May 30, 2014 6:40 pm

Five of the best – gastropubs and restaurants in Somerset

Fine west country fare, from poached and roasted guinea fowl to hog’s pudding and crackling
At the Chapel gastropub

At the Chapel

The Talbot

Weekends at The Talbot see meat cooked on an open fire and served at long communal tables. Forty-two-day aged steaks come from Robin Pitkin at Parsonage Farm in Farley, fish comes daily from Brixham. Desserts include buttermilk pudding with gooseberry or Pimm’s and summer-berry jelly. Wash it all down with the house beer, and you’ll want to waddle upstairs to one of the bedrooms for a snooze.

Selwood Street, Mells, Somerset BA11 3PN; 01373 812254; talbotinn.com

Tarr Farm Inn

Nestled in the wilds of Exmoor, Tarr Farm is popular with hunters, fishermen and walkers. The kitchen will cook anything you shoot or catch but if you return empty-handed, you won’t go hungry – the menu has meat from Heal’s farm, lobsters from Lynmouth and Exmoor lamb. Try the plate of pig: slow-cooked belly, a herb-crusted loin, hog’s pudding and crackling, served with pork mash and a wholegrain velouté.

Tarr Steps Farm, Dulverton, Exmoor National Park TA22 9PY; 01643 851 507; tarrfarm.co.uk

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IN Five of the Best

At the Chapel

At the heart of this converted chapel sits a wood-fired oven that the chefs use to make pizzas during the day. Then, at the end of the evening, the baker makes bread and croissants for breakfast. As well as eight bedrooms, there are film nights in the club room. The bar garden grows celery and horseradish for Bloody Mary’s; mint, borage and cucumber for Pimm’s.

High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0AE; 01749 814 070; atthechapel.co.uk

The Archangel

Poached and roasted guinea fowl served with confit wing and Savoy cabbage gives the contemporary pub flavour here, though there are robust traditional choices too, such as roast pork and black pudding. Head chef Luke Richards’ background in pastry sees peanut butter parfait with a banana and marzipan fritter on the menu. On the first Sunday of every month, Frome town centre hosts local producers and the Archangel plays live music.

1 King Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BH; 01373 456111; archangelfrome.com

The Lord Poulett Arms

In the tiny village of Hinton St George, this beautifully restored pub serves Somerset rarebit, watercress salad and piccalilli, or tandoori-dusted hake with kedgeree fritters and cauliflower. The “supper club” menu offers simple dishes such as mussels in cider or a bowl of chilli for under £10 between 5pm and 7pm, as well as happy hour drinks.

High Street, Hinton St George, Somerset TA17 8SE; 01460 73149; lordpoulettarms.com

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Andrew Webb is author of ‘Food Britannia’ (Random House)

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