Take 5: gourmet getaways in Somerset

Five exceptional Trencherman’s venues where you can indulge in a delicious staycation in Somerset

The Castle Taunton, food

The Castle at Taunton, Castle Green

This smart hotel has retained its reputation as a stalwart of style in Taunton for decades. During that time it’s been home to numerous talented chefs and is currently under the stewardship of head chef Andrew Swann.

The hotel’s various gourmet offerings include the elegant Art‑Deco-style Castle Bow restaurant, the luxurious Penthouse (available for private dining) and the more casual Brazz – a buzzy restaurant kitted out in contemporary decor.

If you can, stay the night. The attractive bedrooms are supremely comfortable, and the hotel is situated right in the centre of town for easy exploration on foot.

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The Holcombe, near Radstock

Visit The Holcombe to experience the delights of a gourmet stay at one of the greenest restaurants with rooms in the county.

The 17th-century inn is surrounded by two acres of land on which chefs Alan and Caroline, with gardener Kirsty, grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers for hyper‑seasonal menus. Dishes are creative, beautifully presented and packed with flavour. Expect to encounter the likes of local Castlemead chicken with asparagus, baby gem and white onion velouté.

In summer, the covered Mediterranean-style garden with views over Downside Abbey is the best spot to enjoy Alan’s cooking and sample the homemade flavoured gins.

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The Cotley Inn, Chard

Spend an evening on The Cotley Inn’s lavender‑fringed terrace and you’ll get the pleasure of dining on delicious seasonal fare while also drinking in the views of the fields in which the produce was grown and reared.

The contemporary country inn is a Grade II‑listed former farmhouse which sits in the heart of the Cotley Estate in the Blackdown Hills. Being part of the estate provides head chef Dan Brown with an abundance of ultra-fresh produce, including veg from the kitchen garden, Ruby Red beef, rare-breed pork and chicken.

Since taking over the dining pub in 2018, Ben Porter and Maddie Beaumont have been steadily renovating the building – the latest addition being a quartet of country‑chic bedrooms. Book one so you can fully explore the wine list and wake up to the sound of birdsong and the cows in the field next door.

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The Lord Poulett Arms

The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton Saint George

When you imagine a gourmet getaway at a stylish rural pub in Somerset, chances are you’ll picture something very similar to this gorgeous thatched inn.

Six beautifully designed bedrooms above a honey‑coloured pub make the tiny village of Hinton Saint George a very desirable destination for city dwellers seeking peace and luxury. Each guestroom has been thoughtfully designed to complement the pub’s 17th-century origins and comes stocked with sumptuous Bramley bath products. Peaceful slumber is guaranteed thanks to Siberian goose‑down bedding, and the five‑star treatment continues with complimentary Bloody Marys and fizz at breakfast.

Head chef Philip Verden excels in giving classic British dishes the LPA treatment and favourites such as pork and bacon faggots with mash, cabbage and onion gravy are crafted from impeccable local ingredients.

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The Barrington Boar, Ilminster

Refined comfort food’ is how Alasdair Clifford describes his style of cooking at this contemporary country pub near Ilminster in Somerset. The chef, who previously worked at Chez Bruce and The Glasshouse, returned to his home county in 2018 to take over The Barrington Boar with his wife Victoria Collins.

The duo refreshed the pub’s interior and menu to create a stylish setting in which to feast with friends and family. Working closely with local farmers, foragers and cheesemongers, Alasdair crafts gratifying dishes that offer a taste of the local terroir.

The delights extend beyond the food as there are four contemporary bedrooms on‑site, making this a fantastic base from which to explore the east Somerset and Dorset countryside.

Take a virtual visit.

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june, 2024


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