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The Chapmans have been custodians of this magnificent edifice (a former Norman fortress) since the 1950s, and during their tenure it has proved a spawning ground for many a top chef – from Gary
Rhodes to Phil Vickery. Foodie action now centres on the Castle Bow Restaurant – a spacious brasserie with bare polished tables, mirrored walls and arty lampshades. Young Irish chef Liam Finnegan
learned the West Country ways at Gidleigh Park and the Bath
Priory, which set him up nicely for the Castle – another highly regarded champion of regional produce. Menus vary with the seasons, but expect anything from wild Quantock rabbit with wood
blewits and chervil cream sauce to a duo of home-reared lamb to John Dory with chard, monk’s beard, beetroot and chive butter. Cheeses are mainly from the region and the wine list is a family
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Liam Finnegan honed his skills at the George Hotel on the Isle of Wight, before working with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park and the Bath Priory. The Castle has always prided itself on using only the best West Country ingredients – a viewpoint the young Irishman has embraced wholeheartedly, while taking the food in a thrilling new direction. His highly accomplished, seasonally aware cooking has already earned him a steady following.