Restaurant Review: Clavelshay Barn
Food reviews do not usually start with the dessert course but the Apple & Blackberry Crumble at Clavelshay Barn near North Petherton struck a note as the blackberries were only picked from the local hedgerows during the afternoon.
That sums up Clavelshay really – the fresh nature of the local produce really does jump off the plate at you. The end of evening sweetness also included the offer from the waitress to walk us to the car under the shelter of her umbrella. This venue radiates charm, hospitality and a real love for food……and the customers that devour it.
Autumn brings curling up on the sofa with your favourite dishes for dark evenings (the food ones I mean) and Clavelshay Barn is a home from home in this regard. Ham Hock & Apple Rillette with Black Pudding & Paprika Tomato Chutney along with Lobster & Crab Salad started things off – again, fresh and light throughout and a true signature from the talented head chef, Guy Horley.
The four of us tested the mains thoroughly – Rib Eye Steak was perfect and with interesting accompaniment – white bean & fennel casserole with lemon and sage oils – this worked really well, a nice change from onions, chips and peas – and a better testament to the beast, the restaurant being alongside a working farm. Pumpkin Risotto and Trio of Pork came a close second to the evening winner, Pheasant Kiev – a range of tastes and textures on crushed swede with smokey bacon cabbage and Madeira jus. Tastes of the countryside – in the countryside.
There is an ongoing series of workshops at Clavelshay Barn including Cheese Making and Food Photography as well as a forthcoming Christmas Wreath Making Workshop. Events also run strong with wine tasting and music nights – the latter growing in prominence. An impromptu beautiful acoustic guitar performance from one of the waitresses, Camilla, easily beat my subsequent ramshackle thumping of Sue Milverton’s keyboard – Sue’s love of art and photography underpins the creative ambience here, alongside the stunning ongoing art draping the walls – currently and aptly, a high impact cow themed range by Jackie Spurrier @cowsoncanvas