Nestled within the tranquil county of Somerset, Taunton could easily fill several days with activities, sights to see, and places to go. While we’d happily fill several articles too, we’d rather focus and instead give just a taste – pardon the pun – of the places in town that are best to eat at. Whether you want fine dining, a light breakfast, or a pub lunch, Taunton has something for you and your older parents
Experience a taste of Tuscany at Little Italy
Found in the Orchard Shopping Centre, Little Italy’s name is a quick giveaway as to the sort of food you can expect to find here. The restaurant is small, independent and family run, with recipes that are so authentically Italian you’d be fooled into thinking you were sat down in Tuscany.
The restaurant covers all the classics, such as pizza, pasta dishes, risotto, and gelato, all made with fresh ingredients to a very high standard. The building itself is a little small and clustered, so be careful not to bump your hip on a table’s edge, but during fair weather outside seating is also available.
The staff are especially friendly and helpful, without being too intrusive. They’re happy to assist disabled guests find a suitable place to seat, and nothing is ever too much trouble for them.
Enjoy a traditional pub lunch at The Bicknoller Inn
The Bicknoller Inn screams traditional pub experience, from its traditionally thatched roof and timbered frames to its selection of drinks and home cooked food. It’s a little outside Taunton itself in the nearby village of Bicknoller, from thence the name, but is well worth the journey if you’re looking for a good pub meal.
The Bick has recently come under new management, but has already struck a charm with many guests who’ve passed through its doors. The portions are generous, the food delicious, the staff helpful, and the scenery beautiful. Dogs are welcomed to this pub as well, and the pub is bright, open and easy to traverse easily with plenty of seating.
Enjoy afternoon tea at The Column Room Restaurant
For something a little more upmarket, consider The Column Room Restaurant, located at Hestercombe Gardens. After you’re done exploring the extensive manor house and its grounds, drop into the Column Room for some traditional British afternoon tea or a wide selection of delicious cooked meals.
The main draw of The Column Room is the Hestercombe house itself, which looks out onto beautifully maintained gardens and grounds. Although the house was built at a time when there wasn’t much consideration for accessibility, efforts have been made to keep the place open to all its guests. You should have no difficulty getting to the restaurant, and staff are always on hand to assist where needed.
The Column Room can easily be an event in itself, and is a fantastic way to round off your visit to Hestercombe House.
Experience the Mediterranean at Anise
Describing itself as a “casual neighbourhood restaurant”, Anise offers its visitors dishes and recipes inspired by the Mediterranean basin. The owner formerly owned a site in London, but chose to relocate his business here in Taunton. Offering dishes influenced from Spain to Tunisia, from Italy to Greece, and from Turkey to Lebanon, Anise hopes to give its visitors dishes that are not only exotic and exciting, but also affordable and enjoyable.
It’s a massive hit with the locals, and you’ll soon see why yourself.
The food is all locally sourced where possible, and cooked with skill and flourish that quickly shows the head chef’s ten years of cooking experience. While the building can be a little pokey and dim, the staff are friendly and always happy to help you find a comfortable table to sit at.
We finish off with a place for those who just want to stop for a quick lunch that is nevertheless top quality; The Wickets. Whether it’s just for a hot cup of coffee and a slice of cake, or a grilled panini and a milkshake, the Wickets offers good food at good prices with good service.
The café is independently run and very customer focused. The staff really do make sure that their visitors leave the premises satisfied, and offer friendly and welcoming service.
The Wickets can be a little clustered, but it’s also bright and plenty of seating is available. Consider dropping here if you’re looking for a relaxed breather after a busy morning seeing the sights, before heading off to do more when your batteries have recharged.
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