From cheese-making to cider brewing, Somerset has always been a natural destination for foodies, but it continues to gather pace with exciting pop-ups, new gastronomic businesses and markets that champion and take pride in local, seasonal and organic food. We’ve rounded up our top 10 foodie experiences to navigate the myriad of marvellous choices and can promise that you won’t leave this lovely county feeling hungry.
Escape from the city at The Ethicurean, Wrington
10 miles outside of Bristol, The Ethicurean situated in a traditional Victorian-walled garden provides a serene escape from the city. Their fresh fare is innovative, taking the huge array of home-grown vegetables and herbaceous borders and coming up with creations such as pan roasted Romanesco, ewe’s curd, cardamom labneh & spiced almonds and portobello and shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower and miso puree, parsnip crisps & sage. www.theethicurean.com
/ Photo credit: Jason Ingram
Sup Somerset cider at Wilkins Cider Farm, Mudgley
If you’re looking for serious Somerset cider, look no further. Roger Wilkins has spent his life producing award winning traditional cider and Somerset cheese 7 days a week from his working farm in Mudgley. He suggests a frill free visit to the farm for a taster, pick up some fresh eggs, try their unpasteurised cheddar or stilton and sup a spot of cider before a walk across Westhay Moor on the Somerset Levels. If you’re not lucky enough to be passing through, give him a bell on 01934 712385 for a delivery. www.wilkinscider.com / Photo credit: Jason Bryant Photography
Find a cure at Somerset Charcuterie, Wrington
Somerset Charcuterie was conceived in a very West Country way, over a pint of cider at a local lawn-mower race… Owners Andy and James combine traditional Italian and Spanish methods with West Country inspired flavours (think cider or Somerset blue) for the finest handmade British charcuterie. If you’re feeling inspired, enrol on their popular one day course to learn the tricks of the trade. www.somersetcharcuterie.com
Try bread as it’s meant to be At the Chapel, Bruton
Baker Tom Hitchmough and his team work through the night so that Bruton residents and At the Chapel guests awake to the sweet smells of fresh bread and pastries by 7am every morning. For bread as it’s meant to be, pick up a raisin and walnut loaf or a spelt ciabatta (long fermented for a top flavour and rich crust). Or book into the restaurant and tuck into wood-fired pizzas or carefully crafted seasonal mains such as Portland crab linguini or Wiltshire wood pigeon.
Live music and fresh food at The Sheppey Inn, Glastonbury
Food and music are taken
very seriously here. With its stripped walls, David Hockney prints, relaxed retro
furniture, bright bi-fold doors and even a spot of taxidermy, The Sheppey Inn
is perfect for something a bit different. Order a local ale and try spiced Sweetcorn fritters, cornbread,
shallot puree, basil salad and basil oil or a duo of Octopus (crispy and fried) Samphire, Chorizo, Clams with Sherry and Tomato glaze.
Timeless treats at The Talbot Inn, Mells
At this stylish 15th century inn, take your pick from a fine supper in the smart dining room (perhaps Goat cheese terrine, blood orange jelly, heritage carrots, hazelnut & honey oil or Bowerchalke veal liver parfait, vinegar jelly, apple, beets & toast), simple fare in the Coach House Grill Room with steaks and pulled pork baps or take part at their Kitchen Table Cookery School for one and two day courses on staple techniques such as bread and pastry making.
A “Pilgrimage for Foodies” The Queens Arms, Cordon Denham
A self-confessed “pilgrimage for Foodies,” The Queens Arms, tucked down many-a country lane, is a well-loved little treasure in these parts with a sumptuous array of local, seasonal and organic British cuisine. Feast on Corton Denham lamb, sink into deep sofas in front of the fire and make a weekend of it in one of the indulgent bedrooms upstairs. Far from stuffy, children and well-behaved dogs are both welcome.
Experience Bread, Bed & Breakfast at Park Farmhouse, nr. Taunton
‘Artisan Baker’ says the
sign on the lane… you’re in for a treat here. Buy bread and pastries on
Saturdays, learn how to bake them on Sundays, tuck into Friday pizza, enjoy the
most delicious croissants (all French butter and flour) for breakfast. Frank
and Carolyn like you to feel part of the family. Read more about their story here.
You won’t miss the meat at Acorn Vegetarian Restaurant, Bath
Dating back to 1622, one of the oldest buildings in Bath also houses one of the city’s best restaurants. Forget the standard vegetarian option (mushroom risotto anyone?), the chefs at Acorn strive to create innovative, ever changing, ever organic menus. Try Carrot & Cashew Paté to start, 3 Types of Winter Squash pureed, fondant and pickled with homewood’s ewe ricotta gnudi, hazelnut and cavelo nero and finish off with Salted Chocolate Tart with peanut butter sorbet. www.acornvegetariankitchen.co.uk
For ‘true’ cheddar cheese visit Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, Cheddar
Although cheddar no longer has to be made within 30 miles of Wells Cathedral for its namesake, as the only cheesemakers left in Cheddar, The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company (quite rightly) have strong feelings about how a truly authentic cheddar is made and invite visitors to watch the various stages of getting it chutney-ready in the viewing gallery. Have a taster at their taste bar before getting inspired for all things cheese in their shop. www.cheddargorgecheeseco.co.uk
You’ll sleep well after all that! Find somewhere special to slumber with our handpicked places in Somerset.