Built in golden stone with its ancient and elegant minster church, Ilminster is probably everybody's fantasy idea of what an English country town should be.
It seems to have everything: small independent shops - a butcher's, a greengrocer's (with a floristry section just like old fashioned greengrocers used to have) a bakery, a delicatessen, banks, pubs and clothing and interiors shops which are eccentric and so quirkily old fashioned as to be chic.
You'd be forgiven for imagining that not much cultural happens in Ilminster - however The Meeting House Arts Centre - run by volunteers with a nice mix of efficient professionalism and friendly community spirit- is a venue for a vast array of arty, musical and interesting events. The photo above doesn't do it justice. Inside it is stunningly light and pretty with lots to fascinate and catch the eye.
It was well worth the 70 mile round trip to sit in the gallery (ostensibly t do some wood engraving but not much got done!) and chat to a stream of interesting - not to say fascinating - local people.
If ever you are in deepest Somerset and the region of Crewkerne, Chard and
the A303 you could do worse than to stop off in this pretty little town. The Arts Centre has a pleasant and friendly café and apart from stunning art, there's a small shop in which to browse.