As a mum of four small children, I realise that a self-catering holiday can sometimes be a busy time in the kitchen for the cooks in the family! Here at the Railway Cottage, we have linked up with several lovely ladies to give plenty of options to make life a bit easier in the kitchen! After all, a holiday has to be a holiday for everyone!
We have teamed up with Gayla at Select Catering and are pleased to be able to offer a fabulous menu of both ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook delicious meals. Gayla is an experienced caterer and uses local, seasonal produce in her meals, wherever possible. Select catering will also, if you require, provide a fully catered service, where Gayla will cook and serve the meals in Railway Cottage
On receipt of the balance for your holiday, we send a copy of the Select Catering Menu, for you to be able to browse. If you require anything from the menu, simply pop a cheque in the post and the meals will be in the fridge on your arrival at the Railway Cottage.
Besides great menus and food, Caroline can also provide you with a chef for your holiday
"Having been a cook for a number of years in ski lodges, yachts and private estates I started a recruitment agency for cooks over 10 years ago. We specialise in finding cooks for private and commercial clients from dinner parties to full time positions. I am available privately to cater for dinner parties or weekends. I regularly cater for large groups and enjoy providing a tailor made menu for smaller groups (including children). With the abundance of fresh and local produce available in the West Country I like to source all my food locally with the support of my local suppliers."
Where To Buy Local Food
'Food miles matter, because local food is miles better'.
The amount and quality of local farm shops and opportunities for buying local food is staggering! It really is possible to not enter a supermarket on a visit to Railway Cottage and still have some pennies left! In Somerset you can buy loads of great local food at really competitive prices!!
Set in the centre of nearby Williton the shop has been serving West Somerset for over 150 years, aiming to provide a traditional range of top quality produce with a warm and friendly level of customer service. The shop sells meats from local farmers, fresh and locally smoked fish, local cheeses, jams and chuckneys, and delicious local ice cream.
There is a full delicatessen including cooked hams, pies and pasties. You can also order great holiday hampers.
The website http://www.somersetfarmhouse.co.uk is very good and you can pre order supplies, they will deliver free if the order is over £95.00
From The Producer!
Source and Somerset Local Food Direct. Source is a wonderful, innovative co-operative of Exmoor and Quantock producers. It has been created to inform you about and to deliver quality local produce. Source has joined forces with Somerset Local Food Direct to enable you to order our great local food and have it delivered to the cottage for your holiday, just like Tesco, only local !!!
On confirmation of a booking we send a leaflet about the service.
Taunton Farmers Market
Taunton has a wonderful, weekly farmers market. It is held in the High Street area of town, from 9.30 until 3.30 every Thursday. It is a large farmers market and many local producers regularly sell there.
Minehead Farmers Market
Minehead alos has a lovely weekly Farmers Market every Friday morning
The Fruit and Flower Basket
Only 5 miles from the cottage, close to the steam railway station at Bishops Lydeard, is this fantastic farm shop. Here you can buy local fruit, veg, deli and frozen items. They cook a lot of the produce on-site in their kitchens. Their homemade quiche is delicious!
For the ultimate in relaxation why not indulge in a spot of pampering!
Cedar FallsOnly five miles from the Cottage is one of the south west premier spas, great for day/half day treats! www.cedarfalls.co.uk
My Personal SanctuaryWill come and do pampering and treatments in the comfort of the Cottage. www.mypersonalsanctuary.co.uk
A photo shoot with Emily provides a perfect memory of your holiday whether you are celebrating a special anniversary with all the family, a 40th birthday or reminders of a special honeymoon. Emily will cater to your individual requirements.
Where To Eat
You do not have to travel very far from the cottage to enjoy some fab food! There are many pubs, restaurants and take-aways, enabling you to eat wherever and whatever you wish.
Here are selections of pubs which are recommended at the moment. Obviously owners and managers change from time to time, so feel free to ask us nearer to your holiday for recommendations.
The Bicknoller Inn - Bicknoller 20mins walk
This lovely pub is the closest to the Cottage, good food and beer, always something going on!
The White Horse Inn at Washford
The White Horse Inn is in Washford very near to Cleeve Abbey, it has pleasant riverside gardens with a play area, and is well known for good no nonsense food
The New Inn - Halse approx 15 mins drive
Our local in the village of Halse is a fabulous pub. With a contemporary, relaxing, convivial bar and a stylish restaurant. There is a small patio area and dogs/children are welcome. The New Inn is a great venue for a few drinks, a wonderful dinner or a relaxing Sunday lunchtime drink with the children!
