2014 Favourite Moments

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Looking back on 2014, there were lots of high points and few low points.

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The year started badly with incessant rain in December and January meaning that there was widespread flooding in Somerset, mainly on the Somerset Levels, which were under water for months. Some of our customers and friends had to abandon their homes and some have not yet returned to them. It was a heart breaking time for many families and a time they will wish never to repeat.

After that slow start to the year, it soon moved on apace.

WORKSHOPS

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Popular workshops were held throughout the year – one of the most popular being cheese making with Sarah & Chris of The Shebbear Cheese Co. Always a pleasure to have them here and fun as well. Neil White is an amazing photographer and his workshops in Food Photography are always in demand. An enjoyable printmaking workshop with artist Jackie Curtis was also held this year.

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A new workshop this year was Wild Foraging with Greg Power – a fantastic day learning a huge amount about edible plants and medicinal plants.

MUSIC

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Music is important at Clavelshay and an Irish Night with Diaspora proved a great night and one which we hope to repeat this year. More good times followed with favourites Bare Bones Trio and the ever popular Cleverly Everly – Everly Brothers tribute who always make the old beams rock!

A new band in the summer saw French gypsy jazz band Petits Annonces bring a Parisienne bistro feel to the barn. Fantastique!

WEDDINGS

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Weddings play an important part in our business, and the first of the season was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. A relaxed couple, beautiful weather, an informal festival atmosphere – complete with pie & mash - a joy to behold and be a part of.

"Love Is All You Need" … Simple really!

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There were some lovely weddings, some small, some large – we love them all! A first for Clavelshay this year was a wedding with high wire artist topping up glasses of champagne whilst hanging upside down from a rope!

One of our favourites was Esther & Brian’s. They have been coming to the restaurant since they met and think of it as their special place. Brian proposed here and they had their very special wedding reception here in September.

RESTAURANT

2014 saw big changes with us saying goodbye to Head Chef Guy Horley who had been with us for 5 years and who had been a good friend to us at Clavelshay and we wish him well in his new job.

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We then welcomed head chef Phil Verden into the Clavelshay family and he has been a revelation, bringing his own exciting style to country food. His reputation goes before him and we are seeing new customers all the time who want to try his food. Phil wowed everyone with his first Tasting Menu – seven courses of perfection! Hope to do more of those in 2015.

CHARITY

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We held a charity event in April – a Pop Up Restaurant with guest chef Sam Moody from the Bath Priory. This was organised by Steve Ashworth and we raised just over £1000 for Children's Hospice South. West. We also raised £500 for CHSW by making jams and chutneys and selling them in the restaurant.

AWARDS

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At last, we have won a Taste of the West Gold Award – after years of winning Silver –am delighted to achieve recognition for our commitment to local produce.

We also won in 2014:

Green Business of the Year –Sedgemoor Business Awards

Sustainable Restaurant Association – 3 star champion for 2nd year running

TripAdvisor – Certificate of Excellence for 4th year running

Finalist –Restaurant of the Year Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 4th year running

Highly Commended –South West Tourism Awards

We are delighted to win these awards and need to thank all those involved –all staff – for their hard work, support and friendship.

Lastly, thank you to all our loyal customers and friends – we can’t do it without you! Wishing you a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Upcoming Events

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Music Night – Best Kept Secret

Date: Thursday 24th April 2014 Time: 7.30pm Price: £17.50 includes 2 Courses

Booking is essential: Call Sue on 01278 662629 or email query@clavelshaybarn.co.uk

Four piece acoustic band playing popular music with style…

The fantastic local band Best Kept Secret is back at Clavelshay Barn this year, and will be playing a range of popular music from the 60′s to present day on Thursday 24th April 2014.

“A great example of the quality and versatility of our local talent” Somerset County Gazette

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Charity Pop Up Restaurant with Sam Moody

Date: Monday 28th April 2014 Time: 7.30pm Price per person: £45

We are delighted to be hosting a Charity Pop Up Restaurant in collaboration with Steve Ashworth, organiser of the Taunton Food Festival, on Monday 28th April at 7.30pm. Guest Chef – Sam Moody, Executive Chef from The Bath Priory. In 2012, Sam was awarded with a Michelin star for his hard work and talent, and has created a reputation for exciting flavours, fine quality food and the delivery of a culinary experience that will delight time and time again.

*All profits to Children’s Hospice South West*

Call Sue on 01278 662629 to find out more

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Food Photography Workshop

Date: Saturday 17th May 2014 Time: 10.30am – 4pm Price per person: £85

Booking is essential: Call Sue on 01278 662629 or email query@clavelshaybarn.co.uk

This brilliant workshop with extremely talented local photographer Neil White is for anyone who has a keen interest in food photography. It may interest food bloggers, B&B owners and restaurant owners who would like to be able to create stronger images for their websites/printed literature themselves.

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Dawn Chorus Walk & Breakfast

Date: Monday 26th May 2014 Time: 5.00am – 7.00am (plus breakfast) Price: £15 includes full English breakfast

Booking is essential – call Sue on 01278 662629 or email query@clavelshaybarn.co.uk

The wonders of the dawn chorus…

It’s an early start but definitely worth it! Join our bird expert on a walk around the farm to enjoy the wonders of the dawn chorus as the sun starts to rise on Monday 26th May 2014. The dawn chorus is triggered by a combination of longer days and the breeding season, culminating in this wonderful display of birdsong! Booming bitterns, delightful Cetti’s warblers and melodic nightingales are just a few sounds to enjoy. Followed by a hearty full English breakfast, this will be one of the most memorable morning experiences you will have.