Go Green For Charity With Us


We’re giving you the chance to dispose of your old Christmas cards for charity this month (January, 2016).

We’ll recycle diners’ festive cards for free from now until January 31 in aid of the Woodland Trust.

Marks and Spencer runs the Christmas Card Recycling Scheme and we’re providing a rural drop off point during restaurant opening hours for those that can’t make it into Taunton to the nearest store. All the cards we collect will be passed on to the company to recycle as part of its scheme.

We like to do our bit for the environment here and we’re really pleased to be supporting the Woodland Trust by getting involved with the initiative.

For every 1,000 Christmas cards collected for recycling, Marks and Spencer has pledged to plant one tree with the Woodland Trust. This year the Trust hopes to collect more than 10 million cards, which equates to the planting of 10,000 trees.

The Woodland Trust is dedicated to protecting ancient, and creating new, woodland across the UK.

You can drop off your old cards for recycling with us during normal restaurant opening hours from today onwards.

For further details, please give us a call on 01278 662629.

Clouds of Sheep Wool to Help Ewe Hear Better


From now onwards when you come and dine with us you will be able to eat and hear the conversation of the other members of your party thanks to the latest in wool technology.

So if, like one couple I spoke to recently, you haven’t been back to have your dinner with us for five years because the ambient noise had put you off, please book in again and enjoy our new acoustics!

We’ve installed fluffy wool clouds on our ceiling to help absorb the sounds in the restaurant so you can chat without too much background noise.

Some people thought we were baaarmy but we are delighted with our acoustic baffles. We knew we had to do something as we’d had a lot of customer comments about the noise on our feedback forms.

These days I don’t notice the acoustics, whereas before I was very aware that some customers found it too noisy, now they no longer have to raise their voices in order to be heard by members of their own party or the waiting staff.

Initially we trialled them for the makers, the Woolly Shepherd from Milverton near Taunton, and in fact we were the very first restaurant in the country to have their acoustic clouds – so we’re trailblazers! They have been so good for the ambience of the restaurant that we have decided to install them permanently.

Woolly Shepherd purchases lower grade fleeces and coloured wools, mostly from smallholders, and converts them into a range of felts designed to maximise the acoustic properties of the wool.

The company’s Managing Director, Tim Simmons, who runs the business with his wife and fellow director, Marty, says: “Our fluffy clouds are hung from the ceilings of restaurants like Clavelshay and they allow diners to hear each other clearly, even if they are sat next to a very jolly group or one that might just be super chatty.”

The wool boards in the shape of clouds absorb the sound twice, once from below and then again as it bounces off the ceiling.

Tim adds: “Natural wool has better sound acoustic properties than man-made foam, which is usually used for these types of baffles, particularly at the frequencies of the human voice. The sustainability of this product is a big plus too especially for restaurants like Clavelshay, which is very keen on sustainability.”

Come and try the clouds out yourself if you haven’t been for a while and also find out why we won our Taste of the West Gold Award this year for our delicious food and top-notch service.

Don’t forget we’re open in the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday with dinner served from 7pm – and remember Wednesday is fast becoming the new Thursday as a perfect night for a meal out. We also serve Sunday lunches from 12noon until 2pm.

You can book the restaurant for private parties, intimate country weddings and charity and corporate events too.

Stargazing in Somerset



Date: Wednesday 20th May Time: 7pm for 7.30pm Price: £20 per person

Includes a 2-course supper  (perhaps stargazy pie or pie in the sky) followed by a brief talk and then outside to watch the stars under the expert guidance  of astronomer Roger O’ Brien

Are you fascinated by the night sky and wish you knew more about it?  Now is your chance to learn from an experienced astronomer.

We are lucky here on the Quantocks to have very little light pollution so that we can usually see the stars clearly.

On May 20th, with sunset around 21.00 we can expect to see:

• The Moon will be rather low in the west and a dramatic thin new crescent.  Above it, Venus, which will be visible before sunset and very bright after itAbove that and to the left (south) will be Jupiter and all four big moons should be on show. • Above that and to the left (south) will be Jupiter and all four big moons should be on show.Right round in the south east is Saturn. If we can see it, Saturn is beautiful. The rings are quite well placed and Titan might be visible as a starlike dot. • Right round in the south east is Saturn. If we can see it, Saturn is beautiful. The rings are quite well placed and Titan might be visible as a starlike dot.

Fingers crossed for a clear night – can’t wait!

Bookings essential – please contact Sue on 01278 662629.

Please bring warm clothing, and binoculars or telescopes if you have them.


Bushcraft Workshop



Date: Tuesday 26th May 2015 Time: 10.30am – 4pm Price per person: £85


Join Bushcraft Instructor, Greg Power for a day of bushcraft activities that will focus on the four areas of shelter, fire, water and foraging in the grounds of Clavelshay Barn.

During the workshop you will:

• Have a full and comprehensive safety brief • Learn safe cutting techniques • Learn various techniques for lighting a fire • Learn which plants and trees aid you in creating fire by friction • Learn about shelters • Learn how to prepare wild water for safe consumption • Learn how to prepare fish or game ready for lunch • Understand the law and learn the lore that surrounds our countryside • Learn about the edible plants that are available and how you can prepare them safely ready to eat • Learn about nature’s medicine cabinet and how it can help treat injuries • Understand the history behind the plants and trees • Have a final question and answer session to recap on your newly acquired skills

Here is a tiny taster of the course content. Greg has the answers for you.

• What is a crampball? • Why does a hammock need a wick • What tree must you never, ever, ever camp under • What is the most practical water purifying technique?

This bushcraft workshop has been designed to spark your interest in the glorious British countryside. It will give a taster in to how you can explore it further and do so comfortably. All the necessary tools and materials will be provided, however if you would like to bring a camera or notepad please do so. There are no pre-requisite skills required for this course; however comfortable walking boots and appropriate clothing for the weather are a must.

Lashings of tea and coffee and a bushcraft lunch of game or fish, cooked over an open fire are included in the workshop. Please advise of any special dietary needs when booking.

A kit list, nutritional/medical needs form and directions will be provided once the course is booked.


Greg Power has been teaching bushcraft for well over ten years. Greg grew up in a small Somerset village and has been fascinated with the British countryside ever since he can remember. Time in the British Army allowed him to see many different countries and this simply confirmed his belief that our country holds the best wild areas in the world with a huge catalogue of flora and fauna to delve into. Greg also does wood-turning using British hard woods and creates beautiful crafted items including bowls, boards and salad hands available on www.handmadeinblighty.com