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)

Small Business Networking Lunch


If you are small business owner in the South West, don't miss out on our relaxed and informal Small Business Networking Lunch this Thursday 21st February at 12pm.

The relaxed lunch starts with a delicious light lunch of locally sourced and produced ingredients, followed by a talk by Giles Adams managing editor of What's On Somerset, advertising guru and lover of all things Somerset.

As a small business owner, building a strong customer or client base is your top priority, and rightly so. You can’t stay afloat without money coming in, after all. But what about your business contacts? These might not be as high up on your list of priorities, but it would be foolish to neglect these relationships. The process of gathering together with like-minded local business owners, often referred to as networking, is key to helping your business to survive in the long term.

So why is networking so important? How can it help your business? Well, here are a few of the biggest benefits:

Learn from experienced business leaders Lots of people are more than happy to share their advice on how to run a successful business. This is especially interesting for new business owners, but even if you’ve run businesses before, getting advice from other people is always useful. You can also find out about local business services, such as.

Make connections Having connections is always helpful and is the best way to open up opportunities for new business. Networking can help you win contracts and presents you with many opportunities to meet potential business partners, investors and freelance workers.

Establish your name in an area It’s no secret that word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Getting a good reputation in your local area is a great way to provide a stable base for most small businesses, although of course this benefit varies depending on the nature of your work.

Hope you can join us!


Date: Thursday 21st February Time: 12 - 3pm Price: £20 per person

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