Food and drink you need to try when visiting Somerset
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We might be best known for our delicious cider and tasty Cheddar cheese yet Somerset offers plenty more when it comes to food and drink. With help from our readers we pick the food and drink you need to try when taking a trip to county
Gin gliders at The Queen Arms, Corton Denham
The extensive drinks menu at The Queen Arms has something to tempt the most discerning of drinkers especially those that enjoy a gin (or three). The gin gliders are perfect for those who fancy trying a few different drinks; the three gins are served tasting style with garnish and Fever Tree tonic.
Before Noon tea, Lion Rock Tea Rooms
Winning Best Tea/Coffee Shop at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards in 2017, the Lion Rock Tea Rooms serve an extensive menu of indulgent cakes, doorstop sandwiches and delightful afternoon teas, among many other delicious choices too. We have it on high authority that the Before Noon Tea, a breakfast-style afternoon tea, is a successful addition to the menu.
Whortleberry is the West Country name for the wild blueberries found across Exmoor and Dartmoor (known as bilberries in the Midlands). The berries make a sweet, flavoursome jam – a tasty spread to jazz up your morning slice of toast or with scones and clotted cream. Have a look at this recipe from Fast, Cheap and Good here.
Wilkins Farmhouse Scrumpy
“Proper Somerset cider” can be expected at Roger Wilkins cider farm in Mudgley, near Wedmore. Roger and his family live and breathe their craft as the award-winning cider they produce is testament to. You can sample it there and then before taking a flagon home to enjoy.
Full English, The Pig near Bath
A popular haunt for celebrities and bloggers alike, The Pig near Bath is a stunning manor house with 29 bedrooms boasting cosy, enviable interiors. With a commitment to sourcing their food locally - most produce is grown and reared on site - you can be certain of a carefully crafted menu. Their hearty full English is the perfect way to start the day.
1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, Barber’s
Making cheese is in the DNA at Barber’s – they’ve been doing it for six generations. Their signature cheese, the 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar, is matured for 24 months to reach its full potential which gives the cheese a slightly crunchy texture with a distinctly smooth and creamy flavour. Best served with crackers and red onion chutney!
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Try more Somerset food and drink...
Somerset apple cake
Served warm with ice cream or dusted with icing sugar alongside a morning coffee dusted with icing sugar, the Somerset apple cake is a versatile sweet treat that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. As a county which bears an abundance of the tempting fruit, it makes sense to bake one of these cakes when its star ingredient is not being made into cider. Click here to see Mary Berry’s recipe for ‘The very best apple dessert cake.’
Scotch eggs, Pyne’s of Somerset
Pyne’s of Somerset is a family-run master butchers that added to its long list of accolades late last year when it scooped the Best Independent Retailer of the Year at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2017. Expect only the best in locally reared and sourced produce and a tempting counter of homemade treats. We can recommend the truly moreish Scotch eggs.
Family Reserve, Thatchers Cider
You may be familiar with Thatchers Cider, the world famous cider makers responsible for Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Katy and Thatchers Green Goblin. Oh, and responsible for plenty of hungover heads too! The Family Reserve is special: the classic Cuvee is a dry, sparkling apple wine which makes a great alternative to Prosecco or Champagne.
Greek style Yeo Valley yoghurt with honey
Starting life as smallholding in the 60s, Yeo Valley has now grown into the UK’s leading organic dairy brand with milk, yoghurt, ice cream and more being sold in supermarkets up and down the country. We particularly love the thick and creamy Greek style yoghurt with honey spooned on fruit for breakfast – yum!
The Bath Bun
Also...the Sally Lunn Bun
Baked to a secret recipe, the Sally Lunn Bun is a generously sized brioche bun that’s best served toasted with butter. Delicious with either sweet or savoury accompaniments, sample yours with a cup of tea at the wonderful historic Sally Lunn’s Eating House.
Some of the finest Pacific oysters are being grown in England – Porlock Bay to be exact. Harvested for the first time in 100 years in 2016, a community-led project hopes that the humble Porlock Oyster will once again become the sought after delicacy it once was.
Pass Vale Farm has been making cider for at least 150 years and Julian Temperley has been making it for 40. They have some of the largest orchards in the west, growing more than 40 varieties of vintage cider apples. An important part of the business is Somerset Cider Brandy, some of which they age for 20 years. The Shipwreck Somerset Cider Brandy is a sophisticated, oaky number which is best enjoyed after dinner.
Hullabaloos Lemonade is simply made of filtered water, fresh lemons, a small amount of sugar and real fruit. There’s nothing artificial here and the result is a refreshing, tasty soft drink with five flavours to choose from. We’re partial to Elderflower!
Savoury Afternoon Tea at The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath
Perfect for those without a sweet tooth, the savoury afternoon tea at The Royal Crescent Hotel is a decadent way to while away a few hours in glorious surroundings. Expect tiers of delicate finger sandwiches, filled tarts, lamb koftas and salmon tartare with horse radish, dill and caviar. Don’t worry, there’ll also be the classic warm scones and clotted cream too.
Somerset cider chorizo, Somerset Charcuterie
Embracing traditional Italian and Spanish methods with the delicious local produce of the West Country, you can expect an extensive range of mouthwatering cured meats at the Somerset Charcuterie. Everything is packed full of flavour including the Somerset cider chorizo with smoked paprika and an infusion of sweet and sour with a gently spicy kick.
Caved Matured Cheddar, Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
For a cheddar cheese made in the traditional Somerset way, it has to be matured in the caves of Cheddar Gorge. Still hand-making cheddar in the village it was created, the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company have tweaked the recipe over the years to preserve its original characteristics and flavour, making it the perfect slice to have in a sandwich with pickle.