Dining Out in Taunton, Somerset
Prezzo, Taunton, Taunton
Prezzo restaurants are of particular appeal to those who like genuine Italian cuisine, and they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials. The freshly baked breads, like the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crab cakes served with garlic mayonnaise or grilled goat's cheese with plum tomatoes and caramelised onions on foccacia bread with a balsamic glaze set the tone for a hearty meal. Best fun is to order an antipasto platter to share made up from seven well loved Italian nibbles. Find pastas such as the unusual penne con salmone, with oak-roasted salmon, broccoli and fresh chillies in a red pesto and cream sauce, or firm favourites like spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, and fusilli al pesto, asparagus spears with field mushrooms and roasted peppers in a basil pesto sauce. Amongst the special pastas, the pollo mariano, seasoned chicken, pepperoni sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce, is interesting and different.
Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like tiger prawns with petits pois in a creamy saffron sauce. Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with yellowfin tuna, tomato, white anchovies, capers, red onion, mozzarella and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, prosciutto ham, artichoke, field mushrooms, capers, marinated olives, mozzarella and tomato. Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, char-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto ham and plum tomato slices, baked with their blend of cheese, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens. You can accompany the food with a variety of tipples, though for many, Italian food requires Italian wines to be enjoyed to the full, ranging from house wine through Morellino di Scansano and Prosecco to liqueurs and beer, and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal, in company with a glass of grappa or sambuca. This is Italian food at its attractive best, convincing and bringing together the traditional with the modern twist or two against a background of excellent value.
25 Fore Street, Taunton, Somerset. TA1 1JW.
Tel. 01823 339233
Stables Restaurant, Hestercombe Gardens, Taunton
Entry is FREE to enjoy the Stables Restaurant and Coffee Shop, The Gardens Shop and Plant Centre and the Lutyens Gallery.
Delicious food including snacks and cakes are available all day (10 to 5) and mouthwatering lunch menu available from 12 to 2.30p.m. The new look Coffee Shop with its comfortable red leather settees and rustic coffee tables is a great place to meet friends and enjoy the new range of coffees.
The 'to die for' cakes and savouries are all made by our lovely Liz in the Hestercombe kitchens whilst Head Chef, Martin and his team, cook up a storm - baguettes, salads, soups and innovative hearty lunches and light snacks -using the best local and seasonal ingredients.
Stables Restaurant, Hestercombe Gardens, Hestercombe House, Hestercombe, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset. TA2 8LG.
Tel. 01823 413923
The Anchor Inn, Taunton
The Anchor Inn is situated in the village of Hillfarrance, just 4 miles from Taunton and Wellington and less than 10 minutes from the M5. The Anchor Inn sits peacefully in the middle of the countryside. Ten minutes from West Somerset Railway, Taunton Crematorium, Sheppy's Cider and Norton Marine Camp.
Such a tranquil location, within excellent proximity to the nearby towns and motorway links, makes the Anchor a popular destination for good food, good drink and good company.
The Anchor Inn prides themselves on their high quality, homecooked food and the warm welcome they bestow on all their customers. There is a large bar and lounge bar, along with a restaurant for you to enjoy during your visit.
The Anchor Inn, Hillfarrance, Taunton, Somerset. TA4 1AW
Tel. 01823 461334
The Blue Ball Inn, Taunton
There are few pubs these days that don't offer lunch and dinner but how many really go the extra yard? At the Blue Ball Inn they pride themselves in providing an unhurried and attentive but unobtrusive dining experience using the finest, locally sourced ingredients from farmers, growers and merchants who care as much about the quality and welfare of their produce as they do.
Beneath the A-frame wooden ceilings of the converted 18th-century thatched barn at the foot of Quantock Hills you'll find a welcome as warm as the bar's three fires and below this a kitchen team that has earned the Inn an enviable reputation as one of Somerset's finest.
Food-wise, the Blue Ball falls under the banner "pub fare with a twist" (they're not scared of pies, grills and puddings... or lamb rumps, game and lobster!) and delight in adding a pinch of flair and a dash of imagination to dishes. They have some of England's best produce right on their doorstep with a truly unfair share of culinary riches just crying out to be showcased and being, as they are, in the business of serving the very best how could they refuse?
As well as a multi award winning restaurant, the location, which some say the word "tranquil" was invented for, makes them an ideal base from which to explore the picturesque Quantock Hills. The Blue Ball also boasts exceptional accommodation; a self contained family cottage and two double rooms which are available for bed and breakfast overnight stays or long breaks, a beautiful garden for alfresco dining during the summer months and even their own bridge - the views from which are stunning.
The Blue Ball Inn, Triscombe, Taunton, Somerset. TA4 3HE.
Tel. 01984 618242
The Castle Hotel Restaurant, Taunton
The Castle has a worldwide reputation for the warmth of its hospitality, the luxurious comfort of its accommodation and the excellence of its popular, trend-setting brasserie restaurant, BRAZZ@The Castle, surely the finest of restaurants in Taunton.
In addition to the Good Food Guide, laurels in the Good Hotel Guide, Tatler and Hardens Restaurant Guides all testify to the excellence of its hospitality.
BRAZZ is a trend-setting restaurant brasserie, the domain of Head Chef, Jamie Raftery, son of the Irish poet, John Malachy Raftery. Jamie now carries the torch for the Castle’s reputation for outstanding English food inspired by the produce of the region. BRAZZ has an infectious buzz about it, everyone having far too much to say whilst enjoying their food; this is where the issues of the day are often debated!
It’s worth noting that it was The Castle Hotel that launched the celebrity careers of chefs Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery.
There’s also the lovely Castle Bow, a luxuriously appointed yet stylish lounge bar that’s quiet and intimate and where a delicious snack is always available.
The Castle Hotel Restaurant, Castle Lodge, Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1NF 01823 272671
Tel. 01823 272671
Willow Tree Restaurant, Taunton
The award winning Willow Tree Restaurant was established in 2002 by ex Roux Brothers head chef Darren Sherlock and wife Rita Rambellas. Set in a 17th Century Grade II listed building in the County town of Taunton, it is now well established as one of Somerset's best restaurants, using only the finest ingredients the region has to offer. The restaurant not only benefits from its town centre location with its major transport links, it is also in close proximity to the beautiful surrounding Quantock, Blackdown and Brendon Hills as well as Exmoor National Park and many other West Country attractions.
The Willow Tree makes as much use of West Country produce as possible and continually strives to maintain the high standards that have won them many accolades over the years. In 2003, The Willow Tree entered the Which? Good Food Guide with a very respectable score of 6 which has been maintained to this day. The same year they were awarded their second AA Rosette which again, they still retain. In 2004, Remy Martin, in association with The Harden's Guide, awarded The Willow Tree a prestigious 'Remy' - an award given to only ten restaurants in the UK each year. And in 2010, the Good Food Guide named The Willow Tree as one of its 'Top Ten Romantic Places to eat in the UK'.
The accolades are not simply for their food and they are very proud to have been awarded the maximum 5 Stars by Taunton Deane Borough Council in the 'Scores on the Doors' Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
The Willow Tree's charming waterside terrace is a hidden gem and a green oasis from the bustling town centre. A great place for pre-dinner drinks and even al-fresco dining on warmer evenings. This intimate restaurant, set over two floors lends itself to both fine dining special occasions and spur of the moment, informal evenings out. Great food, attentive but unintrusive service in relaxed surroundings all make for an excellent dining experience.
The Willow Tree, 3 Tower Lane, Taunton, Somerset. TA1 4AR.
Tel. 01823 352835
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: