• Emma Oliver

The best places to eat and drink in Somerset

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

As the owners of Quantock Cottages on the edge of the gorgeous Quantock Hills AONB, we thought we were in a great position to write a detailed blog on the best places to eat and drink in Somerset. Not only do we have years of experience in recommending places to our wonderful guests, but being locals ourselves we have of course sampled much of the amazing food and drink that Somerset has to offer. We know how much great food and drink adds to the experience of being on holiday, so here’s our guide. We’ve broken it down into handy sections to help you when you next visit the area or for when you are planning a Somerset holiday.

1. Farm shops

We absolutely love a good farm shop and so do our guests when they stay in our luxury self-catering cottages, it’s so nice for them to cook a special meal with fresh produce from the local area. Our absolute favourites are Pynes of Somerset in Bridgewater and Rumwell Farm Shop in Wellington. Pynes of Somerset is a butcher selling a wide range of high quality meat including a whole hog roast, perfect if you’re planning a big family self-catering holiday in Somerset and you have something special to celebrate. They have a deli as well were they sell things like specialty cheeses and pork pies. You’ll also find their website really helpful, they have some great recipes, ideal if you’re stuck for ideas on what to cook on your holiday.

Rumwell Farm Shop has a deli, a bakery and a butchers and they have a lovely café where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch or even a nice hot or cold drink. Also if you like shopping for seasonal produce, they feature their monthly ‘seasonal hero’ on their website too which goes into detail on all the benefits of the ingredient.

2. Pubs, including Sunday carvery

The Hood Arms has to be at the very top of our pub list for us. It is literally at the bottom of the lane from our luxury, dog friendly cottages and not only are we frequent visitors but our returning guests are too. This historic 17th Century coaching inn is very dog friendly and it serves real ales, fantastic food and has a pretty beer garden. If you choose to eat out for dinner here we highly recommend their beer battered fish and hand cut triple cooked chips, it’s so yummy and comes with minted crushed peas and homemade tartare sauce.

The Babbling Brook is just a 12 minute drive away from our cottages and we can honestly say that if you are looking for somewhere special to enjoy a Sunday lunch then this place, in our opinion does the best carvery in the world. Their kitchen prides itself on making almost everything from scratch and their award winning carvery is very reasonably priced. Also if you’re on a self-catering holiday in the local area and fancy a cosy Sunday in then they offer a take away Sunday lunch, how perfect does that sound?

If there’s good weather when you visit Somerset, then The Carew Arms in Crowcombe has a great outside area where you can enjoy views over open countryside. They have an outdoor pizza oven and BBQ and not only do they welcome dogs, but horses too! You’ll honestly be spoilt for choice for food and drink here. They offer a lovely seasonal lunch and dinner menu including a Sunday roast and they proudly use local produce.

Are you a pie and a pint type of person? If so then you will love The Plough Inn in Holford which is a 16th Century inn. This is a great place to stop for a drink and a bite to eat if you’ve been out walking on the Quantock Hills. It is dog friendly, has a lovely welcoming atmosphere and serves great pub food at reasonable prices.

If your top priority is sampling some delicious Somerset beers then the Quantock Brewery in Wellington is a must visit. We recommend their Quantock Ale which is full bodied and malty or their Plastered Pheasant which has smooth toffee and coffee flavors.

3. Restaurants

For a very special restaurant meal we have to mention Reeves Restaurant located in Dunster. Their award winning, fine dining restaurant offers really gorgeous food, there’s far too many stand out dishes to list here, but we recommend the crispy southern style chicken served with celeriac, carrot and fennel coleslaw from their lunch menu. It comes with fries and a Jack Daniels sauce, which complements the meal perfectly. The restaurant itself feels so inviting, with lovely warm lighting (It looks so pretty and festive at Christmas with twinkly lights). It also has a beautiful garden which looks fabulous in the summer. If you would like to know more about a day out in the quaint medieval village of Dunster then you can read more about it in another one of our blogs, where we list our top 5 dog friendly things to do in Somerset.

Combe House Hotel & Restaurant is located in the Quantock Hills and serves really beautiful food. Here you can expect delicious homemade food with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. You will find it hard to choose between booking lunch, afternoon tea or dinner here. For dinner we have to mention their slow braised shin of beef and their comforting warm vanilla and cinnamon poached pears with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream for dessert, yum. They also do a lovely Sunday lunch where you can choose between two or three courses and they have some great local ciders too.

4. Cafes

For really yummy cream tea in Somerset we highly recommend visiting the Chantry Tea Gardens in Kilve. The tea room and gardens are delightful and you will find lovely homemade food here from sandwiches to scotch eggs and ice cream and their tea and coffee is great too.

If you are planning on visiting the Great Wood at Over Stowey (which is great for walking or cycling) then you will want to stop at The Foxy Bean Café. It’s a really quirky little place with lovely food and hot and cold drinks and we really recommend trying some of their yummy cakes to go with your coffee.

Chives Café is another little gem in Somerset. It’s located in Watchet and has a great atmosphere and really good food and drinks. They offer breakfast, lunches and afternoon teas and you need to try their delicious bagels or panini’s.

5. Best places for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free food and drink

If you’re visiting Somerset for the day or if you are currently planning a Somerset holiday we understand that researching where to eat will be near the top of the list if you have a dietary requirement, intolerance or allergy. Which is why we had to finish this off by rounding up the best places that offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten free food and drink in Somerset.

The café at Rumwell Farm Shop has some fantastic vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options from light bites to mains (which includes a vegan roast dinner) and sandwiches, and we must say that their vegan chocolate cheesecake with a biscuit base and chocolate and coconut milk topping sounds really delicious. You can find their individual menus listed on their website here.

The Mango Tree in Taunton really deserves a mention as it’s a vegan and vegetarian restaurant with lots of gluten free options. They have so many comforting options to choose from including lightly battered cauliflower wings cooked in a garlic and chilli sauce, tofu Tikka Masala and the Mango Tree Pie which is their version of a shepherd’s pie with lentils.

The Babbling Brook pub offers gluten free and vegan friendly options at their Sunday carvery, Chives Café and The Foxy Bean Café cater for vegans, vegetarians and those who are gluten free and the Chantry Tea Gardens has some vegan options as well.

We hope you found our guide useful. There’s so many wonderful places to eat and drink in Somerset that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, if you are planning to stay in one of our three luxurious and truly dog friendly holiday cottages and are wanting specific recommendations perhaps for a romantic meal or to celebrate a special occasion, we are more than happy to advise our guests.

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