Carew Arms - Crowcombe - approx 10 min drive
Crowcombe is another stunning conservation village, nestling at the bottom of the Quantocks. This thriving, large village pub has a lovely, child friendly garden with stunning views and a spacious skittle alley with a pool table. Both the bar and restaurant food is delicious.
Blueball Inn - Triscombe - approx 10 mins drive
Shortly before Crowcombe is another great pub at the foot of the Quantocks. The Blueball is a renowned award winning pub, serving delightful meals. The location is stunning!
Rising Sun - West Bagborough - approx 15 mins drive
The Rising Sun is another super pub, in the foothills of the Quantocks. It has a lovely menu, no garden but delightful benches at the front of the pub on the lane.
The Farmers Arms - Combe Florey - approx 15 mins drive
The Farmers Arms is in a great position, within sight of the West Somerset Steam Railway, perfect for trainspotters, young and old!!! It is a thatched pub, very family friendly, serving good pub food in a great spot.
The Bengal Spice
Top Indain Restaurant and take away in nearby Williton, 01984 632169
Dunster is well known for good places to eat one of the best thought of is Reeves,
Run by Justin and Claire Reeves, Justin has over twenty years cooking experience from La Sorbonne in Oxford to being Head Chef at Painswick House Hotel. Justin and Claire provide a fine dining experience in Dunster, again a sample menu can be viewed by visiting their website, and like the Royal Oak booking is very much advised.
Taunton itself has lots of restaurants of all styles, nationalities and to suit all budgets. There are also a number of notable country house style restaurants in more rural locations. I have details of lots more in the barn or ask if you have any special requests. There are also a couple of great web guides to local restaurants:
The Castle - Taunton 12 miles
This renowned restaurant and hotel is situated in a stunning building, indeed the old castle, in the heart of the town. The menu is fantastic, using local produce prepared by some great chefs. It is fairly formal, so don your best togs and book well in advance!
The Sanctuary - Taunton 12 miles
This stylish wine bar style restaurant offers a great lunch and evening menu. The restaurant is in the heart of town, in a charming period building on a side street. The restaurant is both quirky and comfy, combining the best of both styles. The food is delicious, with scrummy puds!
Podshavers - Nr Bishops Lydeard approx 6 miles
This is our fav restaurant! Situated in a simple barn, Podshavers (a cricket bat making term!) is a delight. Popular, you need to book well in advance, I believe is it one of the area's best kept secrets! It serves exquisite food in contemporary surroundings. The fish is fab!!
No website. Tel. 01823 433556
Clavelshay Barn - North Petherton approx 30 mins
This restaurant is in the stunning Quantock Hills. It is a great venue, either for a Sunday lunch or a dinner. Serving home grown meat and veg!
E G Bryant
Days out with the Children
Railway Cottage is a perfect holiday location for families. With such easy access to the Quantock Hills, Exmoor and the coast, you can easily get out and about for some great walks, cycle rides, picnics and adventures. Perfect! Somerset has heaps of great attractions for children of all ages such as animal parks, theme parks, museums and of course the beaches! Please see our What To Do page! There are countless days out suitable for children of all ages.
Days in with the Children
Railway Cottage is well equipped in all respects for family holidays! In the sitting room is a television with free view satellite channels including of course the all important CBeebies! Necessary for those early morning CBeebies moments! The DVD player comes complete with a selection of DVDs for all ages! There are also further televisions in each bedroom.
We can provide age graded baskets of toys for the children as well as cards and games for children and grown ups! On a safety matter, spare sockets are filled with socket guards! There is plastic cutlery, plates and beakers in the kitchen, as well as a blender for whizzing up baby food!
The garden at Railway Cottage is totally enclosed and we can provide a selection of garden toys suitable for younger children, i.e. trikes, playhouse and see-saw. The Cottage is equipped with lots and lots for children to do! Perfect for those days on holiday when you just don't want to get in the car!
Baby and Child Bits and Bobs!
Having four small children of our own, we understand how much you need to take away on holiday when the children are little! In fact the car boot can easily fill up only with the baby's packing!
To hopefully make your life easier, we can let you borrow an enormous amount of baby and child accessories!
Listed below are the items you can borrow. Please let us know at the time of booking what you require!
- Travel Cots
- Toddler Ready Beds
- Bed Guards
- Booster Seats for the table
- Changing Mats
- Bath Mats
- Baby Chair Bouncer
- Lightweight Buggy