The Harlequin Caf

The Harlequin Caf


0.5 miles
The Great House, Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5NF
The Harlequin café is very much like its name: a colourful patchwork of lively and diverse qualities. The café, for starters, is set next to Kilver's beautiful rambling gardens, perfect for an after-lunch or dinner stroll. As we ate, others were chatting over coffee about plans to explore the Court, filling the room with a hubbub of voices.

Although we ate in summer, and light filled the rooms wonderfully through bright windows, I noted a huge cosy fireplace with evidence of past winter fires, which burned appealingly in my mind's eye. The interior is unpretentious and comforting; a glorious collage of distressed wood, characterful furnishings and unusual rustic accessories. The staff are friendly, helpful and full of character themselves - they saw to our every need but were never overbearing. The food itself is marvellous.

They love spelt here - that ancient grain originally favoured by wheat avoiders but now, thankfully, universally enjoyed by those fancying something a bit different - and they really know what to do with it. I tucked into a cold spelt salad as a side to my comforting warm red onion and Somerset Brie flan, and I've never eaten anything so wholesome or healthy tasting. The chef had mixed in some chopped olives, tomatoes and pine nuts, which gave the spelt a lovely fresh flavour, rather like pesto but without any heaviness. My partner chose a simple yet nourishing sandwich made with tangy Cheddar and complemented by a sweet and fruity relish called Pa's Pickle. As an indication of the fine yet honest quality we experienced, the side salad ( often a wilted accompaniment) was a vivid collection of colours, textures and flavours. This, for me, sums up the Harlequin café: decent, healthy, wholesome grub made fresh and fun.

A fter such a delicious and satisfying main course, we decided to share the dessert of the day, which was a rhubarb fool, creamy with a sour bite, served with still-oven-warm ginger and fruit biscuits. The flavours of the meal remained happily in our thoughts as we took a leisurely stroll through the humming gardens.
+2The Harlequin Caf
Open: OpenMon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm

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Mon, 07/23/2018 - 14:07 -- Administrator

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