Food and drink

listings include markets, pubs and B&Bs

for food and drink reviews see next pages
all October markets on front page HERE

2020

Farm shop at zoo entrance

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f you have visited Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm recently, you may have noticed their new shop outside the main zoo entrance.

The Noah’s Ark Farm Shop has popped up during lockdown and is now open for business!

The shop aims to bring local produce to local people and zoo visitors from afar.

Located in the car park to cater to those just passing and those coming to visit the zoo and those just looking for a good local produce.

Whether to take into the zoo as a picnic or to take home for dinner, there is something for everyone.

The new shop stocks freshly baked bread and cakes, as well as a selection of pastries, including sausage rolls and pork pies.

Tasty cheese, crackers, sauces, dressings, honeys and Bennett’s Ice Cream are available as well as fresh fruit, veg and meats all sourced from local businesses in the South West area.  

Fresh tea and coffee from Clifton Coffee to take away along with pastries and snacks which can also be enjoyed in the picnic area beside the farm shop.

Managing director Larry Bush said, “Our farm shop was dreamed up during lockdown and our site team have worked so hard to get this up and running.

"We are excited to work with local businesses and to see how this new venture goes.”
The shop will also sell fresh and frozen meals, homemade cakes and desserts, made with local produce, freshly cooked in the Noah’s Ark farm kitchen by our team of chefs.

The homemade Lamb Navarin, pies, and quiches are already favourite amongst the zoo staff.

Why not pop down to Noah’s Ark Farm Shop, to get a taste of locally sourced amazing products?

FOR AFTERS:  Following the successful government scheme, the Ring O'Bells at St Mary's Grove is running its own. Monday to Friday noon-2pm and 5.30-8pm it is offering a 25 per cent discount on all starters, mains and desserts. On Tuesday nights its popular pizzas will also be included in discount offer. It starts on Monday, September 14, and you can eat in or takeaway. Bookings advised call 01275 790009

HOPPY BIRTHDAY: Nailsea MicroPub first anniversary party with a pint of Real Ale on Friday and Saturday, September 25-26 3pm-11pm at Unit 4 Ivy Court just off the High Street. Up to eight different cask ales from its favourite breweries. Lots more bottles and cans in our well stocked fridge. Also served are ciders, lagers, craft ales, wine, Prosecco, gin, tonics, rum, whisky, vodka and lots of soft drinks Indoor and outdoor space with marquee.This is a party not to forget

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PHOTOS BY ELLIE JELLIS: Nailsea Community Group volunteers

Jules Richardson and Shelley Forbes with

Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber cutting the ribbon

Bountiful free food

Nailsea Community Group has a larder at 26 Somerset Square full of free giveaway grocery goodies.

The Community Larder which is stocked with surplus food some just past its best was officially opened by Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber on Monday, September 14.

Jan said: “It is wonderful, it looked like a stall at the flower show, most impressive.”

Nailsea Community Group spokesman Jules Richardson said: “Four million tonnes of perfectly good food is thrown away in the UK each year and we hope our community larder will help redistribute some of this food before it goes to waste.

“It’s good quality surplus items that would otherwise would have gone in the bin.

“We also have fruit and veg that has been kindly donated from Nailsea allotments and gardens.

“We are asking people to pop in and take up to five items per adult per day.

“It costs absolutely nothing as all the food is rescued but you will be helping us cut down on the amount of quality food heading to landfill.”

The larder does not contain food that has been donated to Nailsea Community Group foodbank and it does not impact the stock the group has available to support residents, added Jules.

She said: “The food is sourced locally from schemes such as FareShare and Neighbourly.”

FareShare UK is a charity network aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK, which has been running since 1994.

Neighbourly ensures product surplus is put to good use in the community - whether it’s food and drink or toiletries, books and household goods.It says one in three UK children are living in poverty and an estimated 14 million people, one fifth of the nation’s population, are suffering in ‘impossible situations’ where paying bills and putting food on the table can be incredibly difficult. 

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Get help with food shopping

When out shopping in Nailsea try to buy a little extra for the local foodbanks.

There are two services currently operating with donation points in the supermarkets.

Nailsea Community Group (originally Nailsea Covid-19 Help Group) has foodbank collections at:

  • Tesco;

  • Co-op;

  • Tout Budgens;

  • Poundland; and its temporary HQ at

  • 26 Somerset Square.

