Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Somerset
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Somerset restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 160 restaurants in Somerset and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Somerset restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Somerset Restaurants
1. The Bath Priory British, Modern restaurant in Bath Weston Rd - BA1
“Wonderful food is amply delivered” at this posh country house hotel, riding high after the arrival of Michael Nizzero in January 2017, and where “a tour of the (“fab”) grounds by the head gardener following a meal makes for a perfect celebration and reason to return”; casual sister restaurant The Pantry is also worth a look.
2. The Castle Bow Restaurant British, Modern restaurant in Taunton Castle Bow - TA1
“A great local restaurant in every way” – this highly regarded dining room (“decorated in Art Deco style”) is situated under an old archway in the centre of the town, and scores very creditable grades all round, including for Liam Finnegan’s fine cooking from a “lovely menu with lots of local ingredients”, and also for its “very professional service”.
3. The Olive Tree, Queensberry Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Bath Russell St - BA1
Chris Cleghorn’s “very classy and well-composed” cuisine maintains this well-known basement dining room as the town’s most accoladed foodie hotspot (it’s the only restaurant in town with a Michelin star) and he offers a variety of menus (with vegan and vegetarian options) focused in the evenings on tasting menu formats, although – unusually – they allow you to pick out individual dishes from them if you don’t want ‘the full monty’ and to pay per plate. The dining room itself is well-appointed and pleasant, but the constraints of this basement space are griped about even in the most favourable of reports (“tables close together…”, “room is a bit spartan for food of this quality…”).
4. The Scallop Shell Fish & seafood restaurant in Bath 22 Monmouth Place - BA1
“Beautiful fresh fish cooked to perfection every time” hits the seafood sweet spot at this modern update of the traditional fish-and-chip restaurant, set across two floors in the town centre. The visual pun of a fresh fish display in an old Victorian bath dominates the dining room.
6. Colonna & Smalls Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Bath 6 Chapel Row - BA1
“Caffeine for connoisseurs served by enthusiastic baristas” – this Queen’s Square coffee shop from three-times UK barista champion Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood is a must for the aficionado. “Best coffee in Bath and so cool!”
7. The Pig, Hunstrete House British, Modern restaurant in Pensford Hunstrete - BS39
“Such a lovely setting” (a Grade II-listed shabby-chic hotel) and a “wonderful surrounding area” – the Chew Valley, just south of Brizzle – are hard to beat, but fans claim that there’s “food and service to match” at this venture, boasting a “true provenance of all-local ingredients” (much sourced from the “beautiful kitchen garden”). “Hope the extension of the chain doesn’t result in a loss of focus” (it’s now seven-strong and counting).
8. The Langford British, Modern restaurant in Lower Swell Langford Fivehead - TA3
Olly & Rebecca Jackson’s “beautiful old mansion”, in a “secluded location”, and with “log fires in winter and aperitifs in the garden come summer”; the kitchen delivers “excellent simple cooking of a high standard” and the whole experience “makes you feel like a house guest in a medieval manor” (which you effectively are).
9. Menu Gordon Jones British, Modern restaurant in Bath 2 Wellsway - BA2
“Gordon Jones is expert in the flavours he can coax out of sometimes-modest ingredients” and his ‘surprise’, no-choice tasting menu of “well-coordinated and beautifully presented” dishes makes his “small but sweet” venue (in a somewhat “ordinary location”, just outside the town centre) into “a foodie’s temple of joy!”. “Quirky but worth a detour”.
10. The Ethicurean British, Traditional restaurant in Wrington Barley Wood Walled Garden, Long Lane - BS40
Brothers Matthew and Iain Pennington’s hyper-ethical outfit near Bristol doesn’t generate masses of feedback but its devotees say it’s “nothing short of spectacular” – serving veg-dominated, ‘gut-friendly’ food that creates “an excellent and interesting meal that’s distinctive and local”. “From the moment you stroll through the Victorian walled garden to the restaurant, you’re treated to a full sensory experience”.
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