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.
We have a couple of spots left on our Photography Workshop tomorrow, so don't miss out!
Our Photography Workshop is a unique one day workshop exclusively designed by Somerset based talented commercial photographer Justin Orwin. Suitable for anyone that has a DSLR digital camera -complete beginners through to serious amateurs, you will learn the skills required to capture professional quality photographs! To find out more click here »
Classic Clavelshay Cocktail Night
Date: Tuesday 23rd April
Time: Doors open at 7pm
Price: £20 per person
No one knows all the tricks better than renowned butcher, Marc-Frederic. The man described by the French as ‘Le Charcutier Anglais’.
Much of his work has been covered by the media where he has appeared on many a television & radio programmes, including Rick Stein’s Food Heroes series, BBC Countryfile, BBC Radio 4′s Food Programme and BBC Radio 4′s Farming Today, ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish 2009, the BBC Hairy Bikers “Mums know best!” (January 2010) and on Martha Stewart’s programme in America. He was a guest chef at the first Charcuterie Festival in London, September 2011. He has recently been on BBC's The Great British Food Revolution and has been featured in The Simple Things Magazine.
Marc’s skill with meat is such that he holds the rare distinction of being an Englishman registered as an artisan butcher and charcutier with the exacting Le Chambre de Metiers de la Charente. Marc will be hosting this hands-on workshop, and will be sharing his wealth of tips and tricks picked up both here and abroad.
On our one day Meat Curing & Smoking Workshop, you will learn how to salt and cure different meats using the simple and clever traditions of charcuterie. You will discover how to make meat go further, how to transform the thriftiest cuts of meat by using simple salting and curing techniques, and then turn them into stunning recipes. To find out more click here »
Date: Tuesday 7th May
Time: Doors open at 7pm/Dinner served at 7.30pm
Price per person: £25
We will be celebrating our love of all things local at our Somerset Supper on Tuesday 7th May with music, singing and dancing as well as a hearty supper of traditonal Somerset dishes. Sue the owner of Clavelshay Barn, will be cooking up a Somerset storm in the kitchen and delighting us with a delicious farmhouse feast.
The food will be full of local taste, traditions, and the history of this wonderful region, and will be served family style, there will be a long table to share the feast around, plenty of conviviality, candles, live music from local folk band, Andrew’s Half Sister and Somerset beer for a totally homespun, heart-warming, belly-filling evening. To find out more click here »
Cheese Making Workshop
Date: Tuesday 14th May
Time: 10.30am – 4pm
Price per person: £65
If you love cheese, then come and learn how to make it!
Join us for a day of fun at our Cheese Making Workshop on Tuesday 14th May 2013 where you will be learning the art of making your own semi-soft and feta type handmade cheese using traditional methods. This hands-on workshop is hosted by Sarah & Chris Styles-Power from The Shebbear Cheese Co in Devon. Sarah will be guiding you through the cheesemaking process, you will learn the use of cultures, rennets, draining, molding, salting and aging your cheese using everyday kitchen equipment. To find out more click here »
Date: Wednesday 15th May
Time: Doors Open at 7pm
Price per person: TBA
Come and join us for a fantastic night of live music on Wednesday 15th May. The lineup features our very own Rosie J Bailey (video above) and a number of local bands that will be announced soon. To find out more call Sue on 01278 662629 or email email@example.com
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.
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