The shopping centre unit is taking the place of its base at 65 High Street which is closed for refurbishment during the summer months.

26 Somerset Square is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9.30am-3.30pm and it puts its latest needs on a chalkboard outside.

Nailsea Community Group foodbank came about in response to the coronavirus crisis and carries on its good works to help where there is need.

Town councillor James Steel said: “We are working closely with families across Nailsea providing anonymous food support for when things get tough.

“We are now seeing the start of the financial effects caused by COVID and we are very aware that there will be some residents who begin struggling to pay for essential food and household items and will either go without or go into debt in order to make it until their next source of income.”

When open there is a lending library for DVDs, puzzles and games for all ages.

It also runs has a buddy system.

Currently more than 125 volunteers are shopping weekly while in excess of 40 drivers go door-to-door with grocery and prescription deliveries. Another 30 man the food stocks.

James added: “The food will always make it to those in need and the two foodbanks continue to support each other.”

Shelley Forbes now works part-time for Nailsea Community Group, a community interest company, which is supported by Nailsea Town Council and donations.

Its newest innovation is to help families through the summer holidays.

Shelley said: “We have been running an emergency food bank since the start of the Coronavirus crisis for people who suddenly found themselves struggling financially.

"We also wanted to help families who receive Working Tax Credits or whose children receive free school meals so we decided to set up a Community Food Club.

"The idea is that we provide families with food and household items at a low cost.

"We source the items we provide from donations from the community as well as surplus food from local shops and supermarkets which reduces the amount of food being sent to landfill.

"Membership to the Community Food Club costs £1 per family and entitles members to use the Food Club once a week and purchase up to 10 items worth about £15 for £3.50 - including cereal, pet food, pasta, rice, shower gel, cleaning products, tinned fruit and vegetables.

"We are trialling the Community Food Club in August and if you live in Nailsea and would like to join please visit our Facebook page - Nailsea Community Group and fill in the form on the post there and we will contact you.

"If you would like to support the Community Food Club you can do so by donating food at our drop-off points in Tesco and Co-op or at number 26 Somerset Square on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday or you can donate via our Just Giving page."

To donate click HERE.

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The Trussell Trust Foodbank is part of a wider organisation that has operated from the Southfield Church, Southfield Road for many years.

It is only open on Fridays 12.30-2.30pm.

Donations may be made at its collection point at:

  • Waitrose; and at

  • Southfield Road on Fridays.

This foodbank is a branch of Clevedon District Foodbank and operates an emergency out-of-hours service on 0792 747 2649.

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£10 max per person discount on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

From Monday to Monday, August 3-31, get a 50 per cent discount when you eat in at restaurants that are registered with the government Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme at a participating establishment:

  • to get a 50 per cent discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)

  • every Monday, Tuesday + Wednesday in August

  • as many times as you like

You do not need a voucher to use this scheme and you can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend.

You cannot claim discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.

The discount will be automatically available to you at participating establishments.

Establishments will then claim a reimbursement from the government for the discount they’ve given you.

Nearby participating establishments include:

  • Cafe 119

  • Greens

  • Ring O'Bells

  • Coates House

  • The Old Farmhouse

  • Moorend Spout

  • Touts Budgen Subway, Wraxall

  • The Rising Sun, Backwell

  • The George, Backwell

  • Backwell House

  • Failand Inn,

  • Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill - menu HERE - and Bardolino's Pizzeria Bellini & Espresso Bar at Cadbury House

Pub and restaurant chains which have registered include:​

  • Costa (Somerset Square and Tesco)

  • Greene King (Royal Oak)

  • JD Wetherspoons (Glassmaker)

GOOD CHEER: What a difference a week makes! White Lion officially opened on Saturday, July 25, with lots of good cheer from family and friends as landlady Karen Allen, aged 50, pulled her first pint at Silver Street pub. The pub will be open daily from noon until late - see story below about how they got to revive the pub which had been closed for months with lots of TLC 

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NICE ONE CYRIL: Nailsea's colourful characters at the Royal Oak pub took a little time to master the one-way social distancing system which made us all laugh. Landlady Gemma Mamo, pictured, had no problems with new rules. It is easier to order via the Green King App for food although items may differ slightly from printed menu. The High Street food service is offering a 20 per cent discount to Armed Forces personnel including veterans, NHS and emergency services front line staff - present blue light card at till

