With Somerset’s legacy of fresh, abundant local ingredients, it’s no surprise the county is home to national and world-famous produce. Somerset’s culinary offering is readily available across the county, with farm shops and delicatessens stocking a plethora of fresh and artisan local food and drink.
Somerset’s butchery offering doesn’t disappoint, offering a superb range of locally reared meat, poultry and game. Meanwhile, dairy herds grazing in the county’s rich pastures produce the creamy milk perfect for cheese making - including the county’s signature cheddar cheeses, named after the Somerset village it was founded in. Somerset is one of the biggest cider counties in the UK and this much-loved drink can be found in many variations throughout the county. With so much on offer, it’s not hard to find somewhere to sample authentic Somerset flavours.
Somerset’s rich soil and gentle climate are ideal for cider-making. We drink more cider in the UK than anywhere else in the world and it is good to see the orchards returning to Somerset after many disappeared during a dip in the drink’s popularity a few decades ago.
The first recorded mention of cider presses as a source of income here is in 1230 in a Royal Charter granted to the Bishop of Bath even though we know the Romans grew apples in Britain. Today we have a refreshing mix of farms that have been making cider for generations and new young businesses; large concerns selling internationally and tiny orchards using community presses.
There is something special about sampling a product where it is made. Myrtle Farm, at the foot of the Mendips, is where the Thatcher family has been making cider for more than 100 years and is a perfect day out. Torre Cider at Washford has a tea room and orchard walks. (164)
Going together like strawberries and cream are cider and Cheddar. Where better to sample it than in its birthplace? The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is the only producer of Cheddar left in the village. Its cheese, maturing in Gough’s Cave, is a memorable sight. Having mentioned strawberries, we should say that at one time Cheddar Valley strawberries were famous and even had their own train on The Strawberry Line. It is still possible to find them locally and well worth the effort. Recently added to Somerset menus are Porlock Bay oysters, Exmoor Caviar, Newton House Gin from Yeovil and farmed trout.
Its not just food and drink either with many famous other brands orginating fro our glorious county such as the global brand Mulberry and the internationally renound Somerset Toiletry Company that has flourished into an International business with toiletries sold in over 50 countries. Renowned for bath, body and home fragrance products that vary from richly classical to wonderfully innovative, its just another reason to enjoy more of what our glorious county has to offer.
The Masons Arms Pub
A chocolate box thatched pub with an outstanding reputation for food and service in a quiet village close to Yeovil. With en suite rooms, Shepherds hut, luxurious cottage, campsite and microbrewery on site as well as a pretty beer garden and wood fired pizza oven it has just about something for everyone!
Mm, mm, mm! We are very lucky to have so many amazing local producers in Somerset.
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