Places to enjoy the best Somerset food and drink produce
PUBLISHED: 11:41 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 06 April 2018
The county is well-known for its gorgeous cheese and scrumptious cider but where should you go if you wish to sample and buy these or any of the other delicious food and drink made in Somerset?
A free-to-enter food festival which successfully arrived in Weston last April will be repeated on Saturday (April 7).
Eat: Weston showcases the best produce Somerset has to offer, from freshly-baked yummy cakes to farm-grown fruit and vegetables and Somerset’s famous cheese to locally-made beverages.
From from 9am-5pm suppliers will talk about how their produce is made and hand out free samples, plus there will be cooking demonstrations to watch too.
The event takes over The Italian Gardens in High Street and there will be another on September 22 and a Christmas one in December too.
THE RAILWAY INN
The best place to sample Somerset’s most famous brand, Thatchers Cider, is this pub next door to the company’s Sandford-based factory which is now also owned by them.
The Thatchers family have been turning the fruits of their fields into a range of modern and traditional ciders for more than 100 years and it is now exported across Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The pub prides itself on serving up locally-sourced food which the menus pair with the appropriate cider so it might be best to book a taxi home!
Cider, other beverages the company makes and merchandise can be purchased in a shop next to the factory.
CHEDDAR GORGE CHEESE COMPANY
The county’s most famous export is only made by this company now in the charming village from whence it takes its name.
For a nominal fee visitors can see the cheese being made at various stages and ask questions and then sample the wares for free at the cheese bar.
The full range of cheddars plus accompaniments can be bought in the on-site shop.
CHEDDAR SWEET KITCHEN
Five generations of the same family have been making confectionary the traditional way for more than 100 years in one of the county’s most popular tourist destinations.
The shop and factory opened in the early 1980s and following a resurgence in old-fashioned sweets decided to show the process of making them to the public.
More than 100,000 people every year watch the boiled sweets, toffee, fudge, peanut brittle, rainbow sherbet, rock and lollipops being made before buying the products in the shop.
The shop is now listed as one of the top 20 free tourist attractions in the UK.
LAVENDER & CO
The south slopes of the Mendip Hills in Axbridge provide the perfect growing conditions for nine types of English lavender which is harvested by hand during the summer months.
The oil is used to make hand creams, shampoo, bath products, sugar, fudge, jam and marmalade.
These are sold in its online shop, Wedmore Market, The Secret Garden Florist in Axbridge’s The Square, Brockley Stores and Clevedon Pier.
The field, with its café and shop, is also open to visitors at various events during the summer.
PUXTON FARM SHOP AND MEADOWS RESTAURANT
Based at Puxton Park tourist attraction, the shop sells the farm’s produce, including ice cream made from the milk produced by its dairy herd, as well as goods from suppliers within a 20-mile radius.
The shop stocks Gorwydd Caerphilly, made by Trethowan’s Dairy based at the farm, which also uses the farm’s milk.
The butchery, which sells traditionally-reared farm fresh meat, poultry and game is well-known in the area and has won awards for its quality and skilled staff.
The on-site restaurant cooks freshly-made meals all day using the farm’s and other locally-sourced produce.
BEN CROSSMAN’S PRIME FARMHOUSE CIDER
Weston’s own cider producer uses traditional methods at Mayfield Farm in Hewish to give us a drop of the good stuff!
The farm shop also sells its own-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, pickled beetroot, apple juice, eggs and cheese.
The best way to buy fresh and seasonal local food and drink is direct from the producers themselves who are on hand to answer all your questions from where it is grown to what to do with it.
Markets are held on the second Saturday morning of the month in Weston and Worle High Streets, the last Friday of the month in Burnham and the first Saturday in Axbridge.
Elsewhere in North Somerset, there are farmers’ markets in Portishead on the second Saturday of the month, Nailsea on the third Saturday and Clevedon on the fourth Saturday.
More than 1,000 products, most of them locally-produced, including Cheddar strawberries, cider from Nailsea, cheese from Hewish, bread baked in Yatton, meat reared in Somerset and beer brewed in Bristol are on offer at this farm shop on the A370 in North Somerset.
The staff also bake a variety of fresh products every day such as cakes, quiches, pasties and sandwiches.
PJ’S ICE CREAM PARLOUR
Awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 2017, as well as being voted number 1 Ice Cream Parlour in Weston and Somerset for the past three years, the seafront eatery is a must-visit for lovers of the cold dairy treat.
Most of its products are supplied by Marshfield, an organic dairy farm just outside Bath and the imaginative sundae creations include every member of the Smurf family, road-kill, bone idol, eggs fried mice and the traditional seaside favourite fish ‘n’ chips!
They also have a vegan and dairy-free range.