FOR PLOUGH MEN AND WOMEN: The Old Farmhouse, off Trendlewood Way, Nailsea is opening today, Wednesday, July 22, at 4pm.It is for drinks only with food starting again on Friday, July 24. Booking is recommended however walk-ins are welcome if they have space. The pub and restaurant are big enough for social distancing and the garden can seat 120. Landlords Becci and Wes Devonald, say lots of changes have been made to keep everyone safe but they still guarantee home cooked food from this weekend, friendly service and a relaxing visit. To book click HERE. During their first year the couple have raised more than £15,000 for charity, fed the vulnerable with the Nailsea Covid-19 group and on a Bristol homeless run, installed a defibrillation with help from the church group and refurbished the pub kitchen, cellar and outside space - phew! And now they are serving pub made stone baked pizzas on Thursdays and carvery is back on Sundays... 

REAL BEER: Nailsea MicroPub situated just off Nailsea High Street serves quality real ale straight from the cask, real cider, real lager, gins, wine, prosecco, whisky, rum, vodka and soft drinks. From Sunday, July 22, it is introducing four new beers. And behind the bar there is a selection of snacks. It also offers a delivery and takeout available. Please note the tap room will be closed on Sunday, August 9, to allow Mark a well earned break. There is now seating outside and sunshades for when the weather is hot

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CLOSED until further notice  

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White Lion work in progress

Turning 50 in September 2019 Karen Allen decided it was time for pastures new so she swapped her job at a sports club and bought the tenancy of a Nailsea pub.

But plans to open the White Lion midday on Saturday, July 25, is becoming a bit of a challenge with the amount of stuff left behind by a previous landlord and the overgrown garden full of brambles and a buzzing wasp nest!

So far three skips of rubbish have been removed, the base of a horse feeding trough uncovered, old barrels full of beer while lots of retro items like the red wall lampshade could be heading for eBay.

The wasp nest is another item on the urgent removal list!

Most of the old brass is going but some fittings have been given a new lease of life with a silver metal coating!

Busy clearing, cleaning, and painting helped by an army of friends the former Grove Junior School dinner lady and teaching assistant gave up her more recent job behind the bar at the Grove Sports & Social Club to take on the Silver Street pub.

Dating back to the mid-19th century when the village of Nailsea boasted more than 10 pubs serving a population of approximately 3,000 people its customers included agricultural workers, coal miners and glassworkers.

Karen intends to stock a range of beers and ciders but when Nailsea People visited for a ‘condition check’ prior to opening she was waiting for the Ei Group plc, formerly known as Enterprise Inns, to make good the air-conditioning unit in the cellar so she could get on and order the beer, real ale and cider.

However, new plain grey carpeting to replace the dated patterned carpet had arrived courtesy of her husband Wayne a keen dart player, and footballer son Josh who both work for the family company Wayne Allen Flooring.

Wayne celebrates his big 5-0 on Wednesday, September 9 - guess where he will be partying.

Also gong in will be a jukebox but not fruit machines, said Karen.

Outside new garden furniture has been delivered, and the old horse trough is about to become a water feature.

Karen has given herself a year to turn this traditional old pub with two distinct bar areas in the Kingshill part of Nailsea into a going concern.

She is seeking artwork for the walls especially photographs from its past and anyone with copies is asked to call Karen on 0750 097 0847.

Already Neil Palmer whose father Bert ran the White Lion from 1963-87 has promised to dig out some memories of yesteryear.

New tenant for White Lion

First the good news is Il Paradiso at the Link Road, Nailsea is re-opening soon.

During the lockdown it received a big spring clean and fresh coat of paint.

Nailsea People reported in February 2019 that it was among the businesses in the town looking for new owners and its lease is still currently on the market for £90,000.

But waiter Carlos Ramada said: “We should be open in two weeks, I hope.”

Great news for pizza lovers.

And the next good news is The White Lion in Silver Street has a new tenant.

Karen Allen, wife of Wayne Allen the carpet man, is picking up the keys on Friday, July 17.

Wayne said: “There is still a bit of work to do but we will be in there all next week getting it ready to open.”

Depending on deliveries the date pencilled in for opening is lunchtime Saturday, July 25.

Wayne added that it won't be serving food but will be run like an 'tradition' English pub.

