Chapel House Tea Rooms Dunster
Dunster is a medieval village, it is unique. In fact, it is thought to have been a seaport in pre- Roman times. It has an abundance of historic buildings, the Castle, Tythe Barn, the Priory Church of St George, the Nunnery, Yarn Market and the Main Street flanked by cobbled pavements.
As one leaves the main car park, we see the National Park Centre - a place of interest for new visitors and children alike. Soon a wide view appears of the main street full of interesting shops and cafes with the ancient Yarn Market in the foreground and the imposing Castle as the background. A photographer’s paradise! Be sure to pop into the National Park Centre to see a mural depicting this scene as would have appeared in the 1400s!
Dunster has a plethora of eating-places for you to choose from, whether you are with partner, family and or dog, all are welcome!
If you want to build up your appetite first, why not visit the National Trust’s Dunster Castle? Here you’ll find a lovely river walk along the eastern side of the castle which leads to a working watermill and to Gallox Bridge, the start of many woodland walks.
Once you’re feeling peckish, then take the steep slope away from the Castle’s main entrance, passed the Dream Garden and enter the quaint West Street. Here terraces of pretty cottages many of the frontages hide medieval buildings. Facing you next to the traffic lights stands Chapel House Tea Rooms, housed in the former Methodist Church and our destination today.
In contrast to the chapel’s formal exterior, inside a quirky mix of brightly coloured furniture coupled with vintage memorabilia enhances the warm welcome from the staff
We have found it to be a home of great flavours, local cheese, flours, honey and a wide range of spirits. Traditional meals have twists of their own and soon have the taste buds stirring. Early starters can have such treats as porridge or muesli made from cereals milled down the road in the Water Mill, laced with local honey or yoghurt. Eggs are offered with soldiers made from bread made with flour produced in the same mill.
A varied lunch menu commences with more delights, it attracts a number of local customers as well as visitors. The deliciously fresh soup on offer that day was radish with mint & peas served with delicious cheese-flavoured scones. For mains, a Homity pie or one with ham hock & leek served with fresh salad. A BLT wrap served with homemade chutney thrilled another of our party!
What about dogs? Well, they’re welcome too, in a comfortable designated portion of the dining room.
If yours is an extra special day, why not treat yourselves to a Cream or Afternoon Tea served on a tiered stand accompanied by a celebratory bottle of local sparkling wine. A feast for both the eyes and the stomach.
Before we leave, we browse through a variety of gifts, cards, games and engraved glass for sale. You could even treat yourself to a bottle from the large range of West Country spirits – a very special visit!!
By then it was time to wend our way back home, heading out the door we could choose to turn right and pick up the riverside walk from Gallox Bridge, back to the Castle car park. On the other hand, we could turn left, passing through Church Street, passing the beautiful Church and the impressive 3 storey Nunnery, where visitors to the Priory would have stayed in years gone by. More choices! But a nice amble back to the car gave us a chance to reflect on the culinary delights of the Chapel House Tea Rooms, a place we’ll be sure to visit again soon!