Maybe there’s something in the water (aside from too many phosphates), but the past few years have seen a culinary explosion of destination cafes in Somerset. And I for one, am thrilled they timed their existence with our move to the area.
So if you’re looking for delicious mid-morning sustenance in lush surroundings, salvation for your hungover soul or the perfect place to catch up over excellent coffee, you can’t go wrong at one of these cafes in Somerset.
(I’ll be adding to this list as I nibble my way around the county, as I only like to write up and recommend places I’ve visited)
Best cafes in Somerset for brunch
Teals, South Cadbury
We stumbled upon Teals entirely by fortunate accident, on the way to a friend’s 40th birthday party in Berkshire. Having spotted the signs from A303, we nipped off the dual carriageway at the North/South Cadbury junction for a takeaway coffee and ended up leaving with steaks, a locally-distilled bottle of gin, some Nkuku candlesticks and a wholesome salad for me. And a coffee, which was excellent by the way.
Teals has nailed the long-journey stop-off AS WELL as being a great brunch destination for local folk. Despite its convenient proximity to the road, Teals is surrounded by countryside and flowers and blends happily into its backdrop. The beautifully curated building, all reclaimed timber, high ceilings, big beams, corrugated metal and glass, houses a bakery, deli, food market, gift shop and cafe. The latter has both inside seating and al fresco tables which perch next to the 100-year old cider orchard.
Food focuses heavily on West Country fare from small farmers and local producers and a neat little chart accompanying the menu states the food’s origins by mile. Full English breakfast sits alongside a Buddha Bowl, local yoghurt and pastries, while small and large lunch plates are designed for sampling and sharing. And if something particularly tantalises your tastebud, you’re in luck, as all of the meat and dairy on the menu is available to buy in-store.
Before hopping back in the car, take a stroll in the cider orchard, peer at the honey hives, let your pooch out in the ‘dog jog’ field and soak up the magical ley lines vibes (the line up to Westbury White Horse passes straight through the store).
A word of warning though, it’s hard to leave without spending a small fortune on gorgeous local produce…
Pips Railway Carriage, South Petherton
One of my favourite places to eat brunch (breakfast, lunch, dinner or sweet treats in fact) in Somerset, I regularly rave about this place to anyone who’ll listen. And I’m not alone, it’s so blooming good, especially if you’re eating out with young kids.
The quirky cafe is made up of a cosy 1850s railway carriage with themed compartments – choose from Botanical, Under the Sea, Orient Express and Circus. There’s also a double decker bus with seating under-canopy beside it, as well as on the vehicle itself (sure to blow a transport-loving toddler’s mind).
The emphasis here is on local, ethical and sustainable produce and the best way to graze is to grab a sharing selection of small plates. Breakfast involves veggie, vegan and Somerset-sourced full English, customisable avo on toast and cornbread sarnies. Lunch bedazzles with things like coconut crusted tofu, mac & cheese, ramen broth, allotment farm slaw and pint-sized burgers. You can also order other-worldly cakes and pastries from the bakery, housed in a shipping container onsite. Eat them at your table or take them home with you.
Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruit that are on the menu are grown nearby – some as little as a few metres away from your table!
If the weather’s good, opt for one of the picnic benches in the garden where you can sit and munch, while the kids play in the sand pit, buses and hilly dip. Those Somerset countryside views aren’t half bad either.
Best cafes in Somerset for brunch
Every time I visit this cafe, I’m taken on a lovely trip down memory lane as it’s right next to Merriot Church where we got married (although the cafe didn’t exist back in 2012).
Housed inside an atmospheric Grade II* listed building, the former ‘Sunday School’ has been sensitively renovated by its new owners. Big dark beams grace the ceiling, a chandelier dangles, big windows flood the place with light and bicycle regalia hints at the owners’ other passion.
It’s not just the pedalling paraphernalia that makes The Feed station incredibly popular with cyclists. Sustrans cycle route 30 runs through Merriott, right past the cafe’s front door, linking onto many other routes.
The owners too are keen cyclists who have created exactly what they themselves were looking for in bicycling life. An that is: the perfect café stop en-route, welcoming be-lycra-d beings with safe bike storage, great coffee, bacon rolls and somewhere to warm chilly limbs on a cold day. Owner Adrian even offers monthly guided rides for all levels and abilities, starting and finishing at The Feed Station.
But that doesn’t mean non-cyclists should shy away – far from it! The food is great and portion sizes are generous indeed – think huge slabs of cake, giant mounds of smashed avocado, a shoal-sized helping of prawns, doorstop sandwiches and a slap-up ‘Somerset breakfast’.
Keen walkers will rejoice that it’s dog-friendly and locals in search of brunch on a Monday or Tuesday will delight in the fact that The Feed Station is one of the rare few cafes in Somerset open every day of the week in this part of the county!
Come winter, a log burner makes it extra cosy, or there are outside tables and a little courtyard for warmer days.