Karen is a familiar face behind the bar at the Grove Sports & Social Club.

Not sure what is happening at The Battleaxes at Wraxall.

This was bought by Somerset-based The Country Pub Group in September 2019 but since then it has been besieged with problems pending a major refit not least a poor food and hygiene rating and extensive roadworks outside making access difficult.

It was rumoured to be back on the market and Nailsea People is awaiting confirmation.

Meanwhile all the other Nailsea cafes, restaurants and pubs serving food are open for business including Coates House, Café 119 and Greens and we wish them all the best as they negotiate all the new rules and regulations as the lockdown is relaxed.

Nationwide it is predicted that more than 30,000 pubs, bars and restaurants may remain permanently closed because the coronavirus shutdown.

The grim prediction follows announcements that the Casual Dining Group, which owns the Bella Italia and Café Rouge restaurant chains, warned it was headed into administration – casting doubt over the future of its 250 restaurants.

The enforced period of closure could be the final straw from some in the hospitality business who were having a tough time before the crisis hit.

About 2,800 bars and restaurants closed down in the 12 months before the lockdown began.

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WHITE LIES: Rumours have abounded about The White Lion public house in Silver Street, Nailsea, and many wondered whether it would ever reopen, pandemic or not. These photos were taken on Saturday, July 4. Nailsea People talked to a neighbour who said workmen had been in all week and it would definitely re-open soon when the emphasis would be on food. Well, that will be an upgrade on the packets of crisps and peanuts served before it closed ha-ha. Talking of Nailsea pubs Roger Blackmore-Squires tells us his grandparents ran the White Lion at 13 Silver Street, from 1953-62. They were Harry Crane Jobson and Violet Beatrice Jobson, pictured centre and right behind the bar. He said he lived there with his brother happily from July 1955 to September 1958. The man with the dog is Walt Harold who had a horse and cart and did some cartage and rag & bone work. He lived in the old gaol opposite the Butchers Arms. The horse would often take Walt home with Walt laid on the cart by the other drinkers after the pub shut. Roger said: "The calendar on the wall shows it was the 11th but is not clear enough to know the month or year." We remember Bert Palmer behind the bar and lamented we had never been in the beer garden. However, interesting snippet in the Pints West spring 2020 magazine says 'in this pub news column in the last edition we said The White Lion was closed - if is in fact open and trading under the stewardship of John Lindsay as it has been for the past seven years' obviously pre-lockdown. Louise Thomas ran it from 2005-2012 and the word on the street is that Wayne Allen the carpet and flooring man could be the next landlord so it is a watch this space moment…

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Breakfast at Tiffany's Wetherspoons

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD: First we had to sanitise our hands, following arrows pointing to spaced out seating with patio doors open. We ordered via an App and got table service in a jiffy. We asked if they had had a new carpet fitted but told no because there are less tables you can see the floor now!  I loved my breakfast, the service, the cleanliness, and friendliness of helpful staff (all local) - going back again on Sunday as I have now downloaded menu order app and know how to negotiate one-way system. On exiting from a different door you deposit the NHS monitoring form in a box and sanitise your hands again. You will find The Glassmaker at  12 Crown Glass Place, Nailsea, Bristol BS48 1RD. STOP PRESS: Closed at midday Saturday, July 4, for urgent boiler repairs 

Cheers m'dears

Slowly but surely businesses are beginning to open but Nailsea People urge everyone to be cautious.
The long-awaited opening of Greggs at Crown Glass Shopping Centre was at 7am on Thursday, July 2.
Baker’s the Butchers (who have a milk machine and sell fish now), Café 119, Greens and Parsons are already open

The health and safety regulations post lockdown run to 43-pages and you will notice a difference.

Many more places are re-opening on Saturday not necessarily offering a full service and with social distancing maintained at all times.
For Nailsea they include:

  • Cadbury House (limited, members only outdoor classes)

  • Coates House with prior booking (not compulsory) and queueing system

  • Grove Sports & Social Centre

  • Nailsea MicroPub

  • Sawyers Arms and as above

  • Wetherspoons

The Royal Oak is also reopening on Monday, July 6 and will be operating a booking service for food.

