showcasing the best of the south west

The Country Calling Panel: Favourite Restaurant

Pictured above: The Swan at Wedmore is one of Steven Lamb's favourite places to eat

Pearl Lowe, singer, fashion designer loves  At the Chapel in Bruton, Somerset

"Cathy & Ahmed are the perfect hosts, always keeping you updated with the local gossip! Don't forget to check out their freshly baked delights from their on site bakery. Their gluten free croissants are like nothing I have ever tasted before."






Steven Lamb, River Cottage brand director loves The Ethicurean, North Somerset and The Swan at Wedmore   

"The Ethicurean is a wonderful place. It is a kitchen garden restaurant that has a unique location, strong ethos and a brilliant team that makes visiting there one of the great dining pleasures in the South West. It’s the sort of cool establishment you want to keep secret but they are too good to keep it quiet."

"I also love the Swan in Wedmore. The focus on great seasonal and local food means the menu is always changing and lively. It has an amazing interior that is designed but not overbearing. There is a dining area, bar, snug, function room, garden and six fantastic en suite rooms. All of these spaces seem to make the outstanding food and drink taste better. Everything compliments the desire to please the customer whether they are having morning coffee, a snack or three course dinner."




Sophy Roberts, freelance writer and Financial Times columnist on travel and culture, loves The Crab House Cafe, the Watch House Cafe and Hix Oyster and Chop House.

 "The Crab House Café on The Fleet between Weymouth and Portland Bill is deliciously unpretentious and my favourite restaurant of all within a 45-minute drive of my home in West Dorset. Giant crabs are served with hammers, buckets and bibs, while the décor consists of hot pink tasselled umbrellas and rickety wooden tables. I avoid summer weekends when it gets busy, coming instead for a mid-week lunch here with my husband. If the kids are in tow, I like Watch House Caféwhich sits on West Bay’s shingle beach. Opened earlier this year, this is the new sister restaurant to the AA Gill-beloved Hive Café on nearby Burton Bradstock (much bigger, and a little bit too much of scrum for my liking when the tourists descend in July and August). For something posh and special: Hix Oyster and Fish HouseOrder the oysters with some white Spanish Rioja or a shot or two of local Black Cow Vodka."

(pic credit: Ken Kochey)




Roger Saul, founder of luxury designer retail outlet, Kilver Court Designer Village, Somerset loves Sharpham Pantry in Somerset.

"Having recently broken my ankle being a little too exuberant on the tennis court I now can't drive. So cheekily I submit this  month's offering as my very own Sharpham Pantry here at Kilver Court Designer Outlet village. Now you must take all I say next with a pinch of salt (actually no don't - we try not to add any salt!) I opened Sharpham Pantry as a pop-up restaurant last November called Stage 1 and we created it entirely from British film set props provided by my great friends Dres'd who have the contract to break down Universal Studios film sets. We have the most amazing props which include a whole train carriage from a recent Russian epic and all sorts of memorabilia from an even more famous blockbuster - by now you will have realised I can't actually tell you the name of these films as IP rights forbid.

So having set the scene, what is the food all about? It is all in the name - Sharpham - which is my organic farm half an hour away where we grow spelt. The main dishes on the menu are spelt flatbreads - produced like an old fashioned leaven flatbread, they are today's healthier version of a pizza, covered with toppings from caramelised red onion marmalade, Capricorn goat's cheese to chorizo, rich tomato sauce, fresh herbs and harissa followed by a spelt crumble.  Should be apple and blackberry at this time of year but could be rhubarb, raspberry and banana or whatever the season sends us. All our salad and veg come from our own organic raised beds. A meal for 2 will come out at under £25 and do wash it down with a delicious glass of Norcotts local cider. Next time I promise I will get out and about!"


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