Farm and Field Cafe, Frogmary Farm, South Petherton
Based on a working farm, surrounded by rolling green fields and their very own lake-filled grounds, Farm and Field Cafe is one of the hottest brunch spots around. You’ll definitely need a reservation if you want to sit down and eat here – go for the circular table bedecked by flowers for a special occasion, bag a snuggly spot next to the outdoor wood burner on a chilly day or soak up the sunshine outside under boho umbrellas.
Flowers are a theme here and grace the dishes as well as the decor thanks to their onsite florist, which sells homegrown as well as local blooms. A wildflower meadow can be found in the grounds and there are sunflower and pumpkin-picking events throughout the year.
The food flirts with the weird and wonderful – it was here I tasted my first ever chicken burger in a pretzel roll topped with peanut butter and ice cream! A real flavour kapow that doesn’t sound like it should work, but did. The menu changes regularly, but always features creative concoctions and fun themed food, such as marshmallow snowman-topped hot chocolate and Easter egg milkshake.
Coffee, cakes, nibbly bits, milkshakes and treats for your pup are available from the deli counter as takeaways, and during summer you can grab fresh juices, wraps and ice cream from a hut in the grounds, before mooching around the gardens.
The grounds also have a little play area for kids, an amphitheatre-esque hill and a milk vending machine, so bring your refill bottles and enjoy.
The Old Dairy Cafe and Farm Shop, Bower Hinton
After I waxed lyrical about my Somerset caffeine and cake discovery tour in an Instagram post, I asked for recommendations on where I should get my sleep-deprived chops around next and The Old Dairy Cafe in Bower Hinton was recommended many times by locals in the know.
A mere gander at their Instagram page told me it was definitely going to be up my strasse, and in real life it was more delightful than I could have imagined.
Set on a working farm, the Old Dairy Cafe is all the things I love about Somerset; local and homegrown produce fill the shelves, fields and sky fill window views and a tractor or two sit in the background beside rambling rustic buildings.
You can dine inside the cafe, or under cover with a blanket on picnic benches outside. The menu is made to order in an open kitchen, using local, sustainable ingredients, including fruit and vegetables grown on the farm.
Scrummy street-food inspired dishes sit alongside traditional offerings with a twist, mezze grill platters and homemade pizzas.
Be sure to buy some vibrant veggies on your way out and if the food takes your fancy (it will), look out for their evening pop-up events.
The Kitchen at the Wharf, Langport
Set in an historic wharf building on the banks of the River Parrett, The Kitchen at The Wharf offers cooked breakfasts, brunches and cream teas made on site daily from scratch.
Originally a trading base for salt and corn, inside, the cafe’s interior is bright, airy and has rustic chic down to a T. Outside, the riverside terrace is great for people watching in summer – namely the paddleboarders, kayakers and canoeists lapping up this stretch of still water.
A long counter runs almost the length of the cafe, brimming with tarts, homemade cakes and pastries. The menu is simple, tasty and uses local produce to create its dishes.
Kids, dogs and cyclists are welcome here and can be placated with a toy box, doggie treats or a bicycle repair kit if needs be!
Trough Farmshop and cafe, Yeovil
Yeovil might not be the most aesthetically-pleasing English town, but venture a couple of miles out and oh my, there is some serious Somerset countryside to be found. On the outskirts is where you’ll find The Trough Farmshop and Cafe – a converted barn with sweeping views over rolling fields to hills beyond. You can soak up these bucolic surrouding from the smart outside terrace, where a friendly sheep might potter over (safely staying on their side of the fence) to inject some extra rural WOW into proceedings.
Inside also makes the most of the setting, with big windows showcasing the outdoors and nods to nature and the owners’ farming heritage (The Snell family have been farming in Somerset for 7 generations). Spot the antler chandelier, horned lampshades, a bull’s skull, tree artwork, squashy floral chairs and wood cladding on the walls.
The menu features flavoursome, naturally mean beef from The Trough’s own grass fed Longhorn cross Devon herd, and yes, you can have steak for breakfast. You’ll also find some Brixham crab, Bonners pork and vegan and veggie options too. I had Smashed Avo with smoked salmon and it was very tasty, although I wanted my cappuccino to have creamier milk rather than frothy – a la service station. Roasts happen here on Sundays.
Light and bright, but cosy too (there’s a woodburner on one side), The Trough makes a snuggly autumn/winter hideaway as well as being one of the best al fresco cafes in Somerset. Whizz round the miniature gift shop before you go and look out for family-friendly events such as sunflower and pumpkin picking.
Coming up…my cafes in Somerset to-hit-up list:
The Old Calf Shed, Jordans Courtyard
At The Chapel, Bruton
Silver’s Pantry, Procktor’s Farm, West Monkton
Monks Yard, Horton
What other cafes in Somerset should I visit? Comment below or send me your recommendations!
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