And as from Monday, July 6, Noggins Old Fish Bar is reverting back to is normal opening hours of Monday to Thursday noon-2pm and 5-9pm; Friday and Saturday noon-2pm and 5-9:30pm.
The Blue Flame, Costa at Somerset Square and the Ring O’Bells are waiting until Thursday, July 9 to open.

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CAFE CULTURE: North Somerset Council hosted a Facebook Live session with week with the councillors who sit on the executive. You could tune in and listen and learn. One of the questions asked was by Garin Cop about rfelaxing use of outdoor space for pubs and restaurants. This would benefit places like Nailsea MicroPub and give us al fresco eating and drinking so desired by many. In the meatime Nailsea MicroPub boss Mark Ashman said his beer is settled, cider ready, fridges stocked with new craft beer and lager, shelves full of gin, rum, whisky, vodka and wine. He added: "We have all bases covered for everyone's taste for our 4pm re-opening after lockdown.

Farmers' market not back until September

Nailsea's farmers' market will be back on Saturday, September 19 - if all does to plan.

It was agreed at Nailsea Town Council planning meeting on Wednesday night, June 24, that the farmers' market should be held in the High Street.

This will now be closed for just one day a month so stalls can be set out.

But the cost of one day road closure orders runs into thousands of pounds and requires 12-weeks notice.

This is the same issue faced by Nailsea Community Christmas Fair whose committee suggested North Somerset Council needed to change the bylaws for local one day/seasonal events.

A waiver is already in place for Weston seafront stalls.

Councillors wanted the market to mimic the success of the Eat:Nailsea festival.

The meeting was told Crown Glass Shopping Centre company Praxis was not interested 'at the moment' of having the farmers’ market back at Crown Glass Place.

The town council is waiting for a quote from Somerset Farmers Market (SFM), a not-for-profit organisation, which runs several markets across the county.

SFM charge £27 per food and craft stalls.

Praxis has agreed if necessary, stalls could stretch into Somerset Square, the meeting was told.

Road closure orders cost £1,250 per date (more if full 12-weeks notice isn't given). On top of this is street trading consent is £1,200 for 12-months and then there is £600 for the physical opening and closing.

Chairman Rod Lees said: "I think we should go ahead with a September farmers' market, end of.

"Let's be positive about it.

"It will certainly liven up the High Street...it's a no-brainer."

Councillor David Packham said: "We do lose quite a lot of money on the markets."

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Eirik Bird, of Sam Bird TV, said on behalf of High Street traders that they were informed on any decisions in the future that would affect them.

Mr Lees said they would keep Nailsea & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Nailsea Indepedent Traders a small breakfast meeting business group informed but neither group has meet since long before lockdown.

Clarification would be sought to see if costs have be 'negogiated' down.

What a difference a few weeks make...

Indian Cottage, High Street, Nailsea

A Nailsea Indian takeaway, which was given a zero food hygiene rating, has completed a turnaround after being revisited by environmental inspectors. 
This was despite having a top rating of five previously and being voted one of the best takeaways nationwide.
North Somerset Council environmental health inspectors visited India Cottage in the High Street in December and ruled that ‘major improvements’ were needed. 
Inspectors said that major improvements were needed in its hygienic food handling procedures including the handling of food including preparation, cooking, reheating, cooling and storage.
They also said that major improvements were needed to the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building.
Inspectors also said a major improvement was needed in the management of food safety to ensure food was safe to eat.
The inspectors also said they wanted evidence that staff know about food safety and wanted details of how standards would be maintained in the future.
The takeaway has now been reinspected by the council and given a four star food hygiene rating.
North Somerset Council spokeswoman Zoe Briffitt said: “The Indian Cottage  now has a four star food hygiene rating."
Owner Abdul Jabir took to social media to update customers.
Posting on the Nailsea People Facebook page Mr Jabir apologised for any inconvenience caused and said: “We are really so sorry for any inconvenience.
“We have been re inspected by food hygiene officer this month and happy with the paperwork work and all other stuff and has awarded four star.”
The rating has also been updated on the Food Standards Agency HERE.
This now says: 
Hygienic food handling GOOD
Hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building GOOD
Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene
Management of food safety GENERALLY SATISFACTORY
System or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future

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The Battleaxes, Bristol Rd, Wraxall

The historic Battleaxes pub in Wraxall, North Somerset has been given a clean bill of health and a four-star hygiene rating by inspectors following work by new owners.

