Office and becoming the hub for the community.

“Our shelves are now stocked with fresh bakery bread, locally baked cakes and pies, plus our shelves are fully stocked with locally produced and staple goods.

Allerford Post and Shop which has been taken over by Emma and Connor Thrush.
Allerford Post and Shop which has been taken over by Emma and Connor Thrush. (Google Maps)

“We are also an information point for the Exmoor National Park and stock a variety of local walking maps.”

Emma said the Allerford business would also be a home for a full range of The Selworthy Pantry’s award-winning preserves.

She said: “We look forward to opening our tea gardens in spring, 2024, where we will continue to serve our award-winning cream teas and light lunches.”

The small family-run Selworthy Pantry has been based in the couple’s National Trust Holnicote Estate home in Selworthy.

Emma said: “Living on Exmoor all our lives, we moved to the village of Selworthy four years ago along with our two children Layla and Henry.

Inside the renovated Allerford Post Office and Shop.
Inside the renovated Allerford Post Office and Shop. (Connor and Emma Thrush)

“Surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful woodland, and an abundance of wildlife, we are pleased to say we do not plan on moving home again.”

The preserves business began with a batch of runner bean chutney using an old family recipe and an ‘abundance of home-grown runner beans'.

“Before we knew it, our pantry was full of delicious preserves,” said Emma.

“We then decided to create an honesty stall at the bottom of our drive to sell to local families along with visitors to the area.

“After around a year of very humbling feedback, we decided it was time to venture out selling our homemade goods.

“We established The Selworthy Pantry and we have been overwhelmed with the support and feedback we have had so far, and are looking forward to what the future holds for us.

“Everything is done in our cottage kitchen, and we only ever cook in small batches to ensure we keep the true authentic homemade taste.

“We do everything by hand, from stirring the pot to labelling each jar.”

The couple have also converted an old racehorse trailer into a mobile catering unit to help them to provide outside hospitality.

One of the first events Emma and Connor will be hosting in Allerford is their Carols by Starlight, led this year by the West Somerset Brass Band, which takes place in Allerford Village Hall and Recreation Ground on December 23.

They will have a snow machine on site and hot food will be served by Richard Little Family Butchers, while The Selworthy Pantry will offer festive hot drinks and hot soup.

Car parking is available on site and entry is £2 for adults, half-price for children older than five years, and free for the younger ones.