On Friday 19 June, over 150 guests enjoyed Dorset’s finest produce at a thank you lunch at The Brace of Butchers in Poundbury, run for the Community Helpers who have helped to keep the Dorchester community going throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Award winning Brace of Butchers linked up with some of the region’s finest chefs including Sam Squire, Luke Vandore-Mackay, , Harriet Mansell , Steve Lamb and Dom Moldenhauer (below with barbecue) to develop a stunning menu using produce from local companies including The Watercress Company and The Wasabi Company, as well as prime meat and fresh fish supplied by the Brace.

Brace of Butchers Community Helpers’ Thank You Lunch Menu

Fillet Seabass en papillote

lemon, herbs & white wine

Marinated Harissa Chicken Shawarma

fresh mint, cucumber, garlic & yoghurt dressing


Chargrilled halloumi

Drizzled with parsley, capers, chilli flakes, lemon zest


    A bit on the side

Watercress, pea, dill, radish, fetta salad & ponzu dressing

Heritage tomato & basil salad

Hot buttered minted new potatoes

Chargrilled Flat breads

Wasabi mayonnaise

yuzu mayo



Elderflower & Strawberry Eaton Mess



As well as representatives from various community groups including Poundbury Community Coronavirus Help Group, The Storehouse, Dorchester Community Church, Dorchester Community Support Group, Blandford Peverell Community Group and Masks4 All, there were an additional 10 individuals who had been nominated to attend.  Over 30 nominees had been suggested by grateful beneficiaries via social media who were judged to have gone beyond the call of duty in helping others during lockdown.

Each group of guests was given a 20-minute time slot to enjoy their meal – socially distancing of course.

 Dorset Councillor, Dorchester Town Councillor for Dorchester West Ward and co-founder of the Dorchester Support Group, Les Fry summed up the feelings of the attendees: “I would like to say thank you to Tom and all his team who prepared and served the fantastic meal on Friday at The Brace of Butchers Barbeque.  This was the first time that some members of the team had met each other, as previous communications had been by email, whatsapp or in virtual meetings on Zoom.

“It was an excellent event that was well attended by the voluntary groups that had been supporting the community of Dorchester, and the wider area, during the recent weeks of lockdown. Everyone who attended was really grateful for the opportunity to experience a super meal and meet with friends.”

Tom Amery, MD of the Brace of Butchers and The Watercress Company added: “It was so lovely to be able to properly acknowledge these generous people and all their work.  They have helped to keep the elderly and vulnerable safe and healthy during the lockdown, in many cases putting their own safety at risk.  We just wanted to say thank you in the best way we could and providing a meal using the finest possible local produce seemed appropriate!”

During the day, The Worshipful the Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Richard Biggs paid a visit to the Brace of Butchers and the green outside where the guests were enjoying their lunch to personally thank some of the volunteers.   But perhaps the most ‘vocal’ thanks of the day came from Dorchester’s Award Winning Town Crier, Alistair Chisholm.  In fine voice he cried out his specially written ‘ode’ of thanks to the inspiring Community helpers.    


As the County town we’ve faced Covid 19

And responded with vigour to this enemy unseen.

As one, our community has pulled together,

Helped quite a bit by some fabulous weather!

You’ve cared for those who’ve faced this alone,

Getting shopping and meds and chatting on the phone.

Such care and concern, shown by both young and old,

We can’t wait for the stories yet to be told!

Today we salute you with fine food and fine chefs

The best from the Brace…without any efts!

Your example’s inspiring – you’ve done Dorchester proud,

You’re all very special and stand out from the crowd.


Alistair Chisholm, Town Crier of Dorchester, June 2020.

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