Save the date: Tasting Dinner with Thomas Carr on 9 April 2018


We have exciting news:  Michelin starred chef Thomas Carr will be cooking a Tasting Dinner with the apprentices of The Beach Hotel in Minehead on Monday, 5 March.

In 2015, Thomas Carr started the very first Exmoor Food Fest off with a tasting dinner at West Somerset College in Minehead. Students at the College’s Combe Restaurant, who were joined in the kitchen not only by Thomas Carr, but also Michelin starred chef Mark Dodson, impressed guests with their delicious and well-presented courses.

Three years later, these students have moved on. Some of them are now working as chefs in local restaurants, amongst them Rosemary Overall who is now a chef at The Beach Hotel.

On 9 April, Thomas Carr will be cooking with Rosemary and the Beach apprentices.   The menu will be announced shortly.

Tickets are limited, so book fast:



The Old Ship Aground: Open for bookings!



Here at The Old Ship Aground food is very much a part of what we do.  We LOVE TO COOK and is very much ‘River Cottage’ in style – if we cannot raise it or grow it, you can be sure it’s locally sourced, from home raised Mutton to oven fired hams you can be assured it’s the very best of quality..

With our small farm on the hills of Exmoor we have a real connection with traditional farming and understand the true importance of good produce to make good food.

We run with a Bar Classic’s menu which has everything you would expect to find as well as a varied and interesting restaurant menu Our daily specials black boards also give us a chance to show off a little. Seafood always has a big presence after all we are by the sea. Be assured its seasonal, Fresh and Local       

With the addition of our very own smoker we cure and smoke such things as bacon, fish and meats, which is always a great way to enhance our offering.

You can enjoy good food and atmosphere in our relaxed Pub area, in the Courtyard Restaurant or you may decide to dine alfresco and enjoy the wonderful views.

The Old Ship Aground, built in 1911 and formally known as The Pier Hotel, (they took the pier down in the war so thought it prudent to change the name) is an historic listed Edwardian pub located on the old harbour area in Minehead. With some of the best views in Minehead across the harbour to the Quantocks and Wales, the location is idyllic.

We fell in love with her and bought back in May 2013. Since then we sorted the old girl out and refitted almost everything from top to bottom. Now with 12 new bedrooms offering a variety of single, double, twin and super king sizes there is a room for everyone, with all the little extras you’d expect – flat screen tv’s, tea, coffee & biscuits, bathroom sets and free wifi etc.

We offer great old fashioned hospitality, and doing a good job of it, is very important to us. You don’t have to just take our word for it, please check out our reviews, both on Google and Trip Adviser.

Hope to see you soon.

Julian and crew

Exmoor Food Fest offer:
Two courses for £12.50 for Lunch
Mon to Friday only throughout February. 
Menu will change weekly.


Facebook:        /The-Old-Ship-Aground-Minehead-Harbour
elephone:       01643 703516

Quay Street
TA24 5UL Minehead

The Beach Hotel, Minehead: Open for bookings!



The Beach Hotel nestles neatly between the Quantocks and Exmoor National Park in the ancient seaport of Minehead. This landmark hotel was adopted by YMCA Somerset Coast in 2013 and has since been lovingly restored to its former glory – with a few added features. It now offers luxury hotel accommodation and conference and meeting facilities. It is home to Minehead’s Railway Museum and Café, The Minehead Musicians Festival – and of course a fantastic restaurant which offers a scrumptious menu serving delicious food to suit any occasion, prepared from local ingredients and presented simply and elegantly.

As we mentioned, (and will proudly mention again!), we are also a charity. In 2013 YMCA Somerset Coast saw the old hotel as an opportunity to restore the heart of a community. Today The Beach Hotel has taken to its new role valiantly and provides a place to offer training and apprenticeships to young people who want to show and develop their talents in hospitality and as chefs. Under guidance of our award winning Head Chef and mentor and many other members of our passionate team.

Our love of coastal life and passion for comfort and leisure creates a culture that is finely balanced. It’s one of putting your feet up and stepping outside, of relaxing or being active. Whether you are a couple looking for a getaway, young or old, a family here with your children, or travelling with man’s best friend come and join us to see for yourself.

We want to inspire you to discover what’s here. Look for cosy, secluded corners tucked within busy, wide-open places. There’s something for everyone and every mood. Minehead itself offers a superb destination for anyone seeking a traditional seaside holiday and is also known as the gateway to Exmoor National Park. It is equally suitable for those who want a relaxing break or an action packed holiday of walking, cycling, horse riding or extreme sports.

Our setting provides a great base to explore Somerset and Exmoor. Minehead is a real hidden gem for kite surfing and water sports in Somerset and North Devon. Yet, is still quiet enough to explore some unchartered territory, or just relax in our Lounge. Your break with us can be whatever you want to make it really.

Exmoor Food Fest offer:
2 course £15 lunchtimes and the 3 course £22.50 evenings Tuesday to Saturday starting from 19/02/18 to the 28/02/18.

Tel : +44 (0) 1643 704765
The Beach Hotel, The Avenue, Minehead, Somerset TA245AP

Twitter:            @TheBeach_Hotel
Facebook:       /thebeachhotel

Chambers Bistro, Minehead: Open for Bookings!



Head Chef Steven Hadley welcomes you to Chambers in Minehead.

Steven’s first taste of kitchen life was when he was given the job as a kitchen assistant at the Northfield Hotel in Minehead at the age of 15, where he worked and gained experience, happily for a number of years.

In 2009 Steven embarked on a two year Hospitality Diploma Course as the first year group at the brand new resources unit at West Somerset College. On leaving with a Triple Distinction he was awarded a place at the University of West London (UWL) being classically trained in Fine Dining and Management.

During his time at University, Steven was able to work with many great Chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and assisting the Roux Brothers during a heat of the Roux Scholarship.

Valuable experience was gained working at The Ritz Hotel, The Savoy Hotel and the Castle Hotel in Taunton, as well as cooking for the Queen at one of her Golden Jubilee celebrations, and Prime Minister David Cameron at the Curry Awards.

On leaving University, his first job was at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotswolds, before returning to Minehead and assisting with setting up of the Fine Dining restaurant at the Beach Hotel.

At the Age of 25, Steven has now owned his first restaurant ‘Chambers’ for two years.


The Exmoor Food Fest Deal is available for dinners on every Friday and Saturday evening. Groups can be accommodated on other evenings  as by arrangement.

2 courses for £15 or 3 for £17.50 every Friday and Saturday.

6 The Avenue
Somerset TA24 5UQ

Tel. 01643 704225

Facebook: /chambersminehead


Taste of Exmoor Awards 2017

Taste of Exmoor Awards Party

27 March 2017, 7pm

Butlins, Minehead

Over 5 weeks, the public voted online for the best dining experience on Exmoor during the Exmoor Food Fest 2017.

The voting has now closed, and we have winners in the categories for “Best Taste”, “Best Food Presentation”, “Best Ambience” and “Best Service”.  

We will crown the Exmoor Chef and the Exmoor Host of 2017 on the night of the awards from the three finalists in all four awards.

Meet us at 7pm at the reception at Butlins in Minehead. Redcoats will accompany you to Ludo’s (the new restaurant on the resort) for an evening of  food, fun, entertainment and great company, celebrating the success of the Exmoor Food Fest and the regional hospitality sector.

Food:  Sharing platters on the tables.

We are delighted to be able to offer some tickets to the public – if you like to join the top chefs and restaurateurs of our region on the night, please purchase a ticket (£15.00 pp) from the Exmoor Store

A word from our sponsor Wilkie May & Tuckwood

The Minehead office of Wilkie May & Tuckwood are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Exmoor Food Festival which is taking place throughout February.

Participating restaurants across the region will offer two courses for £10/three courses for £15 between the 1st and 28th February.  A wide range of events will be celebrating local food and drinks at various locations across Exmoor, culminating in a two day food extravaganza in Dunster.  For more information go to the Food Festival website on

The accompanying photograph shows Caroline Ferris, the Wilkie May & Tuckwood office manager.


Enjoy the Exmoor Food Fest at Fausto’s in Minehead

We would like to offer the Exmoor Food Fest deal every lunchtime Monday – Saturday and evenings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday excluding Valentine’s Day. 

We pride ourselves in offering authentic Italian cuisine combining Italian and local produce for the ultimate dining experience. We are a relaxed family run restaurant and welcome large and small parties. We aim to bring a small part of Italy to exmoor so come and join us by our open fire with a glass of wine and a heart bowl of pasta to keep you warm. 

Menu as follows: 

Starters: garlic mushrooms, tomato and mozzarella and game terrine. 

Mains: any pizza or pasta dish of your choice. 

Dessert: any dessert from our menu excluding the cheeeseboard. 

4 Holloway St, Minehead TA24 5NP

Phone:             01643 706372
Instagram:     faustosrestaurant 

Welcome back to The Beach Hotel, Minehead

14th February will see the grand opening of the new Theatre Kitchen at The Beach. They’re so proud of their young chefs down at The Beach they don’t want to hide them behind closed doors. You will be able to watch your dish being created and plated up in front of your eye, it will be truly amazing for diners and chefs. The updated menu is looking incredible!

The Exmoor Food Fest deal will be available for lunch from Monday, 20 February to Thursday, 24 February.

For further details, please contact The Beach Hotel on Tel. 01643 704765

Wilkie May & Tuckwood sponsors Exmoor Food Fest 2017

Wilkie May & Tuckwood is an independent, progressive firm of estate agents founded in the early 1990s. We now have eight offices throughout Somerset and Devon and provide a range of residential and commercial services including estate agency, valuations, letting, auctioneering and surveying.

contentimage-ewdgxCaroline Ferris, Manager of the Minehead Office, explains: “We focus on managing your house sale smoothly and efficiently. Our staff are caring, friendly and approachable and you can expect the best possible service”.

Born in Porlock and living in West Somerset most of her life, Caroline is very much “A Local” and puts her knowledge of the district and its people to great use in her agency role. Caroline has been involved in the growth of the Minehead Office since joining the front line Sales Team in 2009. Her career in Agency began 13 years ago with a corporate agency where she was promoted to Valuer/Senior Negotiator. Caroline is very passionate about her career choice in Estate Agency and feels “very fortunate to be doing a job she loves”. Her customer service is second to none and she is very popular with clients and buyers, many coming back with repeat business and recommendations


7 Park Street, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5NQ
Tel: 01643 704400




From Field to Fork….  The Minehead Farmers’ Market

Photo by James A. Fenwick

Every Friday, from 8.30am till 2pm, the busy Parade in Minehead is transformed: Purple and yellow tents take over the top part of the town, and shoppers with baskets filled to the brim with fresh bread, eggs, cake and vegetables walk where cars usually speed along.

The Minehead Farmers Market moved into the Avenue nearly 10 years ago.  Between 16 and 19 traders bring their fares to Minehead for 50 weeks a year. Whether it is gluten free cakes, sourdough products, chocolates, fish, cheese, preserves, beef, pork, venison or even plants, visitors will find a plethora of homemade or homegrown products to fill their larder. 

Shelley Kift, who has been attending Minehead Farmers Market since 2006 with her business “Out Over Catering”, took over as market chairman in 2011.

“We run our own farm at Blackmore Gate on Exmoor and only use home bred pork and beef from neighbouring local farms,” explains Shelley who now coordinates all the market traders. The trained chef sources all ingredients as locally as possible, and all products are made from scratch, including the pastry. 

“The Minehead Farmers Market has been going from strength to strength,” said Shelley while serving another customer with cheese scones and chocolate cake. “In 2014 we won the Taste of the West Silver Award. We are still waiting for the 2015 results…”

Cheryl Arvidson from Greenmeadow Poultry in the Quantocks regularly brings free-range hen, duck and quail eggs to the market in Minehead.  Those interested in having their own chicken, can book courses in poultry keeping for all levels with the Cheryl who has a further education teaching certificate.

Another stall to look out for is Plowright Organic and their home grown, organic vegetables, freshly hewn each week from the sandy Somerset soils at the foothills of the Quantocks.  “It isn’t a big money maker for us,” says Richard Plowright who runs the farm, “the customers are the reason we go there as they’re so appreciative of our produce.”

Carrots and Milya potatoes are the biggest sellers which keep the customers coming back for more. Customers also enjoy the experience of looking through the vegetables, connecting with the growing seasons and sharing recipe ideas, as well as having a chat with Joel who runs the stall.

On 20 September 2015, many of the regular Minehead Farmers Market traders will take part in the Minehead Food and Families Day around The Beach Hotel, which launches a range of “Taste of Exmoor” events leading up to the 2016 Exmoor Food Fest.  Participating restaurants across Exmoor will again be offering 2 courses for £10.00 during February.  For more information, please go to .

Credit:  All photos by James A Fenwick

(Note: This text was first published in the September issue of Somerset Life)