Take a break from exploring the area’s beautiful beaches and countryside at one of these tip-top establishments…
Oakhill Inn, Oakhill
This gorgeous 18th-Century inn sits in a prime spot on the A367 in the stunning Mendip Hills, just five miles east of the historic city of Wells and 15 miles south of the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. Log fires keep patrons snug and warm in winter, while the stone-walled garden is a popular place for alfresco dining in the summer months. Head chef Neil Cresse and his team in the kitchen were awarded an AA rosette, so you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands when you dine here. The inn also boasts five rooms with four-star facilities for those in need of a comfortable and laid-back weekend away.
The Bath Arms at Longleat, Horningsham
If you’re planning a day out at family-favourite safari park, Longleat, be sure to make time to visit the Bath Arms. Set at the park’s gates within easy reach of Bath, Warminster, Salisbury and Stonehenge, this attractive coaching inn is ideal for both visitors to this magnificent estate and those just passing by. Quirky rather than quaint, this two-AA-rosette-awarded restaurant is informal, fun and friendly, and offers a menu of simple, beautifully cooked British food made using produce from the locale. The chance to enjoy a fine meal followed by seeing some of nature’s most stunning animals up close in the safari park is certainly one not to be missed, so start planning your visit.
Abbey Tea Rooms, Glastonbury
Enjoying a classic cream tea is one of life’s simple pleasures, and at the Abbey Tea Rooms in Glastonbury you can enjoy this quintessential English treat in pleasingly traditional surroundings. Yet that’s not all they offer here – far from it, in fact. Owner Mary Parker (who also runs the Abbey Café in Glastonbury Abbey ruins and the Dairy Tea Room at Glastonbury’s Rural Life Museum) is dedicated to promoting local food and drink producers and has created a varied menu that includes local meats, vegetables, dairy products, wine from local vineyards, apple juice from nearby orchards, and water from the Glastonbury spring.
The Bishop’s Table, Wells
The 800-year-old Bishop’s Palace in Wells is the stuff of fairytales. Boasting 14 acres of breathtaking gardens (not to mention the famous bell-ringing swans), this is the kind of place you could spend hours exploring. Good job, then, that The Bishop’s Table is ready and waiting to offer visitors well-earned refreshments. Homemade fare packed with fresh local produce is the name of the game here; drop by for a wholesome lunch, indulge in a cup of fresh coffee and a yummy slice of cake, or treat yourself to an afternoon tea before heading off for more adventures in the palace gardens.
Castle Bow Bar & Grill, Taunton
If the Castle Hotel’s walls could talk, they’d have many a story to tell; once part of a Norman fortress, this Grade I and II listed building has stood strong in Taunton town centre for centuries, and has been owned and run as a luxury hotel by the Chapman family for over 60 years. Many great chefs have cut their teeth here, including Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery. The recently opened Castle Bow Bar & Grill is set to uphold the culinary high standards diners have come to expect here, with a menu of refined modern British dishes showcasing the best in West Country produce.
Oates & Musson, Castle Cary
Local and sustainable are the buzzwords at this lovely little deli and café in the quaint town of Castle Cary. Owner Katie Lee-Pawsey is passionate about reducing food miles, and has well-stocked the deli with a plethora of locally sourced delights. After browsing the shelves (and no doubt making a purchase) take a seat and enjoy a cup of coffee (which one visitor described as ‘the best outside of London’) alongside a freshly prepared signature salad, pie, quiche or soup. They can cater for outside events too; many high-profile clients have engaged their services in the past.
Archangel in Frome is a heavenly spot for a romantic meal, post-work drink or weekend stay. Housed in a Grade II listed building with boutique decor, quirky touches and a pretty walled garden, this wow-worthy venue is immaculately styled throughout. The restaurant’s elegantly presented cuisine is more than a match for the chic decor – the menu features exceptional modern British dishes made using the best produce available from Somerset’s rich larder.
Just a few steps from Wells’ famous Gothic cathedral, you’ll find a patisserie, café and seafood restaurant rolled into one unique package. Offering a taste of the relaxed European lifestyle, Goodfellows is a flexible and accommodating place with an amiable ambience. Morning sees a range of pastries and Continental breakfasts snapped up by commuters; lunchtimes feature an eclectic clientele of workers, families and groups of friends stopping by for Goodfellows’ classic French country cooking; and seafood aficionados flock here in the evenings to enjoy fish caught locally and off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall.
Pink Garlic, Taunton
Those who venture away from the bustle of Taunton town centre and make the short walk to Pink Garlic will be well-rewarded indeed. Contemporary and comfortable, this stylishly decked-out restaurant serves some of the best Indian cuisine in the area. Here you’ll find classic favourites like kormas, baltis and vindaloos, as well as exciting new dishes dreamed up by the Pink Garlic chefs – not to mention slick and friendly service.
The George Inn, Norton St Phillip
On one of Somerset’s many scenic country roads sits The George Inn, a gorgeous Grade I listed, 700-year-old building that remains remarkably untouched and has kept its olde-worlde charm. This inviting inn doesn’t just look characterful on the outside – the dining room features cosy fireplaces, sloping ceilings, cosy furniture and traditional paintings galore. The menu reflects these classic surroundings, yet keeps things up to date with modern twists on favourite dishes.
Hadleys at Number One, Weston-super-Mare
After a stroll along the seafront or an afternoon spent having fun on the pier, you might be feeling peckish – luckily, Hadleys at Number One is only a few minutes away. Smartly decorated yet unpretentious, Hadleys is just the place for a romantic evening out, a catch-up with friends or a family supper. A mix of British classics and European delights feature on the breakfast, lunch and evening menus – or you can simply stop by to enjoy a coffee on the front terrace while watching the world go by.