A new food safety system has been introduced by the Country Pub Group, which took over the Battleaxes late last year, and improvements made to paintwork in the pot wash area of the kitchens.

Matthew Lowe, of the Country Pub Group, said: “Since we moved in and carried out the improvements and changes to the regime the rating has been raised up to four stars.

“We have been told that if we had 12 months of management records it would be five star, so we expect to get the highest rating once we have been in the pub a year.”

Country Pub Group had just taken over the building, which dates from the 1860s, when inspectors downgraded the kitchen last year.

As well as the work to improve the standards in the kitchen area  staff have undergone training on the latest methods of dealing with food allergens.

Matthew added: “We worked closely with the environmental health officers from North Somerset Council.

"The great thing about old country pubs is the quirky nature of the historic buildings, but that always presents challenges in the kitchen area.

“We are pleased that the hard work and dedication of the team at The Battleaxes has brought a positive result.

"We are now concentrating on providing a great venue for people to gather with their friends and families to relax and enjoy a meal and a drink.

"It is one of the biggest pubs in the area and we aim to cater for larger family groups as well as intimate dinners for two.”

The Food Standards Agency online listing has yet to be updated.

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Zero rating for takeaway

An Indian takeaway in Nailsea has been given a zero food hygiene rating by North Somerset Council environmental inspectors.

The food and hygiene inspectors visited India Cottage takeaway in the High Street in December and ruled ‘major improvements’ were needed.

Inspectors said changes were needed in its hygienic food handling procedures, including the handling of food including preparation, cooking, reheating, cooling and storage.

The cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building and the management of food safety to ensure food was safe to eat also required major improvement, according to inspectors.

The inspectors also said they wanted evidence that staff know about food safety and wanted details of how standards would be maintained in the future.

The takeaway is due to be re-inspected in the coming weeks.

The takeaway offers the standard range of Indian fayre as well as set meals and 'chef exclusive dishes.'

North Somerset Council spokesman Zoe Briffitt said: “We will be working with the business to help them raise standards."

The report appeared on Bristol Live who said it  has contacted India Cottage for a comment.

STOP PRESS: We are told The Battleaxes will be re-inspected in February at will The George at Backwell which currently has a 2 rating.

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2019

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The 'food' inspector calls twice

The Battleaxes at Wraxall has been told after a few tweaks it is to get its positive food rating back.

On Friday, November 1, an inspector from North Somerset Food Hygiene called and gave the restaurant on the B3130 towards Bristol from Nailsea a ‘nil’ rating.

The result was posted online and called for major improvements in its hygienic food handling and food safety management with improvement necessary for cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

Country Pub Group managing director Matt Lowe said: “Following instruction from EHO (Environmental Health Office) we are working closely to improve our rating.

“A lot of structural issues were identified such as needing to replace some flooring and painting of walls which we have now completed.

“We are always working with EHO to improve our record keeping and paperwork.

“We believe the kitchen is of a good level and if EHO thought it was unsafe they would have shut it down.

“We would also like to welcome any customers into the kitchen at any time to see for themselves."

Country Pub Group took over the historic building in August with the operations manager of former owners Flatcappers Tony De Brito remaining in situ.

To read the Food Standard Agency synopsis click HERE.

On Tuesday, December 10, the food inspector called again with a much more positive response.

Matt said: “It was more of a follow up inspection, and we can now book in for a re-rating. 

“Overall she was impressed with the improvements, the structural repairs we made were fine and no further repairs need doing, she was also happy with the paperwork, with her only comment saying that a director had to sign it off each week, which is not required in any of my other properties nor is it worded in any food safety guidance, which I thought odd, nonetheless I have created a ‘director checklist’ which I will be completing on a weekly basis to help evidence our commitment to food safety. 

“Overall it was very positive, and we were told we can expect a four-star rating on our revisit within the next three months, and then move up to five stars within the next 12 months.

“We can’t get five stars straight away apparently because part of the rating is trust in management which needs to be earned over time.”

The Country Pub Group has three other pubs – two of which have a five-star food hygiene ratings and one of which has a four-star rating.

A revamp of the menu was already planned for January shifting the emphasis to using local suppliers.

As well as a bar, large restaurant and function room, the Battleaxes offers overnight accommodation in six boutique-style bedrooms. Downstairs there is a basement bar called The Shindig.

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