A lovely review...

October2014 005

I have tasted nature before at Clavelshay Barn. The restaurant is situated on a working dairy farm on the Quantocks and no doubt in yesteryear the barn itself was used for livestock or storing produce.

That produce these days can make the same journey from nearby field or garden to plate within minutes and it shows. Chef Phil Verden has all these fresh ingredients singing to each other. This was not just a meal, it was a performance.

We chose a tasting menu of 7 courses, although it was difficult to turn down the slow roasted pork belly with pearl barley risotto and glazed apples that was available on the main menu. Next time.

I’m not often happy in terrine country but Phil’s ham hock and cider version along with nasturtium pesto was a superb combination of light textures and strong flavours. A delicate terrine? Yes, it’s possible.

Sea bass and scallop with butternut squash and sage butter arrived shortly (indeed the service and flow of this banquet was just right) and marine life joined porcine life in being expertly delivered. The squash beautifully moulded the powerful bass and succulent scallop.

Local partridge with wild mushrooms, mashed potatoes and madeira jus took us into the season of long, dark nights and open fires. These courses were beautifully presented and suitably slimmed down in size to give a full tasting experience that steered subtly to the next course, rather than impeding it.

The ensuing Somerset Brie and truffle waldorf would have been worthy of Versailles – it’s too rare that cheese is presented so well and also before the dessert course.

Cherry crème brulee was served kindly in miniature, the finale of toffee apple tart tatin with pumpkin ice cream was not. We took most of that home. Both desserts were remarkable, not least in that they were so natural, which as I said, seems to be the mantra at Clavelshay.

Giles Adams (What's On Somerset)

Chef Verden featured in Taunton Living Magazine


Our very own Chef Verden has been featured in this month's Taunton Living Magazine . You can find him in the 'Meet the Chefs' section which introduces us to fantastic local chefs who champion local produce and serve it up beautifully to you.

The Interview:

"I've spent most of my career in the best country house hotels and award winning pubs in the UK. Clavelshay Barn is set on a working dairy farm and serves modern local food with a country twist. Our ethos is to source from and support local suppliers and producers."

What do you like particularly about working at Clavelshay Barn?

I enjoy working at Clavelshay Barn as it isn't very often as a chef you have a farm right outside your window. This gives me scope to source animals, grow fruit and vegetables in our walled garden and forage for wild food in the woodland.

Which is your favourite season for the best produce and why?

Autumn has to be my favourite season, the nights are drawing in and the store cupboard is full of bounty from recent harvest of the veg garden. Cosy nights call for hearty tasty food, stews, casseroles, confit and slow braise are all favourites and lend their selves to this season.

What inspires you in the kitchen?

It sounds cheesy but nature inspires me in the kitchen, just a walk through the country or a visit to the veg garden to see what's growing. From a base ingredient I can start to build and create dishes, if it's in season it's going to be at its best.

Living The Dream - Sue featured on Lover Of Creating Flavours


Sue has been featured on the wonderful foodie website Lover Of Creating Flavours today...

Sue to give us an insight into why she chose to open a restaurant in such a difficult economic climate, about her day, about what drives her and gives her endless pleasures and heartaches in equal measure and she has very eloquently done so...

'People who are passionate about good food, often fantasise about one day owning and running their own restaurant.   It is, however, not always quite what they imagine it will be…

We started our restaurant , Clavelshay Barn, 8 years ago, converting a redundant stone barn beside our house into a country-style restaurant.  I had run a farmhouse Bed & Breakfast while our 3 children were growing up and used to provide evening meals for the guests.  Demand for the meals grew and this started a seed of thought.  I used to love cooking  and then chatting to the guests after their meal and when the children couldn’t find me, I was usually having a glass of wine with the guests.'

Sue also shares 2 delicious seasonal recipes - Rhubarb Brûlée & Wild Garlic Pesto.

Thank you Caroline and Anita-Clare for inviting Sue to share on you lovely website.

You can read the rest of the article here »

Featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine

Very excited!!! The beautiful wedding of Stephanie and Tom – the lovely couple from Bath who were married at Clavelshay in Spring 2013, has been featured in the latest issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine. London based photographer, Rachel Hudson, is the talented eye behind the lens and captured Stephanie and Tom’s memorable day so perfectly.


Sarah Featured In The Great British Food Magazine

Our lovely Cheese Making Workshop teacher, Sarah from The Shebbear Cheese Co, has been featured in this month's Great British Food Magazine. A huge congratulations Sarah! Very well deserved!

IMG_6399 Sarah along with a number of great British small producers and farmers, share about how they cope with Christmas, and the time, effort and energy involved in creating all the delicious food they produce for us to enjoy with our loved ones around the Christmas table.


We only have 2 more spots left on Sarah & Chris's 1st  Cheese Making Workshop for 2014 on Saturday  15th February. And spots are filling up quickly on their 2nd Cheese Making Workshop on Saturday 26th April. So if you love cheese, and want to learn how to make it, do come along!

You can find out more about the workshop here »

You can read all about our last Cheese Making Workshops with Sarah hereherehere.

If you stuck for Christmas Gift Ideas, why not give the gift of Good Food with your nearest and dearest by treating them to a gift voucher for one of the Cheese Making Workshops? We offer gift vouchers which will allow the recipient to choose a workshop that best suits their schedule.

To find out more and book your spot on one of the Cheese Making Workshops, call Sue on 01278 662629 or email query@clavelshaybarn.co.uk


Featured on Rock My Wedding

We're a bit behind in sharing all the photos from the fantastic events and weddings we have being having at Clavelshay. It's been a mad couple of months, full of memorable fun moments. lots of beautiful wedding details, great music and of course, delicious food. Over the coming weeks, we will be posting all the photos and sharing some of the funny, beautiful, crazy moments we have experienced this summer - stay tuned. 

In the meantime, we thought we would quickly share a recent feature of one of our stunning weddings at Clavelshay on the popular wedding blog, Rock My Wedding. The beautiful wedding of Stephanie and Tom - the lovely couple from Bath who were married at Clavelshay  in Spring....


Yes – that’s right…this wedding has horses. I can virtually hear the ooohs and awwws from here. I think Steph and Tom’s venue may be one of the most idyllic I’ve ever seen and luckily the British weather held out for their ceremony. Everything just looks so beautiful bathed in the Spring sunshine.

Steph and Tom seemed to keep the music pumping, the food coming and the drink flowing all day long – they even had a late-night campfire with marshmallow toasting. I know. AMAZING.

Steph the Bride: The perfect venue was at Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton near Taunton. Tom and I had spotted it online and thought it was worth a visit and were definitely not disappointed. We knew on the first visit that it would be perfect. Winding country roads, humming birds, sweeping hills, cows and quaint country houses , beautiful gardens … and a chance to make something truly our own. Sue who owns the venue was also a lovely and very genuine host who went above and beyond to help us create our special day.


You can read the whole feature on Rock My